I was a stay-at-home mom (albeit a brief one) and a full-time working mom. Currently, I’m a part-time working mom who does work in the office and sometimes, at home (WAHM?). My conclusion? NONE of these options alleviate mommy-guilt. Sorry to burst your bubble here.
Part-time working mom may seem like an ideal role for many of us mums who want to achieve work-life balance. I am grateful to have this option as it gives me an identity other than a mother and allows me to keep up with trends in the real working world more easily.
However, this is not a have-it-all arrangement. There is still a constant struggle trying to meet the needs of both work and family. There will still be days I need help with the kids from the husband or my parents when I’m stuck at work or badly need some me-time. There will still be days I need help and understanding from my colleagues when I can’t stay back after work or pitch in more due to family commitments.
PTWM is a very lonely role, to be honest. With lesser hours at work, I no longer have the luxury of time to chat and snack with my colleagues when we take a break from our spreadsheets. Instead I need to up my productivity and clear as much work as I can when I’m in the office.
Because of how my hours are arranged now, I don’t get to go to work with the Husb anymore. That means giving up the only time we can have proper conversations with each other without a kid or two interrupting us. Gotta work on that.
My non-working hours are planned around the kids’ schedules because well, that’s why I needed lesser working hours in the first place. I do have little pockets of time in between our crazy schedules, but it’s too short to have decent catch-ups with friends. Thankgod for WhatsApp group chats, or I would have lost all my friends by now!
By the time weekend arrives, I’m ready to keel over. BUT! There are homework to be done, events to check out, movies to watch, family dinners to have, etc. To find time to sit down, paint and not have someone interrupt you with “Mommy! Mommy! Can you ________?”, is Mission-still-Impossible. Believe it or not, my 6yo and 5yo still barge into my bathroom when I’m in the midst of whatever you do in the bathroom.
When things get too overwhelming (which happens fairly often), I will pep-talk myself, remind myself why I’m doing this, or treat myself to something nice to keep me going. Yet despite all the madness I put myself through every day, I know I will look back at my empty nest one day and be glad I was there with them most of the time for the good and bad.
At the very least, I know the kids have plenty of good memories from our drives – we talk about everything, laugh about silly things or smelly farts they let out in the car, the pretty or odd things we notice outside the window, etc.
In case anyone is wondering if the kids are suffering from all the enrichment classes, they are not. It’s a long story why we subject ourselves to such torturous schedules, but rest assured that we as matured parents have given this lots of consideration and discussed with our kids who give their feedback regularly, solicited or not.
Sharing my mantra to every mother out there – Do whatever works best for you and your family. 尽力就好。At the end of the day, you are the one bearing the consequences of your decisions, not your 三姑 who commented that you should/should not stay at home for your kids. Come what may, we moms will make things work!
This post is part of the ‘Mothers Make It Work!’ Blog Train hosted by Owls Well.
To read other inspiring stories please click on the picture below.
June is a work-at-home mum to 3 kids. She is a writer and trainee educational therapist who is passionate about helping kids with learning needs. Her idea of self-care is drinking a good cuppa and enjoying a good book. She is constantly exploring calm and positive ways to parent her children.
Next week on the Mothers Make It Work blog train, we’ll be returning to Owls Well to find out about how to manage societal pressures on working moms from guest poster Twinklystarz!
Twinklystarz is an expert tightrope walker, balancing work life in one hand and home life in the other. She has two boys (her hubby and 3 year old son) who bring her much joy.