The main purpose of this study was to investigate balancing motherhood and family responsibilities. Five objectives and five research questions were formulated, with five related Null hypotheses. Also related literatures were reviewed for this study. Descriptive survey research design was adopted. The population for the study was drawn from five working organizations in Mgbagbo-Owa in Enugu state. The population consisted of six thousand, nine hundred and forty (6,940) women. Samples for the study was three hundred and fifty (350) women selected using proportional sampling technique. The instrument used for the collection of data was the questionnaire. The data collected were statistically analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), standard deviation, t-test, and mean statistics. The null hypotheses were statistically tested at significant level of 0.05. The Null hypotheses one, three and four were tested with analysis of variance (ANOVA) while null hypotheses two and five were tested using paired sample t-test. It was observed that the null Hypotheses one, two and three were rejected, while null hypotheses, four and five were accepted. The results obtained from the study revealed that mothers who failed to balance up their family and work responsibilities faced the problem of losing their family members including husbands and children. The results further revealed that mothers’ absence had a great effect in the performance of their home activities, which in turn had effect on their well-being such as stress and related diseases. The results also stated that certain strategies should be adopted to obtain a balance. It was recommended from the findings that, employed mothers should engage in flexible, stress free and timely jobs, and should have a means of mobility, and the use of house helps where necessary. It was also recommended that the government (Ministry of Women Affairs) should enforce the reduction of hours spent at work place by career women to help them perform better at home. .

• Background to the Study
Historically, women have played diverse roles such as house wives, homemakers as well as mother’s in-charge of the operations of their homes. In the past, the women’s position was restricted to the home and she accepted her place (home) and modeled her life accordingly. (Perimuter and Hall, 1985). Women, by biological constitution have been recognized as mothers and nurtures of children. They plan and cook meals and also take care of the house, thus they occupy a central position in determining the quality of life the house holds and the community (Titilayo, 2000). Traditionally, women were regarded as child bearers whose activities were usually limited to the home. As home makers, their responsibilities prevented their active involvement in work outside the home. This situation makes father (husband) the family chief providers.

However with social challenges of expansion and development, women have deviated from their traditional roles to seek education, occupation and remunerated work to establish some degree of economic security in the home. (Osagie, 1994) The number of women now taking employment outside the home has increased rapidly.

A research study by Diale (2000) revealed that women were found in the service of industries like nursing, teaching, secretarial works, military, banking and beauty industrial.

In the beginning, women worked in the farms, served their men folks, procreated and slaved for their children and died in the process. Many of those who lived led a life of poverty and illiteracy and were on lookers to the affairs of the community and nation (Hutjes and Feldman, 2001). Traditionally, the society expects that the woman should keep the home and works in the farms and these also affect the education and exposure made available to young girls. According to Onyekachi (1998), the growing number of women receiving college/ university education meant that their set roles differed from that of their mothers and grand mothers. Many women now planned independent careers as ministers of the gospel, photographers and politicians.

A number of studies have identified reasons why women worked. Lucas (1984) identified that women worked to supplement family income, self support and be part of the nation force. Uche (1990) stated that women worked to escape boredom and to satisfy professional goals.

Many women in developing countries including Nigeria engaged in paid work for their family and for the community. Many household businesses also depended on the labour of women. This paid works by women generated some form of output which contributed to the family’s welfare by producing wages and income. Balancing work and family responsibilities therefore, is a challenge for many families today. Keeping these areas in balance will help reduce stress and have a healthy family life, good work relationship, which results to a sense of satisfaction by the home maker (Oklahoma, 2005).

