Friday, April 09, 2010

A mother first

Below is an article pluck from The Star. It is just the right time for getting to read this while I'm in dilemma. It really helpful to me and support my decision on what to do... and also how to be a good mother.

Wednesday March 31, 2010
A mother first

Mothers may choose different paths for themselves but their roles and responsibilities remain the same.

I HAVE often been asked: “Who is better – the working mother or stay-at-home mother?” Mothers who want to quit working, want to know whether they are making the right choice. While mothers who are full-time home-makers want to know how it will affect their children when they join the workforce.

Whether working or stay-at-home, all mothers share the same fears and concerns. They wonder whether they are feeding their children right or spending enough time teaching them the right values.

You should always feel that you are doing your best for the children. Whether you work or stay at home, you are a full-time mother. There is no place for guilt. If you look after your children with knowledge, skill, love and patience, you are the kind of mother that deserves the highest recognition.

I grew up with a working mother whose own mother was a stay-at-home parent. When I was growing up, my mother and my grandmother often differed in their views on how children should be disciplined or how to manage certain behaviours.

Whenever my mother went on annual leave, we felt that she was cramping a year of parenting into a few short weeks. She made us clean our rooms and gave us extra written work for practice. We were quite relieved whenever she returned to work.

My siblings and I felt much better when Mother was at work. We wanted her to leave us to our own devices. When she was juggling work and raising us, she shared her time with us doing what really mattered. She took us on educational trips and introduced us to arts and culture.

My mother fared better outside the house. She also worked because we needed the extra income.

She could hardly cook but she took us out to great eateries to try out international cuisine. Sewing was not her forte either.

There were many things she did not do but my mother’s mothering style provided us with a great deal more.

We learned to do many things that she could not do. I started cooking at a young age because my mother encouraged me by buying as many cookbooks as she could afford.

Mothers get criticised for their choices. When they choose to work outside the home, many would frown on them and blame them for all the wrongs their children did because they were not able to stay home to spend time with their children.

When my children were babies, I had one stay-at-home mother who asked whether I breastfed my children. She also told me that I would not have much time for my children because of my busy schedule.

A mother who chooses to stay at home with her children is often misunderstood as someone who could not do much outside the home. I know of many well-educated and capable women who are home-makers.

I once met a lady who was conducting a survey on households.

She asked: “Madam, you don’t work outside the home. What is your educational background? Did you finish secondary school?” She looked surprised when I told her I had post-graduate qualifications. She had assumed that I was a stay-at-home mother because I had little education.

I used to have a neighbour who was a stay-at-home mother. Every day I could hear her screaming at her crying son. She was not happy and neither was her young son. She felt stressed out and lonely staying home the whole day with a young child.

What children really want is a happy mother, regardless of whether she is a career woman or a home-maker.

We raise our daughters on limitless possibilities of career choices. We must support them in the choices they make.

Children thrive on their mother’s love; there is no discrimination whether this love comes from a working mother or a stay-at-home one.

Be confident and trust that what you have chosen for yourself is also the best for your child.


Kristie said...

Judy, yes mothers are the greatest people on Earth!!!! We have to do basically everything and yet ppl still expect more from us...

U are doing great dear, and whatever ur decision is, Terry will be in good hands and will love u infinitely for sure ;)

Agnes said...

very good article, I always dream of staying at home spending more time with my girls, chances of me screaming to discipline them is a sure thing, I would become a fierce tiger more than a loving cat :D

Actually there are pros and cons of being SAHM and full time working mum. Working on flexi hours would be ideal the way I see it.

Alice Law said...

I'm a SAHM, and I agreed with the article! As long as we are able to spend quality time with our children, it doesn't matter whether we are staying at home or at work!

Please have a wonderful weekend!

Mummy Gwen said...

I read this article from The Star and I agree whether we are SAHMs or working mums, we just want the best for our children.

Merryn said...

This article by Ruth Liew is simply awesome! I read it too..

MeRy said...

Good article.
Be it sahm or working mum, we always wan the best 4 our kids.

vickylow said...

Thanks for sharing. Ya SHAM or FTWM, we just need to do the best for our kids.

huisia said...

Great post. SOmetimes i so sick of hearing some comments from working mothers like "you so good lah can stay at home, can sleep when you want, can watch tv also...." i feel like slapping their mouths when i hear such a stupid sentence. who said SAHM means the one who is enjoying the most?

mNhL said...

great article. Thks for sharing. I did not see this in The Star. Maybe I missed that page. Well said.

sting said...

That was a great article. If you ever doubt yourself, take a look at Terry and you will know that you had made a good choice :-)

Serene said...

Good article. thanks for sharing. I agree... our children want a happy mother, be it a SAHM or FTWM.

Irene said...

thank you for bringing up tiz article. i have other moms telling me its wrong to be sending my lil one to daycare at such a young age. but i gotta, no choice. if i have a choice, i would love to care for her myself, but i gotta work. sigh. sometimes it's really depressing to get -ve comments, but f@#& it lah! thanks!