The Playful Parents

Love at Play

Politically Speaking About Domestic Life


This past Sunday brought with it an epiphany, along with a ‘meltdown’ (his words, not mine) between Husband and Self over his perceived opinion about my appalling lack of domesticity. Yes, my girl clothes hanging behind the door prevents the door from opening. While his Hansel-complex/penchant for scattering screwdrivers, hammers, nails and loose screws (not me)  around our abode with the regular lovely path of worn socks to ‘pong’ up the house is *ahem* nothing compared to me leaving the breakfast dishes on the table, undone, while I go get kids and self ready to go out.

Truth be told, I think it’s not worth comparing our habits because we each have our fair share of bad habits. Unfortunately, it was just a day the sliding scale of bad-ness for the measurement of bad habits tipped against me.

Anyhow, after the domestic nuclear fall-out occured, I had to complete the government survey about re-entering the workforce. (Why did the ministry ever think I left? Because I have not had to file income tax for the nth year?)

Well, a survey respondent’s psychological frame of mind ought to be taken into account by whoever designed and interprets the survey.

BUT well, yesterday was the deadline for completing the survey and so in my rather-exasperated-at-self state, I logged onto the portal and began the survey.

Question #1. What is your current economic activity status?

My answer: Working.

And there began a debate between Self (S) and Inner Voice (IV).

IV: Erm, sorry, you’re a SAHM. How can you say you are contributing to the GDP? How is being a SAHM an economic activity?

S: Eh, I’m trying to be a blogger and work towards monetizing my blog what. Then I am also spending my free time dreaming up new creative and educational programmes for my own kids, and hoping to market them to the general public for a profit eventually. Not economic activity I? Entrepreneurs need time to develop the foundation for their new business right? What I’m doing is work,no?

IV: Erm, then got income?

S pretends to be deaf, and continues with the survey questions.

Question # 3: What is the main reason for your return to the  workforce?

Others: I created my own work to fit my own needs and schedule.

Unsaid truth: Cleaning poo off bums and crumbs off floors was proving just a wee, pun intended, detrimental to my sanity. I sorely needed to reframe the situation.

IV: Hmm. Explain?

S: I had an attitude change, a paradigm shift okay? So I don’t think of my life at home as life not working. Rather, I really do hold a fuller-than-full job. I work 48/7.

IV: You mean, 24/7.

S: No, 48/7. Because the hours every day seem longer when you’re mostly alone with two kids at home.

Fast forward 7 questions later, and I’m starting to kick myself.

Question 8a: What is your current occupation?
(Please give your job title and main tasks/duties. If you are holding more than one job, please indicate the job you spend most time in or from which you derive the most income.)

My answer: Domestic Systems Manager – administrative duties, financial management, operations management, domestic helper duties.

( Re: Domestic helper – I’m not lying okay. I’ve been mistaken as a ‘maid’. Just two weeks ago, a Filipina helper started to speak to me in Tagalog. She then switched to English when I did  not answer her. ‘Er, are these your children?’ she asked, hesitantly. ‘Yes,’ I smiled. ‘Oh, sorry! I thought you were Filipina like me!’ she blushed. Two things I learnt from that short snatch of a conversation – my children don’t seem to look like me. Their Chinese faces too fair, and mine too dark? And hmm, I better dress better than tee and shorts when I go across the road to buy my groceries.)

Alright… back to the question about MY Job Titles I’m currently holding on to.
The survey had no space for my complete list of jobs I currently do.
The complete list is here:

  • Private Educator
  • Private Chef
  • Personal Trainer
  • Personal Shopper
  • Stylist
  • Transport and Logistics Officer
  • Estate Manager
  • Event Organiser
  • Entertainer
  • Personal Secretary
  • Counsellor
  • Life Coach

Hmm… Wah! Reading this list, I suddenly feel a little happier that I’m not a total waste of life (since you know, I cannot scrub the kitchen and keep house tidy enough. It doesn’t have to be clean, just neat, the Man says.)
Reading this list, my life suddenly seems so busy, and I feel so talented. *hugs self*

But then the bomber came in Question 9b.

Question #9b: What is your current gross monthly income from work (excluding bonus or 13th month Annual Wage Supplement)?

My answer: $0.
What I really wanted to put in this answer – PRICELESS.
But alas! No option of ‘Others’ for me to put in my own answer.

System Error Message box pops up: Only Contributing Family Worker can report no monthly income.  

So I put in $10. Though really, I don’t think I even make $10 in a real good month. My little bosses put the cash they find into their own piggy banks.
Of course, I realised too late that actually I’m not really my OWN boss but a family worker since my Big Boss is the Man of the House.

Well, I’m not so sure if they are going to ring me up to query my responses because I am sure my responses are sure to confound whoever’s collating the survey.


Bah, humbug!

Hey, I’m not earning an income per se… but I still believe I’m a full-fledged, legit worker.  How else do you explain I have poor healthcare benefits like no basic medical leave package? I don’t think I’ve ever really malingered in my job in the past 5 years. Eh, going on Facebook or typing this blog post not considered skivving okay? It’s called trying to retain my sanity.

Someday in the near future, my ‘employees’ will eventually enter the workforce at such a vengeance on my behalf and be contributing all that they’ve learned from me back to the society. Yes, all the good and not the bad, I hope.

Meanwhile, please excuse me while I return to my multiple-career life.

I just took on a new job scope – Professional Organization Trainee a.k.a. Decluttering  Wannabee.

Life is not a bore when you have kids. Or rather, a husband.
Oh, never!
I simply love my life and my family.
I know I am a dismal, abject, abhorrent, abomination to all in the domesticated society.
Truly, I do love my family including my husband even though I cannot seem to muster enough abilities to put a house in proper order to prove my love.
But I do.



  1. Hi, I read your entry and truly felt entertained through your self and your inner thoughts. Yeah, you are right, the list of occupations you selected are truly a part of a mom’s job. It may not be true for the older generation of mothers, especially my mother’s era but the modern working mum is truly the all-rounder, skilled and works more than 24hrs a day yet our pay is $0 and have to argue with the ego man at home sometimes.

    Really inspired to do up my entry too….
    Have a great day!!

    • Hey Ally! Thanks for visiting! I think our pay is $0 in terms of relevant economic terms, but the work we do is really priceless. Press on my fellow multiple-career juggler friend! We’re Moms. We’re all Super in our own way! Can’t wait to read your entry soon!

  2. Heyyyyy… I know that kind of feeling. It’s one of those days feeling under appreciated. I get it too. I like how you put perspectives across. But you know, as long as we don’t bring in any dough, these kinda conflict will happen – said or unsaid. We are not perfect. So are our other halfs. We all must learn to lower our expectations too.

    • Hey Adeline! Hahah… I think I need to raise expectations of myself though.. cos I do admit I am a domestically-challenged! While my hubby is really more talented in the department. Alas! I’m the one home cos I cannot earn as much as he does. But I’ve got an abled body so what’s stopping me from conquering the dust balls, laundry and more! :P

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