Essay paper on working mothers on their careers

There are increasing number of women continue their careers after given birth to their childs. They are regarded as working mothers, whom are facing many difficulties to keep balance between the work and the family. This phenomenon led to many studies about the effect of maternal employment base on a secure mother-infant attachment.This paper raise the question: many mothers are often confronted with the dilemma of choosing between their jobs or careers, and their children, whether they should come back to work after post partum. The attachment theory in this paper was found by John Bowlby, whom emphasized the importance of mothers attention and care on the infant. He argued that there was a long time last influence on the infant future life. There are also contemporary reasearches suggested that maternal employment have benefits on the family and the infant. The paper analyze the deveopment of mother-infant attachment theories and current studies, to evaluate the positive and negative effect to the infant of working mother.

Infant-mother attachment

Attachment theory was formulated by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby. It is a psychological, evolutionary, and ethological theory concerning relationships between humans pointed out that a young child needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally . According to his study of attachment theory, infant behaviour associated with attachment is primarily the seeking of proximity to an attachment figure, moreover, secure base and safe haven are the features and function of attachment relationships. Infants become attached to adults who are sensitive and responsive in social interactions with them.

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Many experts agree that the is the term for our first interactive love relationship-the one we had with our primary caregivers, our mothers. The mother-child attachment bond shapes infants brains, profoundly influencing their self-esteem, their expectations of others, and their ability to attract and maintain successful relationships . Nowadays studies also support that during the early development, the infant-mother interaction and the early social experiences may in the brain of the infant with profound behavioral and emotional effects throughout the whole life . The infant behaviors that have been implicated as resulting from this theoretically compromised mother infant relationship have included slight, transient effects on sociability and affective sharing to results suggesting significant increases in irritability, cognitive delays, behavioral problems, and difficulties with attachment among others .

Overall, following attachment theory, the early connection developed between a primary child care provider and an infant is essential for development. Lacking of experience make it difficult for them to handle the issue about this new member and family transition, especially for the first-time parenthood. The success or failure of the attachment bond has a life-long effect in a persons life.

Maternal employment and infant attachment

Whether and how about the mothers working status affect the infant was a topic of great interest in the 1980s. In the context of mothers increased participation in paid work, attention has also turned to the impact of maternal employment and the use of nonmaternal child care as additional factors likely to affect maternal caregiving and the developing attachment relationship. Many scientists, politicians, and parents were worried about the children, especially infant, would suffer if others but not the moter cared for them most of the time , others argued that such worries were based on oppressive sexist prejudices not data . So debates started, positive or negative influence on the attachment of mother and infant, whether working mothers is taking the responsibility of the infant or not.

Why do mothers go to work

Why mothers go to work; in Hong Kong society, women go to work for more personal and social reasons than for financial reasons. In traditional society, mothers are performing stereotyped roles as be responsible for the household, such as doing housework, preparing dinner, caring of the children and husband. Now in modern society, women are no longer restricted by the traditional mother and wife role. For the economical reason, they want to make more benefits to the family and gain more independence in economic position. For the education standard, women who achieved high educational qualification, want to apply their knowledge to the work and pursue a successful career, and they are needed by the society. For the changing social norms, women are achieving more equalities in work, morevoer, they are not acted as bad moms when they go to work and pay less attention on the children. The whole society tend to accept working mothers.

Though several reasons and conditions mentioned above seem to allow mothers to join the workforce, still many of them face with a dilemma regarding their career and family . Still so many mother feel struggling in the situation of whether to work or not.

Negative aspect of working mothers

According to the above attachment theories, it is easy to acknowledget the harm that would do to the infant lack of attachment. It is to say that negative influences on the development of secure attachment, or even potentially damaging . Fail to provide the child with sufficient structure, recognition, understanding, safety, and mutual accord may lead to become physically and emotionally distant in relationships in later relationship, remain insecure, become disorganized, aggressive and angry, and develop slowly. . A working mother is tend to create an insecure and inconsistent attachment.

Stifter, Coulehan, and Fish , found no significant connections between work status and attachment security, but did caught the public attention of the consideration and inclusion of other variables such as maternal separation anxiety and maternal sensitivity. Specially the research did find that infants of mothers who were employed but reported high work-related separation anxiety were more likely to . And then, a finding suggested that employed mother were less invested in parenthood and had high level of anxiety , implied high anxiety would get in the way of taking good care of the infant.

A baby is supposed to grow up to be loving, well adjusted individual. A full-time employed mother would have missed out on being there and watching the baby from up close. These are important formative period, as a mothers instinct, want to be around to strengthen the attachment bond between mother and infant. The effects of maternal employment of secure mother-infant attachment relationship to be negative of majority according to those researches. These evidences support the hypothesis that working mothers increase the risk of some undesirable outcomes, espacilly in the babys first year.

Positive aspect of working mothers

Do maternal employment have an adverse effect on the children? The answer may be no. In fact, mothers with careers have a positive impact on children, as they serve as good role models. A study in Australia found no relation between maternal employment and infant attachment.

In the early study, Bowlby insisted that separation from the mother should be kept to a minimum . However, in the further study, he developed his statement as a subsidiary attachment figure can meet an infants needs adequately in the primary figures absence . In another words, mother was not the only attachment bond to the baby and this finding gave the mother an opportunity to take a breath during the overwhelming duties. She did not need to take the only responsibility to the feedback towards the infant.

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