– Happy Mother –
Are you a happy mother? How to be a happier mother?
All research agrees on loving care as an essential ingredient in healthy child development. But there is increasing doubt that the 24hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week mother is the best way to provide it. Two recent studies have come up with the same result: 40 per cent of the mothers who stay at home with children under five are depressed.
Doctor Michael Rutter and Doctor Steward Prince, among others have shown that depressed mothers produce depressed, neurotic and backward children. There are many other mothers who, without being depressed, are exhausted and, therefore, oppressed by the unending repetitive task of caring for a baby, or by the constant demands of a young child, and so get less pleasure from their children than they might. So you have to be a happy mother.
A full-time mother at home is very likely to feel imprisoned and depressed. A depressed mother can be psychologically very damaging to her child because she will certainly not be able to give proper attention to it. Thus you must try to be a happy mother.
There is good evidence that withdrawal of attention is more harmful to children than physical absence. Therefore, a husband with common sense will certainly agree to make arrangements so that the mother can take some time off to pursue her own interests. He may choose to stay at home and take over the responsibility or a baby sitter may be employed. Any arrangement will do the mother good as long as … is regular and doesn’t involve renegotiation every time. Because of that you should be a happy mother.
For instance, once a week, a completely free day and evening during which the mother is relieved of all responsibility is optimal. She can visit friends, go to a museum, or spend all morning buying a pair of shoes and she needn’t come back until she feels like it. The only rule is that she must go out, not stay at home doing housework. It is actually best of all if arrangements are made so that parents can regularly spend a night out together. Finally you can easily be a happy mother.
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