Friday, March 11, 2011

Life as a SAHM: Insight

If you think the job of a SAHM equals that of a Tai-tai, then I urge you to think again.
Envious of being a SAHM? Here's an insight of one:

- Not having to wake up to alarms anymore? Think again.
My new alarm is none other than my son. He wakes up earlier than all of us, so no matter what time I sleep the night before (I'm not working now right? I can go out for late night movies or supper with Hubby right?? Right.) I still have to wake up at 7am to prepare Kai's milk, and pack his school bag (if it's not done the night before due to waiting for towel or uniform to dry)
When everything's rushedly done, I send him to school so that he is in time for breakfast.

- I am mostly in glasses and T-shirts/shorts now, because what's the point of dressing up when there is nobody at home to appreciate it except my MIL and dog. So out goes well-groomed and well-heeled working-class adult. This is where Frumpy Housewife comes in.

- The obvious: Doing the roles of a mother, a wife, a cook, a maid, a teacher, a nurse... ALL without being paid and efforts not recognised by society. A Mom is not a job just because she doesnt draw a salary??? On top of that, no leave, no MC, no medical benefits, no bonuses. But Moms still do it. Round of applause please.

- It gets lonely. Why? If you are under the impression that SAHMs do nothing but hang out with other SAHMs and form a Tai-tai clan, it's a myth. Because when I drop my son off at school and fetch him back, the other carers I see are not fellow Tai-tais, but really maids and Grandmothers! Maids form their own cliques. Grandmothers cannot be bothered. The SAHM is the odd one out.

Sure, when Kai is at school I get some down time doing things I want like reading newspapers in peace, sipping hot Milo/coffee.
But other times I'm mostly busy with Kai, especially when he's at home and not napping, I need to keep him adequately stimulated most of the time - read him a book, do flash cards with him, play with him. Even when he is playing on his own, he often looks up to me to make sure I'm seeing his progress (at whatever he's doing : riding his vehicle, doodling etc) Therefore I NEED to be within his sight.
And this, can get really tiring because don't forget I get to bed late the nights before and it takes alot of energy just to get through a seemingly simple task of keeping a toddler occupied.

Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful that I am lucky enough to get the freedom to choose - whether to work or stay at home has entirely been my idea. My family is very supportive of whatever decision I make. And I do enjoy my time with my toddler because I'm well aware that one fine day, my baby is going to leave me for real school, go to the army, go to work, and I will miss him being a baby.
However, being a SAHM is nothing to be envious about, because many SAHMs are dying to get back into society. It's totally cliche I know, but the grass is greener on the other side eh.

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