An Assessment Of Roles Of A Working Mother In Child Health

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An Assessment Of Roles Of A Working Mother In Child Health


The study examine the assessment of roles of a working mother in child health in Ikeja local government area of Lagos State. A total 100 questionnaire were administered among working mothers of 10 banks in Ikeja local government area Lagos state.

The variable examined include: academic performance, moral development, social development of the child. Data analysis was simple percentage distributions, while the hypotheses were tested with chi-square statistical were used to test the hypotheses. All the three hypotheses was accepted that is a significant relationship moral development, academic development and social development of the working mothers and those of the non- working mothers.

It was concluded that working mothers should do their home work very well by employing good helper who will be assisting them at home to train their children ,morally, academically and socially before their arrival from office and makes sure that they look at every alternative available to gives their child or wards good moral, academic and social support to better their upbringing.

Mothers should take a work that are less demanding, they should find schools for their children in their environment to reduce mothers dis-attachment from their children and government should implement a policy that would recognize women of child bearing age and put them on a pay role, if it can work in developed countries, it can also work in Nigeria to reduce their stress by giving them pay leave doing rearing and nurturing of babies and children combining.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

A mother can be described as “the female parent of a child” while a working mother combines the family care with her career either in private or public service; they can as well be define as a woman with the ability to combine a career with the added responsibility of raising a child, material aspirations and the necessities of daily life often compel both parents to work. A qualified woman may insist on working to maintain an effective career and be financially independent. The single working mother is a combination of these entities, working not only to run the family, but also maintaining her position as a financially independent head of the family. Mena & Sana, (2002) Mothers work as Teachers, Lawyers, Nurses and other types of occupation.

The role of a mother is to take care of her home; children, husband and immediate family. As mother the children rely on them for everything. The mother is a teacher, a mother that you are, a friend e.t.c. while your husband too will be looking forward to seeing a good wife in you. He wants you to be his friend, companion, assistant and even to serve the role of his mother whether that one is still living or not. You are expected to be a prayer partner for them all. With your children in school; your husband at work and yet they are all looking forward to your prayers and support in every area of life. It is also expected of you to assist your children in their home work when they come back from school, not minding how busy you might have been before their arrival from school. Melissa & Milkie (2009) associate professor of sociology at the university of Maryland, college perk- believes that many factors such as family demands, number of kids, age of the youngest child and time constraints prevent many of today’s mothers from entering or staying in the workforce even if they want to remain on the job. The American Academy of pediatrics [1999] observed that more than half of the population of women are working mothers compared with 30% in the 1970’s. Women find themselves entering the work force before they have children and choosing to stay after they have children, others find out that their family requires two incomes; they may even be the sole source. Abimbola (2009) reported that in the Roman times, women were regarded as “property” that is, things that could be bought. Researchers from the university of North Carolina analyzed more than 10 years of data, starting in 1991 with interviews of 1364 mothers shortly after their child’s birth and following them over a decade.

Home is the point of support around which the early years of a child revolve. The central figures in the home are the parents, especially, the mother (Adeleke, 1990). Child-bearing and child-rearing are inseparable. The type of child-rearing practice has tremendous impact on the entire life of the child including his/her academic, social and psychological, even moral life on his/her entire life or career.

As Adiele (1994) puts it, the social climate or environment in which an indjvidual finds his/her self, to a large extent, determines his/her behavior or personality development, parental guidance and discipline he added, usually influence the behavior of the child. At the apex of this parental influence is the mother.

Mothers’ love for their children is undeniable. Their feminine nature makes them wholesome, soft, passionate and sensitive to the plight of their children and a conducive atmosphere for problem-solving involved (Odomene, 1995).

Chukwuka (1999) opined that in this period of economic hardship, more women (wives or mothers) take up paid employment due to the fact that more women are exposed to the western education and their jobs or careers take them away from their matrimonial home and duties of taking care of their children and wards and the proper upbringing of these children.

In effect, children are often left in the hands and care of the hired care-giver(s) and maids who do not possess the requisite experience to train the child and inculcate maternal-morality and good behavior in the child. In support of this statement, Uzor (2000), points out that children of these days lack adjustment, because, they are mostly brought up by others instead of their mothers. He went ahead to claim that even when these children know the right thing to do, they fail to do them because, their learning to do good from the family (especially from their mothers) is faulty due to mothers’ absence to direct and inculcate the right attitude of children from cradle.

Nkemdirim (2001) states that, for the fact that mothers are absent from their natural duties of upbringing of the child in the right way, the resultant effect is the moral decadence that is prevalent in the society today. A situation where children no longer respect and observe the norms and values expected of them. Elders are no longer cherished and respected by the youths. The youth due to lack of proper and adequate home upbringing by their mothers, are maladjusted to the extent of upholding negative ideas and values such as fighting, drug abuse, examination malpractices, fraud, stealing, lying, promiscuity, disobedience to laid down rules and regulations and indiscriminate sexual relationships both at home, at school and general indisciplinary behaviours perpetuated by youths and the young ones in the society who lack mothers’ care and instructions.

Ayodele (2005), opines that, women in the contemporary society especially mothers, miss out in their daily routine and obligations to their families including the societal adjustment of their children, due to gainful employment either to augment the family’s income or to empower themselves economically in the society in order to be independent of their husbands. Anyanwu (2002) opines that most women who work usually leave very early in the morning and come back late at night, thereby leaving the upbringing of the child in the hands of the immature and inexperienced househelps in the home and in the day care centres. According to Ayo (2003, children left in the cares and upbringing of the inexperienced househelps tend to grow up misbehaviouring and upholding the wrong tenets or values of the society due to non-inculcation of the basic motherly care, directions and role-modelling.

