Gone are the days when the man would bring home the moolah, and the woman would fire up the choola. Today is an age of dual-income families.
Twenty years ago, working mothers were a rarity in India’s professional landscape. The few mothers that did work were forced to straddle the fine line between profession and parenthood, often compromising on both fronts due to inadequate workplace policies and programmes.
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Today, the game has changed. And how. With dual income households emerging as the new norm, you may wonder about the impact of your career on your child. If you’re burdened by guilt, don’t be. This guide lets you in on how your career may be the best life lesson you can give your little rugrat.
How Does My Career Affect My Child?
Oh, in so many ways. When your child sees both parents working, it’s likely that they’ll grow up with a strong identity, a sense of independence and respect for others. They will also learn to be more perseverant, unyielding and self-willed. For now, as you juggle career and kids, take heart in knowing that with the right approach, you can do justice to both.
Read More: Balancing your career and home life
As a working mother, you may feel guilty about being away from your child for extended periods of time. You may also worry that the constant separation may affect your bond with your little one. Building a loving relationship with your child doesn’t have to pivot on all-day interactions. The best bonds are built over time with thoughtful nurturing and meaningful care. Create special mommy-and-me bonding rituals with your child that stay true to the two of you. Nighttime stories, weekend evenings at the park and family breakfasts are great ways to make lasting memories. Be aware of overcompensating your lack of presence by buying a lot of unnecessary knick-knacks in the form of toys/clothes/games etc. Don’t ‘guilt manage’ by buying a lot of material things, instead try to put the laptop away or phone away when you are with your little one!
They say it takes a village to raise a child. And it’s true. You need all the help you can get as a working mother to bring up your tot with the right values, morals and manners. Pick caregivers that complement your parenting style and sensibilities, so that there’s consistency across your child’s various environments. By the age of 3, your child can blossom from social interactions and enriching learning formats, so it’s worth enrolling them in a preschool. While it’s likely that your little tyke will grow to love their caregiver (whether that’s a grandparent, daycare operator or anyone else), learn to be thankful for this attachment. For when you’re away, you can rest assured that your child is enveloped in love, care and comfort.
Spirit of Equality
There’s no better way to raise your child as a feminist than by modelling it through your own behaviour. When you and your partner pull double-duty – at home and at the workplace – your child will learn to view both of you in the same light and disregard traditional gender stereotypes. And hey, when there are two of you to pick up the mess and swap out the diapers, tending to both sides of the fence becomes a whole lot easier.
New research suggests that children of working parents are likely to grow up better prepared for the workplace. So, if you have a hard time trading your offspring for your office each morning, seek comfort in knowing that you’re teaching your child their very first life lesson. That in itself is a mother’s job well done.
Must Read: Stages of child growth.