April 02, 2014

A Happy Mom Makes the Family

It's late night, and I found this article shared on Facebook news feed. 

A Letter From A Working Mother to A Stay At Home Mother, and Vice Versa

It seems a never-ending argument. Picking which one is better, is like discussing which comes first between a chicken and egg. Stay at home moms are often judged as the woman without passion with so much free time while the babies are quietly playing with their toys. While working moms are often judged as a "part-time" mother, who is deliberately free to take care of their kids and family on weekdays, and burden the family needs to grandmas or the help.

Being on the working moms side, I may sometimes feel that I don't spend much time with the family. Imagine spending 14 hours for work (including the traveling time), spending only 10 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes in the evening to catch up with your family. So I set up a few ground rules for myself.

1. It is Quality over Quantity. Having so limited time at home on weekdays, I have made a pledged to myself that no works are to be brought home. When you're at home, leave your works in the office. Home is a place where you can put down the weight from the "work bucket" for awhile.

2. If it's going to take you away from your family, you better love it! Sometimes people find a job just because of the money, just to find something to do, etc. But whatever the motivation is, you better make sure to yourself that you're happy doing it. Look, you're trading hours of watching your baby's first step with hours of doing what your boss told you to do. So it better be something that's worth it, something that you are willing to do over the sacrifice.

3. Your family is not an excuse to not excel in your career. I have a single friend, she rarely stay at work late, and bring her work home unless it's super urgent, yet she still is one of the top employee in the company. Always doing her job right and on time. The key is, when you're at work be efficient. We often put more energy on the coffee breaks, lunches and stopping by each other cubicles rather than putting the energy on our work. Then at the end of the day, we make excuses that there's so little time to work, you can't take more load as you need to go home right away and take care of your family. Well, we have got to stop making family excuses, work more efficiently and effectively. 

Just in time, couple weeks ago the HR division in my company just held a "Woman Empowerment" Talk Show as part of their diversity program. They invited a psychologist to fill in the time. One of the discussion was the Juggling Balancing Act for working woman. The psychologist reminded us that women works for a reason, and you need to remember why you are working, whether it's for family income, passion, or self actualization. If the world despise you, then you just have to remember that the role of a mother is just the community's perception on the role between men and women. Being a mother doesn't make you more responsible on your child's well being, the father has just as much responsible as you have. Luckily, the pyschologist also brings up the term of happiness, yes! It's all a matter of what makes you happy. A mother is the one who creates the atmosphere of the family. When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. 

In the end, it's just a matter of choice. Being a career woman doesn't make you less of a mother, nor being a stay at home mother makes you less of a visionaire woman. Do what you think you need to do, avoid living in despair when you're old for not doing things or be more productive when you're young. Bottom line is be happy.
Remember the story of a father and a kid with their donkey. No matter what you do, there will be other people who criticize what you do, and we're not living by their standard. Your life, your choice, your rule. For me, it's all about loving my family, loving my job, and loving my life!



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