Bientôt SAHM

Posted by Analyse at 1:52 PM

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ruth's entry on being a SAHM hit me hard I think. I still have it playing and replaying in my head. Here's an excerpt:

when i hear someone say she'd love to just be stay at home mom if she could, i often find myself thinking that if she really did feel that way, she would. so why doesn't she? if one delves deep enough, i suspect many (not all, of course) women choose to not to stay at home not because they can't, but because they don't want to.

and that's fine.

don't want to be tied at home, tending to the household and kids 24/7. don't want to give up the second income. don't want to lose out on career opportunities. don't want to lose the sense of self they've built over several years. don't want to be intellectually stagnant. don't want to be considered less productive. don't want to lose self-worth. don't want to be financially dependent on spouse. don't want exchange the glamour for the hausfrau lifestyle.

You probably noticed my profile. It says I'm a SAHM wannabe. But all the time I talk about this topic, I can hear myself loud - I sound DEFENSIVE. And I don't know why. So when I read Ruth's entry, I suddenly came to a realization. It hit me bull's eye. She was describing me!

There are certainly a lot of factors why SAHMs choose to be SAHMs and WMs as WMs. There's the influence of the environment where that mom was raised and the society she's in right now. There's the economic impact. There's her personal values that plays an important role. And a lot more..

I was raised in an environment where both my parents worked full time and I don't feel I missed out on something because my mom was at work. Honestly, I don't feel the need to stay at home. I hardly cook and I hate housechores. Needless to say that Frenchguy does almost all the housechores till we hired a cleaning lady. Call me lazy but I could be productive too - not at home but at work.

And what would Louna and I do the whole day? Learn ABC? I'm afraid I would just transmit the wrong values if she sees me doing nothing the whole day. I assure you, I'm capable of doing nothing the whole day! At least, with our current set-up, she could see me active and responsible, juggling between work and family life with ease.

I told you. I sound defensive when I talk about being a SAHM. I'm probably not cut to be such. Well, in fact, I'm quite sure about that. And that kind of frightens me out. I'm approaching my maternity leave which will officially start on August 22. At that same time, we will terminate our nanny's contract. That would mean I'll be a SAHM for the first time (at least for the whole duration of my maternity leave which is 4 months). Now that I think about it, I don't know if I have to be excited or what. I hope Louna will enjoy her time with her boring maman. And who knows, I might enjoy it and reconsider being one. Ayan na naman ako. Wishful thinking.

All moms are working moms, I know. But my CV is just not fitted for the job. Well, at least for now.


Soy said...

A lot of WMs are guilty about being away from their young kids. But I think it's got to do with the mentality that 'mums should stay at home' as well as the thinking of 'why have kids if you can't raise them yourself'.

I think it's just about what works for you and the whole family. Being an SAHM or WM is just a label that mums use to describe themselves. I don't think it's fair. Being a SAHM is work in itself.

raqgold said...

different strokes for different folks, it would depend on what you are happy and comfortable with! when i ended up here in germany, i didnt think i would be satisfied being a SAHM after that much socializing when i was working in the hotel industry but it worked out fine. and yet, now that the kids are slowly growing up, i am looking for more excitement -- and i found them with sports club and the playtime english :D take it easy, enjoy your maternity leave muna!

ScroochChronicles said...

Don't take it out on yourself. Not all mothers were made to be SAHMs. To each her own. Just because you choose to be a WM doesn't make you less of a mother. Both SAHMs and WMs have their own personal sacrifices made for their families. Kanya kanya lang yan :)

geri said...

Ana, you will never know what you really want until you are there especially since, I would imagine, taking care of 2 kids will have a very different dynamic. Maybe the 4 months of maternity leave will be the light bulb. SAHM or WM its very obvious that you love Louna, and that's the most important part.

Leah said...

I'm like you in so many ways. But I would love to be a SAHM. Its mostly for income that's why I keep on doing it.

Good luck in you mat leave and I hope all pans well.

purplegirl said...

I hope you seriously don't think that being an SAHM means staying at home all day and doing nothing. That's a very common misconception and allow me to correct you. As an SAHM, we are almost never home! We are at the movies, the park, the gym, the pool, the library, the bookstore, etc where real life lessons are learned. Honestly, would you rather be cooped up at work than playing at the park? Or watching a movie? Or basking in the sun?

Please don't get me wrong -- as most have said, different strokes for different folks. I gave up a high-paying upper management career to stay at home. In the course of being an SAHM, I was also able to get a second Master's degree and take up a few hobbies. That's in addition to staying outdoors ALL the time. In a couple of years I will be back in the workforce as I will have finished doing what I intended to do: being there for my child during his formative years.

Rhada said...

all i can say is, don't put too much thought into it. do what you think is best for you and your family. do what works for you. enjoy your maternity leave. take each day as it comes.


kung nais mong makapanood ng Pilipino movies, telenovelas, etc., punta ka lang sa para makapaglibang ka.

Analyse said...

