Why I Can't be a SAHM

Posted by Analyse at 9:31 PM

Thursday, June 28, 2007

This is a cry from a Career Mom trying to justify herself. Hear her lament.

Job is not Everywhere in France

France is far from being the El Dorado for non-French job hunters regardless of the number of diplomas you have. Firstly, language is a BIG barrier. Another is equality. Though they cry out loud that Egalité is a French emblem, racial discrimination is still a rampant social distress. A job hunter named Mohammed won't have equal opportunity as someone named Pierre, even if both were born in France. Go measure for someone named Analisa born thousands of miles away from France.

During my recent business trip in Thailand, I bumped to one of the big bosses based in Bangkok. He was surprised to know that I am based here in France. I could still remember his reaction when he said in his inquisitive tone 'A Filipina working in Dijon?', then his endless questions on how I arrived here in France till how I bagged the job. Isn't that a yelling evidence of how white collar jobs are reserved to these royal bloods? Take my situation to the US setting and nobody will be surprised. Filipinos are part of their workforce, right? In fact, if not because of my previous working experience with the same company in the Philippines, I don't think they would hire me.

That said plus the current job scarcity France is facing, I think I'll need a great motivation to quit my job.

I Love My Job (because of …)

Flexible Time : I’m not the typical 8am-5pm employee. I could go to the office past 9am. I could take my vacation in synch with my Nanny’s. I could go home as early as 4pm. I manage my time.

Multinational Exposure : and since it’s a French company, we’re the boss. Ain’t that a bonus?

Business Travels : I loved it. When I signed my contract where it was written that around 30% of my time will be spent outside of France, I was excited. I was excited to the idea of having somebody waiting for me at the airport, holding a cardboard with my name written on it, me feeling like a VIP. Now, it starts to tire me up especially when I know that there’s a little girl patiently waiting for me.

I love what I’m doing.
The best part is that I’m being paid to do what for me is a dream-come-true. I think this one is the most essential part, right?

I Need Cash

Who don’t anyway. Apart from all the monthly payables, I need my own money to keep my sanity. Frenchguy is quite tight with his money. He’s got this bad habit of saying he’s got no money and he’s got this mindset that everything is expensive. Though unintentional, he made me feel I was a parasite when I was not working yet. Me who was financially independent pre-Frenchguy time. He said I was stupid to think that way. Mea culpa.

No, I’m not complaining, I just need cash.

I’m at my Best at Work

I’m only excellent when I’m being paid. And nope, I’m not proud of that. I’m a lazy bum at home. I hate cleaning the house, I hate cooking, I hate most of the household chores. I just do all of them because I’m obliged to. And of course, Frenchguy does 99% of the job. But that doesn’t make me less of a wife or a Mom. I hope we’re clear with that. Call me lazy but don’t call me Bad Mom.

Though I have all the perfect reasons why I can’t be a SAHM, the dream of being one still haunts me at times like this - arriving from a business travel and finding Louna with long nails and dirty teeth.

Did I tell you that Moms and Dads are not the same?


raqgold said...

hi, for sure, you're not a bad mom -- i admire you for strenght in managing both being a mom and a career together. kasi ako, i am afraid, despite opportunities thrown my way :-( oh well, the choices we make!

Francine said...

i salute you for having the time to both your carreer and your family and to yourself na rin. hirap ata papel natin no pag me anak at pamilya na but you are able to balance everything. whats your secret? :-)

chase said...

I am also excellent when I am being paid or if there is exposure but I actually do well in keeping the house clean. Since I came from a family of neat freaks so I guess it somewhat runs in the blood.

Anyway you are one of these super mamas!

ScroochChronicles said...

It seems like yours is a conscious choice. That in itself justifies everything that you are doing. Only you, with your heart and your mind, can tell what is right for you. Good going girl!

KK said...

I am also excellent when I'm being paid :) . You have the flexibility of schedule and that alone is something that enables you to be a WAHM. I decided to be a SAHM because the nature of my job is very unfriendly to family time, me working would mean not seeing my husband. Most of the time I have to be working when 9-5 office people are off meaning nights and weekends. I didn't mind it too much when I was single but it's a different story with a little child. I feel that I earn my keep.

I am proud of you making your big boss in Thailand that a Filipina can work in Dijon.

Christianne said...

Sounds like you have nothing to cry or lament about :) jobs are also hard to come by here for people who can't speak Swedish, plus I get to work at home and have flexible hours, so I can't imagine resigning as well. Don't you love working in IT?

mitsuru said...

oui, i can still remember the riots there by immigrants in the not-so-distant past and oe of the reasons, re: discrimination..

well not surprising though, the french are well- known for arrogance and snobbery. just don't let that deter you. show them you also know how to eat cake. lol.

by reading your blogs i can tell that you're an excellent mom. peks man.:)

i only work 3 days a week (36 hours) and i spent the rest in the pursuit of the finer things in life, ahem. lol

the downside is ubos lagi pera ko and like you i need more cash. he-he

Linnor said...

