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Divorced, Full Time Working Mom... & Feeling Guilty

Discussion in 'Matters Of The Heart' started by ash11, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. ash11

    ash11 Member

    Hi everyone,

    I wonder if anyone feels the same way i do? Full time working mom and leaving the kids to a helper/nanny?

    I am divorced and have 2 girls aged 7 and 5 (P1 and K1). My ex hb and I divorced about 3 years ago but we're still on good terms for the kids. Kids are under my care and control and we have joint custody.

    My elder daughter has just entered P1 this year. With homework, the education system and increasing presence of peer pressure, I can't help but worry though I understand it's part of the growing up phase. I am a full time working mom - my official hours are 10am to 7pm and on average I reach home about 8 to 830pm daily. I don't get to spend much time with my 2 girls when I get home as they need to get to bed by about 930pm (9pm would actually be ideal). I have a helper who picks up my kids from school and childcare and of course settles their meals.

    It's a daily grind as I check on homework and ask them about their day when I get home. Shortly after it's time to brush up and get to bed. There is no time for a game of Uno, Snake and Ladders or drawing and coloring with me. Sometimes, there is simply no time for them to show me and tell me about the drawing they did. Given the lack of time I have with my kids, i thus make it a point to send both of them to school in the morning, having that 5 to 10 minutes of walking time together is better than nothing even though I need to wake 2 hours earlier than supposed to. My elder one watches tv mostly (Okto, Netflix) after she has her lunch, showered and does her homework (she waits for me if she doesnt know how to do it). My maid tries to tell her not to watch so much but my kid doesn't listen.

    I was on leave for the last 1 week and had the chance to pick them both from school. I am usually at the school 5 minutes before dismissal and I am surrounded mostly by grandparents and domestic helpers, and a a small handful of moms. I was able to be part of the 'Mom' group for that week, but knew that soon my helper would be the one picking my child again. When classes were released, the joy of seeing my elder girl in glee when she spotted me at the parents waiting area was priceless. I hadn't told her I was picking her and the look of happiness on her was simply blissful. She told me all about her day at school on the way home.
    In the last 2 days, she has asked me to drop her off outside the school gate instead of walking her in. She said that some of her friends are being dropped outside the school, and i guess she wanted to follow suit. Peer pressure was simply evident now combined with a sign of her growing up and not wanting me to walk her in anymore. I thought this would only happen at P5 or P6 ... maybe times have changed.

    Much as I wish to be at SAHM for my kids, my circumstance do not allow me to. I definitely need to work as my ex husband only contributes his 50% share for the maid's salary, kids insurances and childcare fee for my K1 girl. In all he gives about $800 per month and of course I have other liabilities as well such as domestic bills, education fees and so on. I am hoping to work from home or have flexible working hours.... Sadly there is nothing much I can do except to squeeze out whatever time there is for them. Yet I feel guilty for not being there in the important years..

    Does anyone encounter this too and how do you manage?

    Thanks for reading.
    melati likes this.

  2. Shanice_

    Shanice_ New Member

    Did you try stay home job that can provide income? There are a few options regarding this, and also you are alone trying to raise them up, so dun blame yourself too much.
  3. weshine

    weshine New Member

  4. weshine

    weshine New Member


    I started another plan B business as residual income beside my full time profession, so that i can have more time for myself and family.

    If you are keeping an open mind to want to know more about, i am happy to share with you:)

  5. ZenZen2

    ZenZen2 Member

    its always about balancing between time n money.
    if u want more time, u have to live with less money n adjust yr lives accordingly
  6. JL8118

    JL8118 Member

    HI ash11,

    Am in a similar situation as you. Had recently filed divorced with hubby and am a working mum with 2 kids as well. Am currently staying with my 2 kids, and my helper, while my hubby had moved out.

    Daily, my helper will be the one whom fetch my kids from school. And I had only little time to spent with my kids as when reach home, is about 8pm already. I can only spent time with them for 1 hr or so, before they need to go to bed.

    Similar as you, I try to wake up early daily, just to bring them to school. Hence even spent that few minutes with them in the morning, I do cherish the time as well.

    Weekend will be mostly spending time with them for sure. There's no other choices I have since have to work to support the family. Hence I used my child care leave, annual leave, mc, etc so that can accompany them.

