20 Desember 2016

Confession of A (Kinda) Workaholic Mother

I like working.
Maybe a little bit too much.
I even wanted to write an entry titled "Jika Istrimu Suka Sekali Bekerja" for this series.

Having the privilege to do what I like as my job, I had no reason to hate working days. Back then when I was single, I worked 7 days a week and enjoyed it very much.

And then came motherhood.
Practically, I never stopped working. As a psychologist, my job allows me to work at home. So while technically I was on maternity leave, I still scored tests and writing test reports, with my son sleeping or being breastfed on my lap. After my leave period ended, I brought my son with me to my office everyday, sans nanny. For about a month, 8 hours a day, 4 days a week, he slept in his stroller or was breastfed on my lap. But then he outgrew the goler-goler-tak-berdaya period and started to roll so spending most of his time in his stroller won't give him the chance and stimulation he needed. Plus, my office collapsed, literally. Renovation brought a lot of dust, making my office more unhealthy for my son. So I decided to resign.

After resigning, I still work. My idea of "working" is not limited to "working in an office" or "working for an institution" so yes, I still didn't stop working just by resigning. I sell books (do contact me if you're interested in Catatan Mainan DIY Anak 😊), did some volunteer works, write test reports, and eventually working full time again with a remote working scheme.

At the time I accept the job offer, I thought I can manage working at home. I've done it before, right? Little did I know that along with the growth of my son, working at home is also growing...... to be more and more challenging.

Being the work-lover that I am, I want to do well in my work. I want to finish every task and accomplish every target. I dislike not performing well. It makes me geregetan and frustrated because I know I actually can do it ---- but I don't have enough time. Oh, I still don't have nanny btw, I take turns with my husband to work.

My job right now is like my dream job. I'm talking about doing my life mission and my main professional/academic interest here. Of course, I want to do it well. The workload and the pressure is also high, and I don't really mind. But then I started to see my son as a hindrance who makes me unable to perform well. Seeing my son as a hindrance is something I really don't want. Right from the very start, I knew I want to see motherhood as an empowerment, not a hindrance. And it was, until these last few days.

Pressured by deadline, I put my son in daycare for a week. It's three times more than what I wanted and allowed myself to do. It went well, but it made me feel restless. I guess working at home as a jalan tengah doesn't work anymore. With this position and workload, I should go full on and put my son in daycare everyday..... Or I should step down.

Working (in my field and position right now)  is something I know I actually am good at. Being a mother, on the other hand, is a trial and error attempts where I make newbie mistakes here and there. Yet both give me satisfaction in a different way. So, choosing between them is not about picking the more satisfactory one. It's about reason.

Because just like Frankl said,
Those who know the "why" of their lives will be able to withstand almost any "how".
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