|Many mothers worry that working will make their child feel lonely. Some feel that they are not able to deal with their children well because of their own problems, and they want to be able to deal with their children in a more relaxed way. In the Child Research Net forum, a full-time housewife and mother wondered if there were any mothers who were reluctant to go to work and cried because they did not want to leave their child. One working mother responded that it would be natural for anyone to feel that way. I believe that regardless of whether one has a job or not, all mothers love their children and are concerned about them at all times.
Benesse Corporation, the supporter of Child Research Net, has many employees who are working mothers. While I was having a work-related meeting with one employee, I was asked the following question, "What do you think of mothers who work?" I replied that while it would mean the mother would have less time with the child, one can make full use of that little time. As long as the mother can express to the child that she loves him or her, and that she always cares, being fulfilled in one's job rather than silently wishing one could go out and work can also have a good effect on the child. After that, the person showed a sign of relief. I thought to myself that even the so-called privileged employees of Benesse also have the same worries as other working mothers.
Working mothers seem to feel anxious about child care. Although they believe that they have a right to work, this feeling is overshadowed by worries that their working will have a negative impact on the child. I have heard mothers say that it is painful to hear day care providers and other people comment about their working instead of staying home. Some working mothers admit that it is painful to hear this, but they also feel that day care providers are supposed to think of the child's welfare, and this makes them feel more assured about leaving children in their care.
In child care counseling, I tell mothers that even if such day care providers may have something against working mothers, these comments are just unacceptable. Mothers who are aware of this perception or those with a strong personality won't let it bother them, but there are many mothers who feel guilty and are barely managing. Recently, I wonder if blaming the mother can be any good for her or for the child.
Let me tell you about an episode in the forum of the homepage. This is a story about a day care provider in charge of a class of one-year old children. The teacher told the mother she wanted to cooperate with her to provide the best care for her child. Twenty years passed. No matter how cute a child is, teachers see a lot of children come and go, and they don't remember each and every child, right? Well, the teacher had just about forgotten when she received a wedding invitation from the mother. When the teacher showed up at the wedding, the mother expressed gratitude for helping her make her child what she had become.
Now, let's see how children feel. These opinions have also been taken from those gathered in the forum. They have been written by adults who looked back into their own childhood. One question asked mothers what they wished their mothers had said to them to make them feel more secure. Responses included such comments as: "Even if I cannot go to school to observe your class because I have to work, I am always here." Don't feel lonely. If anything happens, I will be there right away.. Mom can go out and work because you're healthy and strong, right?" When they were children, they wanted to know that their mothers would be there right away if anything happened.
As seen, mothers and children are doing their best. So what I want to ask all of you here today-fathers, day care providers, doctors and researchers-is not to drive mothers into a corner. Instead, just like the teacher I have mentioned earlier, please suggest caring for the child together. Isn't that a better way to contribute to making life more enjoyable for mothers and children?
I believe that we should think about caring for children together and creating a social system that enables everyone to care for children together as a way of supporting working mothers and children in the coming 21st century.
Today I have given a brief overview of the survey finds and I would like to conclude to my remarks here. Thank you.