How motherhood changed me - Why I no longer want a travelling job

Jes 8 Comments

We are not wired to be parents.

When we were born, we were looked after by our family. When our parents took care of us, it was easy to enjoy life and be selfish about own needs. My parents were the traditional type, they said we could only date after 18 years old. Dating is rarely a successful deal at the first try and many of us go through a few relationships in order to find someone suitable and settle down. That took a few years for most of us.

I got married at 26 and that was considered early because I have been dating for 4 years.

And once you got married, the relatives will converge around you to push you to have babies. The older you are, the higher risks and lesser energy for kids, they said. It dawned on me that it wasn't age that was a factor but health. I felt it was not about money or physical strength but more on my mental readiness.

I still remembered how terrified I was to imagine I have to give birth to another and take care of small babies. I just got married and moved out from my parents' house and was still relishing the independence and freedom that come from no nagging and curfew.

Travelling was fun because we can just take leave and drop work to go have fun in a moment's notice. Looking at cheap air fares and travelling with friends were what young single adults do with a bit of spare cash. All these would end once pregnancy started and so we knew we wanted kids but that's in the future. I felt too young to be a mother. At that time, #YOLO was the slogan and travel was the goal in life. I even found a job that allowed me to travel! Travelling was beneficial for me to climb up the corporate ladder and see the world. It seems life couldn't get better, it was great!

A few years into travelling and I was just getting to explore the wonders of Europe and US and business class for work, and I finally realised that I will never stop being scared of having a baby.

The fear is always there.

Nobody will want to cut short their freedom and enjoy taking care of another,  particularly when we just had a bit of financial freedom. I realised I was always seeking fun and excitement and that's what travel brings, but it was never enough and always short-lived. I was looking forward to 20% of my travels and just dragging myself through 80% of my life, especially work.

I wasn't ready, I was still scared but yet I am done with the work-for-travel phase of my life. Enough travelling, enough parties, let's move on. Gradually I understood that it's ok to be afraid of having kids, it's normal to be fearful of starting a family. You should not feel pressured to give birth but it's likely that you will not be 100% ready to have kids.

You just got to take the plunge like me and just accept that it's time for a change.

My first child was born when I was 29. It was then I realised the joy of looking after another. The maternal instincts kicked in and I was suddenly possessive of my baby and personal time. I shouldn't have to be away, I shouldn't have to travel. It's like I became a completely different person where ambition and career wasn't important. The most important was family and time spent together with them.

This time, I resisted travel because it meant being away from my newborn. This time, I wanted to change my job and who cares about the corporate ladder.

This time, I was happy for 80% of life with my family and miserable for the 20% during travels. I knew I had to find a different job, one that would make me 100% happy. The little bits in life made me at ease, the little milestones of my daughter's life made life wonderful, it made life perfect.

I understood I do not have to keep looking for the fun and excitement anymore, the happiness was in the every day where I got to see her healthy and happy.

I didn't realise the returns out of taking care of this little one would come back a thousand times magnified. When she hugged me to sleep, when she thanked me for the ice cream, when she said she loves me and massaged my back, it's the little details in life I did not know that made life complete. Happiness becomes so simple, so easily attainable. Watching her grow up, conquering her fears and maturing into a young lady, I was contented with life. Funny how contentment and peace only comes with parenthood, which I believe most would feel the same.

Not many realised that I made the career shift not because I had to, but because I could.

Fast forward, I now have 2 girls. The career change to be a self-employed for the last 2 years were much better than I could have imagined. My ambitions were still being fulfilled in the form of my flexible hours e-commerce store and I get to see my girls every day.

Travelling was only done with my family and I couldn't be happier.

I no longer needed to see the world, I am happy right at home.

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  1. No parents I know regretted their decision to have kids.

    Money can be earned regardless of age. Career and own business can also be developed when one is not so young as long as health is still good. However, for women, better have kids while they are still young. That's how human body is designed. Can't get around that.

    Same like you, I'm glad I had kids.

    1. Hi Hyom,

      That's true, all my friends like being mothers, that's why we give birth ma. Indeed, at this age, it's better to give birth first, the rest like career and money can come later!

      Thanks for dropping by! ;)

  2. Freedom will come again, in time to come! Meanwhile, 6 years of joyous fun, 12 years of stress. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Lizardo,

      Lol, don't scare me leh, I don't want 12 years of stress. I think after the first year is much better. I get to sleep through, I get to stop breastfeeding, I get my freedom and life back.

      More happiness now, maybe stress will only come later once they start schooling!

  3. Jes,

    What freedom? Haha. Wait 18 years. *grin* Enjoy.

    1. Hi lizardo,

      You good, make me stress, LOL! Shhh.. don't tell the singles about this! :D


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