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Motherhood for a Woman

When there is a loving and caring mother at home, there will be order in the family, then in society and in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

Motherhood is the most wonderful experience in the life of a woman. Mothers are the pivot around whom the whole family revolves. They hold family together, make tough decisions, takes care of each member with love and makes everybody comfortable. Mother is everything for her children. She generates confidence in her children and gives them strength when they go through all the ups and downs, successes and failures later in life.

Divine pleasure in watching their child grow

A mother feels a divine pleasures constantly, when she watches her child growing, the time which is full of wonders, of innocent questions asked by a toddler and gives many insights into the little and pure world of her child. Many a times she finds it difficult to answer the innocent questions of her child. Her comments/answers inspire and guides the children. Sometimes the insights of children astound mothers. It gives mother a sense of fulfillment. More time she spends together is better for the child.

Sacrifices her today

Every mother, on her own,  happily sacrifices her today, all her comforts, her day and night, her youth and everything in her power to take care of the new life, she brings into this world and make a healthier, happier and more prosperous future for her children. Every enlightened mother gives to the family, society and nation confident and responsible person/citizens. It is because of it that it is said in Indian scriptures that one can never repay two persons – mother and father.

After marriage a woman has to fulfill many familial responsibilities including taking care of small children. She does everything, she can for her children. She brings a new life in this world, brings it up, nourishes the baby, make the child comfortable and prepare her children to face the realities of life, when they grow up.

Changing scenario

Twentieth century –Twentieth century has brought many changes in women’s world. Women were keen to be economically independent, having their own identity. Legally they got freedom, equality, and access to education and employment. They became more and more confident and started questioning the stereo type assumptions that went with them.

The older typical image, slowly and slowly, got diffused and diversified. Gradual and greater awareness led them to take action to improve their living conditions and secure more and more justice and welfare through government’s intervention in economic, political and social life.

Today women have broken all glass ceilings, entered into domains which were earlier completely under male domination and worked with them. They became more career -oriented.

Twenty first century women –  In the twenty-first century, the thinking is changing slowly in America. According to the latest American census, stay at home motherhood is an increasingly popular choice for women, primarily to care for their children. (Times of India, New Delhi, January 9, 2005, p. 13)

Even in India, as NSSO data shows, female labour force participation (FLEB), was above 40% in early to mid-1990’s, fell to 29.4% in 2004-05,  23% in 2009-10 and 22.5% in 2011-12. ( Quoted from TOI, P.2, 27.9.2014)

With more and more women opting out from a regular career, a transition is taking place to a stay at home mothers instead of a working one. The image of modern mother has changed. This group comprises of those women, who considers themselves as friendly mothers, having a sense of self-realization in  breeding their kids properly and inculcating in them the good values. They are in pursuit of excellence in mothering and are putting more energy in being perfect mothers.

Over-burdened young Mothers?

Strains of modern living, stressful and working long hours in offices and then late marriage put so much strain on woman body that that factors like stress, weight change, age medicines disrupt the balance of her hormones and makes it difficult to give birth to a normal child.

In modern two income-group nuclear families, a mother of a small kid is over-burdened. In joint families responsibility of taking care of babies and kids was shared with other members of the family therefore not so difficult, but without the support systems of joint families, taking proper care of babies has become very difficult.

The major responsibility of taking care of home, having  growing up children usually falls on the shoulders of wife/mother alone, which in itself is a full-time job. Young mothers faces many difficulties/challenges. They are overburdened. A mother needs some new support systems to help her out in fulfilling her familial responsibilities. Quite often she has to leave her growing up children and household chores under supervision of others – domestic help or old parents. Full-time working mothers are becoming so dependent on domestic help because of getting virtually no time from the responsibilities of work-place, for the proper upbringing of the kids. When something goes wrong, they blame others.

A young mother has to fulfill many familial responsibilities including taking care of small children. Concerns of a young mother, having the responsibilities of raising up her babies or toddlers, can range from sheer logistic problems associated with providing proper child-care to emotional challenges because of not being physically there, when her children need her. As a new age companion, her husband is expected to participate actively in rearing up the children and help women in household chores. It is a fact that though the help of grandparents as well as the support of crutch, day-care, maids, driver, child minder or hobby class teacher etc. is always available to young working couples, but does it always works as desired?

Need of Modern Support systems

Support systems available to her are either old parents or baby-sitters/domestic help/crèches/day-care/child minder etc. In all the situations, she faces problems.

  • Old people, due their old age and failing energies, find it difficult to look after kids properly. They have health problems too.
  • Domestic helpers are expensive, unreliable, untrained and temporary.
  • Formal institutions running more on commercial basis like creches/day care centres are overcrowded and are unable to pay required attention to children.

