I took a career break since 01 Aug 2011. My life as a career mum-cum-wife was going nuts since the year 2010. Career
progression was good, but staff support and managerial support was lousy, and I had challenging hurdles to cross. It was a deliberate move for me in 2010, to test my limits. After a year, I was so drained, and decided that it was enough. Continue working my guts out for a company where everyone is replaceable is not worth it, after I’ve proven my
capabilities to myself. My husband was supportive of my taking a break to recuperate my mind and well-being while I review the next steps. I’m very appreciative of his gesture and I’m finding ways to make my next steps work. ..still finding my way.
It’s been almost two months, and I have not found an alternative career / job that would allow me to spend more time at home / work flexibly. While the search is on, and before I enter the next stage of my career life, I reflected on the past two months and I cannot express enough how happy I am to have achieved some personal progress. My achievements in a short span of a few months included the following:
- I was available to accompany my daughter to Sentosa for her Pre-Nursery class excursion in August. It was trilling to be participating in her school activity with her.
- I managed to conduct engaging story-reading sessions to my daughter (3+ years old now), and son (more active
than my daughter, and turning two years old soon). I had the time to research on the internet on the ways and methods, and the type of books targeted at my children’s personalities. Now I no longer read the words off the book. I know the storyline beforehand and I rattle off randomly according to what the picture says and what my children interpret from the pictures.
- I was able to encourage my children to share toys more effectively. I guess the success was the ability to ride on the increased trust level my children had in me with more play time I invested with them.
- I helped my boy (and in turn my maid learned the trick too) to make progress in his fear of using the toothbrush to brush his teeth. This wasn’t too successful yet, but I think he has made good progress.
- I went on a Rest-&-Relax trip to Kuala Lumpur with my good friend for some girl-bonding. We got to know each
other even better just within those three days we had.
- I got back in touch with my god sister (My University Junior who has the same Surname and a similar English name as me). We are so similar and it was only these months, through our more regular chats and emails that we realized that.
- I had more time to get in touch with my Mother, and know more about the recent happenings in her life.
- I had more time to re-visit and internalize my Husband’s needs, and dislikes. And this has reduced conflicts because when our views do not agree, I was able to hold on to my views without hitting his dislike-buttons.
During the excursion I went with my daughter to Sentosa, her principal chatted with me, and shared that many parents who leave their children in the care of nannies and grandparents usually return home to discipline (e.g. correcting behaviour which the caretakers allowed but the parents could not tolerate). This leads to reduced time for parents to bond in a positive way with their children. She also shared that there is a positive co-relation between positive parent-child bonding and the children’s learning abilities in school. Wow! This has been the most enlightening chat I have had about children in the last one year. This is one good reason for me to achieve better work life balance in my next career move.
I’m now crossing my fingers and hope I do find something which works out because I have read endless stories about working mums failing to find a real job that can give them more time at home, and I feel their disappointment. I’m not too optimistic, but I’m glad that at least, I’m taking a break to do the search, although it is a path that many have attempted and fail.