Prior to motherhood, I had always enjoyed working (more than schooling!). Not so much because of the work itself, but mainly because it is a sense of achievement and satisfaction one derived from accomplishing certain goals at work. Maybe it is the competitive streak in me that wants to be the best I can be.
But lots have changed ever since pregnancy to motherhood. This March, I quit my full time job at RW and decided to become a Stay-At-Home-Mother (SAHM). Somewhat. I knew that I am not suited to be a “full-fledge” SAHM as I do not excel in household chores and baby minding. And on top of it, a dual income family enjoys more financial freedom. Thus, the decision to venture into property – I became an estate agent. Armed with a honours degree in real estate, I decided to tackle this full commission-based but flexible hours job.
Probably the decision came easy because I had such a tough pregnancy that I want to give my best (time) to my son. I am not so sure if I would have done the same if I had an easy going pregnancy. Previously, I had always admired friends/cousin who willingly left their jobs to concentrate on taking care/educating their young kids. This is very often a comprise in social interaction and finances in many middle-income families. BUT now I totally understand why they made the choice – The rewards totally outweigh the sacrifices!
Many of my Full-Time-Working-Mothers (FTWM) friends lament that they missed the milestones of their children. The first crawl, the first waving of hands, the first step, the first word, the first clap and etc. And hearing the milestones are just so different from witnessing them yourself. I knew I don’t want to hear; I want to be part of it!
Of course, the FTWM have their own woes – mostly $ driven which I can’t deny is a very critical survival factor in this society. It is probably a very tough decision.
But being a SAHM definitely have its own drawbacks too. Everyday is about the same – wake up (very early mostly), feed, burp, wash, change. And the cycle just kept repeating itself. When the baby becomes a toddler, then the headache is to find things for them to play (to exhaust their energy) before their nap. All these can be fun if you just do it for a few days. But when days become weeks and months, it can really be a test of patience and energy. It is easier if you have help (another pair of hands) but I knew of some friends who simply coped on their own. Thinking back – I really do not know how our mothers did it!
On the grandmothers’ topic – they are just amazing! I am able to work flexibly now because of the great help my mum gave me. Sometimes, I think she is physically much stronger than I am. And of course, she is also like an octopus! She can wash, cook, mop, watch baby and etc all together! And it is amazing she is still sane at the end of the day! Kudos to all grandmothers and my mum especially!
So what am I actually. I am a hybrid. A SAHM cum FTWM! I am happy to be part of Xi En’s growing up years and yet glad that I can keep in touch with work and earn some pocket money. It is probably the best arrangement at this stage. Though definitely $ is less than before, the joy of being there outweighs it out.
Recalling what my cousin shared with me – I want to be there when he still wants me.
“For what will profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul.” Mark 8:36
Disclaimer: This is just Eve babbling away on a rainy day.. Nothing against any SAHM or FTWM. Enjoy your role whatever choice you made.