The plight of a young career woman in America is described beautifully by Linda Burton (What’s a smart women like you doing at home? Published in Readers Digest August, 1988). She says that she never intended to stay back at home. “Before the birth of my first child, I had a full time job as a fund-raiser at a public interest law firm”. “After my child was born, I found myself ….getting angry about all the things, he was keeping me from doing. I missed my job and my friends, I felt poverty-stricken and I looked awful. So, like many other women, I decided to go back to work” thinking that she would give her child “Quality” time in the evenings and on week-ends. She tried nannies, housekeepers, home-based day-care centres, crèches etc. but was not satisfied and found them unreliable and unqualified for the job. Apart from it “I found that I had little “Quality” time for my child in the evening; I was tired. I also discovered that I missed my son during day”. “No matter how many licenses we issue, how many guidelines we establish or how much money we pay, it is impossible to have quality controls over the capacity of one human being to love and care for another. I wanted someone who was loving and tender, with a sense of humour and an alert, lovely manner – somebody who would encourage my children’s creativity”…. “Slowly, painfully, I came to a stunning realization; the person I was looking for was right under my nose. I had desperately been trying to hire me. And that is what a smart woman like me is doing at home”.

Difficulties in balancing her responsibilities at home and at workplace. It is quite difficult to balance the responsibilities at home and at workplace. Neither they can do full justice to their familial responsibilities, because they are not there, when their children need the tender care/advice of their mothers, nor they can to concentrate on their work without tension. Young children get deprived of tender and loving care. Nation and society is at loss from having confident and healthy citizens – mentally, physically and economically.

Parents usually get disconnected with children’s friends, habits and mannerism. Children in their turn also do not want any interference in their daily routine and wait for their parents to go.

Today to keep the children busy, working mothers send their little children to play-school, school and coaching classes for other activities/hobbies. Where is the quality time with a working mother? Everyday from morning till evening she gets very little time to spend with her kids. Also many a times,  even when mother and kids are together, mother’s mind is pre-occupied in resolving problems of her workplace.

Giving quality time to their children?

Some full-time working think that they give quality time to their children. The comforting concept of giving children their quality time is always there in working women’s minds. Many women develop guilt feeling. They know in their heart that giving prime time to children is not enough. This is an excuse to hide their guilt feeling. To lessen their sense of guilt consciousness, they excuse themselves thinking of giving children quality time.

Usually lack of time to think and act tends working women to worry more about children’s physical needs and gloss over their psychological ones.  Many times, mothers buy materialistic goods for their children as a bribe to teach their children mannerism and thus clear their conscience of not being there for them.  Financial position/status is immaterial, when there is a question of affectionate care, protection of the child in developing the personality, intelligence and character or in imbibing the right moral and ethical values. Absence of a mother hampers the child’s personality. A maid’s care is not sufficient to fulfill the growing requirements of a child and cannot compensate for love of a mother. A trial court observed while adjudicating upon child custody case. (TOI, 11.11.11, p. 8)When due to any reason, a mother is unable to give enough time for the proper care of her children, she develops a complex/deficiency or feels insecure. Many women develop a sense of guilt. So, saying quality of time they spend with the kids only lessens their sense of guilt.

Child-care is a full-time job

Child-care is a full time job. To a great extent, a mother along with the help of her spouse is responsible for all round development of her child. In performing this task, it is her tender love, which plays decisive role. Her role in the development of her child distinguishes her from other institutions.

A woman’s role as a mother is crucial. Nobody else can replace it. Nobody else could cultivate positive qualities in children, which once imbibed, inevitably become part of one’s nature. These in turn, provide guidelines for their future wholesome behavior patterns as responsible citizens and social human beings.

 

No substitute for mother’s tender care

There can be no substitute for mother’s tender care, be it grand-parents, maids or formal institutions. Society needs its children to be nurtured and looked after well. As traditional family support systems disintegrate, the need for new kinds of support system for proper care of children is an urgent imperative.

In Japan, the community’s perception of a woman’s success depends in large part on how well her children do in school. So accepted is this role, that it has spawned its own label – “Koyukuk Mama (Education mother)”. No one doubts that behind almost every high scoring Japanese student stands a mother completely involved in her child’s education and proper development of his/her personality. She spends hours together in helping kids everyday with homework, hires tutors and may even work part-time to pay for “Juku”. She shuttles youngsters from physical education class to music class to calligraphy and piano.

Access to good education, a mother can empower herself and her children. Education makes women  financially independent having broad mind with principles and ample freedom. Indian society and the nation must duly acknowledge the contribution of women as mother. Japanese society lays a good proportion of the credit for its economic miracle at the feet of Japan’s women (Smithsonian – March 1987 by Carol Simons). Japanese Women gives importance to motherhood and consider education of her child as number one responsibility. She knows it is a demanding job, but consider it prestigious. Intense competition in post-war Japan has made her job harder than ever. Much of a mother’s sense of personal accomplishment is tied to the educational achievements of her children. States “Japanese Education Today” – a 1987 Report from the US Department of education.

Suggestions

In order to ingrain right values in children, a lot of time and patience is required during their growing years. Actually parenting is a 24-hour job. A parent has to be there every-time the kid needs him/her. The concept of spending ‘quality’ or ‘quantity’ time with children does not work well.

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September 27, 2014 - Posted by | Women's issues |

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