Before becoming a mum, friends told me that they can’t imagine me being a mum. Right now, I am a mummy of 2 boys and is a mum for more than 5 years.
Before becoming a Stay at Home Mum, friends told me that I will return to the workforce very soon. Right now, I have been a Stay at Home Mum for 2 years.
It was a tough decision for my family to make the decision for me to become a Stay at Home Mum. I always believe I will always be a full-time working mum since I was young. I am definitely not a career-minded woman. I always place my family as my priority. However, I always feel being a full-time working mum keeps me up to date with society. It was a huge dilemma. Darius was going to infant care while I was working. It was a toil on the family. It was a mad rush in the morning. We were rushing to send the 2 kids to 2 separate child cares as we couldn’t bear to move Travis out of the existing childcare. Unfortunately, his childcare didn’t have infant care so Darius need to go to another child care. By the time, I reach the office I was already so tired. The evenings were another mad rush again. We had to rush to pick both kids up before 7pm and we barely make it in time. Even if we managed to pick the kids up at 7pm, they were like the last ones in the child care. It just breaks our hearts to see them always being the last ones. On days, we couldn’t fetch the kids in time. Our parents had to fetch them. We feel it wasn’t fair for me to continue to work and tire out everyone.
We went through several options:
- Engage a full time domestic worker. We were uncomfortable engaging a helper to take care of Darius alone. I believes it is a great option for many. However, I just had heard so many horror stories that I just couldn’t accept the solution for my family. Note: I also hear many great stories that helper is a great asset to the family. I guess I was not willing to risk it.
- Reduce my working hours. Change into part time role. It is tough as my job is too far from the child care. I would end up spending all my salary on taking taxi. If I take public transport, it takes too long and we will still end up reaching home late.
- Getting Family Help. It is hard to get family to help daily as we don’t stay near by. It will be too tiring and inconvenient for our parents. I also feel it is unfair to adjust their lifestyle to our routine. Hence, it is not feasible.
Eventually, we decided to make the hard decision that I quit and 1st Jan 2020 was my last day of work. The challenges start to creep in. Our family has to depend on a single income. To make things worse, the Covid situation arise and Singapore had to go through a circuit breaker period. I was still breastfeeding Darius and need to work on the Homebased Learning with Travis. I had to take up most of the household chores as Hubby is busy working from home and I have no helper. Our parents couldn’t come to help too. It was amazing how I managed to go through it. I guess what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Haha! Before this, we often ask parents for help when Hubby needs to work late.
During the circuit breaker period, I try to push my limits. I try to make both boys take afternoon naps and sleep for the night together. I just keep taking baby steps like cooking while the kids have some screentime. When the circuit breaker ended and Travis returns to school, it ease my load a lot. No more HBL. Yay! Haha, Don’t get me wrong! I do enjoy doing the HBL with him. We spend a lot of quality family time together as the HBL ensures me to be focused and not be distracted by other matters. Haha, I continue to take care of Darius myself. I slowly start to fine-tune our routine.
Now, it is really like “reap the fruits of your labor”! I almost minimized screen time to the bare minimum. I only let them watch their Homebased Learning enrichment lesson and a weekly movie night. They are also less insistent in having screentime. My boys reach home early like 5 pm (last time it was 7 pm). I get dinner ready before they reach home. This allows me to spend time with them instead of cooking while they play. They have dinner at about 6 pm. I put the dishes to wash in the dishwasher (A great house chore hack! A dishwasher is definitely our savior!). I spend some time with the boys like reading to them, playing toys, playing piano, guiding Travis to practice his writing, reading to them). I try to have different activities every day. We start the bedtime routine at 8 pm. Hopefully, the boys sleep for the night before 9 pm. The kids will get to wake up feeling more fresh and excited to go to school! It is also better for their learning. I remember the days when we literally change Travis while he sleeps. He continues to sleep while we carry him to the car and all the way to the child care. You can see how badly he is deprived of sleep. I am so glad this is such a visible positive change to our lifestyle.
I start to be more conscious about saving money. Learn to cut costs and of course, don’t buy things unnecessarily. Taobao is a my favourite platform. I buy so much stuff for my boys and home. Check this out for my taobao shopping ideas. I am glad that I am in mummies chat groups who always share great deals. Some of these Mummies chat groups are very informative and supportive. They also keep me up to date with the latest happenings.
I also gain some and lose some. As I am very busy with the boys, it is also hard for me to stay in touch with my friends. It is hard to have meet-ups with friends as I have limited availability. I do try my very best to stay in touch. With the covid situation, it also makes it harder for social gatherings. To all my friends, I do still cherish you a lot. I can’t wait to catch up with all of you more.
I want to share this personal experience as I understand many fellow mummies often encounter this dilemma. Especially when they do not want to miss their little one’s milestones. I personally feel being a full-time working mum (without helper or family help) is very challenging. I am glad to become a Stay at Home Mum as I get to spend more and better quality time with my boys. I totally understand the challenge of a full-time working mum as you are often torn between your work and your little ones. Trying to meet deadlines and your career goals while trying to spend time with your little ones. End up being so tired and need some peace. So just let the little one have some screen time. Totally understand! Even now, there are also times when I seriously need some peace, and I will have to use screen time as my last resort. Regardless of the choice you make, to be a stay-at-home mum or full-time working mum, don’t be feeling guilty over it. Everyone’s situation is different. Evaluate your choices and eventually decide the option that works the best for your family.
For fellow mummies or mummies to be, If you want to understand more about the challenges and changes in life after being a stay at home mum, do contact me by DM me at my Instagram – Play.Dream.Love
oh yes! I would like to recommend a great read – Mummy’s Guilt by Eleanor Lin! It talks about the challenges and wonders of working mum. I have so many similar experience. I like the hot coffee motif. I totally sometime even forgot I made coffee for myself. I also love having hot coffee but I often get so busy till the coffee turn cold. or worse I even forgot about it. I was a working mum of 2 and eventually become a stay at home mum. I totally understand the struggles of being a working mum. There are so many demands to juggle with. The demand from workplace as well as I need to pay a lot of attention to my family needs. The part about strong support system is indeed very very true. Especially immediate family support. My Hubby has also been a great support with the boys and household chores. The emotional support is also very important. Like a support group is good to rant our emotions to. Do also check out the book for more intformation. I also like that it include the ultimate list of things to buy and pack for a newborn in your family. Great for mummy -to-be! It is indeed a book for working mum and even stay at home mum like me.