Turning 31 as a SAHM

Posted by ~Summer~ on 10.4.14
in , ,

I thought that my 31st birthday would be just like any other day, especially since the hubby had said that he would be out of town. Instead, it turned out that his schedule got delayed and not only did we enjoy a fun family celebration, he also took the effort to arrange a surprise gathering with my closest buddies.

We had a good chat, which was mainly about the girls updating on their current job statuses. One had just quit her current bank job and was on the search for better prospects, one just returned from being a stay-at-home mum in London and found a job here shortly, and a couple of others who were busy manning companies as directors and marketing managers.

Me? Of course, I kept quiet most of the time. I didn't really think that they would be interested to know about Ariel's recent hives outbreak or that Angel is learning the lyrics of "Let it go". For some reason, while these sounded like engaging topics to blog about or talk to fellow SAHMs, they didn't really seem like appropriate ones to bring up at the dinner table.



As it turned out, on that evening when I blew out the candles, there were many thoughts running through my mind. Many of which were unexpected.

Perhaps it was a realisation that out of all of us, I was the only one who chose to go down the path of being a SAHM. I thought the one who stayed overseas with two kids might have followed suit, but it turns out that she is happier to have a life outside of the kids and they are now in full day childcare and infant care.

Perhaps it was a feeling of inferiority and unjust because *ahem*, I was the one who passed all my exams in school with flying colours. No, I was neither a nerd nor the most hardworking student around, but I was really lucky and managed to ace all my exams. 3A* and 1A at PSLE, 7A1 and 2A2 at GCE 'O' Level, 4A at GCE 'A' Level and A1 in General Paper, a Bachelor degree with second upper honours from NTU and a Masters degree obtained in Sweden. Not bad, right? Bragging rights? Now, look at where the grades got me - a stay-at-home mum.

Perhaps it was a moment of truth when I discovered that even though we all grew up together and have been through thick and thin in our two decades of friendship, it was undeniable that we had different priorities and different mindsets in our very different lives.

You see, I could jolly well be whipping up excel charts and powerpoint decks instead of steamed cod fish and sesame oil chicken. I could be slinging on a handbag instead of a 10-kg baby. I could be changing office suits and heels instead of soiled diapers and pyjamas. I could be reading up on new projects instead of Gruffalo's Child. I could be writing proposal plans instead of alphabet revision sheets.

I could be all dolled up sitting in a meeting room instead of looking like a hag in the kitchen. I could be tuning in to YES93.3FM in the office and tuning out of incessant whining and wailing at home. I could be packing lipsticks and PDA into my bag instead of baby biscuits and wet wipes. I could be comfortably seated alone on the train as I commute to work instead of having to hold onto a baby, a kid and a stroller every time I take a bus.

I could. I really could.

But, do I want to?

The answer has all along been there, right? N-O, No.

I can only remind myself that it has always been my choice and in the first place, I am lucky to even have a choice because I know of fellow mums who would trade anything to be in my shoes. I can only take one look at the girls every time my heart desires to do something more with my life and be thankful that I am there by their side, each day every day, in their growing up years. I can only be glad to have a hubby who supports my decision and a mum who does not think that I am wasting her efforts of raising me through 18 years of formal education.

It's not that I don't get weary or that I have extraordinary powers to push me on. There are really days when I question myself and times when I wonder if I will ever regret my decision, especially when the kids drive me up the wall or break my heart. I am not saying that life as a full-time working mum will be easier or more fulfilling, which in any case it might turn out twice as hard and not even half as rewarding, I am just confessing to the fact that sometimes, I just doubt myself and ponder about my life.

Yes, I am human after all. Just so you know, especially those of you who write in to say that I am an inspiring and super mum, it is a fact that I scream, I break down, I go crazy, I get stressed, I feel like banging my head just like how some of you do at times. It has never been easy being a SAHM and it never will be, right?

Then again, we can always go back to find work when the kids are a little older. We might not aspire to join in the rat race, climb up the corporate ladder or crave for high-paying jobs anymore. Instead, it is that sense of achievement, that satisfaction, that feeling of being a useful member of society that we might be seeking. In that case, we do have a lifetime to work.

But our kids? They only grow up once. Miss it and those days are gone forever.

So, for now, I am happy to remain as a stay-at-home mum, to watch my girls grow up day by day, to mend heartaches, chase fears and kiss boo-boos, to relish the wonders of motherhood, to know that this is a very precious phase of my life which I will look back in my twilight years and have absolutely no regrets.

Happy birthday to me.

******
Linking up with
SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays





21 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Summer!!!

    May you always be surrounded by those you love and continue to answer the call according to the desires of your heart & to those who matter most to you.

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    1. Thanks so much Magdalene! It's so sweet of ya!

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  2. Happy Happy Birthday to an inspirational, talented and hardworking Mom. It's been such a pleasure getting to know you and your family a little better this past year and I know deep inside, you know your sacrifices are worthwhile.

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    1. Awww thanks much, so sweet of ya, Angie. It's been wonderful getting to know your family better too, I hope we can hang out again soon, let the husbands talk about submarines and politics, let the girls hold hands and play, and let us hang out as fellow mums, bloggers and friends. I always know the choice to be a SAHM is a wise and worthwhile one, thanks for reminding!

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  3. Happy birthday to you..thanks for writing something so candid n heartfelt...all i can say the grass is always greener on the other side..i am ftwm, kids are in fulltime cc etc..but my kids r my #1 and my job is more like my hobby keeping me sane at times and money to spend on vacation, extra classes and lunch time as my only me time of the day etc..i was the mummy at heart studio the other day..i saw you and envy that you didnt have to take leave to bring your girl to class..i had to take half day off rush my ass to bring 2 kids to an once off art class which i won for them..and give them some semblence of school holidays.

