Motherhood

It doesn’t get easier

On paper, I have got this mothering thing all sorted out.

We have caregivers who are willing to look after the little man while I head to work. Both grandmothers love him and take solid care of him in the day. I have a job that I enjoy very, very much. I’m doing well, my colleagues are awesome and I have a fantastic boss. My commute from work to the caregivers’ to home is under an hour.

It’s all good.

And yet it’s not. You have no idea how the notion of not being able to bring up my child full-time kills me inside.

I miss my little guy so much when I am at work. Most of the time, I am able to compartmentalise and get on with my work. And it’s not like I don’t like it. But there are moments when I look at the photos of Aidan and wonder why I am teaching someone else’s child when I can be there for my own. And I’ll wonder if something has got to give.

It’s a constant struggle that I go through every single day.

I suspect that I am not the sort who will kill myself and my kid if I were to stay home and be a full-time mom. Granted, there may be frustrating days (*coughmentalleapcough*) when I will tear my hair out (or his) but in general, I won’t feel too sorry about being there for him.

There are so many things that I want to do with him. And I know exactly how I want to bring him up. As a working mom, the only time that I can do all that is during weekends but even then, the days are too darned short. On top of that, I am constantly performing the mundane chores of being a mom: packing milk, freezing milk, cooking dinner, freezing dinner, doing grocery shopping, ordering dipes and wipes, sterilizing pumps and bottles etc.

I once spent three hours in the kitchen whipping up his meals for the next week and was exhausted after that. And then I wondered about the point of doing that because those were three hours I could have spent playing with him. Or taking him out for a swim or a walk.

Perhaps the key to it is to let go. But how? This is my son, the child that I dreamt of for two years and was blessed with in the most unexpected manner. And this is my child: joyful, strong-willed, delightful, charming, adorable, chatty.

Maybe the catch is that I want to have my cake and eat it too. Work part-time. Or something. I just need to figure out what this “something” is.

4 thoughts on “It doesn’t get easier”

  1. I go through similar struggles everyday too. Except that I do not like my job but have to continue working due to financial reasons. I hope I will be able to work part-time some day too but it just ain’t an option now. Sighs.

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  2. I get what you mean! I struggle with this balancing work and the mummy role and feel a whole lot of mummy’s guilt all the time. It’s true that we can’t have it all. As much as I love spending time with my boy, I still enjoy my work a lot. And many times I feel neither-here-nor-there, not doing my best in either roles. I tried working part-time but it was darn stressful too. So these days, I kinda ‘choose’ what I want to do – like I stopped preparing weekday meals for my son (I used to cook, puree and freeze portions of food on weekends and wake up early everyday to cook porridge), I let my hubby pick up my slack on laundry. I think having family support is really important! Understanding bosses at work helps too 🙂

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  3. I really know where you’re coming from 🙂 But part-time isn’t all that it seems to be – usually it just means doing the same amount of work in less hours… Or from home. ~Y makes a very good point, that I’ve read in many interviews with high-flier mothers: choose your tasks and delegate everything else. I tried to make sure that whenever my mother looked after E. she would not have to do any household chores – until one day she asked me to please leave her some ironing or something, as she’d like to have something to do other than coo at the baby!

    In other news: You’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award over on Singapore Tamtam! 🙂 I hope you’ll find the time to have a look.

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  4. ~Y: Yes, neither here nor there sums it up well! Why are we so plagued by mommy’s guilt? Sigh. You are right about delegating. I’ve stopped sterilising the stuff, getting the man to do it instead. As for meals – I am still trying! At the end of the day, it is still tiring.

    Katrijn: Definitely agree that part-time work is really full-time work done in half the time! Which is why I still do this full-time. Ah, I don’t think I can ever reconcile this dilemma! And thanks for the award, I’ll be working on it.

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