Motherhood may be a dream job for many but it definitely not an easy job. I dare say the toughest job in the whole world, more difficult than any other worst jobs out there.
Don’t believe me?
Motherhood is an endless worrisome job that has absolutely no break. It’s a 24 hours x 7 days job. Even when you get a day off, (your partner volunteers to look after your child for a day so you can pamper yourself or realistically get some sleep), you worried your head off and conjure images of your partner (pick one: accidentally drop the kid / forgot to feed lunch / lost the kid in the mall).
And at the end of the day, no other companies will ever recognize your contribution as a Mother and even go as far as to ignore the years of sacrifice you made on your career as a stay-at-home-mommy.
Yes, it’s nothing personal, it’s just business. And in the business world, it can be cruel. So is motherhood. You have the fantasy of gorgeous nursery with an adorable cute little one smiling up at you as you sat in the rocking chair, rocking the sleepy one under the moonlight.
The brutal truth (I wished someone had told me this) is that the gorgeous nursery is a non-existence because you’ll bring the little to your bedroom every night for the next one year because of the fear of sudden infant death in sleep. I’m not exaggerating, SIDS is very real. The gorgeous nursery (if you still have any) will cost you an arm and a leg, filled with worn clothes, piled up with new diaper packs (resulted from binge buying during a sale) and well-meaning gifts (that are useless) collecting dust in the corner.
And the baby is not going to be as adorable as you think she is when she wails in your face, going red and nothing you can do, absolutely nothing you do, can make her stop crying. (My little one is a colic baby.) You stop sleeping 8 hours anymore (I wish someone had told me that), you are so sleep deprived you walked into glass doors (happened to me twice this month) and the moment you get some peace and quiet to lay your head on the soft pillow, she starts crying again.
Give me a manager who worries about his responsibilities all the time. Give me a boss who thinks he is not enough (and never will be) all the time. I’m a workaholic by nature and I do worry about loads of things when I was a manager: my staff, their performance, our product launches, our service level, key performing indicators, profits etc. Sometimes, it even kept me awake at night. Or spoils my holidays because I couldn’t set it aside.
Oh, please. That was nothing compared to motherhood. I eat, sleep and breath baby worries every single minute. Yes, I did the craziest (but common) thing that new mothers do. Wake up in the middle of the night just to stare at my baby’s chest for a few minutes to make sure she is breathing fine.
Yes, it’s a cruel cruel world.
And to think that many hiring managers and recruiters just scoff off your explanation when you mentioned you took (filled in a number) years hiatus to look after the future generation of this world. Instead of looking at skills that you developed as a mother, they choose to go ‘So good life, I envy you that you can stay at home with your kid.’
If I hear the same speech again from someone else for the fifth time this week, I’ll diaper fling at the speaker.
I made the hard (and teary) choice to give up my career and stay at home to nurture and it’s supposed to be a beautiful thing. A self-sacrificing move. Instead, mothers are being punished when they want to return to work full time by people who think full-time sleep-deprived motherhood is no big deal, not worth the mention in your resume.
That aside, motherhood itself is punishing. I don’t see anyone would feel guilty or worried about losing their jobs if they sneak out the backdoor for a 5 minutes smoke break. I can’t even close the door to my toilet to shower/ poop/ pee without worrying if she’s going to survive if I take a quick pee, let alone the guilt of closing the door on her.
Our one-way conversation goes like this “Sweetie, mommy needs a shower. Can I close the door, please? Just 5 mins? Okay, you can sit outside by the door. I’ll be right out before you know it. Fine… you can come in and watch me shower. I’ll be really quick. Whatever! I gave up, you can shower with me.”
My daughter’s response to the conversation is a non-stop wailing (no tears) until she got into the shower stall with me.
Of course, motherhood has its rewards. Let me let you in on one real fact: the heart-swelling satisfaction you get when your child puckered up to give you her first kiss beats hands down first-class business trips, fat juicy bonuses, sky view office and the big fat paycheck. But it’s not just one moment, it’s multiple moments, heart swelling moments every single day. The time she fell and hurt her knee, she doesn’t want anyone but you to hug her. That moment she beam at you when you walked into the room. The sweetest moment when she shares the last of her precious favorite blueberry with you.
Those are the moments where I feel “Yes, I’m envying myself for able to stay at home with my kid!”
This post is dedicated to all the mothers out there.
The ones who kiss our pain to make it go away.
The ones who endure 12 hours of labor.
The ones who sacrifice her (career / girls’ night out / hourglass figure / dreams / sanity)
The ones who guilt trip themselves all the time
The ones who stole bites of chocolate from the fridge when they thought nobody is watching
The ones who accidentally took a sip of wine and felt like a terrible mother because she is breastfeeding
The ones who sleep only 4 hours every day
And the ones who walked into glass doors
Happy Mother’s Day
Can’t get enough of my thoughts on motherhood? Check out these:
Timetable Of A Work-From-Home Mother
Curb The Gender Differences For Our Next Generation
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