"By being a working mum, I want to instill values like self-reliance and confidence in my daughter, that will help her be part of a generation that bridges gender inequalities and empowers women."
Dear working mum,
Life presents us with a multitude of decisions and choices. Some we make because we have no other option. Others we choose because we know that in the long run, they will benefit us or our families in some way. This is true for the many things that life brings our way, including when it comes to deciding to go back to work after having a baby.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had everything planned out. I had her sleep, play and breastfeeding schedules sorted. I was going to return to work three months after I give birth. And then she was born. My plans collapsed on themselves as my little one ruled my life and dictated her own schedules.
The thought of going back to work while she was still in my womb was easy, but after she was born, I spent day after day agonising over my decision.
Every day my little girl did something that made me fall even more in love with her (if that’s even possible). How could I spend even a minute — let alone every day — away from this little ray of sunshine once my maternity leave was up?
Yes, I wanted with all my heart and soul to be with my daughter every step of the way. But on the other hand, I had to stick to my choice of returning to work.
It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made, and in no way does it take away from the love I have for my little girl. But I did have my reasons.
Fellow working mums, I’m sure these reasons will resonate with you too.
1. I need to support my family financially
Gone are the days when the husband was considered to be the sole breadwinner of the family. Women — single, married, mums or otherwise — pull their weight equally financially, and I am one such woman.
My husband and I can’t plan and save for our daughter’s future on just one salary. We can’t give her everything we want to on just one pay-check. And so, I need to work; I need to support my family financially.
I am also proud of the fact that I am raising my daughter to be a responsible and caring member of society while at the same time, gaining and maintaining my financial independence.
I think this sets a great example to my girl that women don’t have to be dependent on anyone, and can be self-reliant and independent contributors to society.
2. I want to be a strong role model to my girl
I want to teach my daughter the ethics of hard work and commitment, the merits of ambition and achievement. I want to be the best role model I can possibly be to instill in her these values that I hold strong.
And through this, I want to show her that some day, she can break through that glass ceiling that prevents many women from getting to the top of their professions, in contrast to their male peers. Hopefully, she will be part of a generation that bridges gender inequalities and empowers women.
I wake up at dawn every single day for the sake of my daughter. Do I resent this? Not one bit! Read more on the next page.