A big thank you to all of you who came down to attend my ‘Parenting 6 kids without going mad or broke’ talk last weekend. For those who didn’t manage to make it down, I will try to summarise as best I can and break it down into digestible posts. Do give me some time to get that done.
A blogger mum who attended my talk interviewed me to find out more about how I parent my kids. She was also keen on getting my views on being a stay-at-home-mum as many of her readers are faced with the dilemma of choosing to work or being at home for the children. We were lamenting that sadly, Singapore is still far from being a place where permanent part-time positions are available for mums in most industries.
|Don’t you just love the graphics|
More than 10 years ago, when I requested for a permanent part-time position as an occupational therapist at the end of my work attachment, my supervisor widened her eyes in disbelief and flatly informed me that there were no such positions available. I pressed her for a valid reason, because in the hospitals where I was attached to in Australia, it was a norm for 2 therapists to share 1 person’s workload and the arrangement worked well. She asserted that no, it would not work here, it would be too challenging administratively, and besides, you would be looked down upon as not being ‘serious’ about your job. I was baffled, and further enquired about the marital status of all the OTs there. She told me that 14 out of 15 of the OTs were female and not married. The last one was the director in his 50s, and he was married.
Fast forward a decade, and I do see a minute improvement in the mindset of employers with regards to hiring females on a permanent part-time position (although hearing from friends, the reality is that on paper, you are on a half position, but over time, the workload creeps back to a full workload!) We need to do much better than that. We are losing a lot of valuable contribution from professional women because of this all or nothing employment situation. Studies overseas have shown that over the course of decades, the highest percentage of women who state that they are satisfied and happy with their life and family situation are those who are gainfully employed in a permanent part-time position. I can understand why. I don’t want to work full time so that I can spend time with the kids yet I need to keep my mind occupied and to find satisfaction in my own achievements and passions. I guess that’s also why there are now more and more mumpreuneurs sprouting up.
For the full interview of my thoughts on life, parenting, being a SAHM and even living with in-laws, click here.
As Ruth is a first time mummy to her 8-month old son Noah, her blog: The Pacifier Diaries has great information for first time mums such as choosing a suitable gynae, what to expect from a confinement lady, and reviews of baby carriers and breast pumps.
After chatting with her, I realised how far I’ve come in my parenting journey. The days are long, but the years seem to fly by much too quickly. My best advice? Enjoy your kids while they are young 🙂