The 'Pragmatic' Me.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

When I found out I was expecting, one of the first people I shared the news with was my Operations Manager at work. We've been friends long before we were colleagues, and we've seen each other through crazy times, drunken ones, happy days, weddings and the births of his children.

I've been with the current company for the past 13 years. I have left the company twice during this period to pursue different job scopes, and have returned again to the same company - armed with additional knowledge, but with the realisation that I am happiest working with them.

I have never been an ambitious person, career wise. It was more important that I enjoy what I do, rather than the amount of money that a particular job would bring me. I basically had most aspects of the educational system covered. I opted to be in the Pure Science stream in Secondary School (I would have much preferred to be in the Arts stream, but chose the former because of the advice given: 'Once you're in the Science stream, you can choose to go into any other areas in college!'), did Econs / Accounts in college, and went on to do my heart's calling: Graphic Design! following that.

I've been pretty lucky in my working life so far. I've never had to start off bussing tables or carrying barrels back then. I've been handed opportunities and chances on a silver platter, and I made sure that I never let any of these people who helped me down. Knowledge is a powerful tool, and I made sure that I did not only work blindly, I learned as much as I could by observing everything that happened around me.

What I have been able to achieve thus far in this industry, I'm happy to say - is obtained through sheer grit, determination and hard work (plus lots of chances and opportunities!).

So there was no question in my mind that I will still continue to work even after baby is born. The difficulty lies in the juggling of work and family - and at the same time, the provision of a loving home for baby to grow up in.

The hubs and I spoke about this at length - and while he left the decision entirely up to me, he reminded me that I am a person who thrived most on challenges, and that I love what I do. Marketing, Advertising and Design has always been my primary interest, and it was what made working so enjoyable to me.

Him: "I leave it up to you, but I would rather you work. In fact, even if I'm a gazillionaire, it's better if you work."

Me: "Why?!" (thinking that it was so selfish of him to deny me the tai tai life!!)

Him: "Cos you'd be so bored, you'd be constantly calling me at work to tell me that you're bored!"

Pffffftt!!

...actually, he knows me best.

So I informed my Boss that I would like to continue working after the baby's had, if he'd have me (yes, we have a mutually respectful relationship that way) and that I'll try my best to not allow anything much to change in my attempts to strike a healthy work and family life balance.

He congratulated me, was genuinely happy about the decision and said (I quote):
"We try to employ a person to suit a job scope, but at the same time, we will also ensure that as much as an employee has given to us, we will try to give what we can as employers. We will see what we can do to ensure that the job now suits you, time-wise, and your life as a mother now."

That just reaffirms why the Higher Management (all 15 of us) have been with this company since Day 1.

So as difficult as it is to not be with BabyMoo most of the day, DaddyMoo and I are trying our best to be good parents, with the help of some invaluable people in our lives.

We are indeed very, very fortunate.

10 comments :

  1. My husband says the same thing.. He says "study so much don't work then study for what" -_-

    Your company is really understanding! U're very blessed! :)

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    1. Hi Madeline,

      Thanks for stopping by :)

      Husbands have a way of bringing us back down to earth with a bang, eh? Haha... Not an entirely bad thing, though!

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  2. I guess your hubby really knows you well. Sometimes we hate to deny but it might be a better option for some moms to work. At the end of the day, we need to find satisfaction, joy and be passionate abt wad we do. It def does not make a working mum any less of a mother as well. Besides, all kids need happy mummies to spend quality time with. :)

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    1. Hi Yvonne!

      Yes, he does... and most importantly, he supports me despite the numerous bad calls I've made so far!

      Instead of lamenting on the fact that I can't spend as much time with my son, I've decided to focus on enjoying the time I'm able to spend with him instead. If I'm happy, I'm sure I'll be able to devote more energy to making baby happy, too!

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  3. Hello Regina, glad to read that your boss is so supportive, and that your home front is well taken care of. Balance is always the challenge for mums (and dads), isn't it. I've been working part-time for some time now, and even then feel tempted to stay home completely, even for awhile till the kids get older. I guess really, each of us have our own ideals to work towards...but that doesn't stop us from growing as an individual and trying our best to care for the kids, with the resources that we have! Very nice to connect with you... :)

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    1. Hi June,

      Thanks for the comment, and it's good to know that I'm not alone in feeling the way I do.

      There are times when I wish that I'm more 'hands-on' in the boy's development, and there are also many days when I feel so torn apart in my happiness - receiving a live video feed or photo (from my fab MIL!) showing me what my son has 'suddenly' been able to accomplish.

      I contemplated being a SAHM, for I do believe that no matter what, our survival instincts dictate that all of us are able to make do financially should the need to do so present itself. That being said, I know I would also miss work, and the opportunity that it gives me to have my 'ME' time of sorts.

      The husband and I try to spend every waking moment out of work with our sweetheart, and I'm happy to say that things are working out so far. At the very least, I'm thankful that my son adapts well to the arrangement... and still makes his Mummy feel wanted by displaying a small measure of 'stickiness' when the occasion calls for it! :D

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  4. U are indeed very blessed Regina, its hard to find a company that is empathetic and value the moms in the company. Companies that I have worked before felt that moms were troublesome. EVen more reasons to stay loyal to the company isnt it?

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    1. Yes, Rachel... although I'm pretty sad to say that there were several instances when come ground staff actually chose to leave the company AFTER the 4 months Maternity leave was claimed!

      We aren't a big company, and perhaps one of the advantages of working in an SME is that decisions can be made swiftly and course of action can be immediate.

      I believe that throughout the course of our lives, be it work-wise or in our every day dealings, we give some, we take some as well. In the case of my company, I'm indeed very fortunate that they recognise our contributions and give us back our dues when the situation calls for it.

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    2. it's really great that your company is so supportive and encouraging. i had terrible experience with my previous company when i was pregnant. it gave me lots of emotional stress which was the last thing i needed during pregnancy.

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    3. Oh no... that must have been very unpleasant for you! I hope you're in a better company now. No woman should ever made to feel bad or unproductive when they get pregnant!

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