I hear you.... I've been there (SAHM), done that and I don't like "me" when I'm a SAHM. I'm doubly b*tchy kasi when bored. That's just me. Hehehe...

Like you I have a flexy sched up to 10am. And my work is internet-based most of the time so I could be anywhere and still effectively do my job.

Maybe in the future, I might just re-consider being a SAHM. But I don't see that anytime soon.

Happy weekend!

analyse said...

Raqgold, thanks for the encouragement. Yep, we're sometimes prisonners of the choices we make.

Francine, my secret? I've got a 'domesticated' hubs hehe.. I can't do everything alone. Normal set-up at home at around 7pm is: Frenchguy preparing dinner. Moi bathing Louna.

Chase, thanks ;). And yes, I forgot about the exposure, that motivates hehe..

ScroochChronicles, thanks ;).

KK, everything changes with a little child. It's a proven fact now. In fact, I'm seriously considering going back to production and leave our department, because working in our dept means travel, it's written in the contract. Production but not here in France tho.. I'm still waiting for opportunities..

Christianne, oh no, I have a lot of blessings already, I can't really complain... I'm an IT illiterate, I'm only good on chemical processes, that limits the opportunity.. :(

Mitsuru, I thought you would say 'show them you also know how to drink wine without getting drunk' hehe.. and yes, thanks for reminding, the French riots are excellent example of discrimination here.

;). Me thinks I'm not a bad Mom. But let's wait till Louna could express herself hahaha.. hey I experienced that kind of schedule too, and I confirm, nakakabutas nga ng bulsa hehe.. but great that you enjoy life as you do, I know a lot of pinoy stories where the pinoy sends all his moolahs to the philippines. the pinoy do all the sacrifices, while the family back home does all the good times.... enjoy life while you're young..

analyse said...

Linnor, hehe, mabait ka pa nyan. I'm a triple b*tch when bored. happy weekend.

Makis said...

You're a SUPERMOM, Ana! Aba, it's so hard kaya to juggle being a wife, a mom & a worker bee! But sometimes we have to make a choice. If we could only have it all. But you couldn't resist naman Louna's cry for mommy diba :)

feng said...

hi analyse! i have to say that i admire working Moms so much. i've been through it myself and i can say that those enumerations you mentioned are so true, it's a reality esp. the one you mentioned that jobs are hard to find.

a fulfilling career which equates to more self esteem is justifiable enough to juggle work and being a Mom at the same time no matter how hard it is.

hay. well i guess, it's just a matter of choice too. whatever makes us happy. whether we are working Mom or SAHM or even WAHM, for as long as our intentions are to try to be the best Mom for our kids, we're Ok. :)

haze said...

As long as you know how to balance everything between being a mom, a wife and an employee Ana you shouldn't feel guilty about it! Or even think that you are a a bad mom especially when you are out for business travel, anyway at least hindi kayo nagsasabay ni Laurent! Louna is a very sensitive and understanding child and I am sure she doesn't feel neglected at all ! You are still a supermom and your love for her counts a LOT !!!

Tsaka syempre you still have more time to make bawi naman pag dating mo di ba ;) !! Goodluck to you SUPERMOM !

+ Liz + said...

Hello! You are lucky to have good career in front of you. BTW, my daughter is 1 yr and 6 months. I'll link you up, if you dont mind. Thanks.

Mitchteryosa said...

I can relate... In fairness with our husbands, they have their own ways. In fact my husband is more patient during meal times with my daughter. But as you've said moms and dads differ. They can do our daughters' hair but not as neat as we do... But they can and they do.

Analyse said...

Makis, Louna is of course, my priority. No question about that.

Feng, I'm sure you're now savouring your SAHM moments..

Haze, hey what's with you and Makis calling me supermom.. baka maniwala ako hahaha..

Liz, hey. Our daughters are almost of the same age, we could exchange notes hehe.. no problem for link exchange, ill link u up too.

Mitchteryosa, ;) , of course they could do everything that we could do for our kids... basta, i'm still convinced, moms are not dads. ;) hehhe.

Mitchteryosa said...

Garantisado yan! Mas magaling pa din ang moms hahaha!

Mitchteryosa said...

Btw, you're tagged!

Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

I have not really received any eyebrow raising comments on my white collar professional job from people here. Although I noticed that most Filipinas here in Holland are SAHM or they have a low paid job, like blue collar or part time. There is nothing wrong with that, some of them chose to be like that and they are happy.

