The article “Stay-at-home mom” (Open Page, Jan. 31) reflects the thinking of many women, whether or not they stay at home. A woman’s presence at home during the first few years of a child’s life is ideal and desired by most of the families. But in present-day conditions, it may or may not be possible. As to what women can do after the children fly away from the nest is a question for the woman to answer. Many turn to writing, social service, higher studies, etc. Children do respect and admire the mother who, after bringing them up, spends her time usefully. It is attitude and necessity that make a woman career-oriented or a home-maker. The satisfaction a woman derives from raising her children, however, cannot be valued in terms of money.
It is the quality time and love showered by parents, the atmosphere in school, peer group influence and social environment that contribute to the overall development of a child. A mother’s love for a child is the same whether she stays at home or works. I am aware of many housewives who grumble about their naughty children and watch television serials for hours or idle their time after sending their children to tuition classes so that they are not disturbed. Office-going mothers, in fact, pay more attention to their children. Children, too, realise the importance of hard work and grow up into more responsible adults. Juggling family and profession is indeed stressful but where to draw the line depends on an individual’s attitude, family circumstances, support and the organisation in which she works.