To Work or Not to Work

Whether your mum is a stay-at-home mother or a working mother, you must have observed up-close a working mother’s usual day at least once so you’ll understand. My mum has been a working mother ever since I was months old, the only time I’ve seen her officially take some time off work was the first three months after my brother’s birth. So it is expected to say that I’ve grown to think that I’ll be the same kind of woman my mum is; a working mother (that is when I get married first of course).

I’ve grown in a culture where the majority of the old people believe that a female’s true place is at her home with her future husband and kids. This majority believe that whether the female is successful or not, she is eventually just going to end up a stay-at-home mum so that all of her education would be of no use then. However, throughout the past couple of decades, women have continued to prove that their education is a necessity to be able to have a healthy family even if they choose to be homemakers. Women have gone against the natural flow of my culture that now the majority of women are working mothers. These working mothers have challenged themselves to work for themselves and for their families, and they’ve succeeded in living up to this challenge. But little do we know…

I’m a 21-year old young lady who decided to take a full-time job for the summer period. My working day was 9-hour long excluding the 1-hour drive to work and another back home, and an additional 1-hour in the morning to dress up which makes it a total of 12 hours of my day dedicated to work. I used to go home mentally, physically and emotionally dead. I was low on energy that when I fell asleep on the couch, I couldn’t move myself to bed. Work always consumed my energy of the day that when mum was too tired to cook lunch, I’d order food instead of cooking some. Work drained the energy out of me so much that I didn’t hang out with my family or friends. That experience had me thinking about how does my mum do it?

I used to think it’s not that hard for working mothers to divide their time between work and family duties; isn’t it all about great time management? Little do I know that for a working mum to have the best of both worlds, she has to devote her time and a limitless amount of energy (which is impossible) to both worlds. A working mum works by day and by night; she works round the clock! She takes care of her work and she takes care of her family; whether by preparing their meals, doing house chores, studying with her children or even having a chitchat with them. A working mum always has something to do; no matter how big or small that something is. A working mum is a woman, a wife, a mother and an employee; she is all that in one soul. That’s why to me, a working mum is forever a super woman. I’ve only watched the first 30 minutes of Bad Moms but those 30 minutes are a good example of super women working mums.

“Mum, I’m a single young lady who has no real responsibility towards a person, let alone a family, and I can’t perform the basic daily house tasks while having a full-time job. How have you been a working mum for so long?” I ask mum for the past few months. “I have no idea,” she replies.

Stay-at-home mums are to be looked up to as well. They have given up on their post-graduation life for the sake of their family; their future dreams and goals are forever limited to their family. They have fully dedicated all of their time to their husbands and children. Even when they don’t have work to wake up early for, they still wake up early to help their kids get ready for school. And while their kids are at school, they do housewife chores and prep lunch for when their kids get back home. Then the mums help their kids with their studies, their hobbies and practices. Stay-at-home mums are also called homemakers because they make a home feel like a proper home (does that make any sense?) I have so much respect and admiration for them.

Now that I’ve had a sneaky insight into the life of a working mother, do I still wish to be one – although my whole life I’ve been determined to have the best of both worlds too? I know friends who are willing to be stay-at-home mums for the sake of their future family, I know other friends who are willing to take a couple of years off work for the sake of their future children and I know some friends who will do both at the same time. Before this summer I used to belong to the third group of friends, but now that I’ve seen how extremely hard it is to be a working mum and its cons… I’m not sure which group do I agree with anymore. I mean, I surely LOVE when mum takes a day off work and she endlessly spoils me with love and food for a whole day. But am I ready to sacrifice my whole education – the energy and effort I put into it – to grant my future children that feeling? I can’t decide… Let me know in the comments below which kind of mother are you; a stay-at-home mum or a working mum? What are your thoughts on this?

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