Dear working mums, this letter is for you...
"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.
3. Being a working mum doesn't reduce the love I have for my child
Being a working mum means that I wake up at 5am every morning in order to prepare my little one's meals, drop her at preschool and kiss her good-bye. It means I get to work an hour before everyone else and I skip my lunch break so that I can leave work an hour early.
What this means is that I am home in time to take my girl to the park. I think it is so important for her development to be able to run around and enjoy plenty of physical activity and fresh air.
We also get to eat dinner together, after which I read her a bedtime story and kiss her goodnight.
I do this every single day because I appreciate beyond measure this time that I get to spend with my child. I know this time is not large in quantity, but it is rich in quality. My child is happy, healthy and intelligent because I know I can juggle both a full time job and motherhood without compromising either.
As a working mum, I also need to ensure my child has a strong core. Even though I am not with her at all times, a strong core will help my little one stay healthy and happy through the day, until I am able to be by her side again.
There are two ways of making sure my girl is strong on the inside. One is by teaching her good values, what is right from wrong and by being a strong role model to her as previously explained.
The other is via nutrition. So, I never compromise on what is best for my child by making sure she eats healthy meals that include plenty of fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. I include Friso milk in this balanced diet, which helps her become strong on the inside.
And when I am away at work, I am confident that this strength powers my daughter through her day.
I also know that this inner strength gained by the high quality nutrition I give my girl will shine through in her. And along with my love, care and guidance, this will help build the values which I so dearly want to see in my child as she grows into a confident young lady. There's nothing that makes me enjoy my motherhood journey more than to see this.
So dear working mums, be proud of the choices you have made and enjoy every step of your own motherhood journey. Do not regret your decision to work -- you are all teaching your children incredibly important lessons by doing so.
Working mums, how do you enjoy spending your free time with your little ones? Please let us know by leaving a comment below. And if you would like to get a free sample of Friso today, just click this link. You could also check out their Facebook page for more information.