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Working mom and guilt

  1. #17
    Lisa1 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    hong kong

    It is good to hear other people are the same as me! I was starting to think I was completely neurotic and half insane.. I was at home for my eldest daughter but had to return to work after my 2nd baby. It half kills me leaving the baby with the helper... I have very strong feelings that it should be me at home but at the same time I enjoy the freedom and independence of working... I also make sure I am home for bath and last feed etc etc but that is quite stressful in itself as I am constantly running out of meetings and looking quite unprofessional... which is why I decided to resign.. handed my notice in but have to work out my long resignation.. not sure if it is the right thing to do but at least I feel a bit better with myself for doing it!

  2. #18
    cmnd is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hong Kong

    I can understand your uncertainty on your decision to resign from your professional career as I did exactly the samething. if you like to share experience to give you moral support, PM me.

    good luck!

  3. #19
    ELT is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    I work full time and I don't feel any guilt because I know I am working to provide better education and opportunities for my boy. I do miss my boy when I'm at work so I would always get home the soonest I can. At night, we always sleep in same room with the baby (we feel the need to be close to him though I'm not sure he needs us to be there at night!). On weekends, we would give him all our time. We are blessed with a very caring and trustworthy helper. When we are at work, we know the baby is never alone or bored as the helper is there to play with him.

    My baby loves the helper. Am I jealous of her? You bet I am sometimes, especially when in the middle of the night the baby woke up crying and he wouldn't settle until the helper came in and held him in her arms -- that really hurt!

    My mum worked full time until she retired at 60. Both my brother and I have happy childhood and we never felt neglected because mum had to work. In fact, we both appreciate her working hard to provide for the family and our education.

    In HK, not many women have the option to stay home. Many needs to work to pay the mortgage or save up for college fund, so I guess the society does not put pressure on working mums at all. And being born and brought up in HK, I, like most of my friends here feel it is just a natural thing for the mum to go back to work after ML. I never felt any guilt having to work full time!

  4. #20
    capital is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004

    I went back to work when my first was 1 for 1 year, and when my second was 10 months old. I felt more guilt the first time. than the second time, primarily because I got over it. My children were cared for out of our home. I never really felt jealous that the children liked the provider better than be because I think there was a clear distiction between home and dayhome. I think if I did have an in home helper I would feel jealous because she would be around all the time and I would feel more threatened that the children would go to her over me. I did feel jealous that I was missing things. This was helper by the provider giving me a little note that would say what they ate, when napped, cute things they did or said, I saved some of them for the baby book.

    The hard part for me is that on weekends ( I am too tired in the evenings I work) I then have to clean, buying groceries, run any errands, do laundry, try to cook some decent meals for a change, take care of the children while doing all this, and still I am supposed to have some "quality" time int here with them. On weekdays by the time they are in bed it is 8-830 pm and that is me time, so I don't do any of that then. I just cannot do it all, and I just put in my resignation last week.

    1 month to go and I am done and really looking forward to it. I want to be the one to look after the children,I want to be able to take the children to swimming lessons, and soccer, and now I will be able to do those things. I have been back at work 6 months this time, have lost way too much weight and I am constantly stressed, as we also moved during this time, sold and bought a home, took a major trip and was more stress than relaxation. It is nice to work once in a while so I plan to work 1 or 2 evenings/ week, and maybe an occasional weekend, work it around my husbands schedule. I do worry about less money and no pension, but everyone keeps saying I will never regret being home with the children and I think they are right. I think it is about finding the right balance of work/family. Right now I am not enjoying work or home life, so that means it has got to change.

    It was a really hard decision to quite. I have always worked. I was even crying when I told my manager. I am so embarrassed about that now! Now that it is done, I feel so much better, it is like a huge weight is off my shoulders

    Last edited by capital; 07-05-2007 at 11:24 PM.

  5. #21
    spockey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Hi Capital
    I understand. My family and I are in the midst of thinking whether we should throw in the towel as far as HK is concerned and head back home. It's not an easy society to raise a family. The family values here are very different from home (Oz, where we are from).
    I haven't been able to cope with the guilt even though it's been more than 3 months since we've handed our son over to the DH.
    I feel like i'm missing out a lot of his life.
    Congratulations to you on your decision! :yeah2

  6. #22
    oh mommy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hong Kong

    I was rasied by a single mother of three and by seeing her worked so hard during the day has helped me to realise how much she love us all ! A lot of my happiest childhood memories come from the quality time we spent in the weekend like a day out to the zoo or a play date with my mom. We missed her during the weekday rountine but guess what, I love my working mom just as much as any full-time mom.

    I am now a working mom and I would like to give my kids the same happy memory - that every minute we spend is quality time. My helper looks after my boy during the day and we're there during the evening and the whole weekends. I don't feel too auilty cos I know by earning extra $ can go a long way for providing my kids the best education and family holiday.

  7. #23
    AnneB is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Thanks 'Oh Mommy'. You're post just eased my guilt. I'm a single mother with a 3 year old and trying to stay sane!

  8. #24
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    A few of my ex-colleagues said as much as they envy my current full-time mom position, they cannot afford to do so themselves. I feel sorry for them and for their kids. They are trapped by their own lifestyles.

    What Zee wrote really resonates. I think that it is very easy to become trapped into a lifestyle, especially in Hong Kong. An economist article said that HK people were by far the most brand conscious in the world....and I guess that is falling into marketing's pitch....if I recall correctly, something like 30-40% of HK people own something from Gucci!

    I think about the work/stay at home tension all the time, and for me part time work would be most ideal, but again the work place is not crazy about the idea, and career advancement takes a hit. It was a much more supportive environment for part time work in Australia (but then again they don't have affordable domestic helpers), bith structurally and attitudinally/culturally. I want a career for me, but I also want to be there for my little one and my husband, and there just aren't the hours in the day to be all things to all people, so therein lies the tension and the choices you must make.

    With regards to money, there will never be enough, so my philosophy is, is to work out where you want your life to take you, and then that determimes the working hours for both mum and dad, and then let that determine the lifestyle. Not the other way drives the working hours which drives where your life is headed.

    There is no clear nor easy answer. I still haven't sorted it all out in my own mind. Reminds me of economic trade-off theory.

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