by Tsz Ching Cheuk August 01, 2022

Being a mom is never easy. It is more than challenging to strike the delicate balance between work and family. Miss work at home, and miss home at work? Mochy listed a few struggles a working mama may be encountering. If you are still torn between full-time work or being a full-time mom, this article may shed some lights on which path suits you more.


#1 “I wish to be a full-time mom, but then we couldn’t afford HK’s high cost of living.”

Financial burden is probably every working mama’s top concern. Household expenses, like rent and bills, a few ten thousands. Interest class or playgroup fees, another few thousands. Money keeps rolling out if you are sending your princes and princesses to a better private school, or even to study aboard. Most HKers even give back to their parents monthly once they start working — another considerable expense. For most families, if mama doesn’t work, it will become choosing between paying rent, or paying your kid’s fees.  

It’s true that not every family is tight on money. Still, some working mama may prefer to earn their own living. It may not be as extreme as splurging at will, but at least you can feel justified in buying your own handbag, instead of sheepishly asking husband for money. Money doesn’t grow on trees. So, some moms would instead work full-time and hire a domestic helper to take care of their kids.

One side is more time with your kids, another is providing a better living environment for the whole family. Which option delights you more the instant you hear about it?


#2 “I don’t want to abandon my stylish, smart and independent working self!”

Even after having kids, some moms would still love to continue pursuing their jobs, and retaining their passion. You may enjoy the satisfaction your work offers, relish a whole team striving towards a common goal, and love your shimmering self when doing work you like and are good at. At the same time, you may fear that once family becomes your whole world, you will disconnect from society and become behind the time, unable to keep up with the latest trend, not as quick-witted, and end up transforming entirely into a “housewife”. While you enjoy every second spent with children, you may not want your world to be confined within the tiny house. Therefore, many would rather try harder to find a job with better work benefits and more annual leaves, and continue with the unfinished career path where they left off.

A full-time mama can participate in her kids’ every “first-time”, while a full-time working mama can remain to be a stylish, smart and independent woman. Which side does your heart tilt towards?


#3 “Miss him/her so much that I can’t focus on work!”         

Even if moms choose to work full-time, that doesn’t mean they don’t miss their kids. You still always think about your children at work. 9:00am, have they arrived at school safely? 10:00am, are they performing well at school? Getting along with their fellows? 12:00pm, should be lunchtime now. Does he/she like the jelly? Thinking about your sweetheart, you perhaps no longer work as efficiently and whole-heartedly as before. The most challenging moments should be re-adapting the OT culture. It’s already midnight when you get home, and it’s been a whole day since you last saw him/her. Witnessing and participating in your kids’ every growth, building relationships with them bit by bit, it’s a connection and satisfaction that others can’t imagine. It’s just a huge sacrifice for moms to return to the workplace.

It’s again the choice between the satisfaction your work brings, and wholeheartedly taking care of your little one.


#4 “The sidelong glances from colleagues are unbearable!”

Nothing worries parents more than their kids being sick. Well… if there’s one, it probably is your kids being sick on weekdays! You are lucky if you have got the kids’ grandparents to look after them. If not, the only options are to take a leave or take your kids to work. First, you will have to pass through your boss. Even after your boss has approved, some colleagues are bound to be casting sidelong glances at you both, or “tut-tut” in front of you as protest, or gossip behind you, thinking it affects the working efficiency and working atmosphere. But of course, , some colleagues understand and welcome your kids, playing with them even. However, one sidelong glance is already enough to make you feel bitter.

But to be fair, there’re risks of being judged whether you are a working mama or a full-time mama, unless you either have very understanding colleagues or family. Either way you take, you may inevitably be facing criticism. But well, who are they to judge? You be your own boss in life.


#5 A win-win solution to return to the workplace after kids get into primary school? Fat chance!

Spending a few years at home does more than leaving just a window in your CV. There’s a high chance that you have lost your business or market sense, and lost track of what customers value these days. It may be hard for you to re-adapt the fast-paced working environment in HK. It is hard enough to find a job in HK nowadays – even slimmer chance after the COVID outbreak – it is only even more challenging to get hired after “resting” for a few years.


Whenever facing two-way alternatives, we may unconsciously be overwhelmed by the downsides. It seems like either side you pick, it leads to discouraging result. So, stop pondering only on the drawbacks. Stay positive! Keep in mind the benefits both ways bring. Then you will realise both options are blessings. Your heart will tell you which side you tilt towards, which side you’re happier with. Then simply take strides towards that path and clear all hurdles along the way!


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Tsz Ching Cheuk
Tsz Ching Cheuk


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