Working mums face some stereotypes! Let's bust 'em!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it is definitely going to be a different occasion compared to previous years due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. With that said, do not forget to show some appreciation to all the mothers out there who are being pillars of strength for their families during this trying period.
Singapore sees more women participating in the workforce. Recent years have seen these rates rise at about 60%. This means the workplace should also be equipped with a support system to enable women to balance family commitments! Working mums know they need to balance between family and work. Hence, there’s a need to improve on existing flexi-work arrangements and enhancing leave schemes for working mums. While, these were articulated during the Budget Debate 2020, there’s still lots to do! In addition to juggling career and family, working mums bear the brunt of some “myths” or stereotypes that are increasingly proven baseless!
Let’s bust a few:
Working mother are neglectful for choosing work over caring for their kids.
Have you heard anything more ridiculous? As you were growing up, it might have been the norm that mothers put their careers on hold for the sake of their little ones. However, this might be impossible for many reasons and just the fact that it’s not exactly necessary anymore with accommodations for working parents! Additionally, it’s not like a working has it easy when leaving her baby in the care of someone else. It can be nerve wrecking. Daily goodbyes can be a source of stress and inner existential crisis! The myth is busted by a 2015 Harvard study that revealed that being a working mum encouraged your kids to be more successful! Forging a successful career and being a good mother are no longer mutually exclusive!
Working mothers spend less time with their children.
This might sound like a factual statement. Working nearly 44 hours a week means you’re probably not there for little one’s moments, firsts and more. These can be hard, but it might be startling to know that a study by the Pew Institute revealed that today’s mummies are spending more time with their children than they did in the 1960s. Based on a survey of 2,511 adults in the US, researchers found that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Mummies are spending twice as much time performing housework and childcare duties then men are. Can we just say, we’re getting way more done during the day??
Working mothers are unreliable
Perhaps there’s all these whispers going about at work where you might not be assigned a project because of your status? We long for ideal workplaces that can make judgements based solely on your outputs that the fact that you’re a mother, however this is dependent on workplace culture. Workplaces vary! If colleagues have the fallacious notion that you’re not going to be an active colleague because you're a mother, you might need to prove them wrong or move on!
Stay home mothers have it easy
This could not be further from the truth. Stay home mums have tons to do at home, from household chores, to meal preparation, grocery buying and looking after the little ones, not to mention mentoring their homework if they are of school-going age. So, the next time you think a stay home mother has it easy and just chills at home, sipping tea and taking Insta stories, think again!
Remember that the decision to work while raising kids is a personal one that’s defined by yourself and your circumstances. What works for other might not work you. Working mothers deserve respect and equal opportunity!
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