Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Working mother’s dilemma

To work or not to work?

My hubby has a plan for me in the next 5 years on becoming a full-time stay-at-home mother. He told me to retire from working world when he earns income of RM7K per month. Hmm, I don’t know what to say but when come to that day when he does earn his RM7K, would I really consider retiring totally and concentrating on new career i.e. full time SAH mother?

Lets me start off by looking at my daily routine. Everyday I wake up around 6.00am (latest 6.30am) every day by feeding milk to my daughter. While hubby and everyone in the household still fast asleep, I would be busy getting ready little gal and myself first thing in the morning. Sometimes I would need to dry out the washing from last night, get little gal dressed before sending her to babysitter, finding lost items, clearing messes in bedroom, waking up hubby from his good sleep, and then send little gal to baby sitter and rush to work. After a long day at work, I would come home and do some household chores. Thank god I am not required to cook for my family although I wish I have time to cook.

Even weekends are spent doing necessary task like grocery shopping, errands and cleaning. If it sounds familiar, then you are one of the thousands of working mother in a stressful almost army like environment. We are needed to find the working and life balance so that the stress that it brings would not make us feel like we are failing both as mothers and as employees.

I manage to find an interesting article on some tips on how to handle yourself as a working mother:

1. Stop feeling guilty – The society we live in sees mothers are primary caretaker of children which means that good mums stay at home and always put their children first. That was thinking 20 years ago but today we find that because of financial commitments both husband and wife has to work just to make ends meet.
2. Don’t let other people make you feel guilty. People at work tend to question your commitment on your job especially if you have t leave the office on the dot. You are doing this because you are a mum and not because you are avoiding your responsibilities. If you feel that there is not enough time to finish your work, try going to work earlier or have shorter lunch breaks.
3. Ignore research and reports. There will be thousand and one reports telling you about the devastating effects working mothers have upon children. There are always two sides to a storey. There is a research, which found that mothers who want to work feel more satisfied with themselves and this satisfaction can spill over into their relationship with their husband and children. The most important point is that a child’s development is not whether mum goes to work or not but whether the mum is happy
4. Get good quality child care. You don’t want to spend time at work worrying about your children as this can affect your job performance. Spend time looking at a range of different nurseries, babysitters or tuition centres. Get opinions from family members and friends or attend open days or enrolment days to get a feel of the place. Use your maternal instincts in this matter, it is usually right.
5. Get your partner’s support. Your partner plays important role because if he thinks that your role is to belong at home and in the kitchen then you have a hard time. Sit down and talk it over with him and explain that you are working to supplement the family income and that you need to have financial security.
6. Let your standard slip. If you are planning to have a successful career and a perfect home all at the same time, then you will end up burning yourself out or having a nervous breakdown. If you kids and career are the most important priorities, lower your standard on household responsibilities. You can hire a maid to maintain the basic household needs.
7. Explain to your children why you need to work. Some mums explain to their kids that they work to pay for their education, swimming lessons, music lessons, etc. They will begin to appreciate that mum has to work for good reasons!
8. Reduce morning stress. Get everything ready the night before – don’t waste valuable time hunting for shoes, socks, bottles….get it all ready and put it at your main door or staircase.
Focus on the positive side of things. There are times when you had a bad day and you feel like giving up on work to stay at home, make a list of all positive reasons you go to work. Stick this list on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself every morning.

So should the day come that I am asked to retire, I know that I would not get used to it at first. I would sure miss my colleagues, and challenges and excitement that surround the work place. Yes, no longer would I need to rush to work fighting the traffic jam. I have all the times in the world to do the things that I like or never get down to it before.

But with those pros and cons, I may consider semi-retirement if my hubby going to ask me to do so. Whose know, I may not get used to been SAH (maybe I may like it, I don’t know). I shall give it a try for 1 or 2 years, if it doesn’t work, then I will return to the working world again. I am not the type that can sit at home doing nothing, but watching tv or reading books….I may die of boredom if I do so!


Agnes said...

hi Rose
When i was single always in my mind that i will never stay at home looking after my children.
But after married and when i have my first pregnant that time i was working in S'pore and stay in JB. can you imagine that every morning i have to wake up at 5.45am and get ready to travel from JB to S'pore and reach office at 8.30am and in the evening i would only reached home by 8.30pm. Everyday we have to spend 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the traffic and that make me feel very tired coz of my pregnancy.
Finally i decided to quit and stay home. And until now i still enjoy being a SAHM. Some ppl may not like it but i love every moment i spend with my kids now. I noticed that my son learn faster when come to teaching. I used to send him for daycare in JB but he pick up very slow in his study after we move here then i started to teach him and i can see he improve a lot now. so, i would said i still prefer to be a SAHM coz of my kids.

Rose world said...

Hi Agnes. Thanks for the advice. Hmm, true also in waht u said. There is always pros and cons to be a SAHM. I hope when the day comes, I will enjoy being SAHM!

Yes, I always plan to spend more time with my children, teach them and cook and clean for my family and same time, can do what ever I want! Hahaha!

I let you know when the day comes! Haha! Dont know when hubby going to earn his RM7K..... hmmm

JenJen's Place said...

Gosh! How come our man prefer us to be SAHM? Even my babe was talking abt me retiring in 10 years time and let him be the sole breadwinner. Guess they are hoping that we can take care of the kids and them as well by being the fulltime SAHM?

Rose world said...

Jen, I believe our men think that we should have more time at home, taking care and teach our children instead. I dont mind, if hubby earn more and I get to have some allowance for myself! hahaha! just make sure i have a lot of activities otherwise I will be bored! bluek!

Anonymous said...

Hey Rose,
I also have the same issue with you. A lot of thing to be done at home, with kids and yet got a career to move on. But you know b4 I was Mommy, I am a career minded person. But with the 2 beautiful kids I totally changed my mind. If both me and my hub settled all our installment, I will 100% go for an early retirement and be a SAHM and have more time with my kids and family. This I will not regret.