Recently I was WhatsApp-ing with my best friend who had just completed her PhD (O.M.G it’s Doctor of Philosophy for God’s sake) and realised that we moms, more often than not, always get a little offended when asked about what we do.
The typical conversation that reads
“What do you do?”
“I’m a stay-at-home mom (SAHM)”
is usually followed by responses saying that one is not doing enough by staying at home looking after her own kids who are expected to take care of them later in their old days. Unfortunately, this is the society that we live in and most part of the world think so too.
My dear friend is currently a SAHM with her two amazing kids because she’s basically waiting for her placement to serve her bond in of the one of the renowned public universities in Malaysia, and she was a scholar of that university. This particular mother, who is also a Dr by the way, is not excluded from receiving such remarks just because she decided to keep low of her achievement and she simply mentioned that oh, she’s a SAHM.
I also have a few other university friends, and we are overseas graduates of professional courses, who chose to be a work-at-home mom (WAHM). By this, it means that they work from home with their children being right under their nose. Alas, they too receive the same remarks just because people do not recognise how struggling it is to run your own online business and replying WhatsApp text messages while bathing your kids.
People will normally lessen your worth because they thought you do nothing at home. No. Being a WAHM or SAHM doesn’t make you any lesser. And who sets the scale anyway?
“Because being a SAHM or WAHM makes you a scum of the earth and you don’t contribute to the economic growth, to the industry, to the workforce”.
“People pay tax to support your studies but look at where you are now, home”.
Dear mothers who often doubt herself,
Do not bother about what they think of you, because we are all living on our own. They are not going to pay for your children’s school fees had you decided to work and leave your kids there. It’s your decision to stay at home so be it.
You deserve as much respect as they get, for making such a brave decision.
It’s your choice to be an entrepreneur, to work on your own and earn from it, to have a flexible job so you can have the best of both working and motherhood worlds. Yes, the best of both worlds.
The chance that not many could get.
The strength that no many would have.
The demand from juggling family with work at the same time, that not many would take.
These are the essence of your worth, that your sacrifice of leaving behind the career opportunity and good pay is all worth it. SAHM and WAHM, you are one step ahead of other mothers because you get to handle both, career and family.
And most importantly, you dare to take up the challenge of dealing with your children and their attitude days and nights every.single.day.
I was a WAHM for a few times. The first one was when I did my MBA while looking after Nusaybah. She was still a baby back then, so I had to bring her to sleep or nap before I could focus on my assignments. The second time was when Nuwayrah popped and I wrote a 100-something pages biography of an OKU millionaire (please pray for me, publishing isn’t that easy now I know.) I was breastfeeding my kids in both situations. Pumping, latching, hungry and thirsty all the time topped with the deadlines. So I understand what it’s like to be working from home and it was absolutely not easy.
My dear WAHM and SAHM friends, just because you stay at home, that shouldn’t determine your worth to the society because marriage and motherhood is a journey of one’s own.
People can say what they want but at the end of the day, you make the decision and be proud of it. Give yourself grace because you have been a dauntless SAHM and WAHM.
|The day that we decided to be matched.
And most importantly, be proud of yourself because you are courageous enough to work 24/7 and the pressure is beyond the normal 9-5. By now you might be questioning yourself, how do you deal with this non-stop job? What keeps you going despite the frustration, aggravation and the days that makes it so hard for you to see the good?
And that my friends, is utter strength. That is sheer patience.