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Don’t feel guilty, working mum



It is common to blame parents especially the working mother for the breakdown of moral values in the society these days. An unarguable fact, after all it is the duty of parents to bring up their children to be worthy individuals of the society.However, in trying to figure out what happened to our social values, several other things would have to be considered such as the way the mother herself was raised. The complaint is that the mother especially abandons her family in search of material wealth.

And why should that be? We question why does she prefer wealth to her children?In answer, one could say that although she was likely brought up in the era when mother stayed home with children, she still feels that something is missing in her life – we should remember that those times past which we glorify were periods when one man married as many wives as he wanted and had many children.

Many of today’s working mums may come from such homes where getting attention from a father is as difficult as getting the cash to buy toilet soap. Now that she is empowered through education, she wants to make as much money as possible. The memory of her mother’s status as the wife in a home of many wives who might not like where she was, but felt powerless to make a change, still haunts her so she wants financial independence so she can do better than her own mother.


But when we talk of working mothers, we should remember that the African woman/mother has always worked outside the home although they did not work in corporate organizations as they do now. She did not wear trouser suit or lipstick as the present day working-woman, nonetheless, she had career in the farm or market place. And like the modern mother, taking care of the home was a role ordained for her by birth.

She did back-breaking jobs like weeding the vegetable patch, planting, hoeing and harvesting crops, and transporting the seeds/tubers maybe through carrying them on her head in order to provide food for the family.She did not take her many children to the farm, rather they were left in care of older siblings who were not of the right age to do tedious work or older women who did not go to farm took care of them.

If we blame the working mother for the ills in the society, one is bound to think that we condemn her for being smart and knowing her mind. I remember a couple in a typical traditional setting; mother and father went to farm in the morning. She worked on the vegetable side while he worked at the heavier side of cash crops or plantation.

Late afternoon, she left for home with ingredients to prepare dinner. By the time she reached home, very tired, she had no time to rest because she had to cook. By the time he came home, bone tired, soup which must be cooked that evening would be ready for him to eat.


One would, therefore, say that a woman’s role has not changed. She still worked as she did in 1960. The only difference is that she is better educated. With enlightenment, therefore, you should not produce the poisonous or toxic children the society complains about.

Put in more effort in your parenting; stay with your children when you can. Many mums have passed through the daycare system, are they good for your child? Arrange adequate care for them when you are at work. As we condemn parenting styles these days, we may also look at the issue of child marriage. I do not think that an underage mother is ready to be a parent.

Looking at the issue of troublesome children, we should consider guilt on the part of the mother; she feels guilty for not staying home to look after the child round the clock-when she feels guilty, she gives in to every frivolous demand of the child.But the biggest issue of all would be indiscipline; when mother and father are not strong enough to instill discipline in the children, their offspring would be unruly.

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