While we consider mums' participation in the workforce as one of the biggest attributes to be super, we'd come to realize that staying at home with the kids is, in reality, (maybe) just as hard- if not harder. Just imagine having to continuously do your job without a pay, without a break? These days, women are encouraged to be and to do everything by conditioning them to get solid education so later on they could find a great job. That's the same with mothers who are expected to join the workforce as soon as they recover from giving birth, while at the same time, they are expected to run the household flawlessly- yes, the having-and-doing-it-all culture of being a modern and super mum. Mind you, we do not undermine them: We have always been great supporters of working mums, and we will never cease on being such. But in this special edition of MummySG Supermom of the month (special, because this is also in reverence to the breastfeeding celebration held last month), you will all realize that a mum may not be the modern supermom that we are accustomed to know. She is super because she chooses being the "traditional" mum that she is, AND, beneath the tip of her pretty iceberg is a pure heart which is greatly emphasized by the advocacy she supports.
Meet the wonderful, Mummy Deborah: A woman who lives not only for her husband and for her 9-month old son, Eli, but a woman who dedicates a part of her life to others.
This is her inspiring story:
"I am Deborah a 24 year old mom to baby Eli. I'm interested in music, I can play the piano and the flute. I also love to cook! and when I have more time to myself I am learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and that's where I also met my husband I'm a big believer in helping others, so I have donated breastmilk to Human Milk 4 Human Babies- Singapore to other moms and I had shaved my head for cancer. Those small things anyone can do to help someone else out! " - Deborah Su
1. Are you a working mother or stay-at-home mother? A stay at home mom
2. What influenced your decision to work/stay at home? It was my experience with my mom. My mom- she gave up on her dreams to be home with us and I always remember how nice it was to come home and my mom would be there with lunch. She would walk me to school every morning and we would pick up angsana seeds and bring it home to put in a bottle. I had so much fun, I still remember it vividly till this day, and that is what I would like to give my son, too.
3. What sacrifices did/do you have to make to work/stay at home? The hardest and biggest sacrifice is that when you stay home, you have no time for yourself or for your friends. You do not get to go out like you used to or have an hour of uninterrupted lunch or a nice 20 min shower. Being a stay at home mom basically means you are working 24/7, you are working every moment of the day.
4. Do you feel that your child is missing out on anything because you work/stay at home? Sometimes I do. Part of me wishes I could be buying him more toys and bring him for holidays to see the world, but at the same time, I knew that if I work I wouldn't have the time to play with him or do all these things with him as I would be spending my time working.
5. How do you think your relationship with your child would differ if you worked/stayed at home? I do not think I would still be able to breastfeed my son, we are still going strong and he's turning 9 months! Also, I do not think I would be able to understand him as much if I was working, because I wouldn't have the time to learn his cues and know what he wants.
6. What would be you ideal situation (stay home, work part-time, work full-time)? Working part time would be perfect for me. it would be having the best of both worlds, i will still be able to use my skills at work while being there for my son.
7. How do you view mothers who work/stay at home? Mothers who work also has it hard too! Between work, home and kids, it's not easy. Imagine being tired and drained after a day of work and then you still have to come home and be there for your kids, AND still do the housework.
8. What advice would you give to a parent who is struggling with the decision to work or stay home? If you can, stay home with your kids, at least in their younger years, when they are still small. Probably until they are 3-4 years old, because you can always work, but you can never get these years back.
9. Have you ever or will you join any baby/toddler classes? Sure! Why not It would be fun for the babies to play together. Currently we are doing swimming lessons and its amazing to see how much Eli can do!
10. What skills do you think your child could/has gained from these types of classes? Social skills for one, and it would be a great opportunity to teach him how to socialize and how to play together with other kids nicely.
11. Being a mother, what other skills would you like to master? The skill to clone myself! haha. It would be really good if I could attend to my son and get things done at the same time.
12. What's the one thing you would have done differently as a mum (in terms of raising your kids and running the household)? Always put your child first because everything else can wait. Sometimes I forget that and I can get really stressed out about small things that dont't matter.
13. What is the best piece of advice that you can give to all mums out there who do like you do?
I have to say this: It's not easy staying at home, there will be good days and there will be bad. But its all worth it, watching my son learn to crawl, smile, laugh, and stand, it's priceless!