SAHM Vs. Working Mom

This is a long pending post...almost 4 years in the making or maybe even more...ever since I became a parent, or rather, started thinking about it...

I am usually considered an extremely career-oriented woman - by people who do not know me well enough.

I am also considered a paranoid parent - again, by people who do not know me well enough. And, therein lies the problem...

A woman comes in all hues - just like a man...and trying to judge another person by your world view may not always be right ...

I have a certain priority for my career and a certain priority for my family - no one has the right to comment negatively about it, unless 1. they are close enough to be ok about me expressing my perspective and/or 2. they play an active role in shaping my career or my family or both.

This is the same across the spectrum of mothers - different people have different comfort levels, different family situations, different skills, different job opportunities, all of which play a role in the choice  they make - and maturity demands that you accept each person's choice and extend support and help to that choice as much as possible.

Anyone who claims that their kids are better because they are SAHMs (and hence spend more time with their kids, create memories etc etc) have an exaggerated sense of self...Kids live in this universe and a parent is just one part of the equation on how they turn out...

Anyone who claims that their kids are better because they are working moms (and hence show their kids how to take responsibility for themselves etc etc) again have an exaggerated sense of self...

..because, kids need time, they also need confident mothers, they need a happy and safe environment to thrive in - both at home and outside...and there are different ways of providing these...

I also do not believe one bit about mothers being 'natural' and fathers being 'helpful' when it comes to child rearing...Both me and hubby have had to learn it from scratch...No mother's instinct came to me whereby I naturally picked up the new born comfortably, while my hubby struggled...In fact, in my case, hubby was more comfortable holding the baby than me (thanks to his professional training), and this wiped away any social conditioning about mothers being better from day one itself...

Parenting is a constantly evolving process - as the father, mother and child influences and are influenced by each other and by society at large...Individual choices in this equation have to be respected, and what works in one case, will be detrimental in another...What is sad, however, is when a woman wants to work, but cannot, because of constraints (lack of support, expectation from others etc) or when she wants to stay at home, but cannot - again because of constraints (financial, loss of respect from others) ...

Unless the father and mother and community at large, joint hands to nurture a child to be a compassionate loving individual and constantly guide him/her away from biased stereotypes, life in general is not going to improve...harsher punishments are knee-jerk reactions...

Let us introspect and try to clean out prejudices in our minds...let us also point out gently when we see what is not right in our day to day situations instead of ignoring them, lest they snowball into something monstrous...let us also be tenacious enough to scream, if that is what it takes to get justice ...against everything that is wrong, not just the latest cause ! And let us constantly look at our definition of right and wrong itself...





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