Women are not domestic servants; they may also have a professional life of their own and children should be able to understand this fact from an early age.
Working moms face real pressure
Motherhood is something most of us look forward to, with us preparing for it in the pursuit of happiness, but honestly, nothing can ever prepare you for it. We take classes, do research and speak to others to understand the systematic approach of parenthood. Moreover, we set larger than life expectations for ourselves on how to bring up a child from giving birth to nursing to the process of returning to work post-delivery. We have an exhaustive line of boxes to tick on our list. Nevertheless, none of these efforts can gear us up for pregnancy, delivery, caring for a baby and the life beyond.
Motherhood is demanding, constant, exhausting and it’s not an easy task to keep a child alive and thriving as the process is complicated with unforeseen circumstances. Mothering is in the details; the number of feedings, the monitoring of your baby’s weight and the hours the baby should be sleeping. The details are also in the efforts to get back to work after your maternity leave all the while nurturing and caring for your infant which is the key factor in determining the health and wellbeing of your child in the long run.
Many career-driven women, myself included, struggle to go back to work after maternity leave. It is a difficult task to leave the baby as many of us are unprepared, overwhelmed, challenged, and often confused. The demands of the corporate world and the demands of managing a house with kids are often a huge task as we as women often underestimate the cost of motherhood. The biggest issues are faced by women who have invested in their education, have earned degrees, want to maintain their careers and intend to be that ‘Perfect mom’ too. What we all fail to understand is that our cultures have placed us for perfection at home, work and social life.
The myth about a ‘Perfect mom’
Most parents get emotionally exhausted resulting in parental burnout. Parental burnout can result in reduced feelings towards parental responsibilities, accomplishments, and emotional distancing from their children. Looking to escape duties, sleep problems, addictions, suicidal ideation and neglecting family are some severe consequences for parents themselves.
A perfect mom relates to a highly successful working mother’s parenting, work outcomes and social likeability. It is also reported that the pressure felt to be a perfect mom is negatively reflecting on a woman’s work-family balance, which in turn leads to lower career ambitions.
Common challenges faced by working moms
1. Difficulty to maintain work-life balance
If a working mom cannot maintain a work-life balance, it can have a drastic effect on her emotional and mental health, forcing her to quit her job or take a step back from her career ambitions. It is proven that handling a professional job, attending to household chores and looking after kids are quite daunting for women as they fall for the societal pressure of being ‘perfect moms’.
2. Constant thoughts of guilt
As per societal norms, mothers should be the sole nurturers in the family looking after the children and supporting the spouse to achieve his dreams and aspirations. Mothers are truly one of a kind and they too have dreams and aspirations irrespective of societal norms. Hence, there is a constant battle within, with mothers carrying a sense of guilt as the judgements of the society loom over them if they are to choose their careers over home.
3. A rift between passion and obligation
It is only human for a person to have dreams and aspirations. A working mom tends to her family needs; therefore, it is always a battle between choosing what she wants to do vs what she must do. The constant rift between passion and obligation pushes a working mom to feel less motivated towards fulfilling her ambitions.