When we first decided that I would quit my job and be a stay-at-home mom, I only shared the news with close friends and family members. My mind was still perplexed and unsure at that time; judgemental opinions and criticisms were the last thing I wanted to hear. Even then, my announcement received mixed reactions. More surprisingly, people of my same gender condemned me the most. Probably because women these days were brought up to think/be independent and self-sufficient, whereby making “good use” of our education means climbing the corporate ladder and bringing home a handsome paycheck every month, instead of staying home to care for our baby which to many, is a worthless and talent-wasting thing to do.
So if you’re planning to go from working full-time to being a stay-at-home mom, prepare yourself for remarks such as:
~ “Don’t be overprotective of your son. He will turn into a mama’s boy” – The way I see it is, having an obedient and respectful “mama’s boy” is way MUCH better than having a rebellious, ill-mannered child.
~ “Go to work. Or else you will turn into a “wuang nien po” (haggard-looking woman) soon.” – Since when being a SAHM means you’ll have to stop taking care of yourself? I’ve come up with a cost-effective plan to maintain my beauty routine! 🙂
~ “Stay home and take care of your baby? That’s a waste of talent!” – So your mom wasted her talent raising you too?
~ And the most ridiculous version was an accusation that I am suffering from post-natal depression, is obsessed about my child and will be going mad soon. Yes, be careful of me…I’m mad, like REALLY mad…kekeke!
As I grew older, what my friends say about me no longer matter but if the remarks come from my family members, I get affected. When my mom said, “We sent you to Australia for studies and in return, you decided to take care of your baby full-time now?”, I was hurt. Mom later regretted her words and said that she will support whatever decision I make, as long as I’m happy and sure about it. Now, THAT’S my mom 🙂
My group of BFFs were the most supportive with many of them congratulating and telling me it’s the wisest thing to do. Of course I am aware of that already but being reassured by people who know me well enough is even more comforting.
No doubt my parents have spent a fortune on my overseas education but I’ve always believed that it is with this knowledge that I will be able to impart proper thoughts and values to my child thereafter. As what one of the senior editors in New Straits Times shared with me before, “Because of the education your parents gave you, you elevated your social status and indirectly found yourself a capable husband. Your education didn’t go to waste at all.” My brother-in-law comforted me by stating, “It is a blessing to be a SAHM. You must have done something good in your past life to deserve this.” OK, this does sound rather dramatic and biased but still, it brought a smile to my face.
Many envisioned that being a SAHM means putting your life on hold, settling for something lesser and gradually transforming into an undesirable aunty wearing a huge sleeping gown and haircurlers while screaming/running after her offsprings. I beg to differ. While I will never be caught dead wearing haircurlers, I’ve also promised myself (and my friends) that I will never turn into one of those women who stop taking care of their appearance and well-being. So do nudge me if I unconsciously dress up like an aunty or start losing my personality one day.
I have had so many things planned up – things I don’t get to do or enjoy while working full-time. Explore and learn new things, probably take up more freelance jobs and if opportunity arises, work part-time. My thoughts are, as long as I stay on my path, concentrate on my objectives and get my Hubby’s 100% support, what others think do not matter.
Because at the end of the day, becoming a full-time caregiver for my child would be the most worthy job of all.