Working and Stay at Home Mom – II

We hear constantly about whether or not mothers should stay at home to raise their babies and young children. After all, this is when their personalities are developing — personalities that will stay with these kids forever and that may be unalterable as these kids get older. So, the question posed to me was whether mothers stay home when their kids become teens. After all, that is when many say they are at risk to make bad decisions and are most vulnerable to peer pressure.

On the one hand, it would be good if a parent was at home to monitor the activities of these lovely but impulsive creatures known as teens. To get to know their friends and be in the wonderful position of knowing just how much time that teen is spending plugged in to the various forms of social media. On the other hand, I imagined mothers staying home and getting too actively involved in the lives of teens who are struggling to become independent.

My thoughts rambled on. I see no reason for women to quit their jobs when their kids become teens and similarly, for stay-at-home moms to rush out to find work when their kids become teens. Here, however, are some pointers for women from both groups. If you are a stay-at-home mom, keep your eye on your teen, but please try to foster the teen’s independence without appearing intrusive and overly-involved. They are not toddlers and do not need to be treated as such. For working mothers, I do suggest that you text your teens so that you can monitor their activities. They should check in with you and let you know where they are. An occasional stopping by home to check on things is an excellent idea so that they know that there is accountability. I believe that mothers on both sides of this debate can do a good and solid job of raising teens.

The conventional wisdom is that the little ones need our attention the most. But for moms who choose to switch gears and stay home while a child navigates the tricky years of adolescence makes even more sense.Once children start secondary school they aren’t just physically absent from the home more of the time, they begin a private, psychological retreat from which anyone who isn’t their own age is barred. You will realize, yet again, that what teenagers really want from  both mothers is to get on with our own life, with the availability on fast-response about the  teacher/best friend/urgent desire. The vast majority of this can be done over a phone.Waiting is good for teenagers, So is learning to be self-sufficient.

If one stay at home all day , Mom’s wouldn’t be able to bear the levels of mess in their bedrooms and would sneak in to tidy up. If a working mom, then the children are learning the hard way that elves don’t pick their knickers off the floor, that homework is not intended to be a collaborative effort, and that if they want brownies they had better find a recipe and follow it.

There are one of those emotionally bankrupt Remote-Control Moms who thinks she is being a mother when in fact she is just the family administrator. Maybe you are right, but a little independence from their parents is what children both want and need, so long as there are plenty of times when you are around to dry their tears and hear their fears.

When women say they are giving up work to spend more time with their older children, often what they mean is that they want a break and a change, but they can give themselves permission to do so only if they couch their choice in self-sacrificial terms. For a short while it will be heaven. After that, I wish them well with their choice of second career.

While the beginning of a child’s life may cement the bond between infant and mother, the following stages are generally believed to be the “quiet years.” Ages 5 through 10 or 11 are relatively easy to parent,adding that these years may be a good time for a working mom to zero in on her career. These are the years when kids “get into school life. It’s a very structured time of life. Then all hell breaks loose when the hormones come on.

Some people still think that a “good mother” is one who gives up work to stay home with her children. However, no  evidence says children are harmed when their mothers work. A child’s development is influenced more by the emotional health of the family, how the family feels about the mother’s working, and the quality of child care. A child who is emotionally well adjusted, well loved, and well cared for will thrive regardless of whether the mother works outside the home.

A mother who successfully manages both an outside job and parenthood provides a role model for her child. In most families with working mothers, each person plays a more active role in the household. The children tend to look after one another and help in other ways. The father is more likely to help with household chores and child rearing as well as bread winning. These positive outcomes are most likely when the working mother feels valued and supported by family, friends, and coworkers.We are all trying to do the best for our kids.

For some that means staying home to be a guiding force in their kids lives from a young age.  For others it means going to work to provide their children with more than the basic necessities of life.  For some parents that means knowing that their career is inextricably part of their identity and giving it up would leave that child with a depressed and directionless parent who serves no one by staying home.  Everyone is thinking and making choices.  There should be respect for that process, even if the outcome is different from what you believe in.

