The breaking down of the joint family has led to a loosening of extended family relationships. The powerful motherinlaw of the joint family is emerging as the subdued caretaker of children, helping the educated daughterinlaw to augment the double income of all upwardly mobile young couples. The large, amorphous, supportive joint family that supported a wide variety of people, physically and otherwise challenged, has been reduced to the nuclear family where everyone is in sharp focus. Where there is no place to hide—much like the modern corporation, where there is no place for passengers, everyone has to pull his weight.
There should be one person who can be a shock absorber in the family. Someone who is not too busy to listen, to support, to manage the daily tasks of living. This could even be a paid caregiver or a cook. Networking is the key for working mothers. Networking with parents, in-laws, neighbours, domestic help and friends.