“So… if one unleashed the power of Zeus, he would hurl thunderbolts and bring about killing rain that could then kill even Poseidon ‘cuz he is the aerial god. But Poseidon can counter this power with his own powerful weapon, which is a trident, and it can cause something like an earthquake that can kill the other fellas. Did you know that he is second to Zeus in power amongst the gods? So he is really cool too… I like him because he can control the sea. Imagine the power to call forth Tsunami-grade wave…”
“Hmmm…” I nodded at the split-second pause I had to insert my comment. I must be the only mom in this land who finds her preteen talks without any punctuations and pauses in his sentences.
“Mama, you don’t understand what I am talking about, right?” (Yes I really had NO clue and finaaaally, he got it!)
“Sweetie, I was listening, of course…” came my half-distracted tone when I finally found the crumpled box of raisins from my weathered handbag and quickly tossed it to the passenger seat towards Baby B to buy some peace. I could not believe that we have only made it to the junction outside our home when it felt like I had driven for hours with a babbling toddler who was trying to escape from his car seat strapped next to his preteen sister who had the perpetual need to interfere my conversation with her brother who was literally speaking Greek to me since the morning!
“Well then, who’s your favourite Greek God, Mama?”
“Urm… the only one I remembered from my school days was Apollo – He is the god of sun, right? I remember reading about him riding on a chariot with four horses to chase the Sun across the sky.”
“Yah, ditto! Apollo is the son of Zeus too— He is the god of music. His weapon is an archer with a silver bow. He has cool healing power that people were crazy about. Did you know he is also the god of truth, so the funny thing is this guy can’t tell lies because he has an honest soul – Maybe that’s why you like him, Mama, ‘cuz you always say lying is the worst thing a kid does, right?”
“Hmmm…I guess so…” I tried to focus hard on the traffic ahead driving the three happiest little people to a neighbourhood mall to get some back-to-school stuff but the truth was I was losing my attention span thinking about my work, their school transportation arrangement, the stationery and grocery on my shopping list, their tuition fees and buying some night diapers for Baby B.
“Mama, I don’t think you were listening to what I said, that or you are completely unaware of all the powerful weapons these characters have in the cartoon I just said” Cheeky Koko made a passing comment that brought me back from my daydreaming.
It reminded me of a car bumper sticker I got as a Christmas present from Pumpkin Mei-Mei weeks ago. It showed a frazzled mom driving in the car with three kids making lots of noises and it says “Driving Under The Influence of Children!” that had me chuckled upon seeing how well it described my multitasking-life as a mother.
But now it wasn’t funny! I realise that as a working mother, this sort of occasional chronic inattentiveness is becoming debilitating. I am always with the kids whenever I am not working and much as I try my best, I can be half-present sometimes in that my mind does wander off to all the other things such as work tasks that are waiting for me to complete at the back of my mind.
I would lurve to be a stay-home mother (which by the way, was secretly my ambition if money, diapers, grocery, loan payback and all of life’s necessities can just rain into our lawn from the sky!) but it’s just not an option for us, for now.
I don’t think I am alone in this struggle either. Most other working moms I have come to know struggle with juggling acts of their own as they try to ace in both of their callings in Family and Work.
In the recent Friso Mum Survey in which I was invited to take part in, I realise that I am part of the phenomenal statistic of the Working Mom’s Syndromes, which include but not limited to:
1) Spending about 2.5 hours lesser than a non-working mum or housewife with her children, and she considers only half her time with her children as “quality time”.
2) Constantly feeling the tension to balance between work and family which results in:
A. Don’t have enough time in her daily life/routine (Totally true, just look at how I am deprived of a quality bath time here!)
- Struggle to juggle between work, housework and the family (Another truth, because I can so ruin our holiday!)
- Feeling guilty for not spending enough time with their children and try to fulfil their children’s needs by giving them what they want. (Gulp, my father’s wisdom prevails here!)
While the journey of motherhood brings incredible experiences and immeasurable joys to a mom, the reality of having to juggle between work and family do create a lot of emotional tensions for working moms.
The insensitive commentators say we should just suck it all up and march it on with glitz and glitter since we choose to work, but the sad reality is mostly, we Don’t have a choice in having to work and we have tonnes on our plates — From work, sending and picking up the kids, cooking, bathing feeding them, plus household chores, that we are often left feeling out of time, exhausted, guilty and helpless.
In doing that, I echo Friso Gold’s sentiment for wanting to call on mothers to get in on the acts of “Our Today Moments” in creating lasting moments and spending more quality time with their kids. It’s about the quality time we craft out with our kids that focuses on being in that moment and being in “Today”. In another words, it’s about us making the effort to make every moment count with our kids – “Our Today Moments”!
As I pulled into the parking lot of the mall, I apologised to Cheeky Koko that I wasn’t really paying much attention into what he was saying because I had just have a very rough week at work.
“Really? You could have shared your burden with me, Mama. And it’s ok, Mama, I know you work hard for us, so that we can have a good future and I just wanted to share with you what I am into these days, because you said that as I slowly turn into a teenager in the next few years, I may just shut myself out from you and may even be a pain like choosing my friends over you. So guess what? I am making sure that I won’t be a bad teen by sharing my stuff with you including the cartoon I am watching these days… because I love you, Mama”
In my mind, I did a little chicken dance as the happy, smashing hen so so so… loved by her chicks dearly.
It is said that motherhood chooses us while we can choose to beat the odds in being the best that we can. I was committed to being a better mom there and then and being in the PRESENT whenever my child speaks the next time. My kids just needed me to be with them in the moment, in “Our Today’s Moment” — A sweet lesson I simply have to learn from a 12 years old.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/countrykitty/5146326185/”>countrykitty</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bies/127619542/”>bies</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>