Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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worth will be best placed to make motherhood a triumph of spirit and energy, whilst those who flounder in pre-maternal life due to low self esteem will most likely find themselves facing similar predicaments during motherhood. The solution is to use self development tools such as yoga to build up your self image and self understanding.
   An important way to improve the worth of motherhood is to offer support to other women and to receive it from them. Rather than letting the current "us versus them", mothers versus non-mothers paradigm prevail, mothers and mothers-to-be must band together to help empower and revalue this important species-sustaining role. Towards this end you may be drawn into large organisations to help achieve this or else you may just meet occasionally with a few other local mothers to support each other informally. All ways are beneficial to this cause and all ways will help you personally, to enliven your mothering.
   Since 50% of the population are women, and 75% of them will become mothers during their lifetime, and 100% of all people have had a mother, how can there currently be such derision of motherhood in our culture? Not coming solely from men and the non-parents in our culture, much of it in fact must come from our own quarter! Any increase in maternal dissatisfaction gives rise to growing negativity towards motherhood, as well as fuels a declining birth rate. So many mothers are just not happy being mothers, and they are telling others the same thing much of the time. The only antidote, rather than blaming others, can be to improve your own lot, revalue yourself and thereby your value as a mother, then to spread the good word about what this wonderful calling can offer.
   I know it can be hard to present motherhood as a valuable role in the culture that surrounds us. Far too often I have experienced the ignorance and prejudice against being the mother of a large family. Sometimes I am addressed like a second-rate citizen, made feel unwelcome, and some people even have the audacity to ask me if I really meant to have so many children - as if I can't possibly have wanted to ruin my life with such a burden! At times, I am challenged to justify my position. And I do, vigorously, not just for myself, but for all women who are, and who may one day want to be, mothers.

The Effects of Working Motherhood
   As to how the working life of a mother affects the upbringing of her children, studies the world over have provided

differing assessments about the effects it can have on children, but nothing definitive about what effects it does have. This is only to be expected, because it is not necessarily the circumstances of her employment, but rather the quality of her mothering that will affect her children the most.  All such evaluations can really only be academic anyway, because the situation for every family will vary so much from time to time and child to child. Parental neglect, (which may or may not be related to the number of hours the mother is away and a child is left unguided and unloved), has definitely be shown to affect children in adverse ways.
   The collective results of working outside the home ostensibly "for the benefit of the family", may or may not actually benefit the family from the broader viewpoint. More than bringing in income and what is provided materially to the family from that, I believe the outcome depends more upon what is lost to the family by her absence. If a mother's employment enhances her homelife by enlivening her spirit and adding harmony to the family, then it is a good thing. But all too often the stress of a job enters a home, overtly and surreptitiously degrading its function. Nowadays, with so much emphasis on overwork and overtime, so many workers are coming home tired and miserable. It is therefore obvious that if any job is taxing you to the point of being moody, angry, grumpy, tired, sleepless, disinterested, consistently unwell, lazy, or scattered during your home times, then that work will surely be taking a toll on your children, irrespective of the financial income it may bring.
   If a mother's outside work requires the minding of her children, the quality of that childcare and the child's acceptance of it will also ripple through into the family. If the child truly wants to go to childcare, is not unduly taxed in terms of their energy, eats well there, gets quality love and attention there, gets a rest when they should, and upon coming home behaves according to your normal expectations - then there can be no criticism of such lifestyle choices. But if, over time, you notice your child's lifeforce and spirit waning, their behaviour at home or in childcare becomes aberrant, they resist going to childcare (or they resist coming home from it), they are frequently unwell, they react by becoming more attached to you when you are around, then a situation is developing where the child is (unconsciously) giving you notice that they are not happy with the situation. If left to continue, this situation will only lead to their increasing resentment of your employment and deterioration of their trust in your judgment as their primary carer.

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Please Note:
The complete ‘Mother As First Guru’ Set also contains Book 2 + 2 audio cds. Book 2 relating to comprehensive Yoga Practices as well as the Audio Instructional practices (2 cd set) are only available with your purchase and is NOT available on the Reading Room.

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