Family Magazine

Not a Sacrifice, but a Privilege

By A Happy Mum @A_Happy_Mum
I have to admit that somewhere along my motherhood journey, I couldn't help but feel that I made a sacrifice for the family by choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. I mean, come on, I studied for so many years, aced my exams, got a Masters degree, used up all of my parents' savings and then what happened? Well, I became a mother, a stay home kind, who now doesn't command a salary, needs to ask for pocket money, has zero annual leave and still has to slog every single day to keep the family going.
Many of my friends, especially those who have known me for decades, tell me things like "I never imagined this would be your path in life", "Out of all of us, you could have been the most successful one" and "You gave up a lot for your family and your kids". Which, of course, didn't help me to dispel those feelings of grievances and instead, they could have easily etched them more deeply in my mind.
Then, on those days when the kids shred the last bit of my sanity and make me want to bang my head on a wall, dash and hide in the toilet or scream into a pillow, I wonder, I just wonder if this was all I was going to do for the rest of my life. Seriously, this job is soooo hard, so overworked, so underpaid and it has turned my life into one hell of a roller coaster ride.
Not a sacrifice, but a privilege
But you know what?
That mentality sucks. It does. Not to mention, it is absolutely wrong.
Yes, I realised it long ago and I chose to see it this way ever since. Think about it, while there are many mums who chose to work and amazingly juggle both family and careers (which I seriously don't think I can ever do that because I will be half-committed to both), there are also many mums who wish to be SAHMs but for various reasons, they can't - be it financial constraints, lack of support from the spouse or parents, or other circumstances which render their dream unattainable.
We, on the other hand, we chose to do it because we CAN do it. We manage to make ends meet on a single income, we have a roof over our heads and bread on the table, we have the support of our husbands, our kids appreciate what we do and our parents don't blame us for making this choice after all they've put in to raise us. At least, that's the case I hope for all of us.
My mom was a SAHM too so I think she jolly well understands my reasons for wanting to look after my own my kids, and I am very thankful for that. My kids tell me they never want me to go out and work because they want Mummy to be by their side and they can even tell me "You can just blog from home, don't go out to work". My hubby, though not one who sings praises, is deeply appreciative of the 'work' I do in the home, especially since he works long hours and hardly sees the kids on weekdays. And the truth is he can go crazy being alone with three kids so he can only imagine what I go through on a daily basis and be amazed by how I thrive.
As for me, I've learnt to count my blessings for the little things in my life. I've learnt to see things from different perspectives and focus on those that bring more joy into my life. I've learnt life is too short to waste on thinking "What could have been" and instead, I need to be thankful for "What I have", be happy to do "What I do" and be proud to be "Who I am".
I might not be able to get a promotion (unless you mean having more kids) but I won't get a retrenchment either. Yes, my job will not be redundant, not in the next decade at least. It's nice to know I am needed, you know what I mean?
I might need to do a hundred chores a day but that means I have a family to look after, a home to live in, I have people to love and yes, I am very much loved too. Now, how many people are lucky enough to say that?
I might get stares and even hurtful remarks from relatives and strangers but the ones I work for - my kids - truly appreciate me and what I do for them. And that is all that should matter, isn't it?
I might not receive year end bonuses or incentive trips but I do get kisses and hugs as rewards and I get to bring the kids out any time, any day, anywhere I want. And that is something which you just can't buy with money.
I might not need to do presentations or charts but I am the only one who can churn out reports of my kids' growing up milestones. Yes, I've never missed any single one of their milestones (for all three kids!) and I was always there for the first time they did anything - first tooth, first steps, first word.
I might not have much power or fame (I do get recognised for being a mom blogger though, haha), yet I've the strength to chase away monsters under the bed and the magic to kiss boo-boos and make pain disappear.
I might not have used my education for a job in the office but I pass on my knowledge to my offsprings and in a sense, it's not all for nothing. I discipline, I teach, I nurture. Every day.
I might not have dreamt about being a SAHM when I was a kid, but being a SAHM now does feel like I'm living a dream. Sure, there are the ups and downs, there are the heartbreaks and tears, there are the tantrums and fights, there are the constant worrying and non-stop nagging. But more than that, this is the one job that brings me an indescribable sense of joy and achievement, that makes me feel like the most important person in the world, that makes me realize how beautiful life is and why I need to cherish every moment that my heart still beats.
So yes, it's a blessing, it's a luxury, and it's my absolute privilege to be a stay-at-home mom. I think I really am destined to be one, and I'm a happy one indeed.
Summer's A Happy Mum -> SAHM. 
Get it?
Haha. Oh well, you get my point. And if you are a fellow SAHM, I hope you see it the way I do too and let's all count our blessings every day and do what we do with a grateful heart. If you ever need to share your woes with anyone, don't hesitate to write in. I've been replying so many of you on PM and emails and I hope that sharing my side of the story helps too. Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone too!
P.S. If you've been following my A SAHM's story, be sure to check out my other posts too!
This post is part of the "A SAHM's Story" series where I share my experiences, moments and reflections of being a stay-at-home mom. It takes a SAHM to truly understand another and while many might assume that we are tai tais or that we get to shake legs all day long, only we know the amount of toil and sweat we put in just to get past each day. Likewise, only we know the true rewards and unparalleled joy that this job has brought us. Being a mum, and one who gets to witness all her children's milestones and spend precious time with them every day, is still the best thing that has ever happened to me. While I gave my kids life, they gave me a reason to live.
Not a sacrifice, but a privilege

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