We know too well that being a supermom entails transcending far beyond the traditional roles of motherhood. It speaks of doing things beyond one's usual responsibilities, like rearing one's children, keeping the household, and helping in the finances (not only by uptight budgeting, mind you, but by having a bread and butter!). No one can do that if one is not super, because it is a fact that by just taking care of the household (lucky you, if you have helpers!) is such an arduous task. Uhg, the thought alone makes me sweat and makes me crave for an iced cold raspberry tea. One tall glass, please!
In reality, there are supermoms! These are women who choose (deliberately or not) to be more than a housekeeper and they are found everywhere. One of them is our newest addition, awesome Mummy, Dianaruth Guo. She is a hands-on mum to three (super) kids, a wife and a digital marketer (a fabulous digital marketer, at that!). Presently, she is writing and illustrating her first children story book. On top of it all, she also owns a blog, ChubbyAnectodes, where she unleashes her being an artsy-craftsy mama! So please tell me, what can a supermom not do? Really...
Here is her interview and I hope that her story can inspire you!
Are you a working mother or stay-at-home mother?
Working mom for sure! Every motherís a working mom, I just happen to have a job outside home too.
What influenced your decision to return to the workforce?
I had to. I was a very young mother, my hubby and I just started working for a year or two when we had our first baby. We didnít have much savings and having a new family member naturally added on to the expenses.
Musing on, returning to the workforce was not a bad move for the family. I guess all things happen for a reason.
What sacrifices did/do you have to make as a full-time working mom?
The many precious moments during my childrenís growing years. I work from 9 to 6 on weekdays thus, for majority of the time when my children are awake, I am not around. During the manymom-is-not-around moments, they might have spoken their first words, taken their first steps, lost their first teeth or won their first prizes in class. All in all, I sacrificed moments when my children would have loved to spend with their mother and moments when I could have been there for them.
I, for all that I can do in my straight jacket, can only live these very precious moments vicariously.
Do you feel that your child is missing out on anything because you work full time?
Yes, it is impossible to not miss out on anything. I think you win some and you lose some. Every parent would want the best for their children. I am no exception. There are limited resources available to a person. So, I just work towards making the best out of my circumstances and learn to be thankful while teaching my children to be grateful for everything we have.
How do you think your relationship with your child would differ if you stayed at home?
I wonít know for sure until I tried. But I would imagine us even closer and having more time indulging in their childhood together.
Sometimes, my busy schedule forces my children to grow up ahead of time. My eldest girl knows that she would need to take responsibility for her own homework and pack her own school bag - she is only 5! She makes it a point to wake up early every morning, just to give me a hug and say goodbye. Although I am thankful for these, it pains me to see her behaving beyond her age.
What would be your ideal situation (stay home, work part-time, work full-time)?
A little of everything would be good, by this I mean a flexi-work arrangement. In all honesty, I do not think Iíll make a good full-fledged housewife. I am at best, domestically challenged; I am better at keeping my work desk organized than tidying up my refrigerator at home. Half the time, I do not even know whatís inside!
Ideally speaking, I would like to have more control of my time, so that I can spend more time with my children during their growing years-while growing professionally at the same time. There are many reasons why moms choose to continue working after having children. In general, some needed to while others wanted to. I am both. Realistically, it is also quite unlikely for a family with 3 kids to survive (and live comfortably) on a single income. I did not give birth to the kids for them to only survive. I want them to live life to the fullest and that would need money.
I have always considered it a blessing to be in my line of work. I have worked hard over the years to reach my career goals. They say love grows with giving; I have given too much to work to not love it. But I have more than one love, I have a greater love. And that is none other than my children.
Itís a love strong enough for me to give up my breath, but not my every breath. Hereís the truth and I would put it as matter-of-factly as possible. Do I enjoy my children? Of course, more than anything. Would I die for them? You bet. Then, would not it be awesome to spend every moment of the day, 7 days a week with them? No. Sorry, but no Ė there are times I just want to be left alone. There are times they would drive me up the wall and I would need some time to sort it out and calm myself down. Spending more time with them for me, does not mean sticking together every single moment.
As a mom and an individual, I need some space to develop myself, so that I can grow with my children and grow into the person they can look up to when they are all grown up.
How do you view mothers who work/stay at home?
Somewhere in between admiration and envy. Is there a word for that?
What advice would you give to a parent who is struggling with the decision to work or stay home?
Have a chat with your husband. His support for your decision is crucial for success. Itís a lot like dancing together, if you were to take a step back to stay at home, then he would need to fill up that gap. Similarly, if you were to step back into the workforce, then he would need to step up to be more involved with matters at home.
Chat with other mothers and learn from their experiences. Whatever your decision, build yourself a network of support. No mother is an island, you will need all the encouragement, help and advice you can get from the people around.
Ultimately, listen to your heart then let your mind decide. It takes more than love to be a mom, sometimes. But most of the time, love makes everything else a lot easier.
What is the best piece of advice that you can give to all mums out there who do like you do?
Chin up and look ahead. Whether you are going to step into the office by choice or by the lack of it, embracing the present is the best thing you can do. I believe that love always find a way Ė whether itís squeezing out more time for the children in between busy schedules, opting for a less demanding job or maybe eventually working out an arrangement to work from homeÖ there are so many possibilities. I am taking a step at a time while trying my best to juggle between work and home. Until I find a better way, Iíll continue to be, yours truly, a full time working mum or whatever they call a mom who works outside home too.
Here are some sketches Mummy Dianaruth creates! These are great age-appropriate playtime pitches to daddy. For more sketches, you can contact her through Chubby Anecdotes Dot Net.