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How Embracing Full-Time Work Made Me a Better Mother

I was reading some of my older blog posts when I came across this one - Be A Happy Mom in 10 Easy Ways. It was written in March 2017, when I was taking care of my three-month old baby (my second kiddo).
As I read the blog post, I'm pleasantly reminded about how far I have come along as a mama of two boys for the past 10 years. I'm indeed, truly blessed!

As I mentioned earlier on, the blog post is titled 'be a happy mom in 10 easy ways'; so there are 10 pointers altogether. Point 1 to point 9 are all practical, cool, and oh-yes-I-agree!

Then when I reached the 10th point - "Stay out of mom wars" - I laughed.

Because I'm so going to blog about this particular mom war trigger pointer: Full-time-working-mom vs. stay-at-home-mom.
Before I begin, I'd like to start with the following quote.

"Some women are good at full-time mothering, others are better moms when they have a career as well. Many more simply have no choice and do the best they can. All these are valid choices and those on the outside really have no right to judge." - Kimberly Yavorski

Reevaluating My Own Mother's Stay-at-Home Role

The conventional belief, or rather, what was shoved down my throat, is that being a stay-at-home mom is the ideal, gold standard of motherhood. After all, a mother is always there, right?
But truth to be told, my experience was otherwise. Growing up, my mother was a stay-at-home mom, and while her presence was constant, my memories of that time weren't particularly positive. I didn't have a strong emotional bonding and connection with her. I wouldn't want to elaborate further but those of you who have similar experience as mine, you'd understand.
As I embark on my own motherhood journey, I have to reevaluate and challenge the traditional notion of mothers should stay at home because I have been growing up with a strong realization that simply being physically present 24/7 doesn't guarantee a deep emotional connection with your kids.

Embracing a Full-Time Career

Now, as a mother myself, I chose to be a full-time working mom. But my decision to become a full-time working mom was not an easy one.
For those who can relate to this experience, you should understand the mixed sentiments it can evoke. Some questioned why I would choose to spend less time with my kids, while others agreed that it's good to work and contribute to my household expenses.
It wasn't an easy choice, but it was the right one for me.
Having a full-time career gives me with a sense of purpose and fulfillment. I believe it allows me to be a better-rounded person, which in turn makes me a more engaged and content mom when I'm with my kids.

Navigating Mom Guilt & Prioritizing Self-Care

However, as much as I enjoy working, one of the most significant challenges that I faced is mom guilt. Those pangs of guilt would creep in when I couldn't cook lunch/dinner for my family, or when I've to stay late at the office because I want to avoid traffic jam (driving between 6pm to 7:30pm is madness in Klang Valley).
But I've quickly learned that the key is not to eliminate mom guilt entirely (because it's impossible), but to acknowledge it and manage it.
I've come to understand the incredible importance of self-care for parents. Taking care of myself isn't selfish; it's a necessity. When I take care of myself - both mentally and emotionally - and with my husband's understanding, I find that the weight of mom guilt lessened, allowing me to be more present when I'm with my kids. 
When I prioritize self-care, I'm better equipped to nurture and care for my kids. It's a lesson that has brought about positive changes in my life as both a mom, a wife, and an individual.

 Quality Over Quantity

I've accepted that it's not about the quantity of time spent with my kids but the quality of the moments we share. Instead of being physically present but mentally absent, I make a conscious effort to make the most of our time together.
What my kids love the most is their bedtime story time; they call it 'our nightly talk'. We'll talk about anything under the sun - from types of cheeses to diseases to how babies are formed (this is tricky, I always have to find ways to eliminate certain details hahaha!)

Challenging Stereotypes

Last but not least, in my case, my experience has challenged societal expectations and stereotypes surrounding stay-at-home moms and working moms. I realize that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting.
What works for one family may not work for another, and that's perfectly fine. Each of us must find our own path that aligns with our values and allows us to be the best parents we can be.



I've shared my personal journey from being a stay-at-home mom to becoming a full-time working mom. It's a transition that has made me a better parent, and I believe my story can provide encouragement and support to other mothers facing similar choices.
While the conventional narrative often portrays stay-at-home moms as the epitome of nurturing, my experience demonstrates that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. Each of us must find our own path that aligns with our values and allows us to be the best parents we can be.
Embracing full-time work has been my path, and it's a path that has led to personal growth, a stronger connection with my kids, and a newfound sense of purpose in my life.


1 comment

  1. It's always fun (and a bit surreal) to see my words pop up in unexpected places. I'm happy this quote resonated with you and that you've been able to embrace your own path. We moms need to stick together!