|My family and I, taken a few months ago :)|
A: So how's life? You're still working after 2 kids?
Me: Yup. Every day is kinda crazy and hectic but we get by...
A (with pride and admiration): My friend, who has a baby, didn't apply for any job interviews but a few companies asked her if she was willing to work for them as they have heard from others that she was very good in her previous job. But she told them "No" and chose to give up those job offers so that she could stay at home with her child. She chose Motherhood over Work.
Me: Oh... Okay. (looks away awkwardly)
First of all, I'm not trying to belittle anyone who chose to look after their child instead of working. I think it's perfectly fine for women to make their own choices in life. There's nothing wrong with being a working mum or stay-at-home-mum. We're all Mothers at the end of the day. :)
However, the thing that irritated me was that this was said after "A" asked me about my life as a working mum and how I was coping with everything so far. To me, it felt like a big slap on my face after hearing the comment "She chose Motherhood over Work". This was the exact said words. In the first place, I don't understand why "A" started telling me about that friend, whom I don't even know of and asked about. To me, it was an uncalled-for reply and even hurtful...
Yes, I choose to work, but that doesn't mean I take my role and responsibility of a Mother any lesser. I choose to work because we're living in a developed country where the cost of living and everyday expenses are high. I will not, and won't ever, let my husband bear the sole burden of our finances. I just can't.
Secondly, we're not from well-to-do families. Our bank accounts are not filled with thousands and thousands of dollars once we turned 21. I won't lie, sometimes I feel a tinge of envy when friends tell me that their house or car is partially paid for by their parents or in-laws. That will never ever happen to us. Whatever money we have now, especially the car that we own now, it was all paid for by our own hard-earned savings. My husband worked as a part-time waiter from the age of 16 to earn pocket money for himself, and I started working from the age of 18 at various part-time jobs (I've worked as a salesgirl, admin girl, etc).
Last but not least, I have to remain financially independent for the sake of my children. Because if there were ever a day when my husband would leave me (okay, let's not just think about a divorce.. I mean like a sudden accident or an unfortunate event), my kids and I would not be left in the lurch, helpless and desperate. We may be emotionally broken, but at least we will not be financially broken. Our lives will not come to a sudden standstill; we'll still be able to carry on living and not worry about day-to-day expenses.
So there you go, these are the top 3 reasons why I choose to be a working mum. When mothers work everyday, that doesn't mean they choose their work/career over their children. That's just ludicrous. Most importantly, do NOT tell a working mum that a fellow stay-at-home-mum chose to look after her children instead of work because "she chose Motherhood". That doesn't sound selfless; it just sounds condescending and judgmental to working mums.
I love my children, and when I'm physically away from them, that doesn't mean my heart isn't with them. They're always on my mind, and sometimes I look through my handphone's gallery just to see their sweet little faces because I miss them so. I choose Motherhood, and I choose work, and that doesn't make me any less of a Mother.