Monday 24 May 2021

Resigning from a Stay at Home Mum

I have tendered my resignation from a stay at home mum. It's been 8 years staying home with the kids. It wouldn't have been this accidental if our family didn't re-locate to California, Monterey. That was when I left my last job to go as a family. Contributing in a corporate world had always been my ideal. I was all ready to embark onto a life of working mum when we returned from Monterey. But we had plans for a third child.

Which not long later, our eldest progressed into primary school. We realised it was tough to leave her transportation to the school bus. It meant extreme early wakes and late home arrivals. Gradually, I withdrew from the thoughts of going back to work, just so I could chauffeur, tutor, keep the house in order and put home cooked meals on the table. The desire of going back to work was always on the back of my mind. Just a matter of time.

Endlessly, tirelessly and uncomplainingly, I did these with no salary, no bonuses and no leaves, not even medical leaves. The purest form of love and sacrifice defined. These were not possible with deciding to live within the means of single income. We were prudent with our spending, we ate home more than out, and I banished the act of 'shopping' out of my world. After all, the needs of a stay at home mum are extremely down-to-earth. A few good dresses which I already have, and many inexpensive shorts and tees for working the chores in home.

When our second child made it to primary school too, I began to feel the morning void. CCAs kicked in and the kids spend more time in school than before. I knew I needed to be more useful with my personal self. No, blogging and social media-ing are not jobs. They are hobbies. And just last year end, the littlest started full day preschool. I couldn't find any more satisfaction staying home. There’s a stigma around being a stay at home mum, and society doesn’t talk about the loneliness, isolation, and loss of identity that sometimes accompanies this choice. These are real emotions. I will not lie that being a stay at home Mum is always fulfilling. Like any job, there's the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

The kids' junior years are also my prime working years. It's either now or never. I'll probably end up working in a fast food joint if I were to continue sitting in the comfort zone of staying home.

A job opportunity dangled below my nose 2 months ago, I took it on full time without much hesitation. It was time I had do something for myself. The job comes with the flexibility of time, which I'm grateful for. I'm glad to be back into the bigger society, working my mind with bigger opportunities and the healing to fill that empty nest syndrome.

Fast forward today, the eldest is already in the final year of primary school. The most important year with that grand PSLE battle, and I started a full time job. I'm not sure what's ahead, but in our years of having laid the foundation of home routines, it is without worries. I'm contented to have been with them in the large part of their growing years. The kids have grown, we have no more babies although we insist the youngest is still one. Our way of curbing with the pain of growing kids.

And no, there is no replacement a family can get to fill the job of a stay at home mum. I will double up because God made Mothers amazingly strong and awesomely capable in managing the fort.

Yes, weekends are so much more precious now

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