Ikeofuonye (2000) is of the opinion that the mother-child relationship has been weakened by the prolonged absence of the mother from the home due to routine-employment or career opportunity. He opined that mothers who are career women or who engage in employment spend more time at workplaces than in the homes and the effect is lack of motherly guidance and moral counseling. Furthermore, children grow up to become wayward, mal-adjusted and delinquent in the society.

Amaonye (2004) examined the effect of full time employment of wife, mother on husband and children in the home. He found that mothers who are career women/wives, do not rear, in most cases, good or well-behaved children in the community, and that their husbands are not well taken care of due to intervention of employment or career. Awoyinfa (2005) carried out a study on the influence of working mothers on children’s social adjustment. His finding showed that mothers’ career interferes with their home chores and children’s upbringing. Awoyinfa, therefore concluded that full-time house wives make better homes than the working mothers. According to him working mothers have more unstable homes, more maladjusted children and more poor school achievement of idea than non-working or career mothers.

Most adolescents who are brought up by care-givers due to the absence of mothers who are in search of golden fleece in terms of gainful employment or business, grow up to lack etiquette and positive social adjustment (Uzodinma, 2006). No wonder, many children these days, lack good morals and positive values that are upheld in any given society. Most children these days have turned out to be disrespectful to parents and elders in their communities; some of them do not even know the cultures of their communities, not to talk of how to keep and respect them. And the society is at the brink of collapse, because the norms and values that make the society thick have been in constant disregard and violated due to lack of motherly upbringing of children.

As Amakor (2005) put it parents especially, mothers these days, do have the knowledge of child upbringing, but lack the time and opportunities in bringing these children up in proper ways. A situation where a mother wakes up early in the morning and leaves for work while the child is fast asleep and returns very late at night when the child has gone to bed, will cause most children not to even know their mothers, not to talk of having the mother-child bonds or relationships that transpires naturally between mother and child. Parents need to bring up their children and wards in a proper way, teaching them to observe the laid down cultures and traditions of the communities; instructing them to respect and value the societal norms and values, ethics and good moral behaviours that a child needs to imbibe in order to grow into acceptable adolescence and adulthood in the society. (Mumonye, 2003).

Science daily {July 21,2011)- parent struggling to combine paid work with child development now have positive news thanks to a new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on maternal employment and socio-emotional behavior in the UK. The researcher fined that there are no significant detrimental effects on a child’s social or emotional development if their mothers work during their early years. If women are forced to forgo income- earning opportunity this can result in lower nutritional status in their children (Engle 1991). Some studies have shown that income earned by women has more of a positive effect on a child’s nutritional status than does income earned by men (Kennedy & Cogill 1987; Johnson 1988, Buvinic 1992).

Science daily (January 23,2012)-Working mothers may be busy, but they like it that way, A recent study of employed Moms finds that most would work even if they didn’t have to, but they’re also looking for new ways to negotiate the demands of mothering and the new pressures to be an “ideal” employee.

Nutritional relationship may be neglected in the quest to complete and meet all targets at home as well as at work (Finn, 2000). These women, whom Finn calls Everyday Heroes, use everything from the dashboard to the desktop as a dinning table. The result is an amazing variety of nutritional deficiencies, ranging from Iron and vitamins to proteins. Despite confiding in their physicians many just do not get the support they need. Moreover the nutritional status of pre-schoolers may be compromised when older siblings are the alternate care providers, which is of great concern since one pattern emerging from the literature is the widespread use of older siblings primarily girls, as child caretakers (Engle 1991; Leslie & Paolisso, 1989). In Brazil, 13% of pre- school children in poor families with working mothers are taken care of by siblings age 7-13, or they are left alone. (Levison, 1990) Some studies have suggested that whether or not mothers work in the first year of a child’s life can be particularly important for later outcomes-Dr Anne Mcmumm.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Right from the day of conception, the mother has always been the closest parent to the child. It is a thing of joy to her to see her child blossom normally, not just physically, but also emotionally and socially. In most modern societies, the help of qualified medical personnel has helped mothers in the health appraisal of their children, very importantly, from the early stages of childbirth. However, as the child develops, far away from the four walls of a hospital, a major part of the health responsibilities of the child falls on the parent. The question then, is – Are mothers living up to their obligations in this regard? Are they rising up to the occasion? These and more are what this study aims to find out – to assess the roles of a mother in child health.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The specific objectives of this study are:

  1. Assess whether mother’s career affects the moral development of the child.
  2. Examine whether there is a difference between the academic performance of children brought up by non-working mothers.
  3. Compare the social development of children of the working mother and those of the non-working mothers.

1.4 Research Question

  1. Whether mother’s career affects the moral development of the child.
  2. Will there be a differences in academic performance of children brought up by non-working mothers and working mothers.
  3. Would you compare social development of children of the working mothers and those of the non-working mothers.

1.5 Research hypotheses

  1. There is no significant relationship between moral development of the children of working mothers and those of the non-working mothers.
  2. There is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of the children of the working mother and those of the non-working mothers.
  3. There is no significant relationship between the social development of the children of the working mothers and those of the non-working mothers.

1.6 Significance of the study

The findings of this study may help to Educate, Transform and to inform mothers, husband of working mothers, relatives of working mother and the world at large to know the effect of working on child health. It has been observed that many marriages have crumbled for lack of care from parents to children especially working mother. [ Tolutope, 2012].

1.7 Definition of Terms

Working mothers:

Any woman who has children and works outside the home.

Non-working mothers:

Any woman who has children, but is not in the work force.


Being studied very closely.


Becomes weaker.


Economic Social Research Council


Children that have not started school

Child caretakers:

Anybody that is looking after the child apart from the parents

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