With that, I would also like to say that Europe is a tough labor marketplace (except for UK/IE) for us who are not European natives, mainly because of the language. Being fluent with English will not help you as there are many native English, Americans, and Australians who come over here to migrate for work. Of course, if a job calls for someone who can speak and write English, they would prefer a native English speaker than someone who is just fluent. To really land a good professional job in Europe, you must have a compelling CV, and convince the employer in the interview that you are what it takes for them to succeed. It’s not easy but your make is really tested in this continent.

Because of that, I am always happy to see Filipinas succeeding in the corporate world in non-English speaking countries in Europe, more so juggling motherhood and career. Bravo!

For myself, I will pass for motherhood, it’s not for me.

Napotzki said...

Hey tukayo,thx again for dropping on my page.

Like you, I also had the same experience. Plus the fact that we're ladies, ehem on tech side really fascinates them. So to add-up, I exultantantly tell the story and just imagine the looks on their face...haha

I admire you for juggling career and motherhood at the same time, thumbs-up for you.If it's me, I may have retired already and just decorate the house, but it's only me. So keep whatever suits you and makes you happy.Take care!

gracita said...

i don't think you are a bad mom at all. being a mother does not mean you have to forget yourself, especially the things that makes you happy...in your case, that is having a job! doesn't that make you a super mama? no offense to the SAHMs, i admire them too, it's not easy being at home, fending for basically everything. but having your own money and and being able to help around the house, financially or otherwise, is a different kind of satisfaction!

idol nga kita e (except sa bahay, i'm an OC pag dating dun! hehehe)! kulang nalang ako ng louna, puede na akong mag-follow sa footsteps mo, hehe :)

Analyse said...

Mitchteryosa, hey, I’ll check on that. I guess I’ve blogged something similar to that tag. Now, I need to dig on my files.

DP, hearing that comment from somebody I admire is really something.Thanks ;)

Tukayo, hardworker as you are, I don’t think you could just give up your career to be a SAHM. I dream to be a SAHM too.. but more seriously, to be a WAHM.. I’m dreaming to be a Nanny, seriously.. You know here, some nannies stay in their place and parents just bring their kids (that’s what we do).. and me thinks I’ve got all the qualifications to be one, I have experience, no doubt, I love kids.. kelan kaya?

Gracita, uy, tumaba naman ang puso ko dun hehe.. make your own louna and the trend will be inversed, ikaw naman ang magiging idol ko hehe.. because you’re one step ahead.. you work, you travel.. and you’re not lazy.. hey, saan ba nakakabili ng kasipagan at mamimili ako.. ;)

apol said...

Hey, ANALYZE, my mom has four kids and, except for a short break when we were very young, she never stopped working. Still does. She's a gifted businesswoman, a fun mom, and--kahit medyo mataray siya :)-- an excellent role model. I guess what I'm trying to say is, with a bit of effort, a woman can have it all. BUT I have to disagree with you insisting that dads are not quite up to par with moms. Maybe in some cases, but definitely not in all. When I was a kid, it was my dad who did mommy stuff like cut my fingernails, bandage my wounds, and teach me how to iron my school uniform. Go, dads!

julie said...

It does feel bad when the kids are not as clean as we expect them when we are with them. But that's one of the things we have to live with. Dads sure have their own standards in taking care of the kids, not up tp our standards of course.

(((hugs)))to your bebe

analyse said...

Apol, what a Dad you have! My Dad is completely the opposite, but of course, he's got other qualities too... Frenchguy is a doting Dad too, but.. the quality of work is only passable to me hehe, and he knows that..

Julie, in fact i was expecting the nails to be long hehe.. but not the teeth to be dirty.. well, anyway, we're not a perfect family..

JO said...

it's hard to be a SAHM. don't force it upon yourself to be one if you don't like it.

as long as you are able to balance your life as a mom, as a wife and as an employee, then you shouldn't worry about anything.

Katarina said...

hi I really enjoy reading your articles :) I had to laught when I was reading about the French burocratie - I am having my interview for IAE tomorrow and so I hope that I'll be able to persuede them that I CAN speak French and English (at least I hope so :) tu m'a donne en peu de moral - c'est toujours bien de savoir qu'un etranger peut reussir en France :))))

auee said...

Ahh halos pareho tayo ng sentiment. Minsan gusto kong maging SAHM pero financially-impossible yun sa ngayon. So panay minsan ang justify ko sa sarili ko kung bakit masyado kong tense every time my son is sick & I'm worried about my work, too.

Analyse said...

Jo, I know that it's hard so Im not hurrying.. ;)

Katarina, goodluck on the interview, i hope you make it. hope to hear more from you soon.. i dont know if you read about the entry 'faire ses etudes en france' i wrote last april.. it could give you some pointers.. after the exam, there's still a panel interview waiting for you.. goodluck!

Auee, you're not alone *hugs*