parenting

“I can’t stay at home with the kids – they’ll drive me crazy!” aka finding fulfillment in full time motherhood


(Boy that’s a mouthful for a title.)

Recently I was asked to introduce myself professionally, as in, from a work point of view. Although I’m now a jack of many trades, and I could have also talked about what I’ve done in the past, I realized that there is nothing that makes me prouder or gives me more sense of achievement than saying that I am a mother.

I often have other mums who say “Hats off to you, I could never stay home with the kids”, that they’d be driven crazy, etc. It always puzzles me when people say that because really, I admire them for having to go to work and run the household after work!

Of course there are times when I miss the dynamism of work (or, life outside the house), the comraderie of colleagues, wearing clothes without any paint or food dropped on it, and deciding what to eat for lunch for JUST YOURSELF. I think that the hustle and bustle of being in an office and/or not having any bodies below the age of 10 years old, is so much more engaging. Life at home, on the other hand, can often be boring, dull, and repetitive and often needs to be fueled by caffine or a stiff drink after bedtime. Because you know, the day is just filled with activities that are just so exciting! Like clearing the potty! Cleaning bums! Doing primary school Chinese! Supervising painting!

Sometimes when I think about how far my peers have come in their careers, for a fleeting moment, I wonder what I could be doing now. But it’s something that I never dwell on. I started my family in my 30’s, and I have been blessed to have had an interesting enough career before the kids came along. I might not have been anyone worth mentioning or even in an admirable position, but I had plenty of opportunities to travel (everywhere, except Africa and Antartica) and work with people who were inspirational and fun. I’ve also had the chance to work for managers who have been inspirational and learned so much from them. Many colleagues will be lifelong friends.

More importantly, I also had the opportunity to suffer in a role which was uninspiring and bordering on torturous. I dragged my feet to work everyday until when I did leave, it was like FREEDOMMMMMM!! I am sure that if I’d just come off the bat from my most memorable working experience, I might be more wistful about returning to work. I am also sure the last not-so-great experience that made me realize that there was nothing more worthy of my time and attention than the little monkeys. Everyday when I’m with them, even when they are disagreeable or difficult, I am grateful that my husband is able to bear the burden of bringing home the bacon, and even with my limited patience and capabilities (I am no superwoman ok), we are both grateful that at least one of us is at home with the kids. And as they are growing and becoming more independent, it is much less crazy at home.

I feel extremely lucky that I have flexible work arrangements so I don’t have to worry about going to an office, offending my boss, or deal with extreme work stress. Occasionally there are meeting or workshops which bring me back to the outside world. Friends often ask if I’ll go back to full time work. I’m very sure I’d do a crap job trying to juggle both a full time career and the household, and probably prone to becoming a screaming banshee, but that’s just me. And I didn’t even add household chores into the mix.

Anyway, that’s my story. For me, the children are my life’s work. Maybe I could be out there changing the world, doing something “useful” and “valuable”. But they have only one mummy, and to them, I am the world.

But oh, the next time you start thinking, “I couldn’t stay home with the kids, it would drive me crazy!”, just remember – those little monkeys were created by you, so essentially, wouldn’t that be you driving yourself crazy? 😀

 

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33 thoughts on ““I can’t stay at home with the kids – they’ll drive me crazy!” aka finding fulfillment in full time motherhood

  1. I often think about how different my life would be if I didn’t become a mum, and I do miss working! Somehow, dealing with 35 boys seems easier than convincing ONE boy to eat his dinner. Haha. But having said that, I know that this is just a season in my life, and that I am very privileged to be able to stay home and be a mum, instead of having to work all day, then come home to work some more. One day, the kids won’t need us as much, and I think I’ll be bawling when that day comes.

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  2. We need more mums to read this and be encouraged by it 🙂 It is a struggle for mums just being mums and though there are days when we wonder if this all to motherhood, raising a family,m etc. But at the end of the day the joys of our family outweighs everything. We need to celebrate motherhood in all forms and perhaps I’ll share my story on being a working mum too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, please do! And on my part, I think next time someone tells me they think they will go mad staying at home, I will tell them honestly that I will go mad having to do FT work! 😀

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  3. As the saying always goes, whether we stay at home or work full time or whatever other combinations there are, we are all mothers and whatever choice we make, we make it for the good of those monkeys! LOL! Agree with Susan, need to spread this more widely as people, not just us mums need to see and understand why we do all these in the first place.

