Today, women take part in working life for economic and psychological reasons such as supporting a family or contributing to the family budget, raising their living standards, making a career, gaining prestige, acquiring a community, and increasing their position next to their husbands.
Difficulties faced by working mothers
The fact that a woman takes part in the working life after becoming a mother brings with it some problems. Chief among these difficulties is who will take care of the child while the mother is at work. In this case, the issue of whether to get help from a professional caregiver or whether the elders of the family will take care of the child comes to the fore. Both have advantages and disadvantages. It is preferable for the grandparent to take care of the child, both economically and in terms of safety.
However, in cases where the grandparents take care of the child, raising the child with different discipline methods and thus experiencing problems between the mother-child-grandparent are among the frequently encountered problems. Families may also have to prefer professional caregivers due to the fact that the elders live outside the city or have health problems. In this case, the caregiver’s concern about being reliable and able to provide long-term care is one of the biggest difficulties of the working mother.
Home-related responsibilities of the mother who is tired from work and not being able to spare enough time for her child are also important difficulties experienced by working mothers.
From time to time, workplace responsibilities and the role of mother can overlap. Especially when the child is sick, there may be disruptions in the work-related plans of the mothers. This situation causes the problems experienced by mothers to be experienced more intensely in workplaces where working conditions are difficult.
Effects of the mother’s work on the child
The effects of the mother’s work on the child, mother’s education level, reason for working, working conditions, status, income, job satisfaction, quality of mother-child relationship, family relations, who will look after the child in the absence of the mother, characteristics of the caregiver, whether the care is continuous and balanced, It depends on factors such as the stage of development, the number of children in the family.
Studies show that the mother’s work often does not negatively affect the child. The fact that non-working mothers stay at home with their children all day and spend more energy on the care and discipline of the child can cause the mother-child relationship to wear out. The financial difficulties experienced by the unemployed mother can also negatively affect the mother-child relationship. On the other hand, for mothers who quit their job because they have to take care of their children, the problems caused by being isolated from social life may be reflected in the child as anger. This leads to the deterioration of the mother-child relationship.
On the other hand, working mothers can spend more time doing some planned activities and being together. They try to make up for the time they are not together by taking care of their children more when they are at home. A working mother can organize more comfortably with her child to go to the movies, shopping, read a book, and participate in various activities. In addition, the productivity and self-confidence of work makes the mother happier and more peaceful. When the mother is happy and peaceful, her relationship with her child is healthier and more satisfying.
The mother’s work is important for the development of the child’s self-perception. This situation particularly affects girls positively. Studies show that girls whose mothers are working have a greater social role of femininity, academic success and career goals are higher than girls whose mothers are not.
However, if the mother’s working conditions are heavy, she is not satisfied with her job, and she has problems in the care of the child, the mother’s work will negatively affect the mother-child relationship. A mother who comes home from work tired, unhappy and anxious may decrease her tolerance towards her child.
Working mother and guilt
Most working mothers try to do whatever their children say and get whatever they want because of the guilt of not being able to spare enough time for their children. They find it difficult to set boundaries and rules. This situation causes the child to see the mother as a means of material satisfaction, to become an insatiable individual in the future, and to have difficulty in adapting to social life because he does not know any rules and boundaries.
Due to the guilt of working and not being able to spare enough time for their child, most mothers try to meet every need of their child and do everything for the child. This situation negatively affects the development of the child’s skills and self-confidence, causing him to become an dependent individual, and causes the mother to spend more energy and waste the quality time she can spend with her child. In this case, the child’s mother’s work-related problems increase.
For the child, the quality and form of the relationship he establishes with his mother and the feeling of trust that this relationship arouses in the child are very important. Many studies show that when there is a healthy family environment, there is similar intelligence and emotional development between children whose mothers are working and those whose mothers are not. The quality of the mother-child relationship and the time spent together is more important than the quantity.
Spending quality time means establishing quality and continuous togetherness. Quality time is when the child is actively listened to, his wishes, feelings and thoughts are tried to be understood, and his expectations such as playing games, chatting and doing activities can be met. Many negativities can be prevented if the time allocated to the child can be spent fully and meaningfully.
During the time spent with the child, giving responsibilities in line with the child’s age and skills, doing a job together, talking about daily life, listening to what the child tells with interest and attention will increase mother-child communication; in this way, the negative effects of the mother’s working will be experienced at a minimum level. Sharing a certain time period every day is important for the emotional development of the child.
Advice for working mothers
Avoid approaches that may negatively affect your child’s personality development, such as getting or doing whatever they want due to the guilt of being a working mother, and receiving gifts on the way home every evening.
Create an opportunity to spend time with your child after work.
It is important not to spend a lot of time with the child, but to spend quality time. Plan your time together in advance according to your child’s age, skills and wishes.
Find a caregiver you trust who can provide long-term care.
Try to be there for your child during important times such as birthdays or school performances.
When you are tired or stressed, ask your child for time to rest by explaining it in a way that he or she can understand. Plan the activity you will do together after you rest.
Try to take time for yourself. Doing activities that will enable you to re-energize will make the time you spend with your child and family more productive.
Depending on your child’s age and skills, you can ask for help with housework. In this way, you can help him become a responsible individual and develop a sense of trust.