|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 38, Tuesday May 9, 2006|
The fast paced lives that we deal with today involves plenty of sacrifices, especially for those who are mothers working outside of their homes. They cannot be perfect in both fields and end up feeling guilt pangs for uncompleted tasks in both sectors; neither can they satisfy their boss nor make enough time to spend with their children.
Many women study devotedly all their lives building up to an ideal career, but then they are married and become entangled in family life. Half of even this population decide it's too difficult for them and become full-time mothers, especially the women with un-supportive in-laws. During the last decade, a significant number of women have entered the work-force, with or without any cooperation. Those without family support and especially those with small children have the hardest time and eventually can't cope; it is the strongest that eventually do.
It takes a lot of emotional as well as physical strength to become successful. No matter how prosperous they are, mothers usually have a feeling of guilt at the back of their mind, especially if the child deviates at any point of his/her life. It is always wise to maintain a cautious balance between home and work. You should never exert your whole in any line; you also have to think about your own health. Complete all your office work at the office and home should be a time of leisure, and spending time with your kids. Remember, when you have limited time to spare, maximum utility should be usurped, then quality becomes more important than quantity. Obviously nothing compares to the attention and energy forsaken by a full-time mother in comparison to a part-time one.
Many studies show that the first three years of a child's life is most important and when mothers need to give special attention for psychological, emotional and physical development. If for any reason a child does not receive a certain amount of maintenance, the impairment done can go a long way into the future. These special needs do not necessarily need to be met out by the mother, it could be by anyone else, but mothers should just make sure it's taken care of even in their absence, and no mishandling is done.
Many people decide that the childhood is not a real hard stage and can be easily taken care of, but claim their child's adolescence is the most critical part of their growing up. Many mothers quit their jobs then and be sure to be for them when and if they ever wanted to talk.
Actually there is no time children do not need their mothers, even as they grow old they will wish their parents were close by to help them make a decision. Even if you just a homemaker you can not look after his/her every movement. Think of the positive sides of the situation, kids with working mothers are more likely to be self-reliant and responsible, they are less spoilt, and even tend to look up to you more respect. Daughters especially, learn to grow up with a more ambitious approach to life, taking their mothers as their idols.
The few kids that do deviate in life is less for the mother working and more for other circumstances, which could have easily happened while you were at home.
You should stop feeling any guilt if you are working because you are rendering a service to society. You should feel guilt if you are over-involved in your work and no time to spare. Feel guilt if you mix up your priorities and take work to be more important to you than your kids.
By Aziza Choudhury
Older woman younger man-should they tie the knot?
Well, some of you readers might be thinking No, this never works. While some may say if relationships between older men and younger women can be successful there is no reason the opposite will fail. Whether it is a match made in heaven or a very unsuccessful one, a couple where the woman is older than her mate is always seen in a different eye.
The pair is often greeted with a sly smile or a wink, people start gossiping about them the moment they enter a social gathering and the environment turns all hush hush. Some couple even experience sarcastic or lewd remarks. The situation is of course more difficult for the females. Society, for some reason or the other is harder on them.
A good friend of mine married a guy just a year younger to her. If ever the subject was broached about the age of our husbands, she always said her hubby was a year older than her. She knew we knew, yet she said that. Once, there was an emergency and I was looking for her. I called her in-laws to know if they knew about her whereabouts. Her mother-in-law started to pep talk. She started saying all sorts of awful things about her daughter-in-law. At one point she said “Dekhona ma amar chotto cheleta ke bie kore felse” (She married my little boy!!). The way “chotto cheleta” was said, sounded as if she had married a pre school kid who had just learned how to walk, at gun point. I was stunned. To this date I could not muster up the courage to tell my friend about the happenings of that day.
Couples in similar situation who carry the attitude To hell with the society tend to do better. I know of another couple where the guy married a divorcee with a kid, six years elder to him. He was 24 and she 30. Whoever, family or friend commented on his marriage he always politely told them to mind their own business. Many said that the woman had duped the poor chap and by the time he realized his mistake he would regret it all his life. He cared less about what they thought and reminded them to oil their own machine.
Why do people make such a big a deal if the woman happens to be older than the man? Why do they have to utter so much gibberish about the couple? What is the reason they believe it won't work? I had asked these questions to some people. The answer I got from one of the senior citizen's shocked me to my very roots. He said if you wear a ring embedded with a precious gem on your finger, the gem never gets old it's the finger which ages. Needless to say which gender is the gem and which the aging finger. Duh!!!
Some just believe it is usually the men who are older in a relationship; it has always been that way. So people just find it difficult to accept when it is the other way round.
But things are slowly but surely changing. The mentality of the society is changing. The younger generation are taking bold steps. They are living for themselves and are doing what makes them happy. Well, and the older generation are learning to accept that!! They might find it hard to do so but at least they are agreeing to disagree.
If a woman is older than her spouse there is nothing clandestine about it. You don't have to be scared and go undercover for what people might say. You married the person you love and there can be nothing wrong about it. Have a blissful and peaceful life!!
By Syeda Shamin Mortada
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