    ( my struggle that afternoon was i could have taken my half leave to do some pampering instead of having 2 screaming kids in tow but then i wouldnt have my kids first canvas painting hung up in my living room )

    also envy your decision to be a blogger and hence your kids get front seat at show, free tickets and lots of opportunity that most kids would not have

    no right or wrong in choices one make...just what works well in a household..

    Jaime

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    1. Hi Jaime, sorry I didn't recognize you, you could have come up to say Hi and we would have had a nice chat while I was feeding the little one porridge and waiting for the big sister! Hehe. I totally understand what you mean too, I don't need to take leave to do anything. Haha. But I also don't get to take MC. =p

      It's so nice to have the first canvas painting hung up, I would love to see it! I hope they enjoyed the lessons at heART yeah!

      Being a blogger was something I didn't dream would come true and yes, the freebies are a bonus since I like to write about my life and chronicle the kids' growth anyway. But it does take a tremendous amount of time, effort and brain juice and I've been sleeping at 3am on average recently. Haha. Still, no regrets and I am just glad I have blogging to keep me sane and my mind functioning!

      The way I see it, the grass is definitely very green over here and I wouldn't wanna walk over to the other side of the fence anytime soon. Thanks so much for reminding me once again!

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  4. Blessed birthday, Summer ! You have spoke some of my thoughts ! It's really never easy to be a sahm and I confessed the inferiority acts up occasionally. You have done a great job and definitely you are a source of motivation to sahm like me !

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    1. Hi Serene, oh yeah, that feeling acts up more than I should allow it to, especially on bad days. Haha. I think we all have our tough times but it's good to know we are hanging in there as SAHMs, no matter how the others perceive us. Let's continue to motivate each other!

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  5. Once again, happy birthday! We are born in same birthday month! :)

    I also doubt myself sometimes but I know very very well that I do not regret my decision to be a sahm at all. In fact, I have no desire to return to workforce, especially after experiencing what true happiness is. When my children are older, I may start a small scale biz, run a social enterprise, do volunteer work, or in fact, I would like to run some public awareness campaign on some children's topic that people know lil about. I want to focus and do more meaningful things! All theses, only if I can afford lah.. maybe I might be working in Macdonalds leh?

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    1. Woooo happy birthday too Ting, April is a nice month, right? Lol. I am born on the same day as Jackie Chan and I love his shows! Okay, digressed. Yeah, I think probably all SAHMs have the same thoughts every now and then. It's good you think being with the boys gives you true happiness, not all people feel the same way! Likewise, I also think the kids complete my life and so it is only fair I devote all my time to raising these precious and enjoying each day as it comes. And wow, it's good to know you have a plan, or at least, an aspiration! I don't know where I will be ten or twenty years down the road! Maybe we can do volunteer work together, yeah?

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  6. Happy birthday Summer! This post resonated with me. As such as I am enjoying myself staying home with my boys, I do wonder about the future. When the are older, more independent, and don't need me as much, will I return to the work force? Can I still return to the work force after being out of touch for so many years? It bugs me that I don't have a plan cos I've always had a plan of sorts. For now, I am content... But at the same time, I don't feel quite at ease... If you know what I mean.

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    1. Thanks Ling Siew! Yar, I totally know what you mean. Haha. I have no plans too and don't know if society will still take me in by the time I think I am ready to leave the kids. Hahaha. Content for now, uneasy about the future. But well, no one knows what tomorrow will bring so we can only make the best of today. It's good to know at least we are happy now and the kids are enjoying our company! =)

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  7. Happy happy birthday Summer! There is never a right or wrong and every decision we make comes with a calculated risk. There are times i hate having to rush through every single day just so I can feel adequate as a mum. I have passed up on opportunities at work just so I can leave on time each day so my son can spend that little bit more time with me. At the end of the day, we make the decisions that are best for our families.

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    1. Thanks Shermeen! You are right, we make decisions that we think work best for ourselves and our families, totally no right or wrong to pursue or give up interests. In most cases, it is just a matter of choice. You are awesome to make such sacrifices for the boy at work and I think he will be able to feel just how much you value and love him. Thanks much for reading!

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  8. happy birthday!!! Chose whatever path that suits u. we all have our life journey and each differs!! you are dng great!

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    1. Thanks Flo! Yeap, it was pretty easy to make my choice because fate decided it for me! I might have had a harder time if I did not have to quit to go Sweden! But then again, I don't think I will ever regret my life journey because so many good things have come out of it! =)

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  9. happy birthday to you too Summer. Wonderful choice! I agree with your choice 100%! One day they will be teenagers and may not want to be with their mummies anymore. Because it's not cool right? So now, let's hold them close and tell them we love them and squeeze them and kiss them because they are still little and in no time, will grow!!!

    And oooh Sesame Oil Chicken, yes please!!

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    1. Haha I can't even imagine my girls being teens and yet it seems scarily true that that time will come pretty soon, before we even realise it. You bet I am stealing as many kisses and hugs as I can while I am still able to leave them with no choice. Haha. Thanks for the wishes and comment!

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  10. Blesses birthday, babe! Work, we can always go back. And then it wouldn't be too late to carry handbags and whip out excel sheets. But the kids... You're right, we miss it - the growing years and the very precious moments to build character and teach values - and it's gone. :) love this post.

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    1. Thanks babe! Yes, early years are precious moments for us as mum to build character and teach values to our kids, totally second that! I am just glad I can be their teacher for now! I really need to learn from you on how to teach not one, but three kids of different ages, at the same time! Fwah!

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  11. RESPECT. PERIOD.

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