Making a choice between staying home and working full-time poses a major dilemma for mothers, but experts now say it shouldn’t.
Studies have shown have working moms and their stay-home counterparts each bring unique contributions to children’s character formation.
In the past, being a working mom was almost always equated with a stressful life.
Who wouldn’t say so, anyway?
You wake up earlier than the rest of the family to prepare the kids’ meals and get them ready for school, after which you ready yourself for a day of stress at work, only to end the day with another kind of challenge, that is, picking your usually cranky kids from school, making their dinners, ensuring that they’ve done their homework and putting them to bed.
And that’s just the motherly duties. We still haven’t mentioned the wifely and the homemaker parts. It seems like a life of eternal work, work, work. However, it really isn’t.
Child development: The good
– Positive attitude about work
As primary models to young learners, parents pass on their outlook about work and responsibility to their children, whether they intend to or not. Children see the value of contributing to society, and will then strive to apply themselves in the same way.
– Absorb the value of responsibility and independence
When parents share with their children what is enjoyable about their jobs, as well as the difficulties often encountered, they help their kids form their own notion of work, plus the responsibility that work entails.
– Share equal relationship with both parents
The amount of time spent by both parents with the children is almost the same. Both are working, and both will want to spend time with the kids. Mom will cease to be labeled as the only nurturer whom kids bond with emotionally. Dad may take his share of emotional bonding, as mom does her share of providing financially. The positive effects of working moms are multiplied when fathers partake in child care and in household matters.
child development – The bad
– May feel apprehensive
Tension at work plus the pressure to keep the household and the kids at their best increases stress. Kids can sense this tension and become reluctant toward their own moms, which may lead to a less open line of communication between the two.
The level of stress a mother feels as a result of physical or emotional exhaustion, dissatisfaction, or discontent (either at home or in the office) is unknowingly passed on to her child. This stress is eventually translated to children’s poor physical and psychological health.
– May become detached
You emotional bond with your child is shaped during the first year of your child’s life. Early attachment or detachment from parents, especially mothers, has a lasting emotional effect on children. Whoever answers to children’s needs and takes on major part in their care during the early years of their life makes a deep impression.
If a mother’s work takes her away from the child physically, chances are that the child will see the mom as a stranger or a “guest” who visits every so often. Toddlers may even become fearful of their own mothers simply because they don’t recognize them.
– May become too demanding
Whether they feel guilty for not being there most of the time, or because of eagerness to hold their kids, many working moms feel disposed to showering their kids with presents. Having worked so hard, the working mom tends to give little care to money spent. The danger is, when a child finds that his or her parents are appeasers, it doesn’t satisfy him or her and it makes the child greedy.
While showing affection and affability may come naturally to moms, children must understand that moms are also capable of irritability due to exhaustion. Moms don’t have to shower their kids with gifts to compensate for lost time. Setting the right time balance allotted for the kids often works wonders already. Set a special time for bonding, or communicate frequently. Also, guilt should never precede better parenting judgments.
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The Quest for Happiness
Happiness is the most wanted thing in the world and yet the hardest thing to find. The search is endless and bounds no place and time.
The level of mans longing for happiness becomes higher and higher as the standard of living also increases. The first step towards happiness leads to another step, and then to another until a progression of steps is made transgressing the three dimensions of time – the past, the present, and the future.
Like love, happiness is a vague concept. Based on the dictionaries, happiness is parallel to contentment. However, contentment is a thing that does not actually exist because man has never been contended all his life. His success for having attained a particular end always paves way to the urge to meet a higher end.
Epicurus, an Athenian philosopher, suggested that in order for man to achieve happiness, he should give up all the complexities of life, like wealth, fame and power, and go back to basics when the things that only matter are those necessary for pure biological subsistence, friends, freedom and analyzed life.
However, it is hard to persuade man to renounce lifes worldly pleasures. If man will relinquish his desire to aspire for the better, progress will be hampered and everything will be doomed in complete stagnation. Time moves forward and progress has been the norm. There must be a machine that will turn back time. However, by the time that man may have reached the basics, time will again start to tick and it will not be practical to do the same process over again.
Happiness might seem to be very far, but mans journey towards it endures. There are only three steps to perfect the quest for happiness.
FIRST, be aware that you are a participant in the universal search. Every person regardless of age, sex, gender, religion, citizenship, ethnicity, talents, abilities and physical condition, partakes in the worldwide hunt for happiness. Look around you, you will see other people walking. Beside you are people who are almost at the same situation you are in; you are all walking at the same pace. Others might speed up and become a few steps ahead. Do not fret; rather, cheer up for them and persevere.
On the other hand, if youve been blessed and have gone farther than your fellows, do not brag; rather, assist those who stagger. While you proceed, also look at the people in front of you. They are those who started the walk much earlier and are now closer to happiness. Make them your role model. Analyze the strategies they used and learn from their mistakes.
Also look at the people behind you. They are those who started the walk later. These people are the neophytes and they look up at you as their guide. Show them a good example. Let your works touch their soul to keep them going.
SECOND, accept that the quest for happiness is never-ending. Do not race with time, but also do not lag behind. Savor the moment and pursue the right level of happiness that is achievable at your age.
The level of happiness varies from individual to individual. When babies crave for happiness, they normally cry and this necessity can simply be satisfied by attending to their basic needs such as a gentle pat, cuddling, words of assurance, simple entertainment or just ones mere presence.
On the other hand, for adults, happiness is at a much superior level. Adults have infinite list of needs and wants, ranging from lifes essentials to intimacy to a well-defined career path. Adulthood is the busiest stage of mans existence and oftentimes causes man a lot of emotional turbulence.
Two other crucial stages in mans existence are adolescence and middle age. These stages are the most dramatic, stressful, and overwhelming segment of mans life. It is in the middle-age period that man prepares for his retirement; it is the period when most of his dreams have been fulfilled. By the time he reached old age, his journey in pursuit of happiness may have already ended. However, mans desire for happiness does not end at old age; the longing continues as long as he lives.
LASTLY, love yourself. Take good care of your health – physical, mental, and emotional. Choose a healthy lifestyle so that you will live longer and stronger. In this way, you will have more time and capability to do the things that you want.
Do not pressure yourself too much. Take it easy, enjoy life, and appreciate even the little things that you achieved, but do not stop striving for the better. Reward yourself for every work well done. The reward does not have to be expensive, it might be simple and it may not be a material thing.
Most importantly, share your love to other people. As James M. Barrie said, Let no one who loves be called altogether unhappy. Even love unreturned has its rainbow.
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