Outsourced Parenting: Are you Guilty of It?

 

School holidays and long weekends tend to be two sides of a coin, depending on which worker you are. Or you may be the third type of worker, the one who has kids but didn’t get to take a holiday. Having fulfilled all three of these roles at some time during my corporate career, I can understand the viewpoint of each.

My growing concern though is based on my new perspective as a work-from-home mom – allow me to share my thoughts.

Being a parent is rough and anyone who says otherwise is liar. (I was going to revise the wording in that sentence and try to make it a little more politically correct, but right now I’m choosing to be brave and controversial)… I suppose that parenting is rewarding too (said with a hint of sarcasm of course), but I digress.

There are times that most (honest) parents will tell you that they count the days till grandparents come over; so that they may flee the bounds of their homes to go have a conversation with other adults and perhaps even eat food that hasn’t been ala-Pre-chewéd. A thrilling prospect really. One which doesn’t involve a lengthy negotiation over whether today should be considered a day to have a bath (even though we have already had this discussion almost every day before).

Yet while it is difficult, there is a significant amount of duty involved; that we have knowingly signed up for. (And no…It’s 2018, Google would’ve informed you already, if you’re still claiming ignorance). How then, with this knowledge, is it possible for parents to sign up their kids up for manners classes and potty training boot camps? Yup, you’re reading correctly and for those of you whose eyes lit up a little… shame on you!

While I can completely understand the demands of a capitalist system which orders us to cling to a job that puts money on the table; isn’t it still our role as parents to teach our kids morals and values and of course manners? During school holidays and long weekends, shouldn’t we be spending time being with our kids; building box carts and having tea parties under a bedsheet-tent?

Because we’ve sold our souls to corporates and employers, we instead hand over large amounts of money to companies running exciting holiday programmes for them to enjoy our children’s smiles and laughter. We have started outsourcing parenting. Paying for additional tuition for little ones who we could probably help, if we spent a little less time on our phones or in front of the television.

Sure, it’s easier to let someone else do the hard work and perhaps succeed at turning your raging toddler into a more publicly acceptable robot. Would you have done the same with your spouse or partner? If things didn’t go according to plan, would you step out and call in a third party to resolve the squabble?

An American study has shown that with the advent of social media and the pressures that come with it, most parents tend to outsource their parenting mainly to fulfil the need to create a better social image. It seems that we’ve become so hell-bent on ensuring we are creating a picture perfect life along with the picture perfect family, that we’ve lost the belief in our own natural ability as parents.

With recent efforts to reduce cyberbullying and the like, the intricacies of social media are slowly unravelling. Instagram stars have popularised the #nofilter #nomakeup movement in order to bring the realness back to social media. The hope is that the masses may then finally realise that not everyone posing on Instagram looks that way in real life. Will YOU then remove the filter from your own life? Will YOU bring back the realness and tell yourself that it’s okay for your three-year-old to have a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket?

If we’re all a little more honest; you’ll realise it’s all the “normal” little antics you’re going to miss the most…

Written by: Kamentha Pillay aka The STEM Mom. The STEM mom is a freelance writer/engineer/business analyst and advocate for women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM). If you’re a STEM mom, join our tribe and become a part of our Facebook community today!

The original article appeared in Mum's M@il: Outsourced parenting : Are you guilty of it?

Outsourced parenting?

A tribute to working moms

Most will agree that being a mum is probably one of the toughest roles any woman can take on. For the majority of present day mums, the role has increased in complexity. From day one (and before) it’s all about the choices we make for our little humans (and of course the judgement thereof *insert eye roll about here*).

Just when you think things couldn’t get more involved than the breastfeeding mums vs. non-breastfeeding mums; technology introduces major improvements in every aspect of how we raise children. Whilst being in awe of how much we now understand, we also have to acknowledge how much more difficult it is being a mum today versus mums of maybe thirty to forty years ago.

"But gaining independence and a social standing, meant that women would also need to decide how they would continue to manage a family."

 

There’s the pressure of having to make smart food choices which are organic, vegan-friendly, sugar-free, lactose-free…joy-free (but in ‘fun’ packaging). Plus the added task of convincing your toddler that it tastes amazing!

The traditional housewife and stay-at-home mum had a rather tall task already; ensuring there were wholesome meals for her family and fresh pressed shirts ready for her hard-working husband! But in the 1920’s aprons were soon thrown to the once pristinely polished floor when women were given the right to vote, workplaces became more inclusive and women were allowed to pursue careers. Keen to ensure they were given an equal opportunity to their male counterparts, a large number of women opted for employment and independence.

But gaining independence and a social standing, meant that women would also need to decide how they would continue to manage a family. The unfairness of it all lies in the fact that traditional roles of being a good housewife and mom did not disappear once women’s rights were given.

"having a working mum may in fact develop a few really beneficial traits in those little poop-makers."

Fast track to 2018, modern mums now need to make decisions related to family meals, child care, transportation and activity choices whilst also balancing the demands of a relentless work-life schedule. With changes in economic conditions over the years; many mothers often do not have the ability to stay home with their tots even when they would give anything to do so. Older and more traditional thinkers may frown upon the concept of a working mum, for fear that children may not be given the same care or attention that a stay-at-home mum may be able to give. Well for the nay-sayers, a study carried out across 24 countries shows that having a working mum may in fact develop a few really beneficial traits in those little poop-makers.

So to the working mother who has a presentation to prepare for tonight, while caring for her little one who is running a fever of 40 degrees; your perseverance is a testament to your strength – not only to you as a woman but for your babies too. To the man who may be waiting on your deadline; have a heart, you have a mom too – she may not have had work deadlines but she also put in late nights for your well being…so be a little kinder even if your nature doesn’t always allow for it.

 

The original post appeared on Mum's M@il: A tribute to working moms