Working mum’s blues


  • Letters
  • Friday, 24 Feb 2012

WE hear the concerns raised in “It’s hard to be a super-mum” (The Star, Feb 9) and “Employers not too keen on part-time working mums” (The Star, Feb 12) and agree with the points raised.

A lot of working mothers struggle emotionally. Most of us clock in extra hours at work daily to keep up with work demands while managing the family needs at the same time. Hence, surviving the inevitable guilt factor is high on our list.

How do we cope with this nagging guilt factor? Try shooing them away and they land right back the minute we see our kids expressing their unhappiness over the lack of time we spend at home.

Less time spent at home may translate to a weaker bond with the family and potential moral and behavioural problems.

The Malaysian Working Mothers Forum (MWMF) recognises this issue and aims to provide a safe online platform where working women of all ages and backgrounds are free to share their concerns and connect with each other on an emotional level.

Our planned collaboration with NGOs and related ministries are towards contributing to the development and betterment of working women.

While we applaud the efforts by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to achieve 30% of women representation in decision-making positions, the MWMF, a non-profit social cause, aims to support the other 70% by addressing their daily struggles.

To name a few, these women are already coping with unreliable daycare centres, pricey foreign maids, the need to support the family with their dual-income and juggling between motherhood and keeping their jobs.

By connecting via the MWMF’s online forum and network, working women may find solace in their hectic lives while balancing work-home matters.

To further support the working mothers we call on the Government and private sector to provide special schemes for them.

Flexible working hours, longer maternity leave, off days to attend to their children’s medical and educational needs, a working mother’s child relief reward, job-sharing, part-time job opportunities and compressed work week needs to be seriously considered if we are adamant on achieving a high income society.

Working mothers who are given these opportunities are bound to stay in the work force longer. Companies who support these efforts are also indirectly contributing towards quality nation-building as they cater to the best educators a family can have, mothers.

Multinational companies like Dutch Lady Malaysia and Citibank are already catering to the needs of working women by endorsing the 90-day maternity leave in their organisations.

I am sure the working mothers in these companies are a dedicated lot and appreciate the benefit. The positive outcome of this should be highlighted to other companies who have yet to implement this policy.

Just like Mother Nature, a mother’s need should never be underestimated. Mothers, after all, know best.

PARVEEN YASSIN,

Executive Director,

Malaysian Working Mothers Forum.

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