Motherhood is indeed a whole life full time job for every moms. Even for the one who has to work outside the house. I'm a working mom myself, was, and has been. I was a full time working woman before M, then I had my 1,5 year time of becoming a stay at home mom to take care of M by myself right from when M was born, then I continue to become a working mom again until today. When I'm at works, my helper will take care of M. Having experienced both situations as stay-at-home mom and a working-mom, I can say that both situation are equally challenging and respectful. Having to say this, let's stop saying things that may cause a sensitive situation. Things like:
1. Do you really need that extra income, that's why you need to work? We rather pending or even giving up those fancy lifestyle so I can always be there for our kids.
Sometimes working is not always about earning money. For me, working is about self actualisation, earning my personal skills to gain more experiences in life, and it makes me happy (sometimes parenthood can be really boring too, you know). And when I said experiences in life means experiences related to my education background and also my social networks(with other moms at work, or other prefessionals). You may say I'm selfish, but in my defence, working is also about showing my boy that women are not always determined to be staying at the kitchen all the time, so if the women figure that he know is a hardworker, then someday he as a man has to be more hardworker. And please don't ever think that we're wearing clean and perfectly ironed shirts, pants/skirt and heels, polished with make up to work so we can have fancy party at work when we leave our kids at home/childcare. It's simply because of some (maybe I shall say most of) office don't allow you to come to work with your shorts, old T-shirt and slippers on, or (sometimes) without washing your face. I also realised that soon my kids will all grow up and I'll get to back to work anyway, knowing that I've been always an active person. And I can't afford to have a huge years of gap on my resume, specially for my specific line. I understand that you may choose to have your lifestyle adjusted to fit in your single-income household, it's up to you, but there are many moms who really have to work hard just to earn enough income to support her husband. And I don't think each of us can be at the right place to dig out other household's income, I suggest we don't go there. We shall just stop here.
2. Aren't you gonna miss your kid? I can never leave my kid even for a second.
I always had my eyes rolled react to this stupid question. Of course I miss my kid every second of each day, even when I'm busy at work I'll still be thinking of M. But we don't own our kids, not now, not later, not ever. What we can do is value and cherish every single moment we're together, and that's exaclty what me and M doing everyday. The excitement of having a small reunion everytime I come back from work is always there, and it gives sweet colors and flavour to our memories. Sometimes he can be a little monster when I came back from home, and I'll still be there for him despite of my tiring and exhausting day, or in contrary, I came back evily and almost burst out until I saw his cute smile welcoming me, it all dissapear. Everybody has a bad day sometimes. But he'll then be rest assured that no matter what I'll always come back for him, and later he'll always come back for me too. It's true what they said, that sometimes more times apart means better times together. We've went through this whole separation anxiety drama since long time ago at the very first day I came back on work track, and I don't need you to remind me of how hard it is.
3. I don't have kids for anyone else to raise them, that someone else might have different values of life or worst a psychopath!
First of all, what do you mean by "anyone else to raise him"? If so, don't you think daddy also need to be asked the same question too? We're working but that doesn't mean that we don't raise him. Having someone else helping/supporting us to take care of our kid is totally incomparable to rasing our kid, they are helper, another caregiver. They may have different values of life as ours, and our kid may pick up some of those values, but we're still be the one who decide which one we allow them to take. We design his everyday routine, and our helper help us to assist him to follow those routine whenever we're not around. Kids will also intuitionally and instinctively absorp only the values that can fit with their parents strongly hold. M is even sweeter than my neighbour's kid whose the mom is a stay-at-home-mom. Actually we're thankful that our kid also learn that there are people other than mommy and daddy, that there are values other than what mommy and daddy teach them. They enriched M, so he can compare easily to know what's bad and what's good. And our presence on his lives is the actual proof that we're the one who raise our kid, helper may change from one person to another, but we'll always be their parents. Of course since we can't be there 24/7 everyday due to working, we need someone to help us taking care of him, and this helper is someone that we can trust too, they're not just anybody or worst a psychopath!
4. Don't you afraid of missing those special moments? I'd feel guilty if I missed his first step.
Yes I do afraid, and guilty too. Do you know that when we're pregnant, we developed new kind of gland: guilty gland, it makes us always feel guilty on anything about our kids. In my experience both as stay-at-home mom and working-mom, I keep on feeling guilty all the time, and that's normal. Another thing that I noticed is that, I was a stay-at-home mom for M's FIRST 18 months old lives, and yet I still missed out some of his milestones too, and I realised that it doesn't change the way I love him or he loves me, that it doesn't effect his mental and psychological development and behavior too so far. We always have special moments to create everytime we're together. And those feeling everytime we enjoy our special moment together despite of my busy working days and his busy playing days are things that can make everything I do worthwhile as a mom and as a working woman.
5. No wonder you always seems calm, having those break time away from your kids. You must be very good in balancing your life and emotion.
First of all, which break time are you referring to? Is it the one-hour of lunch time (mostly only 15 minutes even) in between my meeting, presentation and site visit? Or is it the 5-minutes after I got back home from work, take a shower, play with M, had dinner with M (and all the mess involved), then took him for bath, reading time then finally put him to sleep, before I passed my self out? Trust me, we do as exhausted as the stay-at-home mom. I'm barely arrange my bills letters, hardly remember M's friend's birthday invitation (sometimes I totally forgotten to buy present too), and still have to think about my work deadlines too. But I enjoy and always try to have fun with it as much as I can. I'm just a normal human-mom too, with the normal mess, and normal responsibilities. We may have some inbalance life and emotion too (those time when I came back home evily at the same time he gave me his devily welcome) but I figure that nobody needs to know about it, I rather keep it for ourselves under our roof, not to pretend in front of other people but to give M example on how to deal with REAL (imperfect) life.
This morning, on our routine goodbye, my 2,5 years old boy kissed me and said: "Mommy, quickly finish work, I have surprise for you". He says this many times before, mostly his surprise was lots of kisses or biggest hug, sometimes his self-colored paper, or even simply a sentence saying "I poo-poo in the toilet". But that's good enough to flip my drowsy morning into a great one, to make me feel happy for the whole day and excited wondering what surprise will I get from him when I come back home. And I wish to have this excitement everyday in my whole life.
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