These days we find there are many women who go out for work. In big towns and cities it has become a sort of norm that a majority of women work. And why not?
Women these days are highly educated and are capable of handling any work professionally. There are women working in all spheres, whether as corporates, bankers, management staff, and in many other sectors they are handling all sorts of jobs efficiently and successfully.
In olden days, it was an accepted fact that women were homemakers.It was only the men who were treated as bread winners for the family. With socioeconomic changes, the women jumped into all fields. The jobs which were treated as exclusively for men found many women walking in and proving their mettle.
There was a time when the slogan, “Hum do, hamare do” was popular. Then we heard,”hum dono, hamara ek.” Now many couples do not want to have babies. They have a double income, and they want to enjoy life without any encumbrance. The latest slogan now is “dink” (double income, no kid). Personally, I feel that a couple must have at least one child, Otherwise after passage of time life will be dreary and dull. The “dink” philosophy will thus become hollow. Moreover, in later years conception becomes difficult.
Now the big question is, how the children would be looked after in the absence of the mother. Even though many husbands will agree that working women manage their households very efficiently,they find ways and means for child care. The Government of India has recently increased the maternity leave to six months from three months. There is also a provision for paternity leave of one month. There are many options for looking after the babies for mothers, who are working.
1. The grandparents can look after the babies. The children are secure under the loving and affectionate care of the grandparents. When our first granddaughter was born, my DIL joined her job after availing maternity leave. My husband and I had not retired. We employed a maid to look after the baby. My DIL’s parents came from Bangalore. It is better if some family member is present to supervise the maid.
2. A full-time maid can be entrusted to look after the baby. The credentials of the maid must be verified through a local police station. In all cities, it is compulsory to get police verification of servants/tenants. Moreover, a neighbour may be requested to visit the house to keep a check on the maid.
3. If the family budget permits, two maids may be recruited.
4. There are many offices which allow ladies to work from home. Especially where the employee is working on a computer. This is a very effective option, where the home and office work can be successfully co-ordinated.
5. Many offices employ candidates for half time. Of course the salary is reduced.
6. There are crèches to take care of the children. In the case of crèche, it must be verified that it is approved by Municipal authorities. It should have a qualified doctor to take care of the child in case of emergency. The hygiene and sanitary conditions must also be examined.
If both, husband and wife are working, they can very well opt for any one of the options suggested above.
I quote below the words of a famous writer,”Research has shown time and again that infants who receive the high quality child care and early education programs do better in school, have more developed social skills and display fewer behavior problems”.
Usha Menon, a 77-years-old retired educationist, who has four sweet, adorable grandchildren. Last year she wrote a book,”Reverse Gear.” This book is a sort of analogy between her professional and personal life, depicting the travails, ups and downs faced by an average working woman. As a retired person, She is leading a contented life with a loving husband, devoted son, daughter-in-law and two grand daughters. Her doting daughter, son-in-law, and two grand sons, who are very affectionate, look after her and her husband. She is grateful to God that He has, in His grace, given her an opportunity to live a life of peaceful contentment.