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“What if I’m not a good enough mother?” 

Many will agree that being a mum is the most magical thing in the world, but, are women ever prepared for the package that comes with motherhood? We interviewed a few ladies to find out from them.

Laurel: Full-time working mum  of 4.5 year old Jessie and one more on the way
Michelle: Part-time working mum of 7 month old Owen
Jessica: Stay-at-home-Mum of 6 year old Stella and 4 year old Kaylie

What do women mean when they say they are not prepared to be mothers?

Laurel: We never planned to get pregnant, but Jessie decided that it’s enough couple time for mummy and daddy when she gave us a positive pregnancy test result. Even with experience of taking care of babies, I was emotionally unprepared to have my own. I had the fear of “What if I’m not a good enough mother?”, but my husband reassured me that it will be alright and that being a mum is a continuous learning journey that no one will ever be fully prepared for. 

Michelle: Our pregnancy was not planned but we were excited to be parents. We have not done our customary and had just gotten the renovation for our new house done. Though we were not actively trying for a baby, if baby do come, great! If not, more couple time for us. But I’ll be lying if I said I was not worried. I was constantly questioning myself, “What if I don’t have the skills to handle my child?”, What if something bad happens to my child?” . Thankfully, my husband has always been supportive which really helped alleviate my fears (even if temporarily) and helped me to see that we are both in this together.

Jessica: I got married at 38. I had no time to think if I was prepared for motherhood as I found out I was pregnant shortly after the wedding. It was a pleasant surprise as I thought it would take longer for me to get pregnant, considering my age.

 

What can couples do to better prepare themselves for parenthood?

Laurel: Teamwork! I feel that it is very important to have the husband and wife working together in the parenthood journey. There are times when one party needs a breather, the other party plays a big part when he/she step in to take over, something like good cop, bad cop.

Michelle: Husband and wife should always remember they are in this together. Things will never be the same with a child, so mentally preparing yourselves and adjusting your expectations for various activities both of you used to have or do might be a good start.

Jessica: No matter how much preparation we do, there will never be enough preparation to prepare you for a child. But what you can do is not to have high expectations and save for rainy days. You should also understand your family’s financial situation and ensure you have enough for your family’s financial needs.

“Will I ever be prepared with the surprises my daughter has in store for me? No.”

Why I chose to be a full-time working Mum (FTWM)

Laurel: I chose to continue being a FTWM because it suits our family’s situation. I don’t feel guilty being a working mum as I still find quality time to spend with my daughter. I am able to continue to achieve tasks at work and building a strong relationship with my colleagues and bosses really helps. We keep work in the office and try our best not to touch work after office hours.

Why I chose to be a Stay-At-Home-Mum (SAHM)

Jessica: I was previously working in the financial industry where long hours were common and by the time I’m home, it would only be in time for me to kiss my children good night. I desired to spend more time with my children, so my husband’s posting to work in Vietnam could not come at a more perfect time. I took the plunge to leave my job and we relocated to Vietnam temporarily when Kaylie was 5 months old. And I’ve never regretted my decision.

Now that we are back in Singapore, I still enjoy every bit of time I spend with my girls and going back to the workforce is not in the cards for us. Yes it is tough being a SAHM but nobody said being a mum was easy! 

Why I chose to be a SAHM and a Part-Time Working Mum (PTWM) after

Michelle: I left my job to be a SAHM when I was about 3 months pregnant with Owen. Having worked in various Marketing roles over the years, the nature of the job required me to work weekends and pull all-nighters pretty frequently. Leaving and becoming a SAHM allowed me to better care for my health during the pregnancy and of my son after birth.

As much as I enjoy witnessing Owen’s milestones, I find myself missing interactions with adults. There’s also a loss of identity to a certain extent, so I was really lucky to find a part-time job with the option of working from home through Mums@Work which allowed me to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Still not ready for motherhood?

Laurel: Will I ever be prepared for all the surprises my daughter has in store for me? No. Am I prepared to welcome baby number 2 into the world? Yes and No. But I am very sure that my children are the joy in my life, and as a mother and a mother-to-be-again, I will survive it all!

Michelle: I still have much to learn, breastfeeding and weaning are all so new and foreign to me. But Owen has brought us so much joy that I have already started asking my husband when we should have baby number 2 (and hopefully, number 3)! As long as the people around you are supportive, I’d say go for it!

Jessica: Who will ever be?

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