I have chosen to become a stay-at-home-mother (SAHM) since DD came into my life. And I have not regretted a single day of it.
Sure there were some days I had wished I were working instead of staying home to look after DD 24/7, especially in the first year after her birth as she was a needy and fussy baby who needed to be breastfed every 2 hours. Some babies could just sleep or play through with dirty diapers. Not my little princess. She would cry at the top of her lungs if her diaper got wet with urine or dirty with poo. This meant she could wake several times in the nights and insufficient sleep for her daddy and mummy.
On days when she was sick and needed to be fed medicine, it was like a mini tug-of-war where we needed at least 2 persons – one to hold her limbs from kicking wildly, and the other to feed her the medicine. She was that resistant to medicine. This continued till her toddlerhood and fortunately stopped after she turned 3.
Of course there was the inevitable ‘terrible-two’ period where every mother’s patience would be tested to the limit, especially for SAHMs who have to face their toddlers’ tantrums every moment of every day. But it was also during these times that I learnt patience, tolerance and unconditional love. And these are precious invaluable lessons I wouldn’t have learnt if I were not a SAHM.
Like every SAHM, we also learn to live and be contented on a single family income. Of course that also means we have to let go of certain luxuries that most dual-income families could enjoy. We hardly eat out at restaurants except on the rare special occasions. We can only afford one vacation a year and most probably a short getaway. Any big-item purchases have to be considered carefully and some household items are recycled for use, like old bath towels used as floor rags and old toothbrushes as cleaning tools. It is not only environmentally-friendly but also cuts down on household expenses. And of course, Kate Spade bags and Gucci sunglasses are beyond my reach. Not that I need them anyway.
Not having extended family help has also made me stronger and more independent as I could run my household and raise my child the way I want it. Of course that includes solving problems and finding solutions on my own.
Some relatives and friends have wondered why I won’t leave my DD at a childcare centre or to a domestic help so I could go out and work. Having a double income is always better, they say. In case one loses his job, there is still another bringing home the bacon, I know that too.
Maybe it’s just me. I would rather live on less than to leave my only child to a maid or childcare centre. And unless I have a job that is more satisfying than watching my child grows and develops into who she is now, I think for now I’m happy being a SAHM. Spending time with my child and bonding with her 24/7 has brought me so much precious memories that I wouldn’t trade anything for it.
P.S. – I want to dedicate this article to all SAHMs here. And special kudos to all FTWMs who have to juggle both career and family.