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Full-time mum

  1. #1
    sallyhammer is offline Registered User
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    Full-time mum

    i'm a career-oriented person but at the same time we are planning to have a baby. I';m just thinking if i should quit my job and be a full-time mother. that means, i cannot develop my career anymore. so hard to choose . .................

  2. #2
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    you and your husband will have to decide what you believe is the priority for your family now. having a baby does not necessarily mean you MUST quit your job...having a job doesn't necessarily mean you CAN'T have a baby. is this an either or thing for your family? I would suggest that you and your husband sit down and think about what you want for your child in terms of family and social network and how you will both go about raising your child together. unfortunately, we can't have it all - and at the end of the day, whatever decision is made needs to be agreed by you and your husband. each stage of life we have to make hard decisions and two years ago when i quit, my husband and i believed that one of us had to be home with the kids full time.

    now...that was after baby #2...now babt #3 is on it's way. we in HK are blessed in a sense, because we have easy access to affordable help (for those of us who want to / have to continue working) but hiring help is a very personal decision. i'm not sure what job nature you are in, and if P/T is even an option...

  3. #3
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    There are lots of threads in this site on this 'career v motherhood' topic.

    I think the first question is whether you (and your husband) want to raise your child yourselves or are willing/able to have extended family or a helper help out. If the answer is "yes" then you may still have a chance continue working.

    The next question is purely financial, ie can you get by on one income, your husband's, as well as support yourselves, a maid and have a flat large enough for baby and a live-in maid.

    The third is whether you think you can be happy being a stay-at-home mum. Some mothers love it, others hate it, yet others fall in between.

    The next is whether your career track is one that allows you to get off the fast-track and into the medium or slow track; or if there are other jobs in the same industry that are more mommy friendly. Hong Kong is not known for its family-friendly jobs.

    All these considerations are not exclusive of each other and they don't have to be decided in the order I set out. But every mother (and parent) grapples with these issues and there is often a lot of guilt about raising one's children oneselves, how much quality v quantity of time is spent with the child. It is up to you and your husband to strike a happy balance. Some of it through trial and error and others by compromise.

  4. #4
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I agree with what lesliefu has said.

    Life is short. Careers are important but they aren't the only thing in life. Also, careers often change. The world is always in flux and how many people start off in one career and end up in an entirely different field? This is just a reality of the times we live in. Hong Kong people (overall) have some of the poorest work/life balances I've ever heard of/seen. This is a major problem that affects the well being of people in this city. It is a constant topic for debate and discussion in the business community here.

    I always come back to what my mom told me, "If you're waiting for the right time to have a baby, you'll never have one." So, if you're waiting for the next promotion or until you have "enough money" or any other "perfect circumstances" until you decide to have a baby you'll likely just keep putting it off because nothing can ever be perfect (just as lesliefu mentioned).

    So, if you are serious about having a child, then you definitely need to do some soul searching with your husband and make a list of priorities and compromises you're willing to make. But, I can definitely testify that having a child does not mean the end of a career. It simply means a fuller life with different priorities and that the company doesn't own you anymore (or they shouldn't). For some women that means becoming a stay-at-home mom (probably the hardest work, for the least pay and recognition a person could ever do!). For other women (like me) it means choosing a career that gives me a better work-life balance (and actually just as much or more satisfaction as what I was doing previously). For other women still it means becoming very creative and starting their own business or working from home or even inventing something and becoming rich (do you know how many mom's are inspired to make great inventions because of being a mom and then go on to make a lot of money from it?)

    In life, sometimes you have to let go of something in order to embrace something better. The big question is if you are ready to let go of what you know (your current career and lifestyle) and be open to what you don't know (what your future career and lifestyle could be). It's risky but most mothers say that it's worth it.

    And as my dad says, "When you have a child you get to be part of the future. You get to invest in eternity." Although you may have a great career it's unlikely that your reputation is going to outlive you by hundreds of years (unless you're like a Nobel prize winner or something) but if you have a child you can know that it's likely a small part of you will go on and for some reason that seems pretty hopeful to me.

