(English translation available after the Chinese article)
今天巴不得有自己的時間 (me time)，
只要盡了力便可， 為孩子好的媽媽， 都是好媽媽！
I have been a working mom for more than three years. The maternity leave that year (I gave birth) was allotted to 10 weeks, and I took 3 of those 10 weeks off before birth to prepare for the baby in addition to another week taken from my annual leave. My son was 2 months old when I returned to work.
I remember the day before returning to work, my heart felt extremely heavy. After spending every waking minute with my son during my maternity leave, just thinking about being away from him for over ten plus hours made me break down and sob the night before.
Now I can laugh about it thinking back to that time. Today, I treasure those alone time (me time) and do not have the need to always be with my son.
Working mamas always have mom guilt worrying about missing out on the growth of their kids. Especially during their baby development stages where they learn new things every single day. From their first time turning over, their first time standing up, their first time crawling, their first steps holding your hand, their first steps by themselves, to their first words.
Babies have a lot of firsts and moms really want to be there to witness these first moments. But a lot of times the moms are at work and missing these moments would create that guilt.
Mom’s other guilt could be the lack of time spent at home and they have to outsource the care of their kid to elders in their family like grandparents or domestic helpers.
Without the time to help the kids on their homework, parents have to instead hire a tutor or tutoring center to help.
And because of work, they might have to miss a lot of school activities especially those important occasions like competition or graduation ceremony.
Mom’s guilt is one of the biggest pressure moms face which affect not just their emotion but also can lead to insomnia. Moms have to teach themselves to overcome this guilt and here are a few suggestions on how to do so.
1. Forgive Yourself
Out of necessity, a lot of moms have to return to work after giving birth in hopes of giving their child a better future. There are also some moms who did not want to lose themselves and to keep in touch with society.
Going back to work is a kind of choice. And when we start to blame ourselves and start to think that we’re not doing well in the roles we have chosen, we have to tell ourselves that this is our choice – our choice to work to help ourselves and the family and we should then try to block out all the negative thoughts.
2. Know Your Worth
Moms should start to think about what’s most important to us and spend more time on that part. For example, if you believe family is most important but that you’re spending too little time with the family, then you can make a choice to let go of those other time-consuming parts of your life that are not as important to you. Such as eating with colleagues, helping a neighbor watch their kids, etc. Leave the weekend free times for the family instead.
3. Ask for Help
Some working moms will try to take on everything themselves, from taking care of their child to household chores to grocery shopping after work and cooking, making yourself too tired and putting too much pressure on yourself.
Doing everything yourself is impossible as moms also need resting time and time for yourself so ask for help!
From your own parents, your in-laws, your neighbors, your good friend, your kid’s classmate’s parents, etc. – they can all be good sources of help.
4. No Need to be a Perfect Mom
Moms do not have to be perfect. Moms don’t have to do everything that they are “supposed/expected” to do. They should have their own time and be able to delegate the tasks. They also do not need to sacrifice it all for family.
Raising a kid is not easy, you have to make so many different decisions like breastmilk or formula, spoon feeding or baby-led weaning, speak to the kid in Chinese or English, which kindergarten to select, or which extra-curricular program to register and apply for?
Parents make many decisions for their kids but not all the decisions will suit the child in the beginning. It might take some practice before knowing what’s right for your child.
You hear many different opinions and criticism which will bring you down, making you feel like you’re not doing good enough and ruining the future of your child.
Moms, believe that every decision you made is for the good of your child. We are learning every day to be a mom and every child is different so it’s very hard to always do everything right or to follow everyone’s opinion.
As long as you’re trying to do the best for your child, you’re a good mom.
All the contents published in this article are personal opinions and do not represent the opinions and views of Little Monkey.
About the Author
Scarlett is a working mom with a 4-year-old son, who knows the challenges encountered by working parents. She would like to share some thoughts on parenthood that may serve as support and encouragement for moms and dads.