Because the mother was in touch with the world, she was able to open my eyes to explore the world; because she knew the progress of the world, she was able to prepare me for it
Being a working mom is no easy task, so my mother tells me based on her many years of experience in this particular area. Being the child of a working mom also comes with its highs and lows, this I can say from per sonal experience. While some research may suggest that stay-at-home moms can provide their children with better care at least in the initial years of their lives, economic realities demand that most women resume their jobs as early as a few months after giving birth.
But is this necessarily a negative thing? I think not. According to the self help book, Be Your Own Therapist, working moms exude confidence because of their regular interaction with the outside world and this can be beneficial for their children. “Research shows that children of working mothers do as well as those with stay-at-home mothers. Mom’s increased self-esteem and aliveness seem to counteract any ill effects that might result from a loss in her availability.”
To me this makes absolute sense; while children of working moms may wish to see their mothers more often, in most cases the time they do actually spend with their mother will he quality time. Sumera, 26, whose mother has worked for most of her life, agrees with this, “My mother was always there at the most important events in my life. Sure, I wasn’t able to spend as much time with her as I would have liked but we had a lot of good times together.”
There is overwhelming evidence to prove that children of working mothers are far more independent than those of their stay-at-home counter-parts. This independence is borne out of necessity Ammar, 34, has two school going boys, his wife works as a teacher in one of Karachi’s finest schools. He says that both boys help mom out by polishing their own shoes and doing other small chores around the house “because they already realise that their mother can’t do it all.” Alifya, 30, works in a high stress job and says that having a working mom prepared her for the work/life balance she must maintain now. “My
mother taught my siblings and me early on that we would have to help her and my dad run things around the house. I didn’t always enjoy doing the chores they assigned but they instilled in me a sense of discipline that has been the cornerstone of my success as a professional and a mother.”
Her sister Nariman, 26. points out that having a working mother also helps to strengthen bonds between siblings. “When something goes wrong, you know that you can’t always ask your mother to help because she may be unavailable so you naturally start relying on your brothers and sisters.”
Another great advantage of having a working mother, says Momin, 32. is that she has other things to think about rather than just her kids. “My mom has always worked and continues to do so. This means she has her own set of friends and interests and doesn’t always obsess about nee and my friends and what I am doing.”
Speaking from my own experience I can identify with all of the above. Being the off-spring of a single working mom may not always have been comfortable — I wanted my mom to be at home when I got back from school, I re-member being unhappy when she had to work or go out of town on a work-related trip and I recall acting up in order to gel her attention sometimes.
Yet as I look hack on my childhood, I am grateful for the fact that my mother didn’t coddle me, she didn’t always offer easy fixes to problems, she made sure that I recognised the consequences for my actions and dealt with them on my own when necessary but that she always had the time to listen to my issues, to he my greatest cheerleader and motivator and to ground me with good values to last a life-time. Because she was in touch with the world, she was able to open my eyes to new avenues; because she knew how the world worked, she was able to prepare me for it. And while I still enjoy the days that she will pamper me by making my breakfast, I’m glad she taught me how to make my own early on in life and I wouldn’t have it any other way