Zululand Observer - Weekender

Saluting the modern multi-tasking mothers

At the start of Women’s Month, let’s take our hats off to the thousands of women juggling the demands of advancing their careers, raising families and managing their household all at the same time. It is okay to drop the ball when you are a working mom tr

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THE most fulfilling part of my working day on Tuesday was watching a close colleague dance for joy after receiving a text message that she had passed her exams with distinctio­n.

The 43-year-old mother, who has been a domestic worker all her life, is studying towards a degree in education.

She has seven modules left, which will take her another two years to complete.

It has been an incredible journey watching her weigh through volumes of study material and swot notes inbetween washing dishes and cleaning counters.

At night she has to cook dinner, clean the house and help the children with homework while also stealing time to study.

This sacrifice is one she is willing to make and is a ticket to a better life.

This achievemen­t might not make headlines, but for the eSikhaleni mom, it is an amazing feat and motivates her to persevere.

Having been there and studying while working, I can relate to the millions of mothers countrywid­e who are working hard to advance their careers, raise a family and manage the household all at the same time.

Times have changed and while many mothers would prefer to stay at home and raise their children, this option is just not possible for most.

Unless a spouse can support the family financiall­y, a second income is a necessity. This is where women have no choice but to bear the financial burden while juggling to be a good mom and simultaneo­usly carving out a career.

For the single moms, there is no safety net – they hustle daily to make ends meet in economical­ly tough times while solely caring and providing for their children. The struggle is real.

As we begin national Women’s Month, let us take a moment to acknowledg­e the important and often unseen role that women play in society, the workplace and in the home.

During August, the pages of newspapers across the country are filled with the outstandin­g achievemen­ts of women driving job creation, setting new benchmarks, climbing the corporate ladder, taking the lead in the public service as well as positively impacting the social fibre of society.

But what about the over-committed working mom multi-tasking just to make ends meet while keeping her family and household together?

Hats off to the night shift mothers, who are still getting up to feed their babies and change diapers and be back at the grind the next day. (I’m patting myself on the back here!)

What about the thousands of women being abused behind closed doors? Despite the emotional and physical trauma and pain she bears inside, she puts a smile on her face and tackles another day at the office.

And what about the mother who is financiall­y overstretc­hed but still manages to stay on top of hectic schedules at work and keep up with the kids’ school needs?

Mind you, she still needs to look the part, stay in shape, dress well and appear perfectly groomed.

It is okay to drop a ball when you are a working mom trying to get through a 25-hour day. We are not super women!

To the strong women who are making a positive change in Zululand daily, contributi­ng to the bottom line of many a company and preserving the family unit at home, we salute you!

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