I was once a SAHM for three years. Took quite a while to consider to take on the role of a FTWM.
Why the decision to take on the role of FTWM after three years of being a SAHM (Stay at home mum) ?
I need to find back my sanity and need to be financial independent again ! Probably that's just me. Before I got married, I am the type who can't stand staying in the house daily. Well, I don't cook and do chores for the first 26 years in my life until I was married and had Xav. Even for my first career, I chose to go for a challenging, non desk bound job as a law enforcer, that required me to be on the road, doing patrol rounds and of course managing different incidents each time we were activated.
I told myself that I want to return to workforce to at least keep myself "updated" with the working society else I may foresee problems should I decide to stay longer as a SAHM. Who knows I may not even get to be employed with my lack of skills few years down the road. A good chance to take a break away from Xav.
We belong to the middle income family. Yes, it's managable but I know and it's never easy should this be shouldered by only the sole bread winner in the house, especially with the cost of living in Singapore. We could see our savings depleting when high expenses for medical and education set in.
Am glad in a way, after being a FTWM, I felt financially independant again. I no longer need to ask dear for money to pay for my insurance and my own expenditure. I could spend without having to account to him should amount gets more than the usual. Most importantly, I learnt that dear feels so much lighter on his shoulder and at least he could start saving again for rainy days. I felt so much better that I am unable to share the load with him.
But on the other hand, whenever Xav asks me or dear " mummy/daddy, why do you have to work again ? Can you don't work today" ? We will reply him, if we don't work, how are we going to find money to buy the toys that you like, the classes which you want to attend ? Then, you will see him go into silence and seems to be thinking over what we are telling him. This is the very moment I wish that I'm not working !
Being a FTWM on the other hand, has seriously deprived me of the time to further homeschool Xav, like how I used to do before. I homeschooled Xav for his first three years. Great quality bonding time spent together as we tend to go out for musicals, watching theatre plays on weekdays, doing crafts and activities at home. I have all the time I have to make learning kits for him after he sleeps.
Everyday after work, I returned home, much as how tired I am, I told myself I have only two hours left (inclusive of dinner) to spend with Xav. Hence, every evening's play (bonding) time is very precious to me. Teaching him new things is simply impossible as I could not prepare anything at all. But once a while, I try to come up with something that I can teach him, and yet without having me to prepare anything, having a good laugh over it before his bedtime while he gained some knowledge.
Being a FTWM, I must admit I do feel guity at times. In the past, whenever Xav has fallen sick, I can still give him all my attention and care and nurse him back to the pink of health personally. Now I have to handover the task to someone who can't give the same amount of love and care as I do. To the extend things like forgetting to monitor his temperature and forgetting to feed medicine, this never happens if I can take care of him personally instead of just utilising the one day of child sick leave. Oh well, woes of a FTWM on this part !
Not easy when comes to additional family support to help look after Xav, I have none from the start.
Hence, option of hiring a domestic helper came to our mind. But each time, leaving for work with thoughts lingering in my mind if Xav will be well taken care of or if he has been "ill-treated" by the outsider. Nothing can beat the mother's greatest love and care.
To add on, no more home cooked food prepared by me personally, all are instructed and passed down to the helper to handle it. Though I would very much like to do it. I can only cook for my precious on Fridays or Saturdays only. Sometimes, no chance at all if our weekends are planned to be out the whole day.
After all the above and expecting a new addition in this coming August, I have asked myself if I should return to SAHM role again or should I remain as a FTWM and sacrifice my financial independance and sanity once again. But I have to say I have no regrets taking on and get to experience two different roles, for I get to witness Xav's growing milestones for the first three years and provide him with the best within our affordability thereafter when I changed my role.
What touches my heart was when I heard from Xav one evening "Mummy, you have worked very hard for me. I love you so much!" and gave me a hug. I was taken aback when this came out from my precious who is turning 5 in a few days time !
For those who are FTWM and is handling all aspects smoothly, Well Done !
To read more tales from FTWM, click on Here !