To stay or not stay at home?
That’s the jackpot question that lingers for working mothers. Whether it’s after the arrival of the first child or the addition of another.
So what’s the jackpot answer?
There is no right answer, now is there?
I am a lawyer by profession but during my early career days, but I had my eyes on something else that piqued my interest.
I always say this to my adik-adik’s who are about to embark on varsity life, that the scroll we deservingly receive, imprinting the newly-achieved qualification – after all those sleepless nights and money spent on tuition – is only a ticket to the working world.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer of education. What I’m trying to say, is that the diploma/degree qualification bestowed upon us does not define who we are nor does it determine our fate.
Back to that ‘something else’ that piqued my interest — broadcasting.
Before getting married and having a baby, I worked on the field as a reporter/host/newsreader and also had the pleasure of working on the other side of the media — communications. I was dedicated and at the risk of sounding pompous (hehe), I flourished.
It doesn’t mean one has failed if he/she decides to become an entrepreneur despite having an engineering background.
It doesn’t mean one has wasted time, energy and money if he/she decides to become a party planner with an accounting degree at hand.
It doesn’t mean talent is thrown away if one decides to bake instead of putting on a black robe in front of a judge.
Reality hits hard when you enter the working arena. There, your perceptions and desires may change. Passion, may also be discovered.
That’s for another story.
It also doesn’t mean we’re wasting our life away if we decide………to become a homemaker.
I never expected it to happen so soon but I am now a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).
Even though I have a lot of help with the day-to-day care of my daughter, I felt it was my utmost duty to do all I can as her primary caretaker. When my husband gave the green light, the idea of quitting became more realistic.
I’m still fortunate enough however to continue what I love doing, with a strong support system. I am a news anchor on a part-time basis for TV3’s Bizworld and Nightline (Shameless Plug #1). I am also a freelance event emcee (Shameless Plug #2). LOL. The beauty of working freelance is that you have the luxury of managing your own time. The downside is the uncertainty, although at times the pay can exceed what I used to earn, but rarely.
Was it hard to come to a decision to resign?
I loved my job, the company, the colleagues. And of course, that monthly paycheck.
There’s also fear.
Fear that you will become a ‘nobody’, with no career.
Fear that you will be bored out of your mind.
Fear that there’s no future for self-development.
It hasn’t even been a year since I became a SAHM but I’ve learnt that all that fear is…
…(trying to look for a less vulgar word)…
Why I debunk these myths:
1. The fear of turning into a ‘nobody’.
First of all, who said your career is what defines you? It’s not wrong to have a career and to enjoy pursuing it, but there’s more to life than that. Let’s get this misconception out of the way! Being a SAHM is so rewarding because you are given the chance to witness your child grow. The experience is a precious gift. Sure, you’re tired all the time. You’re occupied. All. The. Time. Whether it’s making baby food, changing the diaper, bathing your baby, playing with the little one or cleaning the house. Which brings me to my next point.
2. It’s going to be boring?
Truly, there’s never a dull moment. Being a SAHM has opened the doors to new endeavours, such as this mommy blog! And an Instagram account dedicated for moms, moms-to-be and those who aspire to be one. It has become a pictorial journal of mine where I share my thoughts, experience and knowledge through stills. Follow me at @itsmommynadia. 🙂 (Shameless Plug #3) A new passion is discovered along the way i.e. being a parent. Where there’s passion, there’s always motivation, positivity and creativity. If you haven’t found one yet, it would be a good idea to figure out something you can do on the sideline, either from home or on a freelance basis. Be it a business, copy-writing or a freelance emcee like me. It’s always nice to earn your own income, while being able to do something different. Don’t force it. Choose something you’ll stay steadfast doing.
3. What’s going to happen to my self-development?
Welllll…..non-career wise, being a parent makes you stronger, more mature and more determined. Don’t you agree? Wait, a career can have the same effect to a person, right? Evidently being a parent does not stump self-development. When you watch your child grow, you learn about yourself, your child, life and sacrifice. Where else can you get these life lessons if not from raising a child. Since interacting with the little one, I’ve made it a point to always have my language and grammar in check when I’m having those one-way conversations with her, in a bid that she picks up the same as she gets older. Not only that, you also become medically conscious as you’re taking care of another human being. It’s not just self-development, it’s also self-improvement.
* * *
I simply love what I’m doing — from being a mother to a newscaster to an emcee and everything in between. These roles come in a package of stress, thrills and major love.
I do miss my job. I miss walking into the office with work attire. I miss wearing those heels. I miss all that emailing, believe it or not. I miss being in meetings. I miss it all.
But I am having the time of my life, right here at home.
On the bright side, you can always go back to work when the time is right again. It may be difficult, but with a strong will, anything’s possible.
Don’t worry about missing out if you’re a SAHM, because you’re not and you won’t.
Don’t worry if you dream of becoming a SAHM but have to work. The struggle is real, but is definitely doable and feasible.
There’s always the advantages and disadvantages of almost everything, but as a mother, it is our job (which is within our aptitude) to make the best out of it!