I have been raised to be an independent woman who, as per my mother’s description, is one who does not need to depend on anyone to earn her own money and thus stand on her own. Hence, my parents laid a huge emphasis on education to ensure I achieve this independence… Besides, I had not been exposed to household chores for several reasons such as my mother not bearing the sight of a child doing chores… You should see her face when she hears that my kids do some housework 😅.

My mom was terribly anxious when my first child was born. Yet, I had taken the full responsibility of being a mom ‘like a big girl’. Eventually, my mom was pleasantly surprised and felt proud of me.

Then how come I am unconventional as a mom? I live in a modern era where the life of a working woman is such a rush! Hence, when it came time for me to go back to work, I had no choice but turn towards a nursery for the day care of my baby (with all the possible prejudices it created within our traditional society).

Today, I have two daughters and both attend school. However, I am not there in the afternoon when the kids are back home, so I am not there to prepare snacks and beverages to welcome them, as you would see in movies. My kids would usually see me in the evening when, in winter, it is already dark. When I happen to come earlier, they would usually ask why I am so early (chuckles). Hence, compared to my childhood, my kids have not experienced coming home smelling food being prepared. However, they do experience coming home and sharing cooking time with me as I also catch up with them about their day and homework.

I am the practical type of mom – so when it’s bring and share at school I might be ordering something rather than prepare those cute little sandwiches that we all love to eat. Yet, whatever I plan to give them to share, I always try to bring in our special touch. For instance, for my daughter’s birthday cupcakes – which I ordered obviously – we did the decoration together and we enjoyed it!

At this point of the post, you may be wondering where am I leading you. I wanted to share these few experiences of my life as an unconventional mother to say that it is high time to break the normalised image of a mother that society has built over time. Too many women suffer from mom guilt because they have a career!

There is no one way of parenting just like there is no one way of finding love or expressing your emotions. With the world going through so many major events, one after the other, we all face too many tensions and worries. It is therefore time to realise that there is no standard ‘perfect life’. Not everyone will eventually pursue higher education, buy a brand new house and car, get married and eventually raise a family.

The same applies to modern working mothers (of all working class). How a mother bonds with her child, how she manages her time with them or even how she figures out her daily routine, can no more be standardised! We all have different lifestyles and working schedules. We cannot judge others based on the fact that they do not live like us.

On the contrary, it is time to support each other, no matter how we live our lives (provided you’re harming no one, of course). Above all, it is time to normalise that women share their anxieties about how they feel as working mothers and not feel ashamed or fear being judged. There is always a working woman who is stuck in a dilemma where she has to choose between work and her family (which I think happens to both gender of parents). For the benefit of future generations and the welfare of women, there should not be a standard image for the perfect mom. The only perfect image of a mother is in the eyes of her children…