It’s been almost 14 months now since I became a stay-at-home-mum (sahm). Do I enjoy being a sahm? Well, to the surprise of many, I’d say yes, I have been enjoying my stint as a sahm, but I’d like to highlight the plight of sahms here.
Actually, sahms are a very misunderstood lot of people. In the eyes of working people, a sahm is a very ‘free’ person, someone who stays at home and only looks after the child(ren) and the family. Now, can someone point out what the problem is here? Well, why should the job of a sahm be considered easy or even easier than that of the working person? Anyone who has taken care of a baby alone for awhile would know that looking after a baby or a child is hard work, let alone having to handle household chores at the same time. It is extremely annoying to get my ex-colleagues asking me or telling me that I’m leading an idle life as a ‘tai-tai‘ now. Which part of “no-pay childcare leave” do they not understand? I’m a full-time mother, not an idle woman who gets to while the time away.
I’m not resenting my choice (yes, it’s my choice, but also a decision made by both my hubby and I) to be a sahm. I’m just irritated by how people make ignorant comments about sahms and how the ‘job’ of sahms goes unrecognised by the general population just because it isn’t considered a real profession. The monotony of the routine of taking care of a baby is enough to kill some women and push them back to the workforce. Is that not true for some? Friends of mine who are mothers themselves wonder how I can choose to continue to be a sahm because they cannot and/or do not want to put up with the stress of being a sahm. Yes, you are reading right. The stress of being a sahm. Again, people who are unaware of what it takes to take care of a child would think that sahms have no stress at all. If you’re wondering at this point, what stress can a sahm have? Well, I’m sure many sahms would be able to share how difficult it is to handle a whiny, crying, clingy baby/child (can you just imagine how a persistent crying baby will drive you up the wall?), how to get food into the picky eater’s mouth (and make sure the food doesn’t get spat out), how there’s always housework that needs to be finished or how personal time is hard to come by…
Oh well, after having highlighted some negative points of being a sahm, I’d like to share how pleasurable it still is to be one at the end of the day.
I get to see my little one every moment, I’m aware of her every little new development and preference, I’m always there to ‘catch’ her doing something new and fascinating and best of all, I’m always there to shower her with hugs and tender loving care and be the recipient of loving hugs and kisses.
So are my degree and scholarship ‘wasted’? Well, I would say no, because to me, nothing is more important than being able to watch my little one grow and be there for her now. I can go back to work in future, but I can never turn back the clock to watch her grow up again.