31 December 2015, by Lim Peifen
Now that I’ve returned to work full time, I feel the emotional tug-of-war every day. Before stepping out of the house every morning, my heart longs for one more minute with Luke, but at the same time I can’t be late for work. Before a day’s work comes to an end, I can’t wait to pick him up from the nanny’s place, but I also wish for more time to finish up or perfect whatever I was working on. It’s a constant battle, and I’m on both sides. Work vs baby, me as radio producer presenter vs me as Luke’s mother.
In the beginning, the pressure sometimes got too hard to bear, and I considered giving up my job. If I did, it would’ve made things a little more manageable in the short run, both for myself and my husband. But I can’t imagine not working. I love my job, this has always been my dream job and I’ve had the privilege of doing it for more than 10 years, and I’m still enjoying it after all these years. The big question that loomed in my mind: “Will I be a better mother if I stopped working?”
One Saturday night, after attending a friend’s wedding dinner, I rushed back to the office to do some work which had to be completed by Monday morning. I tried hard to concentrate to get things done faster, but I couldn’t help checking on Luke through the baby monitor app on my smartphone. I felt terrible not being at home by his side so late in the night, and worried he would wake up hungry. Fortunately, he slept soundly, only stirring a little at times. I wondered if he was dreaming. I wondered what his dream was about, and what his dreams will be. How will I help him realise his dreams? As my thoughts wandered into the future, the guilt I’d felt about not being with Luke disappeared for a moment and was replaced by excitement and hope. It dawned upon me that the best way to inspire my son is to keep doing what I am doing, and do it well. When he’s a little bigger, I will explain my work to him, bring him on a tour of the studios, and show him how a good radio show is done. I smiled, still staring at the image of him sleeping soundly, imagining how I will share my passion for my job with him.
The good things about my line of work – hours are flexible, and sometimes I can get family involved. Luke and I did a photoshoot for Mother and Baby a while ago, and though it wasn’t easy getting him to hold a pose or a smile, we still managed to take a few great photos.
Looking forward to the day I’ll show him this and tell him all about his first media shoot! 😀