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  4. I am constantly feeling more inclined towards the “I want to stay home with my kids and spend time with them” scenario but unfortunately, dual income is still very much needed in my household. As I age (how apt, just turning a year older yesterday), I feel at the end of the day, work is really not important. The kids are, how they grow up are, what they do in their formative years are, and how the relationship between the kids and the parents grows is. Am constantly thinking how I can juggle all that while working full time, juggling housework and everything else.

    And constantly thinking maybe i should consider being in part time work so that i can spend more time with my kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think, if it is possible, you should at least try to do the part time thing if you are already thinking about it. It might not work out (not all jobs can be part time and some organizations might be part time pay and full time work 🙄), but at least you will have tried and not regret it later? 🙂

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  5. I’m the one who will say what your title says! LOL. I really kowtow to all you SAHM, cause I have the easy way out. I have a MIL who helps with the running of the house, a super helper (who is unfortunately leaving) who does the chores and a husband who helped with the kids. You know they say it takes a village to raise a kid, it happens at my home. This is why I can peacefully go to work and still have time to blog on and off. LOL.

    But at times I also miss being at home watching them grow.. Being Mom is just difficult. LOL.

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  6. I get cabin fever if I am at home too long but that’s not because of the kid. LOL. So what I do instead is we “chiong” together over the weekend and head outside. :p I love your honest perspective; sometimes after all that whirlwind activities, we do not realise how much the kid has grown. I was just telling my colleague that in 2 years time, my kiddo will hit double digit in age. DOUBLE! OMG!!!

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  7. You are a great Mummy and a great motivation to all mummies out there!

    A great motivational quote by you:
    “Maybe I could be out there changing the world, doing something “useful” and “valuable”. But they have only one mummy, and to them, I am the world.”

    Thank you!

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  8. Everyone has that ‘Sliding Doors’ moment when we think what if we’ve chosen the other route in life. Just like you, I don’t dwell on it. Instead, I prefer to think about how lucky and thankful I am to be able to stay home, be with the kids and build my empire from home while the husband brings home the bacon! 😀

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    1. I couldn’t agree more! I think I have the much less stressful job than having to go out to work and for some people, worrying about the security of their job, having to do your job and handle office politics, etc. At home, I’m the boss! 😉

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  9. I really LOL after reading your very last sentence, so true. I’m a SAHM too and enjoy being with my girls, taking care of their meals etc. I consider myself blessed that I’m with them thru their growing up years. Ling- Katong Kids Inc

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  10. A mother’s job is 24/7 regardless if you are working or not, the joy of seeing the kids smiling is worth every minute of time away from work.
    Perhaps a part time job can be healthy for you, to at least stay relevant to the working world.

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    1. Yes that’s true, sometimes just a little bit of time away makes the heart grow much fonder! I am already working but with full flexibility, and even have a professional license that I have to attend courses for.

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  11. sometime when my home is so quiet and sitting alone I just think how life would have been without my kids or If I have not left my job to sit at home- only thought which comes to my mind is that it would be a life without love and no colours.

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  12. I have the same sentiments! Now that I’m doing part time though sometimes it feels like a lot of overtime part time load…. I seriously salute those FTWM! Yet to each mum her own load that she can and will bear isn’t it? Each family dynamics are unique. The most important thing is to BE PRESENT and MOTHER ON! Let’s Jiayou!!

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  13. I am a work-from-home-mother and after transiting from a FTWM to a WFHM, I only have 1 word: thankful.

    I am so glad that I am at home with my kids. They drive me crazy, yes.. but I am so happy to always see their milestones and hear their darnest questions!

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  14. Will share this post with my student who is finding motherhood and staying at home so hard. The challenges of all moms (sahm or ftwm etc) are real and we need to embrace and be thankful for whichever side we are in.

    – Mary

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    1. I hope she will find her balance. I think motherhood is especially trying in the early days when the children are young, the same as with any new job. Only this is a job you can’t quit, haha! 😉

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