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Working Mother’s ABC

Posted by on 15 November 2009

ABC (image from

If there is a real-life version of comicbook superheroes, that would be us, working mothers. We are significant members of the workforce by day, wives/cooks/caregivers/housekeepers at night, chauffeurs/chefs on weekends. We may be overworked and often under-appreciated, but once we achieve that delicate balance between career and motherhood, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve written this out of fun, as a tribute to us, working mothers, so please take this with a grain of salt or two.

Inspired by the working mum’s ABC, written for TIME Magazine by Allison Pearson, author of bestselling novel “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, I’ve come up with my own version of the working mother’s ABC:-

Annual Leave – a company benefit that you can never get enough of; comes in handy for school plays, PTA meetings, and frantic calls from your child’s teacher to pick him/her up due to fever/fall/every-imaginable-emergency-known-to-mothers

Bag – pre-baby: an article of fashion; post-baby: a portable dumping ground of toys, diapers, pacifiers, wet wipes, crayons, candy wrappers and half-eaten food

Chocolate – sanity saver extraordinaire

Desserts – “stressed” spelled backwards; best example: please refer to letter ‘C’

Energy – a valuable resource that you need more of, which your children never seem to run out of

Free time – what’s that?

Guilt – it never gets any easier!

Heels – the portion of one’s footwear whose height is inversely proportional to the number of children that you have

Ice Cream – a confectionery item that’s capable of fixing the biggest tantrums and the worst boo-boos

Just Do It – an-oft repeated phrase that can be used interchangeably with “Because I said so…”

Kiss – the smallest gesture from your child that often has a memory-erasing effect on all the naughty things that your child did that day

Love – so unconditional, so unexpected, so much more than all you’ve ever known, much much better than what you’ve expected, that when lavished upon you by your children,  you begin to wonder what you’ve done in life to deserve it

Mama – sweetest word in the whole wide world, but can turn quickly into the most annoying sound in the world if uttered in a whiny, demanding voice

No – a word I vowed to use very sparingly with my children but ended up using some 318,673 times (and counting…) since my first child was born

Overtime – a word that strikes fear in the heart of working mothers who rely on daycare centres

Patience – the virtue that every working mother prays for every single hour of every single day

Quickly – the one word that children don’t seem to comprehend just when you need it the most

Rest and relaxation areas – oases in long road trips with the children

Sleep – what mothers miss the most once the babies start coming, one after another

Takeout/Takeaway – also known as ‘lifesaver’, especially after a day filled with endless meetings  at the office

Undo – a computer feature that you wish is applicable to everything in life, especially after your toddler spills some chocolate syrup on the carpet

Vacation – all-time #1 item in every working mother’s wish list

Work – “I ♥ my job, I ♥ my job, I ♥ my job. I need the $$$”

Xylophone – it looked good in the toy shop but as soon as you get home, and the kids start banging on it, you wish you never bought it.

Yell – involuntary act often brought about by a combination of deadlines at the office, a huge pile of laundry at home, and a thousand-and-one other minute details

Zombie-like – the state that mothers show up in at work after an all-nighter with a sick child

7 Responses to Working Mother’s ABC

  1. mai

    mimi this is HI-LA-RIOUS! i’m not a mom yet but I feel you. housewifing is such a chore, but parenting is another thing. hahaha! you should write a book about it, you’re really good at telling mommy stories in a super funny way :)

  2. Josiet

    I laugh at F – free time. There’s no such thing even for SAHMS =)

  3. Mimi

    Mai: Parenting is tough but the rewards are more than worth it :) A book? I never thought about that :)

    Josiet: Exactly. So one must never ever say “I’m ‘just’ a SAHM”. A mother’s work is never done :)

  4. Eper

    Yes, MOMS RULE!!! Especially those who work outside the home.

  5. a-moms-diary

    I can help but smile as I read through your A to Z. It’s super hilarous yet every working mum can relate to it. Thanks for this gem!

  6. mscallingthephilippines

    I like that A-B-C. Moms are the best. I can really relate to it!

  7. Kim

    I loved this – it was awesome. Your comment on Zombie makes me remember feeling a bit guilty. I was exhausted because I hadn’t slept the night before and was barely functional. I had no-one but myself to blame and there were 2 of my colleagues who had been up all night with their kids and they looked like they’d had a full nights sleep…

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