S has an opportunity to go to HK for a 6-month stint and we are considering if we should go along and if so, for how long. There are several combinations possible: (1) go along with him for 6 months; (2) go for one month and come back for another and then alternate between two cities this way; (3) go for 3 months and then come back for another 3 months. These combinations are based on some considerations which include my mother’s needs, L’s education, leaving my house empty and staying with S as a family.
(1) I guess the least disruption to S’s work will be for us to stay there for the entire 6 months period. But this will mean disruption to L’s enrichment and swim classes. Well, I suppose she can do similar classes in HK too. This also means that she will start her nursery one term late. After checking with her pre-school, they informed me that we have to pay for the term to secure her spot in class even though she will not be present in class for the first term. Another consideration for me is leaving the house empty for so long. Will all the electrical appliances still work after being “dormant” for so long? Hahaha, my sister said that I’m enslaving myself to my possessions.
(2) My mum adores L to the max and since my father’s passing, L has been her focus. We are conscious of the fact that she will miss L dearly if she doesn’t see her for 6 months. So we plan to ask her to come along with us. But my mum is a home person and to get her to uproot temporarily for 6 months is unthinkable. What maybe viable for her is the one month in HK and another in SG option.
(3) A hybrid option may also be viable so R can have our companion for 3 months non-stop and L can also start her nursery as planned. If my mum wishes to return to SG, either my siblings or myself can bring her back. So, as of now, this seems to be the most feasible option for all parties…unless S’s apartment is so tiny that it can’t house all of us. In which case, he will have to shuttle back as and when he can. So much for thinking ahead…hahaha!
As with many mothers, the thought of staying home to look after L crossed my mind many times. This was especially when I think about whether I’m spending my time meaningfully. But the sheer idea of not being financially independent makes the thought extremely daunting. However, when I thought about how unpredictable life is and if I were to leave this place tomorrow, would I regret not spending enough time with L or not earning enough dosh? The answer was clear to me. So, after weighing the pros and cons, and also consulting some of my girlfriends who have taken the plunge, I’ve decided to be a full-time mum. As I planned what to do with my time, I realized that there’s just so much on my to-do list. I feel that I’m even busier now.
Just as I was basking in bliss, I was informed after I returned to work from last installment of maternity leave that my “still considered new” job had been “restructured away” after business integration and I needed to look for another role internally. The first thing that came to my mind was the fact I might not be able to provide for Baby L anymore. This thought actually surprised me as it was a departure from how I would think in the past which would be all about me, about whether I can still afford to shop like there’s no tomorrow. Much that this news triggered much anxiety; I was pleased that parenthood brought out the selflessness in me.
After more than 4 months of uncertainty, disappointment and anguish, the wait was finally over. I was given another internal role, which I decided to take on for the time being. I knew at least I did not have to worry about providing for Baby L, well, at least for now. More importantly, the entire episode was a wake up call for me as I realized that the possibility of losing a senior level job when one reaches 40s or 50s was very real. I would need to create an additional stream of income so that it would not become as daunting, should it happen again.
I started looking out for a change of role way before I was pregnant, as I had accomplished what I was recruited for. I went for several interviews but nothing really materialized. It was either the job scope was not what I wanted for my next career move or the remuneration was not what I anticipated. I am someone who enjoys constant challenges as they bring out the best in me.
During one of the fetal scans, it revealed a grouchy-looking baby and I knew that I had to do something about it. I can either (1) quit and focus on my pregnancy since I went through quite a lot to conceive my little precious one or (2) get another job but that would not be fair to my future employer.
Just when I was deliberating about this, a potential employer whom I was pursuing for a while offered me the role. I came clean with them, informing them that as the interview process took longer than expected, and I was already 5 months pregnant. I would totally respect their decision should they retract the offer. Being a multi-national organization known for their family-centricity, they offered me the job anyway.
Call me brave, I tendered my resignation and moved on despite being in my third trimester. I still wonder how I did it since I did not have any prior relevant experience for the new role and that it was a much bigger role than what I had. I knew it would be tough since I was heavily pregnant but I went ahead with full zest, looking forward to the new challenge!