It has been a daunting question for women since decades. While we are busy empowering the women of our society, focusing on schemes for their education and employment, we tend to overlook the fact that these skills go unused once these women take the role of mothers.
Many seem to believe that it’s a choice that women make. That they choose to compromise their aspirations, dreams and goals to devote themselves to fulfill the responsibilities of being a mother. Yet, more than often it is a conditioned response, which they develop over the course of time and not a choice.
Parents today want their little girls to receive a good education, acquire a good job and then when the time comes take charge of their home and children. Women are being brought up in a manner where they feel that the sole responsibility of upbringing a child, is of the mother who is usually the primary caregiver. She undergoes the maternity period, takes a break from her career to look after herself and her child and henceforth her job of a mother takes precedence over her career. The family may give her a choice of going back to work yet when she chooses to do so she is burdened with the humongous task of balancing both roles.
The choice to continue to work after becoming a mother is often accompanied by guilt trips due to feelings of incompetence for not being able to spend adequate time with her child. In striking contrast, fathers are a lot less likely to experience such feelings of guilt.
Though parenthood is a joint venture, why is it that the mother is expected to bear the burden of guilt alone? Is it not fair, to put this choice open to both the parents? As likely as a mother might be to shift her priorities from career to motherhood, so is the father.
What Can Be Done To Make It A Choice?
So if a mother, has high career aspirations and wants to continue with new career projects even after entering motherhood, and the father wants to take the role of the homemaker, the situation must be seen in the same light as it is when the roles are reversed.
The birth of a child should be seen as an embarkment on a joint journey of parenthood rather than making it a solo project of motherhood. Hence both parents must divide responsibilities so that there is no burden of guilt and the pressure of dual roles is shared between the couple.