Working parents’ positive impact on Child’s behavior –Tips to get the right balance.
Created by Archanaa Updated on Sep 20, 2018
My little angel is 2+. I have been part of corporate sector for more than 6 years, and my husband for 12 years and counting. I resumed work when my daughter was just five months old, with all the guilt that any working mom carries. Ever since, there has been this ongoing struggle within me whether it is right or wrong to leave her behind and stay away from home for almost 10 work hours each day, five days a week. However I realize there are a lot of positives to look at, which could actually overpower the guilt factor.
My observations and tips could possibly help every working mother/father in dealing with the guilt of not playing the “stay at home” parent role.
1) The child develops a very good sense of time: Even as a six- month-old baby, my Ana knew when I would be back home, and started getting restless around the time if she didn’t see me coming! That was just so amazing for me to observe and realize that she could actually guess the time I would be back.
And now, she goes to playschool which she calls her “office” and she knows its Friday when her teacher says “See you on, Monday”. When I am back home on Friday, she says “Saturday, Sunday. Appa chutti amma chutti, Ana Chutti” (Mom, dad and Ana are on holiday. It’s Saturday Sunday) and that is her way of says TGIF in the cutest possible tone. She knows there is a routine to follow and she knows she has to adhere to it.
2) You little one will love having people around
This one is a little tricky as it needs some proactive steps from parents to make sure your baby/toddler has people around her who she is comfortable with. Ana gets pampered and loved by grandparents both maternal and paternal and all of us ensure she doesn’t feel lonely. Also I and my spouse manage our work in a way that one of us leaves early and gets back home early and the other one balances out by leaving late based on our work schedules.
She knows how exactly to behave with whom and she has her own games and play time for each one of us. As all of us keep talking and interacting with her, she started speaking quite early (around 1 year) and she picks up words and contexts very quickly.
Independence would be part of their nature: When I or my hubby start for work, we drop her off at school. I put on my backpack, she runs to her bag, brings it and says “Let me put it on like you and let’s go to office”. And she doesn’t want to be lifted, she prefers getting down the stairs all by herself like me, it gives her a sense of pride!
Quick learning is a tendency they develop: As she deals with minimum 7 to 10 people each day, she observes each one’s routine, their usage of words to converse, sometimes in different languages and she picks up different languages. Sometimes me and my Mom-in-law talk in telugu so she doesn’t understand the context and when I use the same words a couple of times she knows exactly what we are talking about. Ha! We now keep trying new techniques every time she cracks one.
Having said all this I am guilty each day for being away from her but there are certain tips to ensure that your child is comfortable and you are okay at work. It helps suppress the intensity of guilt. It works for me, hope it helps you too.
1) Ensure a good support system which has people who you could absolutely trust your child with – We preferred our families and we have domestic help for the daily chores at home to make sure none of us are burdened with a lot of work.
2) Make sure you drop her off at school /pick her up – Ensure either of you spends time with the child, get her ready and drop her off at school before you proceed to your work place. This gives the child and you a sense of satisfaction.
3) Eat one meal a day together: It’s mostly dinner for us, we sit together and she has her plate and spoon and does her part in eating (messing up with) her food with us. We sometimes bring in a small contest to say who eats first and make sure she wins every contest.
4) Children’s Bedtime is parents’ time: Don’t miss putting your child to bed at night. Don’t delegate this part and ensure that either mom or dad does it. I think it’s really important to put the child to sleep and do some chatting, free play, storytelling as she gets to sleep. If this means cutting down your TV/laptop time at home, so be it.
5) Talk to her over phone if you are getting late: This gives a sense of assurance to the child that you care and you are on your way and will be besides her soon.
6) Leave behind your work once you reach home: Remember work is a means for living and former is invalid when you don’t have a peaceful living. Don’t carry or show your work tension on the child ever. The child doesn’t understand that you are venting out your stress on her.
7) Child should be part of your weekend plan: Spend all your time with the child over the weekend. Take her along wherever you go – malls, supermarket, temple or just for a walk.
8) A small outing each day for the child is a must – If your child has not started school/playschool, she definitely needs a daily outing. It could be a very small walk to the provision store as well. But she needs the change. Ensure to do it once you are back from work. Ten minutes is all it takes.
If you haven’t done any of these till now, try tweaking your routine a little to accommodate these and I assure you will see a positive change in your child’s behaviour gradually. Happy parenting.
| Nov 19, 2015
Thanks for sharing. I'm 8 months pregnant and am planning to start working when the baby is at least 6 months old. But sometimes I had similar concerns about the child's safety and other psychological needs. This article is really a confidence - booster!
| Nov 20, 2015
Tnx Archana for sharing a nice blog. I am also a working mother having an angel of 21 months. I started going office when she was just 2. 5 month old. But i take care each & every point which u mentioned above. Now i really feel proud when me n my husband go to office she says bye mumma bye papa.... jaldi ana... and wen i returned back... she used to wait for me in balcony area.. n say... Neha aa gayi.... One thing i must want to add for working parents ...one's life should be very balance so that kid should not feel ignored... n each day out is very necessary wd kid... wen u r just for ur kid...
| Nov 22, 2015
Yeah i too feel positive and proud of being a working mom and balancing the family(kid). I have been doing all the things listee above for past 4 years and my son is adjust to the circumstances and not being cranky. Thanks to my mom who takes care of him all the day..
| Nov 23, 2015
Thanks for your share. I was a hotelier and I have left my job after my son. I started working again when he is 18 months but didn't able to join hotel industry and it leads me dis-satisfied about my job. I also felt the same guilt. After reading your post I am again thinking to join hotel industry again.
| Nov 24, 2015
Very nice article. I have 2 years old son. As I leave in a nuclear family, I drop my child daily to my mother's place & pick him in evening. Few things even i have noticed too. Yesterday only, my mother said, he was sleeping but he got up & asked his grandma to get him ready as mom is about to come. Also, in morning, he himself put his shoes & get ready to go his grandma house. Really I sometimes wonder how come a child whose has not yet started speaking properly understand the daily routines, times & even our wordings.
| Jan 07, 2016
Gud to read ... I will be ...joining soon leaving my 5 months old boy at home .....but m worried to leave him at in laws house due to improper handling there n poor development of the kid ..... being extremely aged grand mom and the family isn't that broad minded that allows me to keep their grand son at my mom dad s place where he will get proper time education n everythng else.... so worried more
| Jan 22, 2016
Nice. This is what I hv always been doing with my 3 yr old. Son... Few very very imp things I follow is that I bring a smile on his face daily without fail when 1) I wake him up by having sweet n funny talks,2) when he leaves for school 3) when I return from office n enter the house 4) before sleep...