Herworld (Singapore) - - HW -

“I’ve just fin­ished pack­ing away the last of the mega blocks my tod­dler Kaden, whom we call Kai Kai, has left scat­tered around the liv­ing room. Be­ing a stay-at-home mum is a full-time job, with­out many breaks. I fi­nally get to have some ‘me time’, which means a shower, face mask on and time on so­cial me­dia catch­ing up on what my friends have been up to.

I moved to Sydney from In­done­sia as a child, and have been a full-time mum for the past year and a half. Prior to that, I was work­ing full­time as an or­thop­tist (an eye-health pro­fes­sional car­ing for pa­tients with eye dis­or­ders). My typ­i­cal day at work in­volved work­ing closely with the oph­thal­mol­o­gist to di­ag­nose, treat and man­age eye dis­eases in adults and chil­dren. Orthop­tists in Aus­tralia have a salary of about A$92,771 (S$100,120) a year, or A$48 an hour. If you’re re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced, you can make up to A$130,000 a year.

I love be­ing able to be with Kaden all the time, but I plan to even­tu­ally go back to work next year on a part-time ba­sis, once Kaden goes to child­care. The ma­jor­ity of the moth­ers I know went back to work af­ter about six months or a year. That’s be­cause they were wor­ried about los­ing their po­si­tions at work, and they needed the ex­tra in­come.

Sydney is a pretty ex­pen­sive city to live in, and re­ly­ing on a sin­gle in­come is quite hard, es­pe­cially if you have a mort­gage to pay off. Child­care is also ex­pen­sive. On aver­age, it costs you A$110 a day to put a 12-mon­thold into child­care. Gov­ern­ment sup­port is avail­able in the form of sub­si­dies, but the cri­te­ria for qual­i­fi­ca­tion are strict, and we don’t meet them. A nanny is also quite un­af­ford­able – you’d have to pay be­tween A$25 and A$30 an hour. I am con­cerned about how the cost of liv­ing here has con­sis­tently been go­ing up.

My hus­band Philip works in the tech­nol­ogy sec­tor. De­spite his long hours, he still helps me with all the house­hold chores. I can­not em­pha­sise how im­por­tant his sup­port has been to me.

Be­ing a stay-ath­ome mum means I am with my son 24/7. But I make time for a so­cial life, es­pe­cially on week­ends. We Aussies love brunch and al­ways have new cafes to try. We also love go­ing to the beach or strolling along the gor­geous coastal walks. Kaden loves the out­doors, so I try to take him out as much as pos­si­ble.”

Stay-at-home mum Clara spends most of her day with her oneyear-old son Kaden.

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