On the day a group of us decided to each do a post on our lives as FTWM (that's Full Time Working Mom in case you are wondering), I was close to tears at my desk.
It was already 5pm and the prospect of me NOT taking work home for the 4th time in the week was bleak.
The very same evening, J's IFC teacher asked me whether I was expecting my number 2 because J's recent behaviour in school suggested he may be slightly neglected or may need to share the attention he is getting from us with another. My heart broke.
Last night, J refused to let me feed him...he screamed when I came close to him and threw a hissy fit. On the other hand, he sat quietly and allowed my mil to feed him. I felt helpless.
|Can you see the "baluku" on his head?|
When the clock strikes 5 pm each day, and there's still work to be done, or I'm still in a meeting that never seems to end, panic sets in as I need to make sure J is picked up from IFC on time.
While the choice to be a FTWM was a conscious one, because I needed my daily dose of adult conversations; To many, it is also because of the need to provide a comfortable life for the family that prompts them to continue working.
In bid to get Singaporeans to pro-create, the government dished out the
not-so new parenthood package which in my view is not sufficient to take the guilt away from a working mother. In fact, the natural maternal instinct to protect and nurture is something we cannot put a value to.
The daily juggling act needs companies in Singapore to recognise that mothers make up an important lot in the workforce, but when faced with the decision to have kids or work or both , the support we get is very important.
I am fortunate that my mother and mil are ever willing to lend a helping hand if my schedule gets a bit out of whack. But, I cannot emphasize enough how I rather be the first person J sees at the end of his day in IFC. Whenever I get a bit of spare time here and there, J will be priority before I think about everything else I need to do. So in a typical day, the moment I knock off, I practically cannot do anything else until J goes to bed and that includes only doing the cleaning & laundry at 9 pm, finishing the work I bring home till way past midnight, and having my daily chats with the man only during our train rides to the office.
While the situation is not ideal for me, and I wish for better working arrangements so I can be more involved in J's development...the funny thing is, the constant guilt is making me more conscious of how I spend my time and that J benefits from it all.
I love to work... and I still dream about being that supermom who has an amazing career, a brood of well behaved kids, a successful, loving man and a well kept home. So as I continue working towards that (although prospects seem quite remote in the near future), there are more sacrifices to make along the way. I don't ever think I can make it as a SAHM as it will drive me absolutely nuts. So, SAHMs... you all have my respect. But, my ideal state would be to do what I enjoy, that defines me for who I am, yet be there for J when he needs me.
So at this moment, I plead guilty to all charges of not doing enough for the boy. I also plead guilty to not spending enough time with the man, and my parents, and my friends, and myself as I find my way to that ideal state.
To read more about FTWMs who share their side of the story, hop over to SANses to read more:
Also linking up with MummyMoo as I share my thoughts today: