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India recognizes the ideal of motherhood as the highest for a woman. In our society, the role of a
mother has always been portrayed either as a protector of her children or a complete caregiver.
The Bhagavad Gita says that " Motherhood is another name of dedication, the selfless love and
devotion towards the infant or children are grown from the seeds of innocence, no cunning,
scheming, selfish motives here". It was believed that there is no mode of life that is superior to
serving one's mother. This is the way motherhood had always been identified and glorified in
our society. In India, motherhood is central to the social and cultural system. Motherhood and
childrearing are regarded as normal duties within women's lives. Since India began economic
reforms in the early 1990s, women have been streaming into the urban workforce, initially as
government office workers but now increasingly as employees in the flourishing service sectors
and in professional jobs. Overall the number of employed women has roughly doubled in 15
years. From the early 1950's many employed mothers began to challenge the prevailing
discourse of the ideal mother. Many women are drawn to work outside the home despite
criticism demonstrates the economic and psychological importance of employment for women.
This change has resulted in an increase in the number of mothers who no longer fit into that
traditional image of motherhood. In today's society the meaning of the 'motherhood' is quite
complex, describing a broad range of women whose responsibilities vary significantly.
Understanding what motherhood means is challenging because the responsibilities of mothers
are constantly changing. "Women can find themselves in flux, constantly needing to manage
and negotiate their own identities by continuously reflecting on the conflicting expectations of
what it means to be a mother". Participation of women into labor force contributed to shaping
mothers' personal understanding of their identities, as well as society's understanding of the
identities of mothers. This, in turn, plays a part in defining what it means to be a mother in
contemporary society."Mothers from different social backgrounds may experience motherhood
differently and have different understandings of what motherhood means. At the same time
there are commonalities in the experiences of mothering since they live in the same society
and motherhood is socially constructed through common discourses" (Nowak, Thompson 2001:
407). There are many variables of the issues such as economic, social and emotional issues
influence a mother's choice whether to stay at home with her children or work outside the home.
Therefore, to contemporary employed women, motherhood is a day-to-day experience of
managing jobs and childrearing. In today's society, women are defining motherhood as a
"choice" that brings them a lot of joy. However, childrearing has posed the biggest challenge to
the employed mothers. Most of employed mothers encountered a number of difficulties in
balancing between child-care activities and job. Thus, female labor force participation, has given
rise to a new plethora of controversy o v e r whether motherhood is a "golden goal of feminine"
(Leighton, 1975, p.g-189) or it is a hindrance to career development for employed
women in modern society.