Families are not what they used to be. Households in which the wife is full-time housekeeper, and the husband and father is the sole breadwinner are in the minority today. The set of variables that relate to mothers seeking employment are: 1. Economic need 2. Educational attainment 3. Child care availability 4. Occupational opportunity 5. Child care cost 6. Number of children in the home, especially the number under the age of five 7. Marital status 8. Male partner’s work schedule. Each of these variables has been shown to either inhibit or promote mother’s participation in paid employment.
In cases where a simple budget indicates that the family’s expenditures exceed the income of the father, the solution that comes to mind is for the wife and mother to work. In some families the consideration given to the possibility of the wife seeking gainful employment is prompted by the fact that the husband’s earnings cannot cope with justifiable needs. The recommendation that mothers should not work will only be tenable where the father’s income can provide for basic needs which to some extent will make life worth living. Under the condition of financial strangulation the mother has to work to augment the family income.
No general rule should be laid down to determine whether the wife and mother should work or whether she should devote herself entirely to homemaking. The decision in a given case, however, should be made only after due consideration is given to the many factors concerned. She surely should not work unless she and her husband have agreed that circumstances justify her employment.
The question is should the well educated woman remain jobless and waste her talents and acquired skill in the home simply because she is a wife and a mother? Many is answer no. is it not reasonable for her to help the husband in increasing the economic prospect of their home? The women have a saying, “What a man can do a woman can do and even better.” Women have acquired education in diverse fields of human endeavor. It is important that their talents should not be wasted but put to gainful use for themselves and their families.
The educated, nonworking mother may over-invest her energies in her children. This can foster an excess of worry and discourage the child’s independence. In such situations, the mother may give more parenting than the child can profitably handle. Working mothers is a part of modern life. It is not aberrant aspect of it but a response to other social changes. It meets needs that cannot be met by the previous family ideal of a full-time mother and homemaker.
Not only does it meet the couple’s needs, but in many ways it may be a pattern better suited to socializing children for the adult roles they will occupy later in life. This is not only especially true for daughters but it is also true for sons. Just as his father shares the breadwinning role and the childrearing role with his mother, so the son, too, may be more willing to share these roles. The rigid gender stereotyping perpetuated by the divisions of labor in the traditional family is not appropriate for the demands that will be made in children of either sex as adult in the new millennium.
The needs of the growing child require the mother to loosen her hold on the child – grant him some independence. This task may be easier for the working mother, whose job is an additional source of identity and self-esteem. However, a common experience of working mothers is feeling guilty about being away from their children. The guilt may triggered by parents who miss their children, worry that their children are missing them. They are worried if their children are receiving good child care and the long-term effect of not being around and whether it will have adverse effect on the children in future.
A woman who goes to work meets people, gains from the experiences of others and broadens her outlook while the home-ridden wife seldom get outside experience. And so, she can hardly be expected to enter into a lively chat with her husband let alone visitors. Work trusts a responsibility on the woman, helping her to learn to organize herself better and put herself together in all respect.
Child care availability
Some people believe that a woman’s real place should be in the home. This argument rests on the premise that a mother should not only bear children but also bring them up. That is, she should give them the basic education in manners and help them develop attitudes and characters which are desirable. Therefore the possibility of her accepting employment must be conditional upon provision for the children proper upbringing. When the children are young, adequate provision for their care is difficult to arrange. This fact in itself should dissuade most mothers from working. In terms of the integrity of the family and the future well-being of the children, it is better that the family live on a more economical standard than allow the children suffer because of being deprived of the mother’s companionship and influence while she labor outside the home to provide the luxuries of life.
When I say work, it does not mean white collar job alone. It could be farming, petty trading, and restaurant business for the women who are good at cooking, so long as it keeps the mind busy, because an adage says that, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” A woman who engages herself in day to day honest and profitable business certainly will have no time to gossip or engage in activities that might lead to ruining her matrimonial home. Another consideration is how about if the man is retrenched?
Child care cost
Before a couple decide that the mother should work they must first consider the cost of child care their children may require. If the income will not be able to pay for it there may not point in going ahead with the employment hence the mother working will not help solve the dire financial condition of the family.
Number of children in the home
The number of in the home is another important variable to consider when taking decision for the mother to work or not to work. If the children are many and most of them below five years it will be advisable for the mother to stay back and take care of her children until they grow older.
Marital status is a great determinant whether a woman should work or not. In a situation of a single mother she has no choice but to work in order to provide for herself and her child or children. This is what joy a single mother had to say, “I don’t think living alone is something to aspire to. But it’s something I’d made peace with by the time my boyfriend walked away after I became pregnant. If opportunity presents itself again, I’ll prefer to find my other half, make life with him, and have children together and care for them.” For Joy, she has no choice but to work
How about widows who their husbands died leaving nothing reasonably to take care of the children left behind? The widows might have no alternative but to seek paid employment to enable her take care of her children’s education and upkeep. The same applies to a woman whose husband is incapacitated. She may have to work to take care of the family including her invalid husband.
Male partner’s work schedule
Some husbands work schedule is flexible. Under this condition it may be possible for the mother to work. Whenever she is busy her husband will attain to the needs of the children. if the man is a very busy businessman who is rarely at home it will be difficult for the children if their mother is equally very busy and have no time for them. This may in the long run prove to be “penny wise and pound foolish”, because such children could grow without proper basic family upbringing and eventually become serious liabilities to the family and the society at large.
Husbands and wives must give broadminded consideration to their standard of values. Too many things in life are measured in terms of monetary value. The most valuable homes are not necessarily those in which the most money is spent. The best homes are those in which peace, love, and mutual respect exist among the members of the families.
On the whole, having a mother who works is beneficial to the child. This is especially true for girls whose mothers have successful careers in business or professions. The daughters of career women tend to be higher in self-esteem, better adjusted socially, and more achievement-oriented than other girls. The sons of career women tend to be more independent and to have more positive attitudes toward women and work than those whose mothers stay at home. But this can only be true when the women are able to balance their career and motherhood.