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    • Author:

    • March 30, 2020

    • 1120

    At a weekend party for kids, I overheard this interesting conversation between two mothers.

    Tara – ‘Madhu, I hope the next set of tests for these kids is not coming up too soon! I had to travel to Australia on work and haven’t been able to teach Maya for over two weeks.’

    Madhu – ‘Wow Tara, it’s so nice that you get a chance to travel. Must be so interesting right, to learn about the latest trends and interact with senior folks with varied perspectives?’

    Tara – ‘Work is great Madhu! But it’s hectic. On school days I sit down to help Maya with studies only at 8:00 p.m., by which time we are both exhausted. Maya feels bad that I can’t pick her up after school as the other mothers do. In fact, she hardly gets invited to playdates because I don’t meet the other moms regularly. But it’s only when her grades dip that I wonder if I should quit despite work being good.’

    Madhu – ‘Don’t worry Tara, these kids grow up so fast. Soon they won’t even want us in the same room as them. Quitting may not even make sense. You are doing so well for yourself. Seeing you manage both work and home, I feel I shouldn’t have given up my career.’

    Tara – ‘Sweet of you to say so Madhu. But, honestly, I could never do what you have done for your children. Hat’s off to you!’

    Would you think this conversation between Tara and Madhu is uncommon?

    Actually, it isn’t.

    On the contrary, ‘to work or not to work’ is a furiously discussed topic among women. And naturally so, considering that working outside the home brings women a twin share of advantages and disadvantages, deeply intensifying as they progress to become working mothers.

    Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a career for women like Tara:

    The pro’s of working

    • AchievementWorking outside the home provides women a greater opportunity to utilize their education, skills, and potential, leading to their increased self-confidence and self-worth.
    • Financial Independence
      Earning brings about a sense of independence. When women contribute to their family’s financial needs, they often get to participate in decision-making as well.
    • Self-Development
      Working women constantly learn new things in their domain. Additionally, interacting and working along with several people daily results in their continued self-development.
    • Role models
      The ability of a working woman to achieve by overcoming hurdles encourages her family and children to view her as capable and competent.
    • Social connections
      The social connections that working women build over their careers are as valuable as the economic value of their jobs. From referring others for suitable opportunities to securing timely assistance on non-work related issues, connections are useful.

    The con’s of working

    • Less time
      Women who work outside the home find themselves invariably hard-pressed for time for themselves, their families, children, and friends.
    • Health issues
      As women with careers continue to carry the bulk of child-care activities, the weight of their combined responsibilities of work and home eventually takes a toll on their health.
    • Dependency on others
      A full-time job may necessitate working women to depend on others, including employing a cook, driver, and nanny, as well as enlisting the help of friends and grandparents in emergencies.
    • Guilt
      Working women are battered by feelings of guilt of not being able to do more at work and at home. Not being able to physically care for a sick child, or an ailing parent or missing key events at a child’s school can erode their emotional well-being.
    • Miss out on the smaller things
      The child’s first words, participation in the Parent-Teacher meeting or the prize on sports day – aren’t assured of being witnessed by the working mother.

    The rising cost of motherhood makes the decision of ‘working’ progressively more complex given its hefty pros and cons.

    Clearly, the decision of ‘working’ or ‘staying at home’ is a personal choice women make after great deliberation. Irrespective of what they choose, their contribution to their children, families, and society is undeniable.

    Here’s acknowledging all women for the complex, bitter-sweet choices they make!

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