If you have to choose between family or career, what will you choose?
Family or Career?
I am a mom of 3 ages 14, 12 and 3 years old and I have been working for almost 17 years now since I got married. Before my husband and I decided to get married, we made an arrangement that since I earn more and I have a more stable job than him I will be the one to work and he will take care of our soon to be children.
Ten months after our marriage, I had my first born.
Of course, as a first-time mom and full-time employee it was very hard for me. By the time I returned to work after my maternity leave, I have to constantly check if my baby already took his vitamins, did he take a bath or did he drink his milk. In short, my body was in my workplace but my mind was at home. And one thing I made sure was that if my baby or my husband is sick, I have to file a leave to take care of them.
After 5 months I was pregnant again with my second child, and this was the hardest part of our parenting journey. I know many parents will relate how hard it is to take care of a baby while pregnant and that of having a day job.
I have to wake up at 4am and since I am commuting, I should leave the house at 5am to be at the office at around 7am. That is every day!
When my second child was born..
There are months that I have to skip work for about 4 to 5 times because my husband can’t do it alone. Since that should not happen for long, we decided to find a helper. At the start it was smooth sailing but our helper decided to go home after one of her family got sick. It was not our luck to find a very good helper so we decided again to just go with the flow and back to normal.
On the other hand, we are fortunate because we are either living with relatives or next door so my husband can quickly go to the supermarket and leave the kids to them. But there are also times that there was no one available to take care of them so I will have to buy cooked food for dinner.
Part of my job is going places to train people and conduct awareness seminars so I have to leave my kids with my husband. There are times, my husband will call me because my 2nd child was sick and he don’t know what to do.
In the middle of a talk, I have to excuse myself and tell him not to panic and the medicines were in the medicine cabinet and its nothing serious because its just a fever.
The worst that happened was when I went abroad to study for 4 months.
My second child accidentally inserted a cotton bud in her ears and blood came out. Of course, my husband went nervous and had to call me at 2 am Europe time. I was agitated as well, at an instant I told him that I should go home. But it was too far away and I only went there through scholarship, the fare was very expensive. The only thing I could do that time was to cry.
As they grow older, my first born went to schooling, the parenting becomes manageable. I am proud to say that, I have attended all my kids school activity no matter how small it was. I always choose not to go to work if they’re sick. And I always say to my boss that family first before work. Fortunately, my boss is also a working mom and she understands how important it is to be available as a parent to growing kids.
Aside from the expenses of course, I think growing almost of the same age children was an advantage rather than a disadvantage. My husband and I can easily set rules for them. There are times allotted for studying, playing, watching tv or doing household works. We gave them schedules to follow.
If they need my assistance especially with their math and science subjects, I always give them a helping hand. They are not shy to ask for it because they knew I will respond. Actually, even when I went abroad, they would send me a picture of their assignment and will ask me to help them answer it and eventually explain to them.
Now that we have a 3-year-old..
It’s been almost a year that I am working from home full time. I am still a hands-on mom. I still wake up early but this time to prepare for their food before I start my work. During my 15-minute break I will sit in the living room and have a talk with my younger child. I will be the one to bath her during lunch break. While waiting for her siblings to finish their online classes, she will just watch YouTube in the TV.
I let her watch at least 3 to 4 hours a day but she’s not watching the TV all the time, its just in the background while she is playing. Sometimes she will come to me and ask me to go with her but sometimes I really can’t. So, I will bring her table beside me and she will play or shoot a video (yes, she knows how to say, welcome to my channel!)
Most of the time, I work late. I am also a student. But I make sure to assist the children first with their assignments and accompany the younger one to bed before going back to work or do my assignments too. I am also thankful that my husband is in charge of the kitchen and other household works.
He’s our support system.
I promised not to do paper works and have a conversation with them. I am also a mommy influencer so I let them review my endorsements or I will ask them should I accept the project or not. Sometimes they also work with me so during weekends we will do photoshoot.
I solicit ideas to them and since they are tech savvies, they will look in Pinterest for inspiration. We discuss even this matter with our kids.
We are lucky parents because my children understands that I have to work for them. In return, they are doing good in school and they are always excited to show us their achievements.
So, I believe that being there with them no matter how busy we are at work is all that matters to them. I believe that time is the best gift we can give to our children. No excuses but its just a matter of priority. It is also a must to show support with each other, to listen to what they say before giving them feedback and trust me it works.
As a parent, I know I am not perfect but I am doing my best. I don’t want to choose between career and parenthood because I love them both. And because as early as they can understand, we explained the situation to them which made us built a strong support system.
Hopefully, you will learn something from my experiences as a wife and a mom.
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