Why I Won’t Trade Places As a SAHM

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.

I wanna join the SAHM's club!

I just became a SAHM a month ago after a good 13 years of juggling both work & family. It took me a long while of consideration n courage to be a SAHM, giving up my career and all.
So far, I’m enjoying being a SAHM. It’s kind of fulfilling!

I certainly know what you

I certainly know what you mean…just remember that other people’s disapproval does not matter. What’s important is you know what is best for you and your kids. 🙂

Yes, Littlefly, pass on the

Yes, Littlefly, pass on the encouragement to your GF. It’s not easy to be a SAHM – we are often the neglected lot -and we need all the encouragements we can get. 🙂

Sunset, not everyone can be a

Sunset, not everyone can be a SAHM. Some women are happier and find more fullfillment working, and that’s OK. The most important thing is to be a good mum, regardless SAHM or FTWM! 🙂

SAHMs are great

it takes a lot of patient and courage to be a SAHM. I doubt i have this courage, at least for now..

I am going to share this with

I am going to share this with my gf who is also a SAHM of 5 kids.

Great!

I chose to stay home when baby no.2 came along & even though there were bad days, there were even more good times that we shared. Watching didi grow up tells me just how much I have missed when gorgor was at that stage. I’m just glad to be a stayhome mum even though many have disapproved it.

Contributing in intangible ways

Intermezzo, I can understand how you feel – the guilt of wasting your degree and not contributing to the family income. I used to feel that way in the beginning. But not anymore as I’ve seen how my staying home to nurture my DD has benefited her in intangible ways. These are more priceless than money, in my opinion. So, jia you! 🙂

Thanks for sharing this ~

Thanks for sharing this ~ there’re lots of time when i feel rather guilty, that i’m not contributing to the income of the family, that i’m wasting my univ degree, etc..  it’s great to read inspiring and encouraging stories from other SAHMs!

 I can't agreed more, same!

 I can’t agreed more, same! Now i know i am not alone.

 

Welcome to the Club!

Hi jenao, m3i_m3i,

Welcome to the SAHM Club! Hope to ‘see’ you around in the SAHM Club thread.

Hi ThinkingLoft, you said it

Hi ThinkingLoft, you said it so right! As a SAHM, we have no MC, no day off, plus no bonus and can’t even "quit our job"!

But our rewards are intangible, yeah…and hopefully our children appreciate our sacrifices.

Thks for sharing!!

Ur blog is so sweet… really reflects how a mother shld love her children.

So will u be trying for a 2nd child soon?? 

 

Thank you for this sharing

Thank you for this sharing…. so happy that I’m not alone fighting to be SAHM… I’m not tai-tai either and there’s no single extended family to help since we’re immigrants. 

 Well said.  Always need

 Well said.  Always need reminders like these to remind myself why I am a SAHM.  THank you for sharing.

It's nice to know I'm not alone

 Thank you for this sharing! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone.  People look at me in envy thinking that it’s so easy to not have to "work". Yes, I might not need to dress up for work and go into an office but at the same time, there is no MC, no day off, in fact, I can’t even "leave my work at the office".  There is simply no escape.

Also, I sometimes do miss the day when I am "me" and not only "someone’s mum".  But still, I would not want a different "job" because there is no job in this world that gives me the same level of satisfaction from watching my precious grow and prosper on a daily basis. 

 

great article

Hey, your article is enlightening! I wish i can be half a SAHM when my kids are older 🙂

 

I'm a FTWM

I’m a FTWM who has to meet job, household & childcare expectations. It is also a demanding lifestyle with little personal time.

I look at my DD’s cute face in the morning and sometimes wish I can be with her instead of rushing off to work. I come home tired after a hectic day at work and continue my 2nd shift of coaching & guiding my DS and DD.

In the high and rising cost of living environment, not every spouse and in-laws are supportive of going single-income. 

We are also very simple people who don’t go for branded stuffs. Besides meeting basic needs and paying for children’s enrichment classes, I’m also saving for my own retirement and giving allowances to my mother. 

These are not possible with a single income unless you have a husband who is both reasonably well-to-do and very supportive (financially). Being a SAHM is considered a privilege to many others these days.

Thanks for the compliment,

Thanks for the compliment, happy. 🙂

You’re right, not all SAHMs are "tai-tais". I think majority of us SAHMs do not choose this path becos we are rich and can afford not to work and can go hi-tea and shopping on weekdays. Rather it’s more becos we can’t bear to leave our kids to other caregivers, or we don’t have any extended family help.

I can empathise how you feel abt having to leave your kids to the maid while you work, and worrying abt savings and income if you become SAHM again. But it’s a choice you have to make. So think carefully and have no regret. 🙂 

I know what you mean,

I know what you mean, Awonder. My DD had driven me to exasperation many times too. But every time when she comes over to me and hugs me and says "Mummy, I love you so so much!", any feelings of stress, exasperation and frustration just went out the window!

hi Angelight kudos to you and

hi Angelight

kudos to you and all SAHMs.  i have been a SAHM before and understand how tough it was. People who ever comment SAHM as "Tai Tai" does not even know what it is like to be a mum, housewife for 24/7. 

dislike the situation now as to rely on helper while at work because i do not have much help from parents (both sides).  one part of me was thinking to be a SAHM again if helper does not want to work anymore but the other part of me is really worried about income and savings. You are a great SAHM. 

