Some of us work because we have to; some of us work because we want to-and some of us move heaven and earth to find a way to stay home with our kids. But no matter what we decide, achieving a perfect balance between work and family is far from easy. How much can we give to our jobs without cheating our children-and vice versa? How can we balance our own needs with everyone else`s? Can we really do it all? No one makes these decisions quickly or lightly - and even after you`ve chosen your direction, you may have strong, often conflicting feelings about it. The one resounding truth: Balancing work and family is the most difficult and divisive personal issue of our generation, and it creates tension on both sides.
THE CASE FOR STAYING AT HOME
When you see small children, maybe in a daycare centre, who really just want to be with their mothers, you might have decided that you would never want your child to be without you, and decide that when you have a child of your own, you will stay home to raise him or her. Some people might think that it is the responsibility of one parent to stay home if it`s financially possible. Otherwise, your children may be negatively affected by being cared for by other people. Some people opt to stay home with the kids because they have been forced to do so - because of the child being born premature or other situations. But the feeling that this has put their careers off track completely is always at the back of their minds.
WORKING MOMS FIGHT BACK
Several stay-at-home moms claim that the working moms are selfish, unloving, and don`t spend enough time having fun with their children. But this couldn`t be further from the truth. There are just as many "good mothers" who work as there are "good mothers" who stay home. It`s unfair to assess a mother`s love, parenting skills, and concern for her child`s well being by whether or not she works. The bottom line is that everyone has to do what is right for her family, and those choices should be accepted and respected.
OF US HAVE TO WORK
Some women are single parents, out of choice or because life hasn`t been particularly kind to them. It tugs on their hearts every day that they have to be apart from their children, missing all the milestones, but they might not have a choice. Moreover with the woman also contributing to the income, families are able to afford luxuries and nice things that they might not have been able to otherwise.
WHAT YOUR KIDS HAVE TO SAY
One kid said, "I want to give working moms a few words of encouragement. I`m a high school student with a working mother, and I`m happy that she works. My mom always had to work. Being a working mother doesn`t mean that you don`t love your kid-I know my mom loves me more than anything and that she`s doing this because she wants me to have a good life."
SEEING BOTH SIDES
A woman can be a good mother whether she carries around a laptop or a diaper bag! What makes the woman happiest is what`s most important-if she`s not happy staying at home, then how can she bring up a healthy, happy child? Does the fact that a woman stays home automatically make her a perfect mother with perfect children? Or is she a less interesting person and a failure at female independence because she doesn`t work? Absolutely not on both counts! There just isn`t a simple formula for the perfect mother.
SOME HAVE EVEN FOUND
Some women who are working now have opted to stay home for the sake of their children and make no apologies for it because they chose to work, after they thought it fit. Some women have chosen a part time routine that works beautifully well for them. Some women have even decided to try their hand at small businesses, choosing the flexibility and convenience of working from home.
Being a working or a non-working mother is about being the best person you can be so that you can be the best mother for your children. Not everyone is cut to stay at home full-time, and if a woman forces herself into a role that is wrong for her she may end up frustrated and bitter, and her children may suffer. Whatever be the case, ultimately it depends on the individual who chooses a lifestyle and work routine that best suits her needs and the needs of her family.
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