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Children , Family , Yvonne's Blog

SAHM OR WFHM? OR BOTH?

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A few months had passed. One day I asked my daughter for fun's sake, what's mummy's name? She replied: work. My 1 year old who can barely speak a few words actually trolled her mum. Man was I devastated and felt bad for my daughter. So, I made the decision to resign there and then.

How did some of you become or decided to be a Stay at Home mum (SAHM)? Or just working ad hoc-ly as a SAHM? Is it by choice or by need?

In Singapore, the saying goes by 'work till old'. I do mean having a day job and having an actual life has a ‘chicken and egg’ relationship, especially for lower income families – which one comes first la! I happen to be luckier where I'm leading an adequate life now (got time to blog means life can't be that tough anyway). But, I'm still working. I work and slog every day as a mum and of cos, the glamourous ‘In-Word’ right now - entrepreneur.

So, how did resigned my job in the first place? 

A tiny bit of myself:
Well, I used to work in banks (rosy posy yes some of my friends’ eyes glittered at the word “BANK”), until I got laid off from HSBC back in 2012. While my side fashion business seem to be going downhill at the point, I decided that I should call it a day to avoid more losses but then I discovered that I was already pregnant with Chloe and this pregnancy required me to be bed confined for about 7-8months. Unlike what gynaes have predicted, I had to be confined to the bed for the full 10 months term. I looked after her with the help of my family until she was about 4+months where I decidedthat I should find a job as it felt really scary to be detached from the world. The corporate and social world.

I proceeded to join back banking industry, where my job requires me to be fairly politically correct at all times. Putting bread on the table versus faking my own emotions and feelings, the obvious choice is obvious and almost idiot proof to anyone who belong in the employment cycle. As you guys probably know that I am a serious fighter by now having given birth to Chloe, any challenge is accepted. However, I was torn by the complicated human relationships that I never seemed to be able to grasp no matter how. I was trying very hard to get used to working life again despite having stop working in the banking industry for almost 2 years.

A few months had passed. One day I asked my daughter for fun's sake, what's mummy's name? She replied: work. My 1 year old who can barely speak a few words actually trolled her mum. Man was I devastated and felt bad for my daughter. So, I made the decision to resign there and then. But I still needed the income, so I took on a freelance job in insurance industry but left after 2 miscarriages there despite being hopeful (I still have upmost respect for most insurance agents whom managed to succeed in the businesses and I am still a strong believer of insurance. This is a topic for another day)

Anyway, because my perception of this freelance job didn't match what I was looking for. So I decided to turn to a real stay at home mum! Lol!

Trust me, it is job alright. A noble one to speak of, but not to the world, but to my own child so I can spend more time with my precious Chloe. 

And oh well, I have been trying to be one seriously, but my lazy character (look out at our Lazy Parents Youtube channel) simply don't allow so. For me, there is no such thing as researching on future primary schools when my child is only age 3. There is also no such thing as my child must eat according to nutritional charts. But no, don't get me wrong, my laziness or my half-heartedness does not mean I don't love my child. I just don't love her the way probably many parents do. 

There are different levels of energy and priorities for a human at every point in life. People who know me knows I'm not only sickly, I have low energy. Really low. 

Let me recount some basic things to do everyday as a mum, especially a SAHM. My routine for weekdays are somewhat summarised as below:

PT SAHM ROUTINE: 

  • 715am Wake husband up (husbands please dote on your wives who acts like your alarm clocks everyday!)
  • 8am Prepares daughter for school 
  • 9am Grocery shopping or work 
  • 11am Household chores like, laundry and mopping 
  • 2pm Time for my girl 
  • 3pm Snack time with my girl + my late lunch 
  • 430pm Bath-time for my girl, keep the laundry & fold them
  • 530pm Coax the girl to sleep (usually fails) so I have sometime for other activities 
  • 630pm I either would have cooked simple porridge or I would pack dinner or wait for dinner to be packed by the men (husband and father)
  • 7pm Feed myself & my child **note the struggle is real trying to get food into your kids’ mouth**
  • 8pm Probably still struggling to finish that last few spoonfuls & wash up dishes 
  • 9pm Play/ try to coax her to sleep 
  • 1030pm Work or reading stories to her 
  • 12am Drama time / work time again for myself /sleep time 
  • 2am Probably I would give her a milk or change diapers 
  • 4am Probably lands a kick to my face reminding me to go toilet? Or just to check on whose feet is on whose face. Okay, it's good too as I can check to see my precious is deeply asleep covered up in her blanket 


