• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Changing lifestyle of modern parents


Zainab Adamu was a bit apprehensive this Monday morning. She was running late for work. She’s been up as early as 5am to get her baby ready for a neighbouring crèche, where she drops her before she leaves for the office. Her efforts to get things ready on time this morning seemed not good enough.

Zainab felt bad that she had to force her six-month-old baby out of bed so early on a cold rainy morning like this. “If things had worked out well, he ought to still be in bed,” she thought to herself, as she inserts the key into the car ignition.

Waking up very early every day of the week had been an unpleasant experience for Zainab. Leaving her baby at a crèche is a better option due to the demands of her job. Her husband’s job has been equally demanding, as he returns home later than Zainab. As the chief executive office of a micro-finance bank, he operates a very tight schedule.

Psychologists have embarked on an extensive study on the effect of the roles of parents in the home. A psychological study reveals that increasingly more Nigerian parents are combining parenthood with career, which makes their families suffer from neglect.

On her part, Damilola Taiwo is lucky that her son doesn’t sleep early so she spends few moments with him before he goes to bed. “Funny enough, my baby doesn’t sleep early, he’s wide awake whenever I get home so I get to spend some time with him and then we go to bed together (I don’t mind this for the selfish reason that I get to stay with him some hours before bed time when we sing and play; after all he sleeps all afternoon anyway.) But that will have to stop when school starts,” says Taiwo.

The other challenge for most parents is the type of discipline they would like to enforce on their children, but they can’t really do this since they entrust their children’s care on another. “I really can’t enforce the kind of discipline I’d like because I’m not there,” explains Taiwo. “For instance, my son always wants to eat whenever he sees people with something edible, which I find annoying but which my nanny encourages anytime my back is turned. I also would have loved to potty train him earlier, but have no choice than to wait for him to grow a bit older since I need to be consistent to achieve results but then I can only do that if I’m around most of the time.”

In addition, studies have revealed that if the head of the home, in this case the father, is supportive and works flexible hours, especially if he runs his own business or gets to close earlier than his wife, he can pick up the children from school and stay with them at home to help them with their homework. He can spend time with the children when his wife is not around without minding.

One of the measures employed by Adebisi Adetutu and her husband is to minimise their weekend outings for them to spend quality time with their children. “We only attend important occasions so that my husband and I can spend time with our children. And you know what that means? It means our reputation with our friends won’t be good at all. But we have to prioritise. Then I have days when the children were just a hand full and all I want to do is sleep so I just lock myself up in a room and leave them with their dad,” according to the wife.

Tomisin Akinremi says organisation is key to having a good family that will develop at par with the career without one affecting the other.

“Whichever way you look at it, organisation is very important. I have friends who are full-time house wives and they still have challenges as well. So, it’s about time you work out people and resource management to suit your needs. It’s possible to combine motherhood with a busy lifestyle. How difficult or easy it will be now depends on your family, type of job, your husband and most especially, the individual. But like some people say, full-time motherhood is also a career, especially when you can’t find reliable people to look after the children or when you have a job that demands that you travel frequently or work every weekend,” explains Akinremi.