By: Ally K
I’m Ally. I was an A student in school (except for Maths and Physics which I hate with a passion. Although now that I think about it, I think I wasn’t bad at it but I was just too lazy to work on it because it didn’t excite me), I have held on to many achievements and leadership roles growing up, I went to college and later on to University where I graduated with an Economics degree. I did well in my Economics papers and have garnered much approval from my lecturers and tutors. I was going to go into policy making and many thought it was a great decision.
None of my accomplishments, awards, merits and education matters once I tell people that I am now a stay-at-home-mom. Once people hear about my choice in life they’ve minimised me, whether unconsciously, out of care or condescendingly to someone who is uneducated, reclusive or that have made the biggest mistake in life by throwing it all away instead of making use of whatever I have garnered for personal development. I honestly don’t blame them because the old childless me would have thought the same.
Ever since LittleLim came into the picture I’ve been struggling to find pride in being a stay-at-home mom. When the question of what do I do for a living arises, I find a need to stress my accomplishments along with being a mom because I feel ashamed to admit that I’m just a stay-at-home mom. I say things like “Oh, I graduated with an Economics degree but I’m a mom now” or “I’ve worked for XXX but I gave it up to be a mom” or “I’m juggling between SGP and motherhood”.
It wasn’t until recently where I realized that there was nothing to be ashamed about my choice to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m lucky to even be able to choose this path. I realized that I am in a unique position today to be a stay-at-home mom and share my story to a world that places priority on achievements, statuses and merits. I am in a position to share my experience of being a stay-at-home mom and letting others know that it is just as much an achievement as any other well-meaning job out there.
The problem wasn’t my choice. The problem was me. I was insecure, unsure, ashamed. But no longer. This is who I am. I’m a stay-at-home mom. My days are just as crazy, my problems are just as big, my boss (who is 19 month old) is just as demanding and unapologetic, my schedule goes overtime most days and when I’m not saving a stuffed bunny from drowning I take a 5 minute lunch break or hide in the toilet until my boss comes looking for me again. While I may not be coming up with plans to end world hunger, I’m solving hunger issues at home. While I may not have economic policies to help our economy, I’m at home using economic policies to grow my household income. My office may not be a four poster desk space but my office is just as crazy, just as demanding and my role is a plenty.
So before you feel bad for me, before you start to pity me, before you start to say “but you’ve worked so hard for your degree!” or “is that all?” know that I am fine and I am proud. I may be tired beyond recognition and have designer bags under my eyes but I am thankful for the opportunity to be with my kid(s) all day long and enjoy these moments that seem to be gone way too fast. After all, they’re only babies once. If you need a reason to celebrate with me, know this – everyday I spend with my kid, I’m learning just as much from them as they do from me. They help me in my personal growth and they teach me some of the most valuable and priceless lessons in life. So if you must, celebrate that.
This is my story. I may not have achieved my dream of being a corporate leader but I am just as much as a leader at home. This is my new normal now, my new phase in life, my new chapter. If you like, come on board and follow me on my journey. If you’re a stay-at-home mom yourself, know that I celebrate with you and feel with you. What you go through I go through too. You are not alone and we will figure this out together.
Republished with permission from ‘The Ally Journey‘.