BEING A SAHM

There is always a debate on who is better, Stay At Home Mum (SAHM) or Full Time Working Mum (FTWM). Some FTWMs say SAHMs get to stay at home...

There is always a debate on who is better, Stay At Home Mum (SAHM) or Full Time Working Mum (FTWM). Some FTWMs say SAHMs get to stay at home, spend valuable time with their kids, don't need to deal with job deadlines or office politics, whereas SAHMs will argue and say unlike the FTWMs, they don't get annual leaves, can't call in sick and have to deal with their whining/screaming kids all day etc. All mums want the best for their kids, so there is no such thing as who is better than who. Each role has its own struggles and challenges. Not everyone is cut out to be a SAHM, and vice versa. It's just a choice you have to make, based on what you think works best for you. 

Everything has its pros and cons. Among my friends, there are SAHMs and FTWMs. Some FTWMs were determined they will not give up their job, not because they don't love spending time with their kids, but because they couldn't bear the fact of facing their kid 24/7, losing the independence to earn own money and losing 'me' time, yet at the same time, frustrated and complained that their babysitters are not so good (Good ones are really hard to find these days), their kids being treated as a 'toy' by other older kids or even learning inappropriate words/actions from the babysitter's. On the other hand, apart from having a close connection and feeling happy being needed, SAHMs complained about how their daily lives always revolve around their kids and nothing about their day is theirs. 

As for me, I was never a nine-to-five kind of person. I prefer the flexibility and freedom of being a freelancer. When we were expecting a baby, I knew I wanted to be a SAHM. What could be more important than being there for my baby, witnessing each new developmental milestone, having a say and hand in all things she is involved in? Money can't buy all these. Being given a choice is indeed a blessing and I'm truly fortunate for having a hubby who was willing to support whatever choice I make and giving me the luxury to go ahead with it. Of course, I was wary of some of the consequences and sacrifices I have to make once I commit to this, and whether I'll be able to handle this well with no helper, but then I told myself, "Never try never know. No point thinking too much."

Yes, being a SAHM is rewarding. Who doesn't want to spend more quality time with their children? I'm happy being the main caretaker for my baby girl, instead of leaving her in the hands of some stranger. I like that I'm the first to witness when she learns something new, the one needed when she's hurt, I like cooking new food and see her different reactions when she eats them, I like that I was able to get her to learn simple shapes, some of her body parts (she can now point to them most of the time), and putting stuffs back in the drawer after taking them out. It's like I'm working on an important project, one that isn't going to end anytime soon but I'm already seeing the results and reward for my effort. 

However, being a SAHM is not easy. Any mum would know how hard it is to take care of a kid. There are some days I enjoy very much and some when I'm just not loving it. In my opinion, SAHM is one of the most undervalued career. Some people have asked me, "What do you do all day?" I guess most people assume that I just stay at home with my kid, so I don't actually work, and that going to work is harder. I would say working is intellectually challenging and not physical, but SAHMing is the reverse, and as a result, it is exhausting. Well, I could list down every chore and errand I have to tend to everyday, but unless you've been there, it would probably sound like child's play. I don't think some people can see the fact that for SAHMs, our home is now our offices. Not only do we have to keep it clean and neat, we also have to make sure our children are cleaned, properly fed, and do everything possible to keep them entertained. 


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I do admit sometimes I am EXHAUSTED, as plain and simple as that. I find myself going from the moment I open my eyes in the morning until I go to bed at night. I'm the housekeeper, cook, laundry operator, janitor, tear wiper, entertainer, disciplinarian, EVERYTHING. I don't get a break (not even toilet break, sometimes). Imagine your coworker coming into the bathroom stall to ask for your help. Awkward! I don't just work for a certain hours in a day and then stop, there is no adult interaction for days sometimes, I can't just go out to relax or hang out with friends whenever I want like before, I can't call in sick, and not to mention, can't just quit and look for something else. At times, I struggle to keep my sanity from all the whining, crying and screaming. 

I wouldn't pretend and go round telling everyone that motherhood is wonderful all the time, because the truth is, it's not. But, the overall good outweighs bad moments.  Every minute spent watching my baby girl grow is so very precious because that time will never return or repeat itself. In a blink of an eye, she turned 1 and I've been a SAHM for a year already. Knowing the fact that she's a healthy and bubbly baby, watching her shake and dance everytime she hears music, seeing her walking like a penguin (she is currently learning to walk on her own without support), leaping into my arms, hug and pat my shoulders (like how we pat her back when we hug her), watching her sleeping quietly (Ahh, babies are the cutest when they are sleeping soundly!), hold my hand or snuggle up to me when she sleeps, planting kisses on my face - I would give anything for all these. Even thinking about these as I'm writing, puts a smile on my face.

Being given the opportunity to spend time nurturing those who are important to me is a gift and I feel blessed that I get to be involved this much in my daughter's life. Yes, there are rough days, but even through it all, I'm grateful to have the best job in the world. I am tired, yes, but definitely more happy too! Would I have chosen otherwise? The answer would be NO. If being asked in future, "Who took care, cleaned, cooked, fed, and did everything (Well, almost, gotta give some credits to daddy dear hehe :P) for your girl when she was young?", I can proudly say, "ME!!!" (Shouty capitals :D) 

P.S.: For those husbands with wives who are SAHMs, remember to thank your wives for giving your children a loving and present parent. Having a stay-at-home parent as spouse is a luxury to you. Why? Because there is someone who is always there to take care of your kid, kiss a scraped knee, arrange doctor's appointments, take care of potty or whatever training, PLUS have clean clothes and hot meals waiting for you when you come home.  




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