Thursday 12 July 2012

Talkative Thursday - SAHM vs FTWM

It’s Talkative Thursday again, get coffee ready.

I’ve been thinking of life as a SHAM (Stay At Home Mum) and as a FTWM (Full Time Working Mum). For each title, there's every pros and cons to ponder upon. It’s always an imbalance trade off if one decides to forgo one for the other and the other for one. There's no perfect choice, but a personal decision of knowing what best for a Mum and her home. If you know my story, I was jobless when I carried Jazz in my womb. I left my then job without realizing I was pregnant. Since then, I had been bumming home till Jazz birthed and only went back to work when she was about 7 months young. I left her to an Infant Care, even though my man thinks I am the best care for her. I went on to pursue my desire and have since been working to date. Now, I have 2 little Js.

I know staying home wasn’t a good choice for me, I had problem keeping my sanity and back then, Jazz was less then 7 months, there wasn’t much I could do with her except following routines. I brought her to the void deck for strolls on most evenings, and gradually realized how much more I’ve been socializing with maids and old folks around my estate. I lost touch with trends. I did the housework, from cleaning to cooking and I knew this wasn’t ideal. I missed the pretty clothes hanging in my wardrobe and doing the make-up on my face. There wasn't any reason to upkeep myself since I was home bound most days. Being a SAHM gave me no sense of achievement and I knew I need to get my feet back to work.

While I work, I enjoyed that financial independence, without thinking what would my man think if I used his money for this and that. I’m not sure about other Mums, but I find it a hold back when I’ve to ask my man for money. During my jobless days, I took no allowance from him, as I thought being jobless could have been a burden to him. I lived by with my savings. I did not have to spend much for staying home anyway. My man took over all bills, including the groceries. These were of great help. My mum always tell me how ‘embarrass’ she is when she wants to get money from my dad. I'm surprised we feel alike. I did her little favours by giving her surprise allowances and hinted my dad in being more automatic on allowances. Maybe Jazz can return that same favour when she's all grown up. Working gives me the slightly more spending power to get my needs and wants. And I think the love for shopping is one I find it most difficult to give up. I am not an extreme shopaholic, but I have desires for the kids and myself. 

Today, I’m back to thinking about life as a SAHM with 2 non-schooling little ones. It makes a whole lot of difference for having kids in school and homeschool kids. My weekends give me a prelude, but that’s with their daddy home. Situations could be different with just the 2 little ones and me. I definitely need to master the art of balancing spirit, mind and soul. It’s challenging, but I’m so looking forward to the day of being there full time for them.   

I want to start preparing good and healthy meals, with great snacks in between. I want to start gathering creative ideas to homeschool them. I’ll have to conduct music and craft sessions with them, with academics inclusive too. Being a SAHM is what another SAHM can identify with. The non-Mummies will tell me, "wow, be a tai tai, not too bad." And the real mummies will go, "wow, not an easy decision." My life as a SAHM will definitely not be about mahjongs, high-teas or shopping for Prada or LV. Where to birth money for those anyway. For me, it will be simply about kids and housework! Having them in tow to run errands, having them settled while I prepare meals, intervening when the squabbles get bad and the many more unlisted job description. Thank God deadlines are negotiable and I don't have to benchmark myself against any KPIs. There are no bonus or promotion to seek after, yet you want to do the job well. Amazing motherhood.  

And yes! In no time, Js will be withdrawn from school to spend time with me! End of this month marks my last few days at work. I have tendered my resignation. Not sure if this is a permanent move for me, but I want to make it the best and most fulfilling job ever, for at least 2 years. 

For the next 18 mths, we’ll be uprooting to USA, where the man will take on his sponsored scholarship. Air tickets booked and departure date set. It's not a sacrifice just for the kids, but for the man too. The decision of this huge move is just a whole new story to begin, shall share another time perhaps. Still in state of comprehending, I only know it definitely is a challenge to begin my new role in a totally new foreign land. 

Counting down the days, I am so looking forward to being there for the kids and making the most out of their everyday and my everyday. They are growing so quickly and before they outgrow the different stages, I want to enjoy the privileged bond with them. I should be thankful for this opportunity.

Jazz in disagreement with my SAHM move?


  1. I look forward to the day the hubby accepts my "resume" and "hires" me as a SAHM (manager :p)

    For now, I thought that my current arrangement (going back to school) is a bit of a inbetween of SAHM-and-FTWM but it is worse than FTWM haha!

    All the best to the move! Impressive. Scholarship can uproot whole family :p Congrats to the hubby

  2. i have been thinking the same question over and over again. was a sahm, then ftwm, now ptwm. should i or should i not back to full-time mum... never-ending art of balancing.

    for sure, this is a good news to you and your family! congratulations:). look forward to hear from you on the new experiences:).

  3. Congrads on your hubby getting his scholarship. IT will be a great experience for the kids living abroad. Mine is still coming to terms as me being a WAHM. It's certainly more rewarding facing the kids and nurturing them as compared to facing paperwork and bosses in the workplace.

  4. Thanks for sharing! Can identify with your thoughts.

    my hubby would love for me to be a SAHM and I did it for 18 months but am working now.

    we joke abt me going to study overseas again, and him being SAHP... who knows? maybe someday.

  5. hey Karen,

    All the best to the new adventures in US. I'm sure you and the kids will adapt and love life there... so much that you all may be so sad to come back to our pressure cooker Singapore!

    Enjoy the time there and keep updating on your blog in the adventures ya!

    Cheers Tres!

  6. Thanks so much Mummies! I'm really encouraged. I hope this is a good and rewarding move.

  7. Hiya! Dropping by from SMB. We are somewhat in the same boat, since we have just shifted to Germany for a year, and I'm a SAHM to two littles too! Its great seeing how you view the move to being a SAHM again so positively and I'm sure the kids would appreciate mummy being home for them especially with all the upcoming changes ahead! :) Take care and here's to smooth move!

  8. mamaJ, I read your blog. Your crafts are so lovely! I see that you're enjoying your SAHM moments in Germany. Nice!


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