The routine repeats with me having to deal with work or ad hoc duties in between. Now, I seem to have a real struggle. How does time seem never enough to use? Or why am I utilizing it so poorly?  So tough to be a full time stay at home mum! In fact, frustrating at times. It is not really ideal to do chores with a 3 year old bubbly toddler at home. You have to watch her like a predator at times (ok exaggerates). For instance, if you are mopping, while waiting for the floor to dry up, you might want to multitask and proceed to wash some dishes. But the next minute, your heart might just jump out when you hear "Mummy! Mummy! Where are you!?" “Oh hello? Aren’t my sweetie doing colouring in her room?” And there, I got to dash out in case she's running (on the slippery floor) towards me! 

Just another instance, just when you thought your toddler is watching YouTube in the living room while you water the plants, suddenly, you hear a “THUD! Ah!” My toddler somehow manage to climb to the sink to play with water and cups! 

In short, we mums try to do chores when they are asleep or away, I mean when the little menaces are not at home. *wink*

Now maybe you may wonder, so might as well don't work right? Be a REAL stay at home mum to get more rest. Let's take away my working hours from this chart should I become a true SAHM. 

TRUE SAHM routine: 

  • 715am Wake husband up (Again, I don’t have to stress how husbands should really dote their women right?)
  • 8am Prepares daughter for school 
  • 9am Grocery shopping 
  • 11am Chores like, laundry and mopping 
  • 2pm Time to my girl 
  • 3pm Snack time with my girl + my late lunch 
  • 430pm Bathe her, keep the laundry & fold them
  • 530pm Coax the girl to sleep (usually fails) 
  • 630pm I either would have cooked simple porridge or I would pack dinner or wait for dinner to be packed by the men (husband and father)
  • 7pm Feed myself & my child **struggling as always**
  • 8pm Probably still struggling to finish that last few spoonfuls & wash up dishes 
  • 830pm Play/ try to coax her to sleep 
  • 1030pm Play/ reading stories to her 
  • 12am Drama time /sleep time 
  • 2am probably I would give her a milk or change diapers 
  • 4am probably lands a kick to my face reminding me to go toilet? Or just to check on whose feet is on whose face. Okay, it's good too as I can check to see my precious is deeply asleep covered up in her blanket 


Now, do you see this???? 

It's still never ending!! 

That is why, I say being a mum is pretty benevolent. You need to try to not flare up when your toddler is having a melt-down, you need to not get agitated when she just killed your plant by over watering for you (sneakily), and most of it all, you must learn to keep your cool as it is never their fault they behave badly, at all times, we must try to be really cool and educate them nicely even if they did wrongly. Be benevolent! Always try to use love to overcome anything. (Trust me, it can become crap on some days I just totally lose it all and feel like screaming her head off).  

P.s 

I try to eat before 3pm usually, but since my daughter usually will need eat some staple food /snacks by this hour, I would endup joining in, so the lazy me (oops!)would usually procrastinate and dig in late lunches. Another open secret, I usually take some time to wash dishes because I would have been lazy and leave them lying around accumulating before washing at end of the day. Somehow, it makes me slightly happier to be able to decide and slack and wash my dishes later. 

On good days, she falls asleep by 9pm. On bad days, she sleeps past midnight. And oh if you noticed, kids, they have this magical power, at every Friday especially, my daughter seem to know we will sleep later or havemore energy to play with her. Well of course, her way of TGIF was also imparted by me definitely. I sleep even later on most Friday nights. 

I know of parents who makes it a habit to read up, research and cook balanced meals, specific reading hour to their child and so on. I only do so, to be in all honesty, when I have a) any more energy left b) good mood. So I make it up to my kid especially during weekday tea breaks and weekend by bringing her go out to shop or play. 

Does your SAHM or SAHM + freelance working life rings like mine?