Soy, I dont really know if I'm guilty that's why I'm defensive. That's just me I think. I don't even have that mentality as i've said, i was raised by parents who worked full time..

well, our current set-up works marvelously well for everybody, i think. di pa nagrereklamo si Louna :)

Raqgold, I'm not thinking about giving up my job yet naman, medyo naiisip ko lang, ano kaya pagkakaabalahan naming mag ina pag naka leave na ko hehe..

Scrooch, yer right. Whatever set-up we are in, there's always a compromise left somewhere. I don't stress out myself naman on the question, i think i manage to balance naman.. hmmm, kaya?

Geri, yeah, probably. Who knows, I end up taking parental leave for 3 years, ngek hehe.. but well, it could happen.. it's not even a question of priority, because my family's my priority, no question about that, otherwise, i wouldn't even think about having a second child now ..

Leah, oh yes, I've noticed that too in some of your entries.. we have something in common ;)

Purplegirl, no need to correct me, dear. I didn't say being a SAHM means staying at home all day and doing nothing. I said I am capable of doing nothing the whole day. That's just me.

I know that SAHMs have hectic schedules too and i admire and respect all SAHMs for that. Not to mention all the personal compromises and sacrifices they take to be with their children during their formative years - all that, of course, in exchange of all the happiness they could get in seeing all the developments of their kids right infront of their eyes. But this gift is unfortunately not for everybody. WEll, not for me for the moment.

And before all WMs think that I think they're lazy at home. Again, that's just me. ;).

Analyse said...

Rhada, I'm not really pressured about that. There's just one time when my MIL asked me if I'll take a parental leave (3 years) and I said, most probably not. And she asked me if I prefer to work than stay at home.. and I think I wasn't prepared to that question, I don't even remember how I answered. ngek. that's how the question disturbs me lol... i'll probably consider that question if i'll confronted to it one day..

and hey, thanks for the link ;)

joanne said...

I've never understood the "war" between SAHM and WM (if there is indeed one). No one is locked in to their current situation. I'm an SAHM at the moment but I will probably enter the workforce again someday. In the same token, a WM can opt to stay home and be with the kid(s). It's just what fits the family best. And it sounds like what you have is perfect for everyone.

haze said...

"(not all, of course) women choose to not to stay at home not because they can't, but because they don't want to."

I think it is not an issue of wanting or not anymore but most of working women don't really have an alternative especially if financial aspect is concerned. All the rest is secondary (don't want to lose out on career opportunities. don't want to lose the sense of self they've built over several years, don't want to be intellectually stagnant so on & so forth). For those women who are financially able and yet prefer working probably they have their valid reason of not wanting to stay at home and we should respect that. Before, it was the responsibility of the father to earn a living and that one salary was enough to meet ends because life is easier and inexpensive back then. Father prefers that a mother should stay at home to look after the children (teaching good values etc) and because there was enough money to nourish a family.

Now, life changes, prices are soaring so as our needs. We are living in an expensive world. The couple should share the same responsibilities whether working out or sharing the chores at home. It is not because she is a woman she will handle household tasks all the time. Men nowadays distinguish and learn and help women to administer chores because they are both accountable for that so as in raising kids.

Personally, I chose to stay at home because husband and I talked about it. It’s also a matter of husband and wife set-up both should come out with a unanimous decision. My kids are still very young and they need me. And because when I arrived in France language barrier is marked then I still need to learn French gradually. But later on, of course in my own time...working is not excluded in my plans. I would love to find a part time job so then I will still have the time for the kids. Before I have the feeling of being left behind or as you say intellectually stagnant. Now I realised when they started schooling I have discover a lot and continue learning, socialize with parents and teachers, participate in their school activities, deal with all paper works in French etc.

Ana, your case is different, you have already your job way back when you were in Pinas & before you got pregnant with Louna. I confirm that it’s not a question of “choosing” it's just that you had the opportunity to be absorbed in France to continue working for the company so it’s just right for you to grab it!

OOPPPPSS sorry haba na carried away ako, basta enjoy your leave as a SAHM :D, should I say welcome to the group ;)!!

Analyse said...

Joanne, yep, our current situation is the best equilibrium for everyone, me thinks. Frenchguy's not encouraging me to stay at home either.. he surely knows that i'll be idle at home. Oh, in fact, he's the one who's thinking about staying at home.. to be a SAHD!

Haze, haha, haba nga. totally agree with what you said. the bottomline is, stay with what works for you.

oh, and thanks for welcoming me. that makes me excited.. we'll get more time to chat na naman hahaha..

Leah said...

hi Ana,
I'm back..just want to let you know that I've tagged you here

Francesca said...

In France, the govt would like women to be productive as well as men.
But, when we got married, we do our own priorities.

And try not to listen to what toher people would say about how you should lead your life.

Be good to yourself ana, good doers, they should mind their own business first before they do yours.
Then you might take note, might, but not certain, consider their "good" advice.
Bon weekend, and bisous to the big tummy, hehe

stay beautiful even buntis, ana!