How to be a SAHM and not feel like a bum

Posted by ~Summer~ on November 10, 2011
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It took me a big step when I came over to Sweden from Singapore.

I couldn't really decipher if it was a big step forward, since I just got married and my ring finger was for the first time not looking so bare. Besides, I was going to embark on a brand new start in life and experience lovey dovey honeymoon days in a foreign land where I could see snow on cold winter nights and cuddle by the fireplace.

On the other hand, I was giving up my fledgling media career for the one occupation that I knew nuts about - a housewife. I didn't study hard for more than 16 years just to give it all up and then learn to fry a sunny side up or peel onions without tearing. My university fees caused a bomb and I was in debt, still am, for six years just to repay my loan.

So, the one big mind-boggling question I had was: What the heck am I doing with my life?

Thus, I decided to not make myself feel useless and I signed up for as many courses as I could. I took up an online MBA, finished five Japanese courses (I can't even remember how to write my hiragana now), and gave Chinese tuition to three kids here in Sweden. That pretty much occupied most of my free time and at the very least, I felt like I had a sense of purpose in life.

Pretty soon, I got pregnant. To say it again, it was the best thing that ever happened to me and I can't imagine my life otherwise. I love spending each and every moment with my baby, I love to snuggle with her in bed, I love to tickle her and hear her sweet laughter. Which made me realise - maybe I am more suited to be a Stay-At-Home Mum (SAHM) changing diapers and cleaning backsides,  rather than a media executive churning out excel charts and powerpoint presentations.

Kids only grow up once, if you miss out on that, that's it.

Anyway, while I still can't determine how life will be when we return to Singapore, you never know where life takes you, for now, I am sure I will be a SAHM at least for the next year here in Sweden.

I get a lot of feedback from some friends who are also torn between integrating back to work society or staying home to look after their kids. Whichever the case is, I just hope we will all go with our hearts and don't make a decision whereby we would look back upon 10 years down the road and lament.

That said, the fact is we should never feel like a bum just because we are SAHMs. Never, ever, ever.

Why? Simple. I hereby declare that we have the toughest job in the world.

PM Lee once said that the reason why a Cabinet minister in Singapore was drawing much more salary than the US president was due to the job nature.

I kind of think that the job of a mum doesn't really lose out to a minister by that much. 

1) You have to clean other people's shit. Guess what, we have to clean shit every day. Plus pee and boogers.

2) You face complaints and verbal abuse from time to time. Sometimes for a good reason. We face hysterical crying, constant whining and on top of those, we are subject to physical abuse like pinch, slap, hit, stamp and even bite. Always for no reason.

3) Without you, the country would be in chaos. Probably. Without us, the country would perish by the next century. Definitely.

So, where's my $1.9 million dollars?

Anyway, I do have some suggestions for those mums who are thinking of becoming SAHMs and yet have a sense of purpose in life.

1) Invest in a hobby. Preferably one that takes up huge chunks of time - like baking or sewing. The basic equipment, like an oven and sewing machine, might require a small amount of capital but that all the more makes you want to pursue this interest, right? Whenever you have some free time on your hands, which is actually very limited but try it when your kid is having a nap, find your favourite cake recipe online or go to Martha Stewart's website to download a sewing project instruction sheet. You might be pleasantly surprised at how seeing your masterpiece, be it a chocolate fudge or a tooth fairy doll, could bring a sense of pride.

2) Take up a course. I'm not just referring to degrees or MBAs, but I also mean courses that you might be keen about like foreign languages, computer software, scrapbooking, photography, make-up etc. Yes, be a student again! After all, there's so much in this world for us to learn and it never hurts to have one more trick up your sleeve.

3) Form a support group. It always helps to talk to other people, especially those who are undergoing similar phases in their lives. Rather than meeting up with single friends who delve on topics like the newest clubs in town, hang out with other mums who might also be having problems with breastfeeding or how to make an infant burp. Well, you could actually meet up with both types of friends just so you could take your mind off your baby sometimes and remind yourself that you are still one hot mama out there.

4) Do what I did. Start a blog and write about your baby or some lackluster craft projects you do that nobody is interested in. Yes, it somehow works, I feel like a supermum.

When all fails, look earnestly into your baby's eyes and think for one moment: Hey, you brought this cute little being into the world and no one else could have done that but you! So, give yourself a pat on the back, know that you're an amazing person and a wonderful mum, and then embrace your little one in a big, warm, cuddly hug. After all, of all the 7 billion people out there, there is only one person whom he/she calls "Mummy". And that person is you. 

P/S: If you like, you can ask him/her to say "Mummy, I love you" ten times a day just so you feel like you are a very important person to someone in this world. I do.


  1. Hehe the contract is so funny! No wonder they say 世上只有妈妈好! Great ideas there, I'll remember to come back to this article when I have kids.


  2. @gingerbreadhouseonsesamestreet
    haha thanks babe! Can't wait to see your adorable little one next time! I'm sure you can create a mummy-baby fashion blog!

  3. Was i the eye witness for the contract? luckily i did not sign anything. as far as i rem, i just provided specimens to make things work. and that was enjoyable too : )

  4. Haha... I laughed out for the contract.

    Yes, I craft too to keep myself sane and alive after all the battles with a 2-year old. :) And on days I feel masochistic, I rope her in. And then I post on my blog to tell people "I AM NOT A BUM!!!" :P

  5. @Ming
    haha *hi five*, exactly what I do. =) But as mums, we are definitely not bums. =p Happy crafting and blogging!

  6. Haha indeed, great mum minds think alike! And now we each have two little girls!


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