    Like zenzen2 mentioned, need to balance between both. But as Working Mum, we had quite difficulties in balancing both. So no choice but to spent as much time with them as possible.
  7. Mongkok

    Mongkok Active Member

    transiting from K to P1 is a milestone, for everyone in the house. suddenly everyone realized a lack of time for bonding and games. Evening time becomes a rush. rush for last minute coaching, dinner-time, bonding-time, sleeping on-time.

    you may try the following:
    1. delicate a time-slot say every weekends, etc for a certain hours purely for bonding, games, etc. that means, when it's time to work/study, you work hard and they study hard. when it's time to play, you and your kids will let hair down.
    2. allow yourself an early dismissal from work on every specific day eg. friday, holiday eve, etc
    3. wake up earlier to bond with your children.
    4. introduce sleep-over nights w mummy on certain specific days or vice-versa (mummy sleep-over in kids room) eg. every holidays eve, every alternative days, etc. up to u.
    5. start bedtime story session and ends with a leg massage session for your children. if you work late, preempt them in advance and offer to lengthen the next night massage. you will get to teach math and speech-and-drama during this process.
    above few suggestions are motivational base. the approach is to create specific time for specific activity. the structured schedule will allow focus, commitment and accomplishment in every activity. in turn, lessen any guilt as things are done and fulfilled as planned within a time frame.

    do remember, you have to work and your kids have to study. hence try to create an environment that allows everyone to look forward to a rewarding session (eg. games/sleep-overs/massage/bed-time story) after fulfilling their own roles.

    and, no worries. you will cope well along the way.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
    Jermaine33 likes this.
  8. Eppy

    Eppy Member

    As a single mum, we have to step up n sometimes the guilt seeped in. I think you need a good recharge first then step up n make small baby changes week by week i.e Don’t check their homework, they are supposed to make mistakes then they learn. Only when they don’t know then you go thru that particular question.
  9. Jermaine33

    Jermaine33 Member

    Although I have yet to give birth. I can't imagine myself in your situation. I can't offer much advise in child bonding time as I've yet to experience it myself. Maybe you can consider doing some homebase business or online business to generate income while able to stay home with your children? I intend to use skill future to learn eye lash extensions in hope that I can provide this service in near future, manicure pedicure,baby sit and nanny and freelance auditing service are also in my back up List.
  10. ash11

    ash11 Member

    Thanks all for your advice and input esp to Mongkok for suggesting a structured routine. Even how little the time during weekdays after I get home, i guess every second counts. And yes I miss out on checking homework at times but that can also be a good learning point for my kid. I once sent her off to sch without homework done because she forgot to do it and I told her she'll just have to face the music in school. Eventually they need to bear the consequences of their actions...

    I have started looking at home based income tho sometimes it is a little dubious so i tend to be more wary. However these days Im more open to try and see if they really work. Hoping that it can supplement my income and also if its gd enuff i can give up my full time job n stay home tho its very unlikely, unless i manage to find a job that allows me to work from home.

    Sometimes it's when things happen at home that i realize maybe i do not understand my kids' temperament and how they react or behave when they feel upset, or when they feel neglected. Eg its only recently that i realized that my P1 girl tends to withdraw and be alone and be quiet when she is upset abt something, and wont say unless i ask. She may laugh at my joke attempts but she doesnt feel better. It made me realize i might not have paid enough attention to her nor understand her.

    There is definitely a need to compromise between time and money, and something's gotta give and we may go overboard without knowing. Before u know it, its already 2019. Cant help feeling guilty and being stuck in the middle of the society we're in today.
  11. Shanice_

    Shanice_ New Member

    Ash, if you are interested in making online income do pm me to talk about it:) hope you ar doing great.
  12. Starrytwink

    Starrytwink New Member

    I really respect you for your strength and really hope that things will get better for you and you can find a job that allows you to work from home. Maybe you can try asking those around you for suggestions?
  13. ash11

    ash11 Member

    Over the weekend I tried out one of the "work from home and earn 3k to 5k a month" thing.. have always been skeptical but since Im already trying everything so i tot to give this a try too. Not sure if it will work out but shall see how.. no free lunch in this world, requires effort as well. If it works, then I guess Im lucky! Thanks all for ur encouragement. Hope to have less money woes and bring my kids up well..
  14. be-brave

    be-brave Member

    @ash11 we mums will always feel guilty, whether full time working or sahm.

    working full time allows ur kids to learn independence, how to manage her time etc.

    small breaks like u took, surprises her and will make her treasure those moments more, because these are not often.

    the one hour every evening, make it count. homework let her learn how to handle, step in only when she can't handle.
  15. Czaro

    Czaro New Member

    Oh, you shouldn't exist yourself to that extent. At least for an essay assignment visit this site https://www.writingpapersucks.com/. It will help you with the least expensive and the best authors. There's nothing to be ashamed of. If your daughter has no interest in humanities, it's better for her to focus on scientific subjects.

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