I’m a work-at-home mom and i know many would go “You’re so lucky. It’s the ideal arrangement.”
No it’s not. I’m telling you it’s not.
Just like being a SAHM or FTWM, we WAHM have our own guilt too. It does seem like we have the best of both worlds cos we get to earn money and see our kids throughout the day but really if you ask me, it’s the worst of both worlds.
It was horrendous the last 2 months. I was buried deep in work, mainly because of the Sampul Raya. I went all out this year and Alhamdulillah, it was a success. My bank account is fat & happy. Can’t say the same for Nadya though.
She knows i’m busy (and ignoring her) and it makes me feel really bad! Being a work at home mom means seeing lots of your child but ignoring them most of the time cos u have a deadline. It’s nice to be able to cuddle with her in the morning and not have to rush my shower so i can feed her breakfast before going to work etc.
But if only u can see the many times i had to get her off my lap cos she’s banging her little fingers on my keyboard. Or that time i had to lock myself in the room for a while cos she was screaming while i was on a call and i can’t hear a word the other party is saying cos i’m trying to figure out what she’s screaming for. Does she want milk? Or is it her naptime? Whaaaat it’s 2.00pm?! It’s her naptime! No wonder she’s screaming!
Or when she pulls my hands cos she wants me to play with her in the playpen and i had to reject the offer cos i’ve to submit an artwork by 4pm in order to make it for that day’s printing.
When i made that decision to work from home, ideally it would be to only work during her naptimes. But toddlers, they just don’t nap as much anymore!! You’ll be lucky if they can nap once in the day for 2-3 hours. I keep telling her “I’m sorry i have to work. Can u please play on your own?”
That’s like me telling her “Please just leave me the hell alone. I need to work.” I feel bad about it all the time. I just hope Nadya don’t grow up thinking that i don’t want to be with her cos i keep shutting her out. It’s really sad if you think about it. Having your mom constantly there but refusing to play with you. Aaargh. My poor girl.
Sometimes i do let go of everything i do and i can feel her trying as much as she can to get as much attention as she can get from me because she knows it won’t be long till i return to my laptop and finish up work or cook lunch & dinner.
I’m not saying that the FTWM have it easier. Yes you don’t get to see your child for most of the day and that sucks especially if you get back home late and it’s already their bedtime. But at least you don’t have to reply emails, handle clients with a child screaming for your attention at the back or chop2 make lunch just in time before they nap else they’ll miss their lunch and then get very cranky when they wake up. At least they get 1 hour of uninterrupted lunch and if you have an annoying colleague, you can tell them to go away and not feel as bad as telling your child to go away.
Being a SAHM is not easy too and it’s also tiring to be looking after your child all the time. I can feel them counting the hours to their nap times just so they can escape and have some me-time like go to the toilet without an audience for once! I mean just how much child-talk can u handle a day? Don’t forget about the mess they make! Oh God! But at least they don’t have deadlines. They don’t have to worry about unhappy clients. They don’t have to choose between work & their child. It’s the child all the way.
WAHM gotta choose. It’s between chasing deadlines or playing with your child. So the next time you see a WAHM, don’t tell them they have the best of both worlds. I can hear them screaming at the thought of it. There is no such thing as an ideal arrangement once you’re a mom.
At the end of the day, i just hope when Nadya is older, she remembers the day we went swimming. Or the finger painting exercise we did. That busy board i painstakingly did for her. The gym classes i sent her and the many laughs that we share.
Not the part where i constantly tell her to go away. Please don’t.
But if she does remember, i hope she’ll understand that i did it because i had to. Not because i want to.