A few mornings ago, my toddler hugged my leg tightly when I was leaving for work. We were looking at 2 beautiful yellow birds chirping on the neighbour’s flowers. The birds flew away and came back a few times. We watched happily and the toddler could speak in clear sentences to me about the birds were chirping away. I put him down so that he could wear his little slippers to walk about. While he was wearing his slippers, I told him I had to leave for work. So, I began to walk away. He took some time to put on his slippers and with the half dragging of the slippers and half hopping over, he caught up with me who had deliberately walked slowly for him to catch up. He hugged on tightly and chanted “Mama.. Mama..” Argh…. to hell with work. I can’t be bothered if I was late anymore. But I knew I had to leave and briefly stopped and kissed him again. The helper took him away to watch the birds once more. At this moment, I envied the helper. Continue reading
When my kids were young, I never imagine I would call home from work and check on whether my kids have done this or that or not do this or that. I saw one of my friends years back doing such remote control parenting and I secretly tell myself that perhaps I need not control my children this way.
Reality kicks in. Fast forward to 5 years later.
I make a pact with myself. No deliberate calls back home to check on whether they have done their homework, play their piano, stop watching TV, etc. The last thing I want is to have them hate receiving my calls from work. However, at times, I do call home to relay some messages to them like remember to bring the art file to school or let them know that I will be home late that night. Then before I put down the phone, I cannot resist but blurt out,”Did you play the piano today? How many hours of TV have you watched already? Go and study for your test tomorrow.” Continue reading
I had started my new job in October this year.
I got accepted in a totally new arena and was never so happy in my whole career life to finally do something I like. I was even mentally prepared to do my best and work late because I am determined to excel in my work.
Then work started, and all my predictions came true.
It is a challenging job. It is a work late job. I work more than 10 hours most days, sometimes 12 hours. I resist bringing work home so far. And work began to eat into my time with my kids and family. When I said I was determined to put in effort and time, I really did. I employed a domestic helper (finally!) so that I can concentrate on spending time with my children after I get home from work and have the sanity to handle the pressure at work.
With lesser time with the family and great work stress, I find myself getting tired easily and lesser patience with the children who yearn ever more attention from me. I feel my guilt surfacing almost everyday whenever I lose my cool, and make the kids upset. Such a situation leaves me a total wreck and more guilty and the vicious cycle repeats. There are a few times a thought of regret leaving my cushion job (not high pay though) haunts me and that made me feel worse. Maybe a woman is suited to stay at home, or otherwise not be too career focused. My girl starts to ask me why I had to change my job. The feeling hurts.
This morning, my baby wanted me to sit beside him while he ate his puffs. He knew I was about to leave for work and insisted that I stayed with him longer. I was running late but I obliged and stayed with him for another 10 seconds, what seemed like 10 minutes. Then, I stood up, kissed him and told him Mummy had to leave for work. He then sat still, eyes glued to the Baby TV which I had switched on for him on purpose, and did not turn around to see me leave. Just before I left the house, I stood at the door telling him all the sweet nothings about how much I love him and saying goodbye to a back facing baby. All this while, he did not turn around. After a few seconds later when I was walking towards the lift, I heard him let out a loud wail and started crying “Papa! Papa! Papa!” to his sleeping dad. My heart flew to him literally but I stood rooted to the ground. I knew if I had gone back to him, it would be worse for him and me to experience the separation twice. Continue reading
Being a FTWM (Full Time Working Mum) is like holding 2 full time jobs. A career woman by the day and a mum-teacher-maid by night. It is not easy to handle the evening’s demands of child-rearing and house chores after a full day fatigue and stress at work. Many people think that after I go home, it’s just all play with my 3 adorable kids. But the truth is nothing like this since I do not have a domestic helper. However, being helperless, I have many opportunities to bring up my kids to be independent and not take things for granted. I believe any unfavourable situation has a potential to benefit from it. Continue reading