A fellow Mum who found out my previous vocation rolled her eyes and gave me the most indignant look, and the conversation went:
Her: So when will you be returning back to the workforce?
Me: Oh, I’m not returning back any time soon.
H: Why?! That’s so wasted. It’s so much better that you are earning and the kids can be looked after by someone else.
M: I’m staying home because of my children.
H: Hiya, such a waste. Tell you what, get a helper to do the chores for you, care for your children, and then you can work. Isn’t that a good way to get around things?
M: It’s ok.
H: I know of someone who is like you… in your line of profession as well. She ah, also didn’t want to continue after some years. I don’t understand… she would rather do her own business from scratch. But then again, she’s earning so much now. Maybe you can think about something like that la.
M: We will see about that. How many more years can we be really there for our children? We don’t have that many years, to be honest, and I’ll like to be there for them, for now. As for other plans, we will take it one step at a time.
If that conversation were to take place a few years ago, I might have been upset by the caustic remarks. Today, I was surprised that I wasn’t the least depressed. I spent a day figuring out why and came to the conclusion that I’m proud of being a stay home Mum. It is not a pride that I boast about, that I get to sleep in (hardly the case!), have no deadlines (sure?) and bosses (God oversees and I cannot slack on that) to report to, and run the home in whatever way I want (that would spell disaster). Not that.
My pride stemmed from the fact that I was privileged to be around when the children and Home needed me to be around most, in place of someone else who isn’t the Parent. I recognise that not every mum has the opportunity to stay home, due to different family arrangements, financial situations, priorities and even temperament; these are valid reasons and not by no means to be faulted. Myself included, I try to stay relevant and supplement the family finances on a part time basis from Home, having to start work only after the children have slept.
While it takes a fellow stay home Mum to identify with a typical day of mine, it’s a 24/7 responsibility, with much forward planning to do and little down time for reflection and self improvement. Anything and everything falls under the scope of a stay home Mum. 🤣
Tired and never ending, it seems. Yes. It is a fact, tried and tested, everyday. Ha! Then you must be thinking that I’m insane or living in some form of a false sense of happiness to be a SAHM.
But, since the day I threw in the letter, I’ve never looked back in regret (though I absolutely love what I used to do, and still do) for this decision because of the family and children. They are never a hindrance, never to be sidelined just so that I may accomplish my dreams. And they are so precious that it would be quite impossible to do so.
What makes me happy is seeing the home personally cared for, boys’ needs personally looked into, meals being personally prepared, and having the ease of knowing that it is for the best interests for the family.
Of course finances would be more of a strain than if I had returned to work, and I’d have more opportunities to dress up and look (more) presentable, and have a social life…, the list goes on. However, connecting with the family has become priority, giving quality care is of utmost importance and nurturing the boys to be great men of worthy character is crucial. With all these, I would want to continue to be present in the home while I can, to be the best mum for my boys and the anchor at home to care for the nitty gritty when my Husband is out at work. This is my calling for now and I gladly take it on each day, rain or shine, sick or not. MCs don’t really apply to mums, do they? 😅
So, heck the remarks, and cheers to another fulfilling day tomorrow!