Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When mothers are judged

Recently, I have this feeling that some of my friends are judging me as a mother. A working mother.

No doctors, experts, baby books or bible have ever discriminated against moms who chose to work. But yet I feel discriminated by my own friends. Or maybe it's just me being over sensitive.

It was never an easy decision to go back to work, believe me. It is a constant battle of guilt and deliberation, but I decided to take it in stride, to be strong and to exploit the pros.

Every mother-child relationship is uniquely different and in many ways, instinctive. No outsider can feel what you feel towards your own precious one, even when that outsider is a mother herself. My decision to work is based on those instincts and also my environment.

Where I am now, working moms are aplenty. Two of my neighbours and a lady who works in the sundry shop around my place, have their babies whisked off 300km away to be cared by the (babies') grannies, and could only meet once a month or so. My babysitter used to care for two kids whose mom worked in KL. Heck, even Paul himself was under his grandma's care in Ipoh while his parents worked in Singapore. I am not debating or justifying anything, but merely stating facts that are common here.

While it helps that there are many experienced, reliable and reasonably-priced babysitters in every neighbourhood whom we affectionately call "Auntie", factors like increasing cost of living (we're talking about Johor Bahru which is literally inlfuenced by Singapore whether you like it or not) , having to support aging parents as an only child( are you giving your mom and dad allowances?)and expensive medical care ( did you have to pay RM10,000 for having a baby?), no wonder everybody agrees that you cannot survive with single income. This is the kind of environment that compels you to do the right and wrong thing.

When I am with my baby, I am completely his. My time with him is filled with my reserved energy, fun and quality play. My life is in moderation and I am happy with the way things are now. I am a mom, and I have my professional and social life too. And I am financially capable of providing my family with the best, without having the hubbie to carry the burden all by himself, and that makes him less stressful and a happIER man. Most importantly, my happy baby loves me as much.

I believe everything happens for a reason and it happens when the time is right. Maybe I'll have the chance one day to be a stay home mom, I mean who wouldn't want that right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my dear
everybody makes different choices based on not only their different situations in life but also their own priorities in life.

my mom decided to stay at home with us and as a result of that decision, we had very little in life and was always very much poorer than our neighbours and friends, but we also had a full-time mom to cater to our needs (not to mention traumatize us full-time)

I can't say for sure if being a full-time mom will result in a closer and more fullfilling relationship with your child.(after all, as you know, my mom and I are hardly the closest mom/daughter pair ever). I think research was done and it found that a deep bond between mom and child is possible regardless of whether the child is in full-time day care or not.

I'm sure if given the choice, many moms would want to stay home with the child (unless they really really love their jobs). staying home with baby is not the wonderful, beautiful thing that some working moms seem to envy either. I think mom gets very stressed (and neurotic) sometimes when couped up in the home too long with baby and when baby gets older they need to learn social skills by playing with other kids their age too, right?

they are pros and cons to both decisions, although, to be completely honest, if i can see my baby only during the weekends, i would be very sad and it definitely would not be ideal for us...not judging you, dear...just thinking of my own situation.