Angry and Exhausted: Why I'm Taking the Plunge Towards Self-Employment This Mother’s Day
The Moment I Realised The Current Labour and Childcare System Are Stacked Against Women.
Picture this: It's Mother's Day, a day of celebration and reflection as mothers, mother figures, and daughters. As I basked in the warmth of the occasion, life had other plans. My little one suddenly fell ill with a viral infection (the second one this month). Fever gripped his tiny body, shivering uncontrollably as chills ran through him.
At that moment, as I held him close, my heart ached with helplessness. I started rehearsing the conversation with my husband about who would take time off to look after my son, depending on our workload that week. In my mind, I was drafting the out-of-office email to request a day off (maybe even two days!), the apologies to my manager, and the "I'm sorry" to meetings yet to be rescheduled. I cradled my son, burning hot and flushed, while with my spare hand, I was frantically looking for an available GP.
It's a familiar scene since I returned to work 1.5 years ago…and undoubtedly, the same scene plays out in the bedroom and the couch of every woman juggling career and motherhood. While organizations and government are shouting from the top of the roof about the policies to help women balance work and motherhood, the truth is:
- Childcare is still ridiculously expensive, the cost increases with the yearly indexation, and you're not exempted from the daily fees during public holidays and in the case of sickness.
- As much as businesses promote their policies for women returning to work from maternity leave, the motherhood penalty is real. In most organizations, it's to be present or be left out.
- The skyrocketing cost of living and student loan debt makes it increasingly challenging for families to thrive on a single income. This means women have to return to work sooner than prepared before their child builds the immunity required to hold off the diseases common in childcare settings.
All three factors combined form the perfect storm where women are burning candles on both ends, especially when our young ones fall sick…
… and I'm so, so tired of the charade.
I’mandI'm over feeling guilty and torn between my work obligations and motherhood's never-ending demands. There has to be a different way to live.
That night, the room was dim, but my determination burned brighter than ever. I realized I could no longer rely solely on traditional employment anymore. My son needed me, not just in moments of illness but in every step of his journey. My aging parents, oceans away, required the comfort of knowing I could also be there for them. It's a delicate balancing act, and I've realized that being in control of my destiny is the key to finding that equilibrium.
I had been toying with investing in a website development mentorship to provide a high-ticket offer for my marketing side hustle, desperately yearning for the flexibility and freedom to create my path. Yet, as a mother, I know how precious every penny is, and the thought of parting with a substantial sum of money sent shivers down my spine. But you know what? I couldn't ignore the burning desire inside me — the undeniable yearning to create something of my own, to forge a path that allows me to be the present and engaged mother my children need.
In that dark room, with my son trembling in my arms, I made a decision born from desperation and determination.
Amidst the flurry of emotions — the fear, the worry, and the unwavering love — I hit that "pay" button. The weight of the investment felt heavy, but my conviction was solid as steel. I was ready to dive headfirst into the unknown, armed with the fierce determination of a mother who would stop at nothing to provide for her family.
This journey is not one I take lightly, and I know there will be lots of late nights that require relentless perseverance. But as I sat in that darkness, with my son's shallow breaths breaking the silence, I knew that this leap of faith was not just for me — it was for him, my parents, and every mother who dreams of a life that offers flexibility and fulfillment.
So, here I am, stepping into uncharted territory. Building a business from scratch is like raising a newborn all over again — full of sleepless nights, learning curves, and unpredictable challenges. But oh, the thrill of it all! The prospect of shaping my destiny, creating a career that fits snugly around my life as a mother, and being there for my parents when they need me most is what gets my heart racing.
I share this journey with you because, as mothers, we will likely face similar struggles, dreams, and aspirations. And maybe, my story can ignite a spark of courage within you to chase your dreams, even if they seem daunting at first.
I promise to keep you updated on this courageous journey, sharing the triumphs, the setbacks, and the lessons learned along the way. Thank you for joining me as I navigate these uncharted waters and create a life that brings fulfillment, flexibility, and endless possibilities.
I’m a communicator, marketer, and business owner. But my proudest role is as a mum to a rambunctious three-year-old boy. Motherhood is joy, pain, exhaustion, and exhilaration all wrapped up in one. I am the writer of a free Substack newsletter Milkin’ It, peeling away the glossy veneer of modern motherhood to uncover the joy, pain, and everything in between.
No sugar-coating, no filter, Milkin’ It is all about embracing the messy, the unexpected, and finding humor in the everyday chaos that only fellow mums truly understand.
Like what you read? Subscribe to Milkin’ It on Substack today, and let’s navigate the wild ride of motherhood and career together.