Motherhood

Back at work

A pregnant woman has been making the news recently and she is none other than Marissa Mayer, the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo! Mayer has also announced her pregnancy at the same time, stating that she plans to work through her pregnancy and maternity leave.

Honestly, I am not sure why there is such a big deal made about this. Some mothers are just happier when they are not just mothers but also working professionals. If she loves her job and is able to manage both career and family, then great for her. This balance should be seen as a norm and not the exception.

I am not a CEO or some other high powered career woman but speaking from personal experience, I’ve been back at work for the past two weeks and I am really happy to be able to do so.

For the past three and a half months, I had been looking after Aidan by myself in the day. It was tough, one of the toughest things that I have ever done. Being the sole caregiver of a wakeful baby is not easy and I was battling depression, sleep deprivation and a sudden loss of self.

When your days and nights revolve around a little being, it can feel awfully claustrophobic. Suddenly, I felt as if I had lost myself even as I was thrown headlong into the role of a “mom”. Instead of sipping tea and reading Frankie, I was changing poopy diapers and willing a wailing baby to sleep. I barely had time to pee and have lunch, let alone get onto the mat for a yoga session. Immersed in being a mother to my baby, I stopped doing things that I used to, pre-baby.

On hindsight, I became a shadow of the person that I used to be.

Of course, I could have left A in the care of my mother or mother-in-law and take a few hours off to do “me” things. But I’m built like a stubborn mule. I felt that A was my responsibility and I didn’t want to palm him off to someone else other than his father (now, that happened a lot!).

And so, for the duration of my maternity leave, Aidan and I were practically joined at the hip. Wherever I go, there he will be. I don’t regret that, I enjoyed my stint as a pseudo stay-at-home-mom and every moment spent with my little man was precious.

But now that I am back in the office, I do feel a sense of liberation. I can have a leisurely lunch with my colleagues and NOT talk about the baby (much). I’ve started popping into the gym during my lunch hour for classes. I’m planning my lessons for the next semester and feel confident and happy.

Best of all, I can do all these things and not suffer from Acute Mom Guilt.

Before I gave birth to the little man, I entertained notions of becoming a SAHM, But having gone through four months of that, I can scratch that idea off. I like being at work, I enjoy earning my keep, I like putting on pretty clothes and makeup and having big people conversations. Some women, like myself, are just happier to wear other hats apart from the MOTHER and WIFE ones.

And a happier me means that Aidan will have a happier mother.

7 thoughts on “Back at work”

  1. Hello, my first time popping by. Love the way you write and glad to know you are handling your many roles well and in fact loving your life!~ I used to think I love to work, that was before I had the chance to come Sweden. Now I’ve become a SAHM for 4 years, I don’t know how life awaits me back in Singapore but I do appreciate how my girl and I bond like superglue. But I do agree no matter what we choose, a happier mum will make a happier kid, so by all means, let’s make ourselves happy first!

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  2. Hi
    I’m silent reader of yr blog. I think I saw u yesterday at Changi City pt? u look great n Aidan is very good looking.

    I can’t agree more with this post 🙂

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  3. I loved going back to work too! And a happier mum makes for happier babies and children, I agree about that too.

    But what strikes me about the Yahoo CEO is that she’s set up as an example for women, as a confirmation, that YES, women can reach the top. And while I think it’s fantastic that she’s showing that being pregnant does not have to stop anyone from living their dream, I think it’s noteworthy that she is in fact giving up on time with her newborn to do so. I am not saying that this is a bad thing (men have been doing the same for ages, after all). I am just wondering about exactly what example we are celebrating? That women now can make the same choices as men? That would mean we’re finally equal in the eyes of the work place.

    It also means we have to give up on the same things as they have been doing to reach those dreams. I suppose that’s the way society is wired and me wishing it were different is not going to do anybody any good. So this is why I am conflicted about the news and the coverage. On the one way: Yay, finally equal opportunities! On the other hand: Equal opportunities to make the same sacrifices.

    I suppose it’s only fair. After all, men have had to do it for ages.

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  4. Me, I haven’t even popped out Babyzai yet, and already I am planning how to juggle work during my maternity leave because I know I will go absolutely bonkers if I went 4 months straight as a SAHM. Work has saved my sanity these past 2 months plus after I got over the really bleah 1st tri and the huffy-puffy-sleepy 2nd tri. I felt a lot more like an individual, instead of an incubating machine. It also made the aches and pains and other symptoms more bearable because time passed so much faster when I am able to work.

    Glad you are back to having a good time again 🙂

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  5. Summer: Thank you for stopping by! Right now, I think being a SAHM is not something I want to consider but I do believe that when he is older and more verbal, it would be more up my alley.

    Eileen: Hello! Yes we were at Changi City Point on Sunday afternoon. Next time say hi!

    Katrijn: I think it highlights the fact that this is now a decision that we women can make on our own. Whether it is to give up our careers to spend time with the family or to compartmentalize our lives to accommodate family and career, it is now in our hands.

    bookjunkie: Thank you! You are too kind.

    Sandy: Yes, being at work will make us better mothers. I really believe that!

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