Working or a stay-at-home mum? The great debate.

It’s one of the most common — and often heated — debates of parenthood: Should you be a working or a stay-at-home mum? This could lead to another debate of should you be guilty if you are a working mom?

Answer, like a relationship status on Facebook, is complicated.

Each set of moms have their own share of joys and woes. Nonetheless it is not uncommon to witness such discussions during family and social gatherings. We observe how subtly people supporting ‘stay-at-home-mum’ try to penetrate into convincing the people who hold up a differing viewpoint. Perhaps that’s when the ‘guilt’ creeps in.

The belief behind the guilt could be a thinking that ‘motherhood and work cannot go hand in hand’. It certainly can, provided you step back before getting sucked into guilt, reflect on the validity of guilt and be aware of your own ability.

If you could do this you could certainly maintain a balance between the two. What could also help is – to dissect the guilt. Some questions for further reflections – ‘What is the guilt about?’ ‘What do I tell myself when I am guilty’?  ‘What kind of a mum would I be if I were a ‘stay-at-home-mum’? ‘What more would I have done for my child’? ‘Is guilt a familiar feeling to me’? ‘What else am I feeling while I am guilty’?

The idea is to become fully aware of yourself and your choices so you can analyze the whole scenario with objectivity rather than get influenced by outside opinions. Once this happens you will be operating from a place of empowerment rather than a place of victim-hood. Once you feel powerful you feel confident which will translate into happiness and you feel like a ‘good enough’ mum. Then the question of ‘working’ or ‘stay-at-home-home’ will no longer be the focus.

If the guilt is still lurking in you remind or if you cant find answer to some of these questions seek help with a counselor.

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Academia and its pressure!

With the re-opening of schools around the corner and summer holidays coming to an end there is much anticipated worriedness and apprehension among children and parents

Parents are busy ensuring that their kids have everything needed for the school. Added to this is pressure of term exams, semester exams, finals etc. There are some who take preventive measures to enable their child to cope with the studies.

Children dread the routine whereas some parents get accustomed to it. Maybe they feel that being prepared comes in handy during crisis. What crisis or disaster are we anticipating?

Under the umbrella of that fear of crisis we do not allow children to explore their own interest and ideas, be it exploring nature or a talent in music or sport. Their mind is a Pandora’s box with billion or trillion of ideas taking birth. They may want to give wings to some of them. Do we ever think about it? Instead we create another Pandora’s box and fill it up with fear and anxiety about the future of their academia. Every now an then we open this box and show them how scary the future is, with the intent of motivating them to plan for their future.

Do children have a choice? Instead of excelling in Math, a child may want to study archeology! Can they be encouraged? Can their choice be accepted? Often we believe that kids are young to make their own decision and hence we push them towards rat race and convince them that it is in their best interest. As parents we may feel compelled to guide and direct our kids towards the future that we think is safe and secure for our children.

Do we pause and think “what do kids feel?”. We are probably planning a future as per OUR interpretation of safety and security! If we want to understand our children’s’ desires and wishes the only way to do is to just give ourselves and children a break and go with the flow. Eventually our kids may choose the same path that we initially suggested but the decision will come from a place of freedom and empowerment rather than a place of victim. The success of this kind of future probably has higher chances of surviving than that ones WE plan for them.

As parents we can act as their confidante and gently guide them towards the future but planning their future can be catastrophic. Once in a while need to give a break to the ‘need to excel’ at academia and view our kids as young minds eager to explore.

Give it a thought: “experience is what you get, when you don’t get what you want’, and culmination of all these experiences turns into wisdom. In our anxiety to have our children excel, we don’t allow children to experience mistakes, in a way, we are depriving them of wisdom….

To know more about how to handle the pressures of academia and stay connected with our kids, Prerana Academy is conducting a certification course in Child and teenage counseling. To now more log in to


Obesity and Kids

When a kid is born we are over the moon with emotions. A blessing, a miracle in the happening has come true. Motherhood, though new, feels like a second skin and we instantaneously know what to do! More often than not every mother believes in giving the best possible nutrition to her kids. Thus begins the journey of ‘feeding’ our kids.

The journey that begins with providing nutritious food gradually becomes more food without our knowledge. The intention behind feeding our kids maybe honest and justified but do we pause and think about the long term effects of it? Probably not. Our main focus is to make our kids healthy and chubby looking. Society too presents its own pressure when exposing our kids to functions, parties and such.

We are responsible for the food intake of our kids! Does this statement make any sense?

We guide and decide the food intake initially for our kids since we believe, they cannot decide for themselves and before we realize they and their bodies get used to that way of eating. Unknowingly the child transits from ‘nutritious food ’ to ‘food’ and decides to grow on ‘junk food’, which may result in weight gain! When the realization dawns on the parent, the overflow of worry and anxiety spills out in the form of ridicule / advise, that too in public.  We forget our contribution to the child’s state of being. We forget that we wanted a chubby baby. When we are feeding them do we keep a deadline as to how long the child is allowed to be chubby?

What is our actual concern? Is it that child may look fat and /or ugly to others or is it that their health is at risk? Is it the laurels we are looking for (having fed the child well) or are we concerned about how others judge our child’s body?  ‘Do we ever think this deeply before feeding the infants? Amid this entire phase do we dare think ‘what does the child want? How does the child feel?’

As parents we need to create an environment that enables our kids to not only express their dislikes and displeasures but also empower them to make their decisions.

Obesity is not merely physical there is obesity in thinking too. It is generated because of a whole system where biology interacts with social, cultural and built environmental factors in different permutations and combinations. As parents we need to think of long-term effects of our actions and act accordingly. We cannot change any habit overnight, leave alone eating habit. “Action speaks louder than words”, lets be mindful in role modeling when it comes to eating. Two significant points for reflection here are – a) when we focus only on body image of the child what message is the child picking up? b) how long do we take decisions for children?

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