Working mums, just trying to do our best

Children whose parents work full time are not always suffering souls. We are doing our best…
Izela Barlow
Izela Barlow

Children whose parents work full time are not always suffering souls. We are doing our best…

I am so tired of wondering, checking and cross checking myself – forever trying to measure up to some unclear standards by varied ‘experts’ on how to be the perfect parent. Today I purposed to celebrate my achievements as a parent and with that I celebrate the imperfections that make me human. My standards? The only bar of quality parenting is that I do my best. The keyword here is MY. It has got to be MY best by MY judgment within MY capacities. If I judge myself too harshly, then those are MY standards.

So to you all who sit in lofty chairs passing judgment, I boo you all. For one thing I know there isn’t a sane parent in this world who does not want good things for their own.

And why am I ranting? Well, not long ago I was in the company of ‘lunching ladies’, all of them full-time ‘stay-at-home’ moms with the luxury of spending their days shopping, planning their children’s after-school activities and of course getting together for lunch. So you see, it is not too farfetched to see how my lunch with them quickly turned out to be a Q&A session of have you done this for your tot? or have you been there? quickly followed by blankets of judgment and thinly disguised berating statements like you really should make the time, try harder or  your poor deprived child!

But we should be slow to criticize the working mom or any parent for that matter who works hard to provide for the family. It may involve painful sacrifice but in many cases it cannot be helped. Children whose parents work are not always suffering or deprived. Enrolling the child into Crèche and play groups or other extracurricular activities as a result of parental work schedules can often benefit the child.

High quality, loving daycare and school settings enrich a child’s life and even help in the development of social skills.

On the weekend, when more time is available, planning for regular interactions with the family can more than make up for time lost during the week. Creating family traditions that encourage interaction and bonding is also a valuable tool.

It teaches the children the value of reliability and setting standards. To the child, reliability of routine can offer the reassurance they need to know that they too are an important member adding value to the family structure.

In an effort to build a strong bond and fond family memories, the set routines can be of benefit and a great relief to the harried parents.

The morning rush out the door can become more pleasant through planning and setting something to look forward to together as a family.

Just do your best the way you know how- that’s what I say.


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