A family is the basic unit of any society, thus the welfare of any nation depends on the quality of each family Giderbrand (1997) , described a family as two or more persons related by birth, marriage who reside in the same household. The family has been referred to as the basic unit of society where individuals receive most of their personal satisfaction and most importantly where the personality of its members is formed (Titilayo, 2000). The family is a group consisting of one or two parents and their children. Family can also be described as a group of closely related people known by a common name and consisting usually a man, his wife and his children. Encyclopedia (2009) saw the family as a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood or adoption consisting of a single household interacting with each other in their respective social, position of husband and wife, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters who share create and maintain a common culture. Cognitive component of the workers input is a fundamental part of managing the home. The cognitive component described the contribution of thinking, using knowledge, seeking and defining goals making plans, paying attention during work and making judgment as work progresses. (Stedle and Bratton in Beckman, 2005). Cognitive component is needed by a home maker to carry out or perform household activities.

Anyakoha and Eluwa (1999) came up with four steps involved in management process which includes: planning, organizing, implementing and evaluation, therefore, when the home maker is stressed, the cognitive component is affected negatively. www.wikipedia (2009) explained, that time as one of the resources available to the family which includes human and materials resource. Temporal components are the time of the workers and how she allocates the activities (Anfani, 1993). Factors affecting temporal components include control of time, timing and time allocation. The home maker should be able to control her time by restricting, limiting and managing it. Other constrain in time management while she work outside work is the freedom she has in household task, this includes flexible, inflexible events and home makers preference.

The inflexible events include the time being, in work place which can affect the time allocated to household activities and children.

Anyakoha and Eluwa (1999), defined fatigue as a reduction of physical, mental work or weariness from labour. All these would stress the home maker. The severity of physical exercise have complete and profound effect on the home maker while trying to balance work and family responsibilities, these physical problems due to fatigue include stress , peptic ulcer, central pile, weariness, insomnia, hypertension and other related diseases. Hornby (2000), defined fatigue as a feeling of being extremely tired usually because of hard work or exercise. In doing work, it is useful to consider the body as made up three major weights which must be supported that is the head, the chest and the pelvic must be balanced during work.

National Centre for Health (1998), and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2008), said mothers who worked outside the home were often in the difficult position of balancing work and family responsibilities with employment obligation. This balancing act became more challenging for low income women who were often the sole bread winners with primary responsibilities of managing the health of their families equally; difficult when work schedule is fixed and rigid. Dunkan (1995) explained that the motherhood of a woman is diverse; therefore favourable conditions should be provided to ease her work. The home is a place where character is formed; it is a place of refuge, peace, harmony and beauty. Outside the home are all relationship which are superficial, the manger and the maker of the home is the woman. She is therefore, expected to develop an attractiveness that would draw the husband and her children home, at the close of the days work , but nevertheless, she also involves in other activities outside the home so as to support the family in which have an effect on the home makers physical , cognitive, emotional and temporal wellbeing. (Women Mirror, 2003).

• Statement of the Problem
The researcher with personal experience and interactions with women observed that many home makers have multiple roles such as caring for spouse, children, parent, doing outside work, and yet being over looked by the society. Mothers, who work outside the home, are often in difficult position of balancing family responsibilities with employment obligations. The researcher interacted and discovered that home makers were at the bridge of balancing work and family up-keep. These in turn affected the thinking, paying attentions, making plans, and decision making, which made it impossible for them to manage their time effectively. The researcher during interaction with spouse of working class women observed that men complained bitterly about their spouses jobs which did not give them opportunity to attend to their family responsibilities such as cooking , taking care of the children and the man who should be cared for. On the long run all these could result into divorces, separation and even unfaithfulness from both the male and the female counterparts. These are serious problem that need to be looked into so that solutions can be provided.

Morrow and Young (1977), opined that a child success in school literacy programmed often depended on the experiences he or she has at home. For example, it has been found by Chase, Michael; and Desai (1991); that boys were more adversely affected by mother’s employment than girls. In a research conducted by Emerita and Arbor (1998), it was found that sons and daughters of employed working mothers did well academically but showed social, emotional and character maladjustment. This was due to the fact that educational facilities were provided, but parent–children relationship was lacking.

