Thoughts on being a WAHM

If I have a free time to mull over my current situation, one of my recurring topics is about quitting my job and staying at home to be a full time mother and wife. And I know that those closest to me are probably tired of hearing this. I daydream about waking up every day prepare Iya to school, do my work at home involving something artsy and crafty, pick her up, do home work, wait for Henry then we all eat dinner. I never really thought about quitting work until I gave birth and saw my baby. I want to spend my happily ever after with Iya and Henry. I envy those WAHMs (Work at Home Mom) and SAHMs (Stay at Home Mom) that can give up their work and spend their days with their babies then earn at the same time.
But I also have this I-love-my-work-and-what-I-do rationalization that always surface whenever I have this kind of thoughts. I enjoy working, spending time with my officemates, the stability of a monthly salary even if it is not that big, and according to Henry my job keeps me from spending too much time shopping in the mall. My office also understands family and personal issues so I can request for a leave anytime I want to. There are also other benefits such as I can study for free, no overtime work, I can jog or go to the gym after work, I can be part of campus activities or experiments, a pleasant working environment, and Iya can eventually study Kindergarten to graduate studies for free (given that she passes the entrance exam). I mean it is an ideal work environment for parents and not as demanding as other jobs.
I am right smack in the middle.
Earlier this year, Iya’s fourth yaya left because her husband wants her to take care of their children. I had a difficult time finding her replacement. It took me a month and a few days to find one so in between yayas I asked my mother if she could take care of Iya. However there are times when she needed rest or she has something to do. These were days or weeks when I take a leave and try to do the housewife thing. I can say that I was happy in a physically challenging way. My initial plan was to take care of Iya then work during my free time. I even scheduled household chores per day of the week so I will not be overwhelmed. My previous yaya only cleaned what I can see so when she left I did a major house cleaning including the dreaded cabinet under the sink (super blech!). Her school is from 11am to 2pm so that three hour window period was when I would eat lunch and clean the house. After picking her up from school we continue her lunch (she’s a super slow eater!) then I do errands. We battle for sleep right around 3pm or 4pm and because I love sleep, most of the time I sleep with her. After an hour I wake up I prepare her clothes and tidy up. We have dinner, do homework, and wait for Henry. On good days when Iya does not have “sumpong” it’s a walk in the park but otherwise I want to pull out my hair and scream! In a way it strengthened the notion that not all jobs are perfect and not all personnel are perfect.

I also learned that I can not fully work from home. I can answer phone calls or do emails but the real drawing work only happened once with a one or two hours duration. It made me to spend more time with her though and validated that her attitude is consistent with what I know even when I am working.  Working requires focus so if I am taking care of Iya I can’t really work (maybe this is just me). I can work if I have a yaya to help me but I’m not really taking care of her, I am just physically there.  When I am working full time, I have specific hours of the day dedicated to work so I can leave everything after 6 pm and focus on Iya or do other things.  I think it boils down to working smart meaning I should be efficient with my time.  I should observe my productivity levels and schedule my work accordingly if I choose to be a WAHM.  If ever I choose to continue work, I should also manage my time when I am in the house. Currently I am still undecided, I still have to think about this more — maybe do a SWOT analysis of sorts and create a measureable outcome from an otherwise qualitative condition (LOL!).

And I would also like note that I am not a typical doting mother. I’m not totally sure of what I do.  I get insecure and I do want sporadic affirmation that what I am doing is not detrimental to her development. I read about this (Science Daily has articles that encourages working mothers) and somehow my anxiety was alleviated then this so it shot up again! I should have known that this is a very controversial topic. Not to mention the countless mommy blogs talking about both sides.  I know that every situation is unique so decisions are really made on a personal level.  If this is a public post I would get a lot of reactions, luckily this is just between us…
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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on being a WAHM

  1. I know I have been asked a few times about my “being away” but never really gave any sensible answer before. Perhaps now is the best time to share. Nearly ten years ago I was exactly in the same situation as you are now. As you know I too have always dreamed of becoming an architect and being busy about providing services. But then again I also had a crumbling home to keep back then. It was one of the hardest choices I had to make but I am glad that somehow I went for something that only happens once and I could never return to again. That is to be there for someone who somehow direly needs my daily presence so I could always protect their sense of wonderment. Experiencing the growth and knowing that those moments are unique only at a chapter in my life is a gift. There was not one moment that I did not cherish, to even include moments of my imperfections as parent. Did I miss being away? Yes I did. Every day. So I went back to find my dreams again immediately after realizing that children do not stay as they are and had to eventually find their own way. But they do leave such endearing memories. As for the dream of being an architect, well, ten years after it was still there waiting for me. I believe that there will always be work and friends waiting. One can never run out of those. Watching a butterfly crawl out of a cocoon is another thing tho. As for salaries, I realized as well that we always get by no matter how bad the situation seems like it. Something always comes up. Actually it even helped me become better than myself. I sincerely hope that somehow sharing something as personal as my revelation does not appear to offer an unsolicited opinion and do hope your decision also come in the most wonderful way for you as it did for me. Perhaps all along I was only sent to tell you that.

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