The dilemma of a Motherhood

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How can I be a better mother?

Why do I feel like I’m not good enough?

I was always intrigued by the idea of working mothers vs stay at home moms. I always wanted to know – was there really a difference in the way the kids turned out? Did stay at home moms have it easy? Were working moms selfish? 

I was a working mom when I gave birth to my first child. We’re living here in Taiwan with a high cost of living. After my maternity leave of two months, we sent her to the daycare center. He is only two months old but he is already in the care of others, we have no choice because we need to earn money. We have no relatives who can help us to take care of your child.

We usually heard motherhood is so rewarding, fulfilling, and full of joy. Yes, it is true! But what about the bad days, the hard times, those far-from-picture-perfect, burst-into-tears, close-to-losing-your-mind moments?

It is very difficult to be a working mom. You are expected to work like you don’t have kids and mom like you don’t have to work. I see both sides. It’s a never-ending guilty struggle. No transition time between work and parenting, your attention is divided. You’re working but some part of you is worrying about your kid. There is also guilt when your child is sick but you can’t take a leave to take care of him.

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Here the time comes after 7 years I got pregnant with our second child unexpectedly. This time a very delicate pregnancy that I need to give up my work for both of us can survive. I needed to bedrest during my pregnancy but still, we did not make it up to the full term of my baby. I need to give birth to a premature baby but thank God even though he is not in his full term he is healthy and has no complications.

With this situation, I become a stay at home mom. I thought it was easy. This was the time I fully understood the value, hard work, and their sacrifices to stay at home moms. ⁣⁣I see how hard you work.⁣⁣I understand that it often feels like groundhog day.

Now I was able to see the invisible load of a stay at home mom. The feeling of isolation. Never been off the clock. Feeling the need to justify what you do all day. You will lose your identity to the point that you really don’t know who you are. You will be dealing with criticism. You will envy your partner for his freedom to leave the house. You have never-ending work. You have the guilt of not earning income. Your role/work feels invisible. The feeling that you need to depend on your choice. And the worst feeling of unvalued.

Stay at home moms, working moms, and work from home moms all work incredibly hard. There are pros and cons to each role and neither one is a walk in the park.⁣⁣  Motherhood is hard, being a mom is hard whether you work or not. But there are some unique struggles in each role.

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All of this makes me realize that working or not – women don’t always have it easy. Whether you choose to be a working mother or a stay at home mom, it is your love, trust, and faith in them that will raise them to be successful and happy adults. It’s your kids knowing that their parents have their back – regardless of anything that will make the biggest difference. At the end of the day – we just need to find what works for us and try to follow that. But keeping the big picture in mind always helps. Being a mom is the BEST job of all.

Jeanette Kuo

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