I believe there are many SAHMs out there who will be reading this article and sharing similar thoughts. When we gave up our career to look after the little ones, what we sacrificed was not only the salary and lifestyle and pretty work wear. We lost the business network, ex-colleagues who fought back to back with us, and sometimes fantastic bosses who were really bothered with things outside of work. I think I also missed something badly – the office politics wahhahahhah >.< At times, it is the intangible loss that I missed terribly, especially when the going gets tough with the kids and never-ending housework.
I had not thought about becoming a SAHM until the day my little boy, who was still an infant then, was admitted to A&E more than 4 years ago due to choking on phlegm. I SMSed a short resignation message to my boss the very night at the hospital and that was it one month later. Thinking back, I actually didn’t have to go to that extent actually as R still went back to infant care then childcare until he switched to Nursery level at the church kindergarten K was attending. I guess it was a moment of heartache and the thought of nearly forever losing my angel that triggered it.
Nevertheless, the last 4 years was not totally wasted. Being a SAHM allowed me to drop whatever I was doing anytime, played with the kids, brought them outdoors, nursed them during sickness, explored cooking and baking with them. As with things being greener on the other side, things that we do on weekdays are all the things that others often envy, but frowned upon by my mum. Thankfully, she has since straightened out her thinking and stopped nagging at me over “wasting my degree”.
Even though my family rely on single income and there were often times when I feel the strain, I am grateful to my hubby for indulging me in my whimsical spending habits. We have been staying in the west for more than a decade. Two years ago, we decided to relocate our nest to the north for convenience to the kids’ primary school. Our new location is also conveniently situated in between school, my father-in-law’s house, and his office, all along the same road. It sounds like a perfect plan and will serve us great convenience for the next 8 years at the least, until his scholarship bond is over and the kids move on to secondary school.
It is this new financial commitment and the upcoming COE expiry next year that has been constantly weighing on my mind in the past two years. Though life still goes on, I worry senseless silently and sometimes it does grow into a fight when I am the one who has been taxing him. Yet I find it hard to control my spending. I was hoping that I could help out financially with part time jobs in Singapore starting from next year when R goes P1.
As a SAHM, the inability to commit actual hours and work on a daily basis is a frequent woe for us who are keen to have extra cash. Even with the abundant options of part time jobs available in the market, I still found myself wondering how in the world I would be able to blend into the corporate world once more. My mind is always on the kids, where to find the best food, the most interesting & engaging activities for them, as well as how to maximize their childhood before they start to ditch me for friends.
One thing I have noticed recently is the proliferation of mini part time jobs without even needing to step out of sight of the kids. With social media, companies find themselves competing for every pixel space on the 5″ device everyone has in their hands nowadays. The copious amount of advertising on social media is nothing less than humongous. These companies need help to actively engage their followers on social media, to know the best time to make a post, and to be street smart when it comes to Q&A, or worse, a complain. I know this would be an avenue for many of us out there – rather than mandatorily scrolling through posts after posts until the end and then start right all over again with the new posts, one might as well earn some pocket money being a Super Social Media Specialist. I would definitely be exploring this option when opportunity arises especially I spot some job description that only requires 1 hour daily.
I have also come across some other interesting part time jobs Singapore companies have created in an effort to expand the tight labour market. Openings like Game Master at Lost SG, a real escape game entertainment company, Seaweed Sampler, Bookstore Event Assistants, Piano Teacher, and even Ice Cream Scooper with Soyato paying $10/hr for 3-hrs daily?!
Other than the abundance of part time jobs that SAHMs can take up, there is also an array of listing for internship and part time jobs for students. Though not applicable now that I’ve stepped into motherhood, it’s my first time coming across a website helping students and potential employers link up through internship. Gone were the days when we were posted to meaningless industrial attachment jobs that ended as a mismatch with our course of study. No more is there a need to individually write to companies with a high rate of reject. I wished I had such resources during my time so I didn’t need to go through the torture of sitting in a consultant’s office for 6 months doing engineering calculation which was not my forte.
The part time jobs I was engaged in during school holidays brought about a sense of achievement and satisfaction when I had my own money to spend. Not only that, I got to know people from various background and age (not just those with the same age as me) and we came together to have some fun while at work. Fun was wrapping food hampers and munching from the damaged packaging at the same time. Fun was also matching the 4-digit postal code to anywhere in Singapore after having typed thousands of invoices. Fun was working round the clock with young and happening people.
If I could go back in time, I would learn to be more frugal and to save madly before I get married. I would take on internship at a younger age and really go explore what I could do before stepping out of university. Nevertheless, the past is over now. I consider myself still under internship with my small bosses at home, for the job of a mother is by no means an easy feat that could be learnt in years. It takes decades for the children to recognize and appreciate the efforts mothers have put in, doesn’t matter if we are FTWMs or SAHMs. I hope that I can graduate from this job with flying colours, and then I will intern as a grandmother in time to come 🙂 May we all be so!
~ SAys! Shirley 🙂