Consider this before becoming a stay at home mum in Singapore!
Read on to find out an important consideration you should make before becoming a stay at home mum.
It’s getting increasingly difficult to raise a child these days. New age grandparents are less willing to be full-time babysitters, helpers come with a series of issues and finding a childcare that fits the bill without bursting your bank account is far from easy. As such many women find themselves gravitating towards the idea of becoming a stay at home mum in Singapore.
For some women, becoming a stay at home mum in Singapore is a conscious and deliberate choice, for they believe it’s the best they can offer their children. For others, it’s a choice forced upon them by circumstances. Either way, pause for a bit before you throw in that resignation letter. Experts caution that there’s one thing you must seriously consider and that’s your identity.
Before you become a stay at home mum in Singapore, you need to think carefully about what you want for yourself in the next five to ten years. I repeat, what you want for yourself, apart from your role as a mother.
Singaporeans are a pragmatic lot. So naturally the first consideration most families have is the financial aspect. But while finances are important, the mental impact of becoming a stay at home mum in Singapore is just as important.
Mental impact of becoming a stay at home mum in Singapore
Experts say that stay at home mums are almost like superheroes. They are masters at multitasking and they can pretty much get just about anything done. And it’s incomprehensible how they can be so energetic as they survive on such little sleep.
But as much as they enjoy their time with their precious little ones, many of these women expressed that they missed their salary and the spending power that comes with it, intellectual stimulation and socialising with fellow adults while working.
Here’s what a stay at home mum in Singapore, who left her high-paying job to look after her three children had to say:
“Many of my friends tell me that they are envious of my seemingly perfect life. I chose to be a stay at home in Singapore because I don’t think anyone else can raise my children the way I want. I can’t compromise on my expectations. I don’t believe in grandparents or childcare. Helpers are out of the question.
But that’s not to say that it’s all rosy. Sometimes I think about how my children view me and I don’t feel as powerful because I’m not out there generating income. My role becomes confined to the home, kitchen and their school. They love me and all that I do for them but I often wonder if they view me differently from the lawyer mom who lives next door, or the surgeon mom who drops their classmate off to school in her Porsche.
You know, like those who actually have a profession that you see in those Occupations charts stuck on the walls of their classroom…”
She went to explain that in order to balance it out, she keeps herself relevant by attending courses now and then, and has ventured into businesses that she can manage from home. She continues to network with people and it gives her a sense of satisfaction that she contributes to the finances as well.
And that’s precisely the point that experts are driving across.
Remaining yourself while being a stay at home mum in Singapore
Yes, being a stay at home mum in Singapore is a 24 hour job and even the chance to actually condition your hair after washing it, is a rare luxury. But experts strongly recommend that you have something just for yourself. If you’re a stay at home mum, there’s nothing you do better than multi tasking and stretching your time so you will find a way to make it happen.
Join a community or club, volunteer, join the grassroots (added bonus it gives you priority for p1 registration!), work from home even if it’s just for a bit, do something! The important takeaway is that you create opportunities for positive feedback and a sense of accomplishment and for personal growth.
As your children get slightly older, they will become more independent and that will free some time on your schedule. Then you can indulge in more self-care. Exercise, meditate, go to that spa, get your nails done. You need your sanity and happiness as much as your kids need you !
And please, get out of the house and meet some friends when you can. It’s so important that you find support and have adult interaction!
Another stay at home mum in Singapore, who left her teaching job to care for her three kids (the third kid seems to be the deal breaker here, many mums leave their job when the third kid arrives!) explained,
“Being a working mum was taking a toll on my happiness and self-esteem. I felt like a lousy employee and a lousy mum. Now I am a stay at home mum and I’m happier, but I do feel my world has shrunk. I even feel like an ‘Aunty’ at times, going to the market so often!
So I have my moments of selfishness. I find time to make it all about me. There are nights when my husband cooks a fancy dinner at home and allows me to feel like a princess. There are nights when I enjoy cocktails with my girlfriends. And there are days that just go off on my own and do whatever I want to do. And that’s just so important.”
And if being a stay at home mum in Singapore is a temporary arrangement for you, and you have plans to return to the workforce when your children don’t need you as much, then it’s important that you stay relevant. No one is going to give a dated resume a second look so keep looking for opportunities to update it.
Go for courses, freelance a little here and there, keep in touch with former colleagues, bosses and anyone who can write a line in your resume or referral. Volunteer and pro bono work also count as valuable experience!
Words from a veteran stay at home mum in Singapore
I left my job some 30 over years ago. It seemed like the best thing to do. I didn’t just leave my job, I left my friends, and everything that was mine. I made my world my children. I spent all my time with them, teaching them, caring for them, cooking for them.
Every wedding anniversary and every holiday included the kids. My husband and I never excluded them to make time for ourselves.
I’ve raised two very successful children. I’m proud of them, I admire them. But now that they are on their own, and often spend time in different parts of the world, I start feeling so empty.
I find it strange to go out with my friends because I stopped doing it. My husband is getting older and while we are still very much in love, we don’t necessarily enjoy the same things anymore. So I find myself regretting that I gave up everything. I wish I had held on to something to call mine.
When I look at my friends who still have a career, I am really envious!
So my advice to anyone who wants to be a stay at home mum in Singapore is to keep a part of you for you. Otherwise, the emptiness can get really depressing when your children are all grown up.