Schone (1999), reported that women missed an average of seven (7) days in a month for personal or family obligation compared to one (1) day for men. This level of absence affected the perception of women dedication to their jobs which led to women being taken less serious and possible loss of job. As a result of economic hardship, most mothers in Nigeria are employed to make ends meet, therefore creating a vacuum-maternal absence in the family. The pace, at which maternal employment and divorce rate have increased, however is so rapid that many people failed to recognize its prevalence. The role of mothers is very crucial. Combes (2001), noted from research that enhancing a mother’s own capacity can lead to the stimulation and support of child’s mental development and pave the way for success in latter learning. Most parents left their homes in search of wealth and education, leaving their children at the mercy of the house helps and siblings.

Duxbury and Higgins (2001), affirmed that women have the same working schedules and working conditions like men, but the family responsibilities which women carried out made it difficult for them to have a balance. Women were then still responsible for looking after the home and family than men did. Therefore, the research was to create awareness to this fact, so that a balance can be attained. The researchers interactions with friends and colleagues in workplace also confirmed that, most employed mothers have shifted their responsibilities of home making, child upbringing and spouse care to the hands of neighbours, house helps, and daycare centres. These are problems to many homes today. All these experiences and incidences moved the researcher to think that maternal involvement in paid employment outside the home brought challenges and problems in family relationship.

• Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study was to investigate the effect of balancing motherhood and family responsibilities, effect on the home maker and family. While the specific objectives were to:

• identify different careers of women embark on and their reasons to work outside the home;

• examine the effect of mothers’ absence on home activities.

• investigate the extent to which maternal employment has affected married women performance in family relationship;

• determine the effects of the number of hours spent in home and work place, and home makers well-being; and

• find out the strategies used by home makers to have a balance between motherhood and family responsibilities.

• Research Questions
The following research questions were answered:

• What are the different careers women embark on and their reasons to work outside the home?

• What are the effects of mothers’ absence on home activities?

• To what extent does maternal employment affects women roles in family relationship?

• To what extent does the number of hours spent, in home and work place, affect the home makers’ well-being?

• What are the strategies that can be used to have a balance between motherhood and family responsibilities?

• Null Hypotheses

The following Null Hypotheses formulated were tested at 0.05 level of significance:

Ho1: There is no significance difference between the career women embark on and their reasons to work outside the homes.

Ho2: There is no significance difference between the effects of mothers’ absence from home and the performance of home activities.

Ho3: There is no significance difference between maternal employment and their roles in family relationship.

• Significance of the Study
The outcome of the research will serve as an encouragement to the family to see the need to participate and support employed mothers to balance up their responsibilities. Furthermore, employed mothers will use the knowledge of the outcome of this work to plan on how to cope and manage paid employment outside the homes and still raise children effectively and take care of their husbands.

The findings will help to guide the government (Ministry of Women Affairs), Human Right Organizations, NGOs like Women in Nigeria (WIN), etc. to note the work load a woman has in the home so that a flexible working condition would be given to her. The results of this study could be inculcated in the Beijing declaration.

The result will help teachers and curriculum planners to develop and evaluate intervention designed to guide adolescent girls, and get their minds prepared on the task ahead where if inculcated in the Home Economics classes and sex education can be helpful.

The result of this study will help women (particularly employed mothers), Women Commission, Social Welfare Department, policy makers on family matters to gain insight into the social maladjustment of family when the mothers attention is divided. In addition the result will serve as terms of reference for future research and also bridge the gap created by previous findings.

• Delimitation of the Study
The study covered “Effect of balancing motherhood and Family Responsibilities, among Women in Ezeagu Local Government Area.” The study was delimited to married women in five selected working organizations employed by Federal or State Government, private organizations, self employed, military and paramilitary, medical sector and banking sectors. The study was conducted in Ezeagu Local Government Area; the rationale behind restricting the population on the selected area were based on the fact that more employed women were found in urban areas.

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