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I can’t help it but I keep on comparing my parenting experiences with my fellow mothers. At times I compare things with my mother and other family members as well. My bua ji (my father’s elder sister) was always a working mother. Although she used to be a modern woman of her time, yet she couldn’t understand the concept of family planning. She has 5 children. So, initially, the responsibility of their kids was over my parents, as we used to live near to them. There so no as such discussion between my father and my bua ji that he would keep an eye on them. But as an unsaid pact, my father used to follow them. This way I got the chance to closely see how my cousins felt every day when they needed their mother but she was in office. As a kid, I used to like that they were so free in absence of their parents but soon I realized that this absence made a huge impact on their minds.
Most of my family members (including me) set my bua ji responsible for my cousins’ average life achievements. None of them were good in studies and could make a good academic background for them. There were problems in their lives and they learned to manage things with their own experiences. Most of the times, my bua ji failed to give them that support which was needed for growing kids. Adding to the problems of my cousins’ life, my fufa ji expired when all of them were so young. Bua ji still continued to work and eventually the eldest of my cousins, Didi, had to take charge of the kitchen and her studies went on the least important front. My parents tried to help them but continuous bad decisions taken by my bua ji made things unrestrained. I should not say but I always felt that her ego of being working in the time when working mothers were rarely found, thrashed the entire concept of nurturing kids in a family nest.
According to a research by Harvard University, kids whose mothers worked during their childhoods are more likely to have high earning jobs and supervisory responsibility at their own jobs compared to them whose mothers stayed home. The study says kids who are raised in a non-traditional environment, appear to be more independent and generally have a better chance to live a good life. Sadly I found this wrong in the case of my bua ji. I narrated all this, not because my guilt pokes me every now and then as I am also a working mother. Yes, my comparison syndrome does compare my life (as a working mother) with the life of my bua ji. However, I told this because her life has made me extra cautious in terms of raising my son being a ‘working mother’.
Both working and stay at home mother’s kids can be average achievers but people don’t miss a chance to finger point a working mother. What I saw in my cousins’ lives, the most important thing that was missing in their family, was a healthy perspective between my bua ji and fufa ji. That I feel is the reason of their kids being not so successful and thriving. Being a working mother is a hard-won job. She needs to give so much to her work front and to the family needs. But the success of a working mother also depends upon how her partner sees and manages things. I must say my fufa ji tried his best to make things better but my bua ji failed to understand that a working woman needs to be more considerate, sensitive and thoughtful. With thinking about how she would manage her office duties, she should also give her mind over how she would do her family duties. I know a woman can’t do everything and can’t be everywhere all the time. But here comes the part of life partner. She should ask help from her husband/spouse. They should divide responsibilities and dues. Not only worldly dues but emotional also. Then only a working mother can raise kids with rewarding lives. The success of a working woman is not always appraisals and promotions. Happy and healthy kids are no less than an accolade. Isn’t it?