I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this dilemma for quite a while now. And today, I’ve finally make the time to actually sit down and blog away. Just a rant I badly need to let it out.
A working mother’s guilt. Not a day goes by that I don’t question my choice. It’s a guilt I secretly been carrying since the day my eldest was born.I’m begining to question myself about the balance I badly needed in my life.Its just too difficult for me to be the kind of mother I wanted to be, prepared a good healthy meal, clean house, play time with my kids and the list goes on.
My family, my kids are my ultimate priority. But as a full time working mom, who spend 9 hours in the office, 5 days in a week, has become a routine of late, I don’t quite enjoyed anymore. The joy of working, having your own money when you first started out at a young age of 22 years old is not the same when you are at your early 30s and have your own family to care for. For me it has become from I liked to work to I had to work. When I’m at work, half my brain is at home and vice versa. Sometimes I feel like I can never quite remain in one state of matter long enough to finish everything or anything. So, if I feel this way, why don’t I just quit and stay home, right? Trust me, I’ve thought about it a lot, and I wish it were that easy.
My mom was a homemaker. Growing up with a stay at home mom, I was blessed with home cooked meal, chauffeur to schools, piano lessons, mengaji, tuition and school activities. I now realize how lucky I was to get her undivided love. I counted my blessing for all the time she’s there for me and my sibling. No doubt there were times I wished she had worked and earn some money of her own, just so we could have the latest toys, coolest shoes/dress that other friends had. Dad work long hours, and often time play golfs with his friends. So mom was basically the one who handle us all, the one always making sure we completed our homeworks and have a proper meal. We are happy to be spending our childhood in the comfort of our home. She’s there for us, during our sad times and good times.
I always assumed that I would stay home too once I have kids, like my mom did with my brothers and me, but things changed- I further my study, received scholarship, graduated with a degree and pursue my career. My children may not have the same attention as I did, and that truly breaks my heart. After my maternity leaves ended, my eldest, Mia , she was send to a babysitter. The same goes with my son, Mike. Despite all that, my daughter Mia grows up to be a smart and beautiful 5 years old girl who loves arts and craft, reading, taking up mandarin and taekwondo and enjoyed attending her montessori school. But she would have to stayed back until 5.30pm until its time for mommy daddy to come and picked her up. Mike, my son, he is a healthy, cheeky and lovable 2 years old boy who has unruly curls to die, for if i may so hehe. For now, this arrangement works best for us.
However, it bothers me will they turn out OK even though they went to day care instead of being home with me? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I spend an awful lot of time worrying about them. I feel like I’m trying to do so many things at once that in the process, I end up doing none of them well. I can’t help but think that stay-at-home moms are happier because they are not trying to do it all. I do thought about taking some time off and stay at home caring for my kids, but in reality, at this moment I don’t think we can afford with one income. Not in this big city with handful commitments.
My latest concern is when it comes the time for Mia to starts her primary school. She will be starting her standard one in 2013. Yes, that’s next year! What added more the pressure is I am now expecting baby no. 3 . It was not in our ‘roadmap‘ but I believe God has better plan for us. Can I cope with 3 children, a school-going child, a toddler, a new born baby, full time working and with no helper? And its just me and my husband in this household. The option of hiring a live-in maid its not in our list (or rather we wish to avoid) . Let’s just say, we have trust issues with maid. Not that we ever had one, but let’s just not go there. I guess what I’m trying to say here, deep down I yearn for my kids to have the same childhood as I did. It’s torturing me reading up news about missing children, bad influence from friends and so on. It’s physically and mentally challenging raising up kids in a city and be a parent in this era.
I want to be with my children every step of the way, but how do I do that? When you are away for 9 hours and coming back home to attend to house chores and kids seeking your attention. What’s left of my energy is not much. I’ve asked couple of friends, how does it feels growing up with a working mom? Do they ever wish at one point of time, they have a full time mommy at home? Two friends told me, they never regretted it. In fact they learned to be independent and were taught invaluable lessons at a young age. They looked up their mom and idolize her. Its so happen I know their mother personally as well, and truly I admired their success. They brought up not only smart children but well mannered too. They turn out fine! And they are now the second generation working mother. I salute you girls!
That being said, I believe SAHM has their own issues as well. But above all, even tho it may not be a glamorous job, no paid leaves, no breaks, it is the highest salaried jobs, since the payment is pure love. The sacrifices they take up just to look after their loves ones, I say is that is priceless. SAHM, you have my absolute respect! What more if you are working at home mommies. You wonder woman!
I’m glad mom now is enjoying her time, doing what she loves , travelling , gardening and golfing. I would not want to burden her taking care my children, as she had enough taken care of us sibling. This is the time for her to rest, put her feet up and enjoy her days with my dad. You are my idol too mom! x
I guess sometimes this guilt can be a warning signal that I need to make a change in my life. Someday, I hope this guilt will be buried and I’ll strike the balance with work and family time. My kid’s wellbeing is always in my prayers. At this moment I’m happy I have an amazing husband who supports me, awesome dad to my kids with a great sense of humor. Thanks Ted! I may not say this often, but we do make a great team kan. Love you! And kids, I hope someday you forgive me for the time I may not gives my full attention because mommy is just big little girl, with no superpower who sometimes get cranky and clueless too. But do know, no matter what I will always be there for you in a heartbeat.
On the other hand, have you watched this movie ‘I don’t know how she does it?’ (stars by SJP). Well, working mom I betcha can relate to it as I did. 🙂
Thanks for hearing me out reader.
p/s: im in my second trimester btw. 🙂