Mother or Working Mother?


– Anjali


The kindest one in this world. “Ah! That can only be a mother.”
The pressure we as a society put on a woman is how she has to be, up to certain expectations, to be a good mother. Why do moms have to be the perfect parent among the set of parents and why dads are always kept out of the conversation even if they’re an equally incredible parent. Why do fathers always come as second best for their kids? That is quite a tense aspect of the society we live in where we put all the pressure on a woman and take all credits from the man. While we move towards a progressive society, mothers are still expected, if not told so, to sacrifice everything for their kids, but if they make themselves a priority, they’re called out as bad mothers Whereas fathers are praised for being more indulged into parenting than they were in prior times, even if that is what should have been the norm.

“Empowerment does not mean that you have to ignore your kid”. Yes. But what empowerment really means is that a woman should get to choose what and how she wants to manage her time with her child and no one should force or manipulate her otherwise. All this pressure has led women to multitask, manage work, home, family, and kids, all at once, every day. And if amid this she expects help, the first reply would be “why don’t you take a break from your job”.  To point out some misogynistic approach towards working mothers, people also mock their multitasking by saying stuff like “what does she wants to prove”, “ Her child should be her first priority, what is she being so dramatic”, completely ignoring all her struggle just to live her life her the way she wants. The problem here being that many people don’t even understand why a woman should work, why it is so important for her to be financially independent. All of this even leads to potential mental stress but even that leads to the same conclusive solution that she should not be working.

The simple reality that we do not have terminology, “working fathers” for working fathers, adequately explains the strain that mother is going through. And there is everything wrong with the term “working mothers” as if the mothers who are not earning are not working! Women for ages have been made to believe that they are secondary in society because they can’t support themselves or anyone. The truth is totally the opposite. Society has seized the right of earning from women by not allowing them to be themselves, at every stage of their life, and by making them dependent on a man for survival thereby compromising on their identity and self-worth, every now and then.
Women have been known to give free caregiving services to their family and relatives than any man ever would but that is termed as her duty. If the same services were offered by a man, it would make him humble. Even after proving many times that a mother can support herself and her kids even within the limited means, even in the absence of the man of the family, she is still questioned about her efficiency as a mother.

It is true that the picture is changing and we have become more progressive in our approach than we ever were towards mothers. However, the ratios and the pace of growth is still tense.  There are always exceptions to the trend and the trend still is that mothers are expected to be “good mothers” as if they aren’t already and the word mother only does not imply that.

Mothers are always working,  so if we really want to describe mothers who work to earn then we should call them “earning mothers” and not “working mothers”.  Now, why do we need earning mothers? So that she does not have to compromise on being a woman because she is a mother! She can have equal credibility in deciding for their kids, even the basic decisions like what school they should go to. Moreover, they can always opt for better for their kids and not compromise on the limited income of money. So that people don’t shut them up saying “what do you know”, even after being a mother, who is said to be in the best interests of their child.

Earning mothers are important so that they can walk out of a toxic marriage for the better of their kid and do not have to live in a toxic marriage for the better of their kid. So ironic! All mothers are always working, so either we change the terminology or include them. Either they are called mothers or working mothers. Because calling just the mothers who earn as working does not sound fair or logical.




The views expressed are that of the writer.


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