Most days I feel elated about being a working mother. But there are days when the guilt of not having spent enough time with my kids makes me miserable. All of us – mothers (working and non-working), let’s face it- we are not spending much time on our kids’ development. Of course, there are reasons and valid ones too. We get a salary that keeps us financially independent but is that more satisfying than keeping our kids happy and close to our lives? It is a tough question to answer.
The role of a mother has changed over the years. Gone are the days when mothers were plump and looked like she had just given birth to her kids. Today, it is difficult to make out who is a mother and who is not. That is because looking good and being fit is the norm. Exercising, fitness and looking good is considered a part of being a good mother.
So then, do we need to redefine the roles of a woman, as a mother and as a wife? And if so, who would define it for us?
I have noticed every woman around me –working or stay at home (including me) complain about the lack of time in their lives. Have we ever tried to figure out why there’s such a shortage of time? Have we carefully put any thought as to where our time is being spent? Is it because we are spending way too much time on social media? Maybe yes.
Digital Media and Social Media is often mixed up these days. There is a difference between reading a book/report/journal, the sources of which are from known authors, industrialists, business magnates and reading opinion pieces from people who might not be the best informed persons about the topic he or she is writing about. Are we reading the right kind of information or are we just seeing the repeat feed of information from Facebook to WhatsApp to Twitter? It could be possible that we are only spending time reading everyone else’s opinions and experiences. Maybe it is time to feed our brains with the right nourishment of facts & knowledge, which can be found in books, newspapers & magazines.
I was happy to learn that Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan marked 2016 as the ‘Year of Reading’ in the UAE. Reading, opens minds and books open windows to new worlds. As parents we need to take responsibility to instill this valuable habit in our kids. Why does a country need to take this up as a campaign? Such a campaign is launched, when we give more importance to social media and smartphones over books. If we spend bounteous amount of time reading on our own and with our kids, each one of us would be contributing to a much brighter future of the world.
Watsapp and Facebook may have connected many old, lost friends but it could have also possibly distanced the people staying together in the same room. Often I come across people, families, friends at get-togethers, restaurants and many other public areas glued to their smartphones. During my college, my teachers taught me the basics of body language – and one of the primary rules which were considered is to look at the other person whom you are talking to. I am confident that this has deviated to a great extent these days because often we are too hooked to our mobiles when the other person/our own child is talking to us. At times, I secretly wish, I could go back to phone free days when I could give my full attention to the ones near me without looking at the phone.
WatsApp killed sms. It is slowly killing email too. Checking WatsApp messages is a part of the daily-unwritten KRA’s (key responsibility areas) of a person, a wife, an employee and even a mother. There is a Watsapp group of the mothers of my daughter’s class friends and the school has chosen one mother as a class mom. The role of the class mom is to put important notices and announcements in the group. Why is a class Mom required these days? In fact, why is there a need for a WatsApp group? If all of us checked the school communicator regularly, would we really miss anything?
It is definite, that the role of a woman has changed over the last few years. From being stay at home mothers, they are now equal contributors to household incomes and some are even the key bread earners for their families. But by doing that, are the women compromising a great deal on their kids by leaving them with the nannies and maids? There are some women who balance their personal and professional lives really very well but in my opinion it is a skill which not every woman possesses. Then why is the norm of taking care of the family, concentrating on the child’s development, spending time doing the household work – shifting? Of course I am a modern workingwoman who believes in women empowerment. I am just penning my thoughts down so that whoever reads this piece can hopefully get some food for thought and maybe make some changes in their daily life so as to better provide quality time to their families, children and kids.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written to demoralize working women, in fact it has been written to ignite the energy we as mothers are believed to bring to our kids
Written by: Monika Prasad is a PR & Corporate Communications consultant living in Dubai since last 8 years, is a wife and a mother of two kids – 5 year and a 3 year old.