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?
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