Issues and Challenges Faced by Working Mothers


Generally, our society has taught us so much to love, respect and care for our mother who has endlessly nurtured and brought us up since we were born to this world. A mother is truly irreplaceable. Nevertheless, the world is changing and people are evolving into a new era of globalization. This is a world where people are no longer able to survive if they do not possess the necessary set of knowledge and skills. This is the era whereby information is the most valuable asset and without it; we are just nothing but a waste to the society.

If those days, men are supposed to go to work and find income while the women can stay at home and take care of the children, this scenario is no longer feasible. In this generation, both men and women are required to go to work to make sure that their day meets the end. Why is this necessary? Simple; only then, they can assure that their children could have a proper education and health insurance. Basically, this situation has just added up a mother’s challenges in facing the world. This particular review paper will discuss comprehensively about the issues and challenges faced by working mothers.

Let’s begin by defining the phrases so that we can better understand the given topic. “The issues and challenges” is defined as difficulties and problems. On the other hand, “faced by working mothers” means what are the working mothers are going thru at this stage. Generally, this topic implies the difficulties and problems that working mothers are going through on daily basis. First of all, the phrase “working mother” itself is something redundant. How can a mother not be working as she starts every day from preparing breakfast for the family in the morning until entertaining the husband at night? Basically, a other’s work is 24 hours per week without any kind of leave applicable. “The only difference between men and women is that women are able to create new little human beings in their bodies while simultaneously writing books, driving tractors, working in offices, planting crops; in general, doing everything men can do”, said by a working mother in The United States of America. What she had mentioned is absolutely true. When a man returns from work, he expects to get a good rest at home. Meanwhile, a woman would be expecting what kind of mess her kids have done to the home and then her works continues there too.

Working mothers still need to perform most of the house chores. Surprisingly, even when both parents are working, the responsibility to take care of the sick children will usually fall on the mother. Despite all these busy schedules, women are also bound to many other challenges from various factors. The biggest challenge would be income. If a mother is working, then naturally the child needs to be sent to the childcare center. In most cases, the fee to pay for the childcare alone would take most of the mother’s wage. In other worlds, the mother is simply working to pay off her kid’s day care center which does not make sense at all.

The second option is to hire a nanny. In Malaysia specifically, we always want the best things at the cheapest price. The problem is cheap things are never the best. For example, Malaysians always prefer to hire Indonesian maids to take care of their child while they are gone for work rather than hiring a local Malaysian due to the reason that the locals cost more money. However, what we fail to realize is that the foreigners have more potential to bring harm to the family institution. Hence, we always read cases on the newspaper such as baby murdered and run-away maid.

Recently, a health magazine from the United Kingdom has reported that juggling the dual roles of mother and worker is extremely hard. Hence, the second biggest challenge is work load. Assuming that the mother found a reliable nanny or convenient child care center, the next stage is her work load. Starting at home, and then at office, and finally back to home again. This has not included what kind of superior the mother is engaging with and what kind of colleagues she is dealing with. What if the manager is a tigress in the office? What if her working colleagues are just a bunch of hypocrites?

The stress would be simply unbearable. Nearly eight of ten working mothers would quit their job if they could. Close to half of all working mothers would prefer to be full time mothers, or at least they prefer to work from home. Stress management is vital to ensure that the child is confronting with matured parents. The third biggest challenge would be the children themselves. Putting a child in a day care center would definitely give a negative impact on the relationship between the mother and the child. The first few years or months at least, are the most important period to strengthen the mother-child bond.

This is the time when the child needs full attention, love and care. This is the time when the child needs to identify the mothers touch and fragrant. A day care center does not afford to provide the same experience to the child. They need to handle so many other kids as well. For them, all kids are the same and they will all be equally treated. No special attention and no special treatment. Even more serious if the child is taken care by a nanny, as it might turn out to be that the child is closer to the nanny that the mother.

It may sound ridiculous but this is already happening in many countries including Malaysia. Finally, the last but not least is sex life. Survey has reported that Malaysia is one of the countries in Asia that has the highest divorce cases. Here, people find their so called soul mate, get married and after a few years, they will be happily seeking for divorce. Due to excessive work load at work and also at home, these working mothers find it difficult to manage their stress. The inferior complex of women will force them to keep their problems to themselves.

This leads to lack of intimacy between husband and wife. When this happens, it ruins the whole family institution which is also bad for the child. As a conclusion, it is crucial to emphasize that a woman must consider career planning to be less or equally important to family planning. One must not embark higher priority on career planning than family; it simply would not work that way. This being said, we are not totally discouraging working mother. Necessary aids should be implemented to ease all mothers in managing their family efficiently.

A very good example would be the latest scheme announced by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the National Budget 2013, whereby all full time housewives will be eligible to receive allowance as a mean to support their family. Private and public organization should provide internal day care center for their employees. Apart from that, the government should create more works and business that requires mothers to work from home. If this can be done, then definitely we can see two good things. First, the nation will flourish and prosper. Second, our nation will have a better living society in terms of education and culture.