#Moms At Work

Modern Mothers: Is There A Perfect Recipe For Motherhood?

Modern Mothers, Shikha Dalmia Deshmukh
Modern Mothers: Through the generations, every mother has worked hard, either as a homemaker or as a working mother juggling her personal and professional life (which was quite uncommon before the 21st century). With our country becoming more modern and receptive to working mothers, we would assume that women would have more freedom than ever before. However, modern motherhood has become extremely perfectionist. Every single mother has started putting unnecessary pressure on themselves to be the perfect mother. Which leads me to the big question- Is there really a perfect recipe for motherhood?

Modern mothers are living a different life than our mothers and grandmothers did. No woman has ever had to do as much, on her own, as the modern mother. Society forces us to walk a tight-rope between family and ambition every day, which has been a struggle for me personally, but it is not possible to strike the right balance between family and work life very single day. Some days work far outweighs family, and my kids and husband have to eat without me because I have to work till late. Other days, work could be manageable and less time-consuming so I have extra time to spend with my children, be it simple bedtime routines, or playing board games with them, or cooking them their favourite meal.

Furthermore, working mothers put very high expectations on ourselves. We feel shamed by others’ comments about the way we raise our kids, how many family vacations we are taking, our working hours, and more. We need to realise this “modern motherhood” standard is exhausting. We can only do what we can, and that is more than good enough for our children.

Similarly, even homemakers without jobs are struggling to keep up with this picture of a perfect mother; the gold standard for raising successful children. Our culture has forced many mothers to measure their own success in terms of their children’s happiness. They worry when their children are unhappy even when they have tried their level best to give their children enough time and energy. I believe it is important for a mother to be able to tolerate a measure of her child’s unhappiness by listening, and most importantly, understanding what he or she is saying in words or behaviour. As long as we try our best to keep our kids happy, nothing else, including what the society thinks, matters.

Our culture has forced many mothers to measure their own success in terms of their children’s happiness.

When it comes to society, it still adheres to a rigid image of a perfect mother. She must be married, she must know how to strike a perfect balance between motherhood, career and other household duties. She must also never complain about the hardships she had faced while raising her child. As a parent, when I’m working, I feel like I should be with my daughter and son. When I’m with them, I feel like I should be working. Millions of moms feel that constant guilt like nothing we can do is ever enough. Personally, my ambition grows just like my son and my daughter, and my responsibilities to them both will grow and change in different ways. The only thing I can do is stop trying to strike the perfect balance between work and family time. I definitely try to prioritize work and family time in order to give my best to both areas of my life each day, however, if I do fall short on some days I forgive myself because at the end of the day, I am only human.

To conclude, all I would like to say is let’s keep lifting each other, cut ourselves some slack, and remember that we’re doing a good job —  even when it doesn’t seem like it. After all,  motherhood is hard!

Harpreet Suri, Global Mom Influencer. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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