Thursday, March 13, 2014

Torn


I’m torn.  I swing from yes to no, on a weekly, and of late, on a daily basis even. Yesterday, I had convinced myself that it was okay to resume my full-time job. Today, after I accompanied my daughter for a test that would decide if she was ready to be accelerated to second grade, I swung back to no, I am going to remain as a stay-at-home-mom, an SAHM, as they call moms that stay at home full time to care for their children.

Some moms work from home, and they call themselves work-at-home moms or WAHMs in short. I have the highest respects for all moms. To me, those who take on full-time jobs are the more courageous ones. They are the those who are able to let go, trusting that their children can thrive without them needing to be by their side all the time. It’s a tough call for a mom to work because her family needs her to, leaving no other option. There would always be some guilt that she is not spending enough time with her children, missing milestones or school programs, and that she’s relegating too many mommy responsibilities to other persons. Time is important, and it’s difficult to do quality time with your children when you have a job that requires you to put in at least eight hours a day, Monday to Friday. The commute to and from work is a daily battle for most. Add to that pressure from bosses, and you have one mom dealing most likely with what they call as “hurried woman syndrome,” juggling many tasks – homeworks, school projects, bullies at school, a husband, the helpers, and while at it, she tries so hard to keep calm, run the household as expected, and make her bosses happy. I was one hurried woman. Frantic, panicky, in doubt I was doing things right. It’s hard. There was always that heavy, nagging feeling that I was devoting myself more to my work rather than those for whom I was supposedly earning for. But, yeah, it boils down to time management and priorities. There are those who can manage to have a work-life balance. I super admire them.

I have a close friend who sacrifices sleep, getting an average of four to five hours only, but she is very successful raising two children while keeping a very taxing corporate job. Hands down, she is a doting mom, a good daughter, a loving wife, sister, friend, and all the other hats she wears. That girl is simply on fire, driven, committed. She has her priorities in check, never missing out on important school activities and being there when her children are sick. I tell her how she is such a superwoman, and she tells me that she doesn’t know how she does it. She just keeps going. But whenever I asked her if she was ready to give everything up in case her husband could fully support them, her answer was a straight yes, she would. That’s my friend. But, hey, no, she is not just my friend, she is one of my very best friends. I wish she would get to read this. J

Time flies, really. I need to make up my mind. I want to go back to work because I feel I need to. I feel quitting before I am 40 is way too early. There’s still a lot to experience, people to meet, places to see, and, of course, earnings of my own labor to forgo. It’s not only about money, it’s being able to reach that point when I could easily say, this is it, I’ve had enough, I can happily retire, and look back with no regrets.

When I think about it, one thing also that makes me want to work again is that I would like for my daughter to remember that her mom used to work, was passionate about work, and earned her own money. Call me a stereotype but I grew up seeing my mother go to office everyday, fully made up, wearing nice office clothes. I don’t want my daughter to finish school and then just marry some guy and decide she wants to have children and be a full-time mom. No offense to anyone. It’s just my personal take. My mother-in-law never had a formal work, but she was able to raise well-mannered and accomplished children. She sews, gardens, cooks, and has really grown into her role so gracefully. I love her dearly, because she reminds me to be kind and gentle and patient.

I still have some time to decide. Help me, will you? Give me a yes or a no. Please click on comments and let me know your thoughts. Thanks! :-) 


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