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working vs stay at home

  1. #9
    jane01 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Hong Kong

    Wow, it seems that HK is missing out on a lot of good workers by not offering more flexible hours.

    Gladys - I think you will find that your stay at home experience will improve significantly if you make friends who are in the same situation. Perhaps reach out to some of the mums at your child's activities - eg. panda junction, etc.

  2. #10
    pnut is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Sheung Wan

    I've given my notice to my colleagues that I wont be returning after the baby's born, and they don't understand why. I work with local Hong Kong moms and dads who don't talk to me about raising the child as much as, "how to get a good helper". But I don't want a helper for the first year at least.

    I'm proud of my stance, but I sure feel like the odd duck.

  3. #11
    yonge is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Hong Kong

    I used to work at an investment job 18 months ago, but was involuntarily retrenched one week after returning from my 6 month maternity leave for my 2nd son. Guess the company was not as family friendly for him as after my 1st one, where I took 4 month maternity and another six months of "flex-time", where I worked full-time from 7am to 4pm. Returning to work full-time after my first for tough, especially as I was still 100% breastfeeding (not pumping, as the baby wouldn't take the bottle) but I would rush back at lunchtime to give him a feed. It was exhausting and I can't believe what I had put myself through to keep working. As the hours I spent away from home meant that I didn't nurse him as frequently during the day, he would wake up more at night to feed. The irony is that with the second, he was a better sleeper, took the bottle and I was better rested, but I didn't have to go back to work!

    It took me months to feel comfortable being a stay-at-home mom. Moving to Hong Kong helped, as I had to be the one to make all the arrangements, so that kept me busy. My husband had always been supportive of my choice to work, but I didn't realize until I was not working how happy he was that I became a stay-at-home mom. He would rather than we continue to live below our means, even on a reduced income, and for me to be better rested and less stressed. As one working mom put it best, she feels like she's being a 70% employee and 70% mom and feeling guilty about both all the time. He makes a point (and trains the children, I think) to tell me that he thinks I'm being a great wife and mother. However, now that we're on one income, we need to be flexible as a family to accommodate his work demands - and as a result, will probably be moving every few years. Getting the family settled (accommodations, healthcare, schooling, immigration, documentation, church, etc.) is now my full-time job!

  4. #12
    mcdill is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    OX Jess I can totally relate with your situation. I just turned down a better paying job because it wouldn't have been able to provide the flexibility I needed.

    I think if you can afford it financially, why not be a stay at home mum. If you feel you are not making use of your talents, try to think of a way to channel them into other types of activities and pursuits that still leave you time to raise your child.

    Unfortunately, it seems that mothers who take time out to raise their children continue to be penalised when they try re-enter the workforce. I read an article recently where someone in that situation was told in an interview "You have young kids, so just stay at home. Mums with young kids are just not committed to working hard."

  5. #13
    LeahH is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong, Mid Levels

    I work because I have to financially - we are here in HK with my job. That said, I get tremendous satisfaction from my role and after mat leave with 2 kids, I don't think I would be entirely suited to being a SAHM full time.

    From a career and $ perspective, I should be exploring other options and what's available in the market. However, I've decided not to do that - I have good working conditions where I am that are conducive to raising my children and I'm not sure any amount of more money could compensate for that. Promotion prospects are not great either, but again, I'm not sure any promotion would outweigh the flexibilty.

    I am pretty thankful I am here in HK, in any other country the commute would cut down on the time I do get to spend with my kids and I would probably have to put them into childcare instead of having great help in my own home.

    If money were not an issue, I think I would explore something entrepenurial. A small business that could be run flexibly around the kids. Enough to make me feel productive and fire my imagination!

  6. #14
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Hong Kong
    Quote Originally Posted by mcdill View Post
    I read an article recently where someone in that situation was told in an interview "You have young kids, so just stay at home. Mums with young kids are just not committed to working hard."
    This is so not correct. It's discrimination!

  7. #15
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    well, i HAVE two businesses that are supposed to be "flexible", and they are to a certain extent.

    hubby runs a dog boarding service in our home, so he's around a lot during the day. there are times of the year that he's very busy and we don't see him all day, even though he's just downstairs. other times, he's only got a few dogs and can take some time off during the day for trips to ocean park, the library, a museum etc with the kids.

    i run a playgroup centre. originally, my plan was to take my kids with me to the classes that i taught, however, now, i just don't have space in the classes. they are too full (not a complaint!!!). i now have staff and the schedule of classes is expanding, which is great. the problem is that the actual in-class teaching is the easy part (for me)... the planning, administration etc takes me probably 40-60 hours per week. everything comes down to my planning, my ideas etc (which is great, but it is quite a lot of pressure).

    what causes even more pressure is that neither of us(hubby nor i) have regular income. THAT is the most difficult part of it all. our money comes in in dribs and drabs and that can make budgeting/bill paying a little difficult at times.

    there are times that i really wish i could be a SAHM, but i KNOW that i am much happier with what i am doing now. i like the stimulation that work provides, even though it is still child-centred.

    i KNOW that being your own boss often means putting everything you have (time, energy, money) into your job. if what you do fails, you have nothing left to fall back on.

    whatever you decide to do, it is a different decision for everyone. what is right for me, may not be right for you and visa versa. the ONLY thing that matters is that YOU are comfortable with your decision.

  8. #16
    kyojee is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Tai Hang


    I really feel for you! Maybe could loosen up a little on the cleaning (once a fortnight, or half a day in the weekend?)

    Cooking for self is usually tiring with all the hassle and cleaning, so I suggest some dinner boxes or cooking large batches like different stews and pasta sauces etc and freeze them. Pack them in ready to eat one-meal portions and then microwave/steam them up!

    Some part time cleaning service works wonders. Even if it's just once a month.

    I hope you would get more rest soon! =)

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