What we have in common has little to do with how we spend our days. Both Moms have the same hopes and goals for  kids, share many of the same opinions of the world they were raising them in, had so much in common  to the cities lived in and the stories they shared. It’s worth it to keep an open mind and find people you relate to no matter how they spend their days.

 None of us get a break.There is no break from part of who you are.  You are a parent.  If you aren’t physically managing your kids, you are worried about them. You wonder how you will get them to try new foods, make friends, and if your choices are screwing them up royally.Just ask the children themselves.

“The best thing you can do for your kid is be rich,” Good care can be a good thing.High-quality early childhood education programs can have a variety of positive outcomes later in life: better school performance, better odds of attending and graduating from college,  depending on welfare, or becoming teen parents.

We know higher-quality childcare has been shown to even have some cognitive and social benefits for children as compared to lower-quality settings, Those improvements can be long-lasting, through elementary school. Parent’s mental state themselves also has a big impact on their children’s development, which is often related to their employment.Kids are happiest when their moms are happiest, We’ve had these long-standing studies that show women who have worked all their lives do better than women who stay home mentally and physically, even if the women are staying home by choice.

In terms of types of parental involvement, Newborn care is very labor intensive, but relatively easily as newborns/babies are portable and sleep a lot. Toddlers are harder and need the most direct and intensive supervision as they are actively trying to kill themselves (or incite you to do it for  them), but they also need social interaction with other kids and do fairly well in a group setting. However, school age kids have more need for specialized supervision that cannot easily be given over to a caregiver. Teenagers don’t need direct supervision,  but they have a large need for parents to be involved in their lives.

There is no magic number of age or no magic formula of success. Each mother is different and seeks different things, whereas each baby is different and grows into his/her own personality.Initially baby’s physical needs (sleeping, feeding, changing diaper) are important, but later on, different needs (ability to connect with child, watching the friends they make and how well they socialize, instilling good habits) will become important. Depending on what you consider important, you may want to get more involved in your child’s life at the appropriate time.

In fact, excessive amounts of time caring for children, especially during their elementary school years, could do children more harm than good. It turns out many of us may be over-functioning as parents. They are adapting the time they spend at work and doing chores so that their schedules are more open when children are in the home. It seems that the amount of time mothers or fathers spend with their children before they become teens has no significant impact on children’s social, academic or emotional performance. During the teen years,however, more time spent by a mother, or a mother and father together, can decrease the risk that an adolescent becomes delinquent. It seems there is something about a parent being around that helps children at that age self-regulate. A child who knows they are being monitored by those around them tends to keep her behaviour a little more in check.

When children are in elementary school, mothers might do better to pursue paid employment and increase their family income rather than trying to be there to attend to their child’s every need.That is certainly controversial given our culture of over-protective, bubble wrapping parenting. But it also makes some sense.  In a context where the child is reasonably safe, that kind of excessive attention may be disadvantaging a child’s capacity to cope. Rather than developing the necessary life skills for a lifetime of  resilience, the child is constantly “done for” rather than being asked to “do for himself”.

It was reassuring (and often sad) to hear from moms who either regretted staying home or felt a loss of their identity. Our kids need us, but they also need time to figure out how to do things on their own.I felt it was a gift to be a mother and  be present in their lives every day.

