I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost a year, I know how it felt. Now I’m working full time and I know how it feels.
First, let me tell you how it felt like to be a SAHM. When I was a SAHM, I managed to do a little bit of freelancing for side income. Taking web design commissions and selling scarves and nursing covers. However, it was way more challenging than it seemed.
It required a lot of self motivation and discipline, more than ever. It is easy to slip into break time or a TV time after you are so tired of doing never ending housechores (that nobody notices) and taking care of your baby.
Sometimes a fussy baby or bad night’s sleep can throw you off the mood, hindering from focusing on your work. Other times, your baby cooperate, you had a good night’s sleep and somehow, you manage to get most of your work done and you feel so great and accomplished on that day.
Sometimes, it can be demotivating when your own mom belittles you on how you are a stay-at-home and you feel like you are letting your mom down. The older generation can never understand how the WAHM (work-at-home-mom) game has changed. All they care is to be able to tell my occupation when her friends asked. An architect is an easy answer. Uncomplicated. Freelance web designer is not.
Well, that aside. Being at home can sometimes make me feel like losing myself. It’s easy to be drowned in the world of stinky diapers and food throw. In order to avoid that, I have to keep meeting other people regularly, which can sometimes be hard when people at my age are working, single and with no kids.
When projects are slow, it can quickly become demotivating when I couldn’t buy things I wanted. See, I am very materialistic, I know that. I need to have an income to be able to afford what I want. When I couldn’t, it becomes like a poison buried inside. I try to talk to myself out of it, but sometimes it’s hard especially when you see your husband spending his hard earned money, yet you don’t have any for yourself. Sure, my husband gives me money every month, but it also makes me feel like a beggar or a charity. Every time I want something, I need to present a proposal to my husband.
On the good side, I know that I am the best person to take care of my kid. She will be the happiest if I could take care of her myself. And I know that nobody can take care of her as perfect as I do.
Now.. Being a working mom. At first, I really loved the time for myself that I get. During lunch time, especially. I love that I’m gaining experiences, learning new things. Improving myself, getting inspired.
Of course, money is the perks of working full time. I get a little bit more than I did as freelancing. I am able to afford to splurge on pretty clothes for my daughter, baby carriers of my dream, makeups on monthly basis and more clothes. Basically, working has made me afford a lifestyle.
My mum is happy, too. She is now able to tell her friends what I do for a living. She’s proud of me and I guess she could justify the money that went to architecture school.
Then I come home to a fussy little girl, who would immediately cling to me, wanting to nurse immediately. I can tell how she missed me for the day. How she refused milk during the day all to wait for me to come home. Sometimes she would follow me everywhere, crying, craving for my comfort.
It breaks my heart deeply. I miss her too, everyday, even during working. I come home and I enjoy nursing her and cuddle with her for a good 15-20mins before taking a shower and have my dinner. It’s a great way to wind down after a long day apart.
So.. Which one is better? I guess this question really depends on where is the priority. Kids or yourself.
To me, I would want to try being a work-at-home mom again InshaAllah. It won’t be an easy path but I am making the preparations to make it easier. Most importantly, I’m still searching for what my passion really is. It’s probably my best bet.
One thing for sure, the drive is to always be there for Sara. I hate going to bed 5 times a day knowing that I’m missing playing with her, teaching her new stuff or finding out her new words from other people.
Sara, I will work hard to be a stay home with you one day. I love you so much.