Author Archive

Working Parents, Good or Bad?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

familyJust several decades ago it was usual for an American family to have father working hard outside and mother staying home and bring up the children. But escalating requirements of modern times resulted in the necessity of constant increasing of family income. Very often both father and mother are forced to work full day. In such cases they can not properly care about their kids, because the work takes a lot of efforts and time. Frequently little children have to stay alone at home, or be under the supervision of another adult: a relative, a neighbor, or a professional childcare specialist. And, in many situations it may not be good and advantageous for the development of children.

I myself know so well, what it is like to have both working parents. Before I was born, my parents worked as clerks in a huge publishing agency. After giving birth, my mother quit  and was completely dedicated to little me. Then, when my younger brother came to this world, of course, the needs of family began escalating. Mum tried to find a part-time job, but soon she started working full-time again. As to taking care about us, our parents decided to use help of somebody outside of the family. In the beginning, mum asked one of her friends to look after us,  then she tried to use some childcare specialists, but she could not find any reliable one. As we had no relatives in our city, there were only strangers, who used to take care about us. In summer we used to be sent to the farm of our grandma.

The hardest times for me started, when parents realized that I had grown up enough to take care about myself and my younger brother. So, all the responsibilities of taking him to and from school, preparing lunch and supervising his activities laid on my shoulders. It was hard for me. I truly love Tom, but in our nature we are very different: I like calm surrounding and prefer staying home, reading or listening to music; my brother, on the contrary, was always very active, so he liked spending time outside with friends, making me worry, whether he was safe and sound on the streets.

working-mumObviously, there were a lot of positive effects of good income received by my working parents. Father had a successful career and now he became a chief manager of one of the departments of their agency. Mum is a marketing manager. Three years ago we moved into a big and very comfortable house, where I finally received my own room and some “space” to build my own daily life. Besides, me and my brother visited very good schools, and we could easily afford all the reasonable things we needed. But, in anyway, we had some lack of family care: I can see it clearly from the behavior of my brother, who learns many new things from his street friends, not form the family.

So, what I have learned from this experience is that parents must do everything possible to give more attention and care to their children, as much as satisfying financial needs of the family allows doing this. One of the best solutions in such situation, to my mind, is parents working outside in shifts: for example, father works in the morning, and mother works in the evening, though such decision may result in smaller opportunities to develop some good professional career. But it must be the compromise price to make the children feel loved, safe, happy and properly cared about.