I WANT TO BE THE BEST MOTHER I CAN BE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I ALSO WANT TO CONTINUE TO DO WELL IN THE WORKPLACE.

JACQUELINE NG
REGIONAL HR MANAGER FOR RECRUITMENT COMPANY

When I was in my twenties, my main focus in life was climbing the corporate ladder. But now that I am a mother, my priority has shifted a little. It’s like they say, there are different seasons in your life. My son, Lucas, is now my main priority although work still remains a close second. I have learnt to become more efficient at work. I make sure I get all the most important tasks done first to avoid having to work overtime. It’s about finding a balance. When I am at work, I am completely focused on my work and after that, I make sure the time I spend at home with my son is quality time when I don’t have to worry about work.

Although we are entitled to four months of maternity leave, I went back to work after six weeks. There was no pressure from my boss but I guess I felt the pressure of responsibility that comes with my position in the company.

I also felt indebted to my bosses. When I was still pregnant with Lucas, travelling to and from work was really tough, especially after the sixth month of pregnancy when my tummy was really huge. My husband and I decided to get our first family car and the expense was actually partly subsidised by my company.

I think one of the biggest work-life challenge for me is that I often have to travel overseas for work which also means that I have to be away from Lucas. I will start to miss him as soon as I am on the
plane. Technology has helped in that I am able to Skype with my husband and Lucas but there’s no substitute for feeding and playing with him yourself.

I am expecting my second child now. A few of my friends are actually surprised that I am pregnant again so soon after giving birth to Lucas but we wanted them to be able to grow up together. I hope that when my second child arrives, I will still be able to juggle my work and family as well as I have done thus far. I think I speak for a lot of young mothers when I say that I want to be the best mother I can be but at the same time, I also want to continue to do well in the workplace. I hope that our employers will continue to give us opportunities at work, even after we have become mothers. I also hope that the Government will look into giving more paternity leave as fathers play an important role too in giving support to the wife and family.

This story is a part of the PME Conversation book,  brought to you courtesy of UP for PME.