Challenges that Working Mothers may Face after Returning to India
After spending years of life abroad, many Non-Resident Indians (NRIs – people from other countries who are Indian by origin, who have lived out of the country for years or who are expatriates) are setting the trend of returning to their native land India. There are several reasons NRIs return home. In addition to a love of the motherland, often economic setback forces them to return. After returning, they face adjustment problems. It is not easy to settle in a new place, but after living in an entirely different culture, many people struggle to merge with the Indian culture.
And it’s not just the family’s wage earner who has to adjust. Each and every member of the family faces difficulty. Working parents start their work life from the beginning of a career. Children must make new friends and get used to seeing a different blend of people around them. But the one who suffers the most is often the mother, especially the working mother.
The work of a homemaker or a working woman starts with setting up a house in a “new” country. The style of living is different and there are lifestyle changes. One major concern most NRIs face is maintaining the religious beliefs and customs of their families, which Indian culture is built around.
Secondly, the woman has to build an active social life for her family. Making friends within the neighborhood is very essential. Again, this is a challenge because the social scene is different in India compared to abroad. It is also the duty of the mother to look after her children and their behavior…
A real challenge begins for a working mother when she leaves the home and goes to work in India. Work cultures are different in the new workplace. For example, her previous employer might only have been worried about efficiency and productivity not about working hours, but the new employer gives more importance to working hours than overall efficiency and hard work. Working hours and days may also vary. And benefits to working mothers may be given less importance.
Women returning to India, whether as homemakers or working mothers should be aware of the differences in cultures around them and be prepared to adjust.