 

Very Enlightening

 Oh Angelight, you are very true of everything and after having my 3rd kids now I can said that I am very experience with feeding medicine if you need any advice….

I can say that I wouldn’t quit as a SAHM cos I had totally put my whole self into it, eventhough I had lost my sanity many many times but any surprise moment or just a smile they had given me will bring me back to life again.

Btw, kabalesky, reading your post had indeed bought back a lot of memory of my post moment as a new mother and infact I am still feeding my 23rd mth ds and eat my meal at the same time now.  Yes of course how we wish we had those helps and able to dress up nicely but the sacrifice is worthwhile.  Yr child will grow up and be sure to dress up yourself again.  You do not have to envy those around you, be proud of yourself that you are able to handle your child single handedly and you would not know that actually they are the one that envy you instead.

 

 

 

Join our SAHM Club!

Dreamygal, you shld join our SAHM Club where we get to share our experiences and vent our frustrations at times. It does help keep our sanity. 😉

Thank you, annamylee, on

Thank you, annamylee, on behalf of all SAHMs! 🙂

Kabby, We all should get

Kabby, We all should get together lah …. :))))

I love this article

You have said what’s exactly in my mind.

Facing the kids 24 hours a day is not easy as SAHM got no where to escape to. I feel frustrated at times but i simply can’t leave home without them for long anymore. 🙂

Finding solace in KSP

Indeed you are not alone, kabalevsky. 🙂 And thanks for your sharing, I can identify with that too. I agree that as SAHM, we often feel alone cos our world is just DH and kids. We don’t have many opportunities to interact with outside world. That’s why I find so much solace in KSP forum, where I get to communicate and share experiences and thoughts with other mummies. 🙂

Thanks, kiddo! :)

Thanks, kiddo! 🙂

I know what you mean,

I know what you mean, ImMeeMee. I have friends who cannot be SAHM too cos they feel happier working. As long as you are a good loving mother, SAHM or FTWM, it does not matter. 🙂

SAHM is not easy

I am FTWM… I could not imagine I am a SAHM. I really salute all SAHM as there are lots of sacrifices. Having said that, I believe all SAHM also feel a lot of rewards too!

Good job!

good piece, angelight. there

good piece, angelight. there are some mothers who cannot be 24/7 SAHM and I am one of those. have tried before and both dh and myself decided that I would be a better mother if I were to work. so i envy those mothers who can do it and still keep their sanity.

kudos.

 

 

P.S. - I want to dedicate

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.  

Thank you from a FTWM who alway wish she could be a SAHM 

kudos to you….. well done  Angelight.

Nothing beat having a mother full time with the little

angel growing up years

 

we're not alone :)

 Thanks for sharing! Sometimes as a SAHM, I’ll feel very alone cos when I bring bb out in the day, it’s just me and bb with scores of grandparents and maids at the playground.

Or when I see friends all taking off during school hols to exotic destinations. 

When we do make a rare trip to a nice restaurant to eat, I would see most families around me with grandparents and helper to help with the kids, while I’ll not be able to eat much, tending to dd and feeding her. If she self-feeds, then I’d be like a madwoman clearing up her messes. And Dh and I hardly get to eat peacefully together and discuss any topic in completion. 🙂

When we go shopping, I have to wear practical clothes cos I have to nurse, have to carry baby etc. And I do notice how when I walk into any boutique, I don’t get served whereas the well-groomed beautiful women do. 

And autumnbronze has already talked about the sacrifices in our careers. 

Yet, at the end of the day, when I weigh everything, I still feel happy with my choice. The joys far outnumber the sacrifices.

And when I read your account, I know we SAHMs are not alone. I can definitely identify with what you have written. 🙂

An enriching experience

Hi autumnbronze, we are both blessed to have hubby who are supportive of us being SAHM. Like you, some people also felt I’ve wasted my university degree which I had achieved thru’ the hard way (part-time work and study). Others felt I did not utilise my talents and skills by staying home. But I have no regrets. My SAHM experience has been more enriching and satisfying than any career highlights i’ve ever had.

Thanks smartmummy

Thanks Smartmummy for the thumbs-up! 🙂

Good one!

Very true.All SAHM has same experience and same reason to stay as SAHM.Nice article.

Thanks Angelight

Thanks once again for writing on a topic close to my heart. I left MOE at the height of my teaching career, forgoing the connect plan as well. But nothing, and nothing can make me regret that decision. Your article highlighted all the issues that I have faced and am facing. But the bottom line is that I am HAPPY and so are my 2 gems and my DH, who was the one who encouraged me to be a SAHM due to a different set of circumstances initially and I have never looked back. I have been chastised for wasting money on an overseas education and in turn, not making use of it productively. I do give tuition but take in one or two pupils a year. But truth be told, it’s lessons learnt from bringing up my DS1 that have been the most enriching and enlightening. I discovered some positive traits in me that I thought I was not capable of having. I come from a ‘dysfunctional’ family unit. But my 2 gems have more than made up for it.

SAHMs are great.

I never have the courage to quit and be SAHM. Kudos to all who make the choice.

Nice!

Nice!

Thank you for sharing this.

Thank you for sharing this. It’s reminded me of the reasons I decided to stay home too. 🙂

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