    All the best to you in your decision making. :)

  5. #5
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Along the lines of what lisa88 said-

    You asked if you should quit your job? I think that when it comes to parenthood a lot of decisions are trial and error and there is no need to rush into most decisions. You just do things step-by-step. You prepare yourself mentally and practically for big changes--such as changing careers or quitting jobs. But, that doesn't mean just because you're thinking about getting pregnant or are even pregnant that you have to suddenly quit and go into "mommy mode" or something. You can very practically keep on working and day-by-day see how things go. If you've done your research and know your options and your Plan A, Plan B, Plan C etc. then you can feel free to choose if you need to.

    Some women work through their pregnancy (like me) and give birth, planning to go back to work as usual after their maternity leave but then when they return to work they find that they are desperately unhappy being separated from their baby so they either quit or take time off or find a part-time job.

    Then there are women who quit their jobs to be stay-at-home moms (like I did in the past) only to find they are desperately unhappy in that lifestyle (like me) and prefer to work full-time or part-time--spending quality time with their child when they can rather than a huge quantity of time with their child.

    But, there really is no way to know for sure until you're at that point. You really do have to "cross that bridge when you come to it." In most situations, even if you quit a job it's possible to find another one later if you need/want to go back to work.

    Life is a journey and sometimes we can't control every twist and turn along the road but I think the secret to happiness is finding some sort of contentment in it all.

  6. #6
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    SallyHammer -- I'm in a similar boat. I think the key is to be flexible and play it by ear.
    I am working through a pregnancy now and plan on taking about 4 months off after delivery. Then I will go back to work, partly for financial reasons and partly because I like what I do.
    But who knows how I will feel? Who knows what will happen in the future? I'm keeping my mind open. Maybe, after some months, I will adjust fine. Maybe I will miss the baby too much. Maybe I can find some part-time or work-at-home compromise.
    One of my parents was grilling me recently on what would happen if I had to take a business trip later. Why would care for the baby? I didn't know what to say. By the time I give birth and go back to work, it will be early 2012. I told this parent that one simply can't micro-manage the future.
    No decision you make will be set in stone. There is no law that you can't go back to work after taking a few years off, or vice versa.

  7. #7
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    Any working mum worried about taking long business trips should talk to flight stewardesses who are working mums. I know one and she manages with one live in and one part time maid, for 2 kids (7 yr old and 20 mth old). Her hubby has an exec job which also requires travel 50% of the time. Between them both they try to travel alternate times but there are inevitable occasions when they have to both be away at the same time. They get friends to help supervise the maids, they fly in their parents from overseas sometimes (both are not Hong kongers). The parents juggle a lot, negotiate, argue, have a good laugh, and have their family holidays together.. I see them as a normal happy family, I don't think their kids miss out on the essentials - love and attention. Seems to me there are endless styles of parenting, kids know who their parents are, keep things in perspective.

  8. #8
    katfroggatt is offline Registered User
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    hi sallyhammer, i have been where you are exactly at recently. I have never stopped working was very career oriented until my husband was offered a job here in HK when my son is barely a year old. My mum is the sole caregiver to my son while we are both at work back home. When this opportunity in Hk came up, i couldnt not support my husband and as my mum is not gonna be here in Hk to help, the responsibility lies in me to decide what is best for my son. I have had bad experiences with domestic helps so that was not an option for me. So i was rather nervous about giving up my career to move here and to take care of my son as this is something so new to me! And its been almost 2 months in since we moved here and i can tell you this is the most rewarding experience and decision i have ever made. Being with my son is so enjoyable and i absolutely love it. Of cos it does get trying at times but its part of motherhood :)

    So honestly, i would say take things as it come but do chat with your husband as to what both of you guys expect with a baby. I also think that you never know till you try. Its good to take a short break after you had the baby and through that short break you will know what is best for you and your baby. I had all my ideals before my son arrived but when he came, i threw all those criteria out the window, being a mum changed me and it is important not to be too rigid and remember to enjoy it! They grow up sooooo fast! As for our career, im sure we all have a beaming resume with all our experience and knowledge nobody can steal from us, when we are ready to get back into the work force, im sure there wont be any major issues. :)

    Good luck! :)

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