[vc_custom_heading text="A happy family is no longer a barometer of success. Children are not seen as purpose, but obligations, duties, by-products of existence, even collateral damage. "][vc_column_text]We generally overlook the personal and family life of a professional while judging his/her calibre. However, skeletons of even successful people in our midst keep spilling into public domain every now and then due to some or the other dubious reason. Such is the aura of success that it overshadows all the flaws and frailties in a person. This is because we tend to consider achievers in professional and social life as infallible or treat their failings unworthy of notice.

This is also the reason why most of our celebrities meticulously keep their personal lives under wraps away from public glare.  While individual weaknesses are common to all mortals across the board, when it comes to the rich and famous they are invariably pronounced. What is all the more disappointing is that the constant struggle to achieve goals set for future successes leaves them little time for course correction unlike the lesser mortals.

However, today’s competitive atmosphere has rendered the dubious distinction of elite achievers irrelevant. Working overtime is no longer the distinction of the rich and famous. Bitten by competition bug, almost everyone is working overtime to improve his/her career prospects thereby blurring the lines between professional and personal, work and life.

What is all the more intriguing is that this abnormality is passed off as a new normal. So much so that people have started feeling guilty while taking a holiday for their families. Sacrificing family for work is treated as noble.

A happy family is no longer seen as barometer to gauge one’s success. Children are not seen as purpose, but as obligations, duties, by-products of existence, even collateral damage.

We admire leaders who sacrifice family for a ‘larger cause’. Like freedom fighters who neglect their wives and children. Like businessmen, entrepreneurs and consultants who spend most of their time in office.

As more and more women are working their career pursuits leaves them with little time for parenting. The job is often outsourced to maids, teachers, computers, videogames and grandparents.

Though women are not compensated for work in the office by their husbands spending more time at home, they are made to feel guilty for not being good homemakers or mothers. Men, on the other hand, are invariably free from the guilt conscious. They are never questioned for not being good fathers.

Career oriented parents keep reassuring themselves that office is more important than the children. They would say we need the money. Children will eventually grow up no matter how much time you spend with them. But career and money are also important to fulfil their needs.

They conveniently ignore what their children miss in the process. Starved of love and longing by their parents, their children are the real worry for future as they grow up. Frustration due to lack of love and care at home such children are bound to seek these outside at risk to their emotional and physical well being. They even can take to unlawful means to fulfil their emotional vacuum.

Both men and women need to balance work and their obligation towards family for harmony in life. The society cannot abdicate its responsibility to facilitate the transition from traditional to modern. It has to reframe its values and create new role models so that everyone fits into them.[/vc_column_text]

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The opinion expressed in the article is of the writer. Writer is a freelance journalist/journalist based in Delhi

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