One of the most important things we strive for as parents is to model for our kids the adults we hope they will become. We tell our daughters to work hard in school and strive for a meaningful career. We tell our sons the same and that the girls who sit beside them in the classroom are their equals in every way. But what happens when that does not square with what they see at home? Teaching them how much I valued my role as their parent was a life lesson second to none, but when speaking about the importance of focusing on a career and striving for professional success, a credibility gap opened up.
When asked if they were happy that Mom is staying at  home with them, not ungratefully, they told me that lots of parents worked and kids stayed in after-school programs or had babysitters and that too would have been fine with them, and they are right.
Then there are the questions from those who really know us, the family and longtime friends who cheered at the sidelines of our careers and provided encouragement at every step. The questions began not long after my youngest was born: “Are you going to go back?” “The kids are getting older, do you miss the office?” “What are you going to do when he starts kindergarten…middle school…high school?” No one asks my husband what he is going to do next, it is presumed that he will stay in his job, regardless of our children.If I had been asked the question once, I could have ignored it, but the hundreds of times I have heard this question suggests that my job as a stay-at-home mom might be a brief foray but not one those around me believed should last.Yet here is the problem. Even though I might have known that my kids would grow up and my job as a stay-at-home mom would end, the horizon of opportunity that once seemed ever expanding suddenly began to contract, at first slowly and then rapidly as I quickly became outdated. Being a stay-at-home mom meant that the working world moved forward and I didn’t. The longer I stayed out of work, the further behind I fell.  Life is not about money, but it serves as a proxy for levels of responsibility one can expect in returning to work.
In a world that bows down at the altar of busyness, where bragging about not having enough time is not considered bragging at all, the Stay at Home Mom with school age children is hard pressed to join in. Sure there is tons to do to meet the needs of a family, but on many days there is flexibility about how and when those tasks get done, leaving the Stay At Home Mom an easy target for local causes that needs volunteers. It is a slippery slope for moms who find themselves with unstructured time from 9:00 am until 1:50 pm and it is easy to fill the hours with mountains of volunteer work, which makes you feel great about contributing to your community but can leave you with little to show on your resume.
Taking a several year hiatus from the work force can set your career back if/when you decide to return to the work force. But that doesn’t mean you can’t remain active and work on your skills while you are a stay at home mom. You can work as a freelance writer, remain active in professional organizations, obtain professional licenses or certifications, teach in mornings at a local community college or university, go back to school, start a small business, etc. There are many other proactive things you can do to lessen the affect of being out of the traditional work force for several years. You may even decide to use this as the launching point for a new career.What is clear is that making the workplace more family-friendly, improving the availability and quality of part-time and flexible working, and investing in childcare are vital to helping individuals achieve a full work-life balance.

It’s a well-known fact that moms are pure magic. They devote, oh, I don’t know, their entire lives  to taking care of their children, so it’s no surprise that there’s an unparalleled  bond between us and our moms that lasts forever. Our Moms are amazing  because the truth is, watching a strong and successful woman expertly multitask different aspects of life motivates children to follow suit. From infant-hood to moody teenage years to adulthood, our moms have been there for it all. And moms can do literally everything and continually prove themselves to be capable of the impossible, there is still a stigma that surrounds moms who are working a job other than being a mom. Let’s face it, there is no harder job than motherhood.

Some moms feel it’s best for their families if they stay at home, and others think the best option would be to have a job; either way, both options have their pros and cons. Let’s just establish that all moms support one another, and let’s stop pitting women against each other.Just like with everything else in life, balance is key, and working moms are capable of balancing their careers and their families. While it’s true that working moms are still on mom duty 24/7 (including while they’re at work), that doesn’t meant they’re not also focused on their careers. I know, it’s crazy that one person can do so much. But that’s why moms are superwomen who can, and do, do everything.

I knew an older friend of mine who said … her daughter asked why isn’t her mom working  and comparing her mom to another working mom. Another instance of a working mom whose daughter was asking why don’t these offices work during Sundays … At a point of time, children need space, freedom and independence… they need the company of friends and not mother… But mother who forgone her career, friends and family will be doomed and feel lonely.This happens for everyone. It’s a natural routine.

 If it’s a boy, then definitely after wedding they completely get into  a different life where they may not get time for their parents, but that’s not wrong because he will have enough of things in life to do and support the family financially and emotionally.

If it’s a girl, then she had to look after her family and her extended family after her marriage. People might take her for granted while she spends her complete energy in pleasing all.

All Parents should have faith in your children that they will never forget you. They need to say to their children:

Hey my baby, you go further, reach the heights you want ..

Buy the best car you want…

We will always drive behind you in our old Maruti 800…

Just check intermittently your rear mirror of your car if we are following behind you…

 

The above lines simply means : My Baby, Be in touch with me always, that will do  …But mind that our eyes are always on you,  don’t dare to go out of  the path…

 

The bond between mothers and their children is one defined by love.  As a mother’s prayers for her children are unending, so are the wisdom, grace, and strength they provide to their children……

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