Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Constant Dilemma of a Working Mother

This little article was written in Jan this year, when I was reminiscing my one-year break in the States with my family while surfing the net to download some storybooks for my boys.

Thanks to my hubby, I was given the opportunity to put my career on hold for a year, packed up and "uprooted" our whole family to the States, while he pursued his postgraduate study. It was not an easy decision as I enjoyed my job. But one thing that came out loud and clear was that "so what if you excel in your career if your kids turn out to be only mediocre?" As a woman, we will love to have the best of both worlds. But faced it, at that point in time which was two years back, our boys needed both of us. And once I made up my mind, there was no turning back.

As it turned out, the one-year experience was also a turning point in my life. It was the most wonderful experience I have ever had. Somehow being away from family and friends, and to be the main caregiver to my two boys, made me so much stronger. The adjustment was not a bed of roses, but I learnt new liberalising beliefs about myself, that I can DO IT if I believe I can. And I have and will continue to MAKE A DIFFERENCE to my boys' GROWING YEARS.

Oh yes, P has completed his phonics program by now and R is almost at the one-quarter mark. And yes, I will be setting an English Exam paper for P after putting up this post.

Enjoy :)
I must say it takes perseverance - GREAT perseverance, to keep up with reading storybooks to our kids. After all, there seems so little time and so much stuff to do, especially so when one is working.

Having enjoyed a good one year with my boys, I will love to re-live that experience. But time and tide wait for no, erh, woman :P When I look at P, he is toddler no more of a handsome young boy (hey, remember beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder?)

Yesterday, he told me he wanted to complete his phonics program - the one which I had started him two years back when I was an abroad stay-at-home mum. Yes, that was a good two years ago and we were two episodes short to the completion of the 80-episode series.

"Okie, I will try." I replied with measured caution. I reasoned that I should not dampen his spirits though realistically, there was no way I could spend that amount of time to guide and encourage him like two years back. I must also add that with that short time I could spare, my temper was also short.

It is not that I am complaining. After all, there is so much that I could do with that extra income. Adding up the weekends, holidays and vacation leave, I must admit that it's a pretty decent deal. Though of course, at times, we still need to bring back stuff to work on during those supposedly non-working hours. But hey, it also gives us that sense of self-esteem when a job is done well. Not forgetting to add that it also gives us a legitimate reason to be away from the kids, not to feel guilty and have some “ME” time.

Having said that, I do miss my kids. Women, we are such strange but extraordinary creatures. Anyhow, I decided that I should sacrifice some of my beauty sleep to do a small little bit of what I usually did when I held the position of Chief Executive Child Minder. So, I downloaded some new storybooks which P and R used to cherish so preciously. I also could not resist that temptation to just jot down some of my thoughts that were fleeting by.

I bet tomorrow evening, when they see these storybooks at home, they would not be able to contain their excitement and their speech will be punctuated with words and phrases like "Wow!", "Where is Tommy doing this time around", "I love this", "Can you read this to me again".

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