For about two years. The decision to make motherhood a full time job was actually a welcome change. Until I realised I don’t have money of my own on a regular basis and that really created a huge vortex of emotion.
A week after the meltdown in our Jakarta apartment, I returned to Singapore with my son, Dominic. Chaperoned by my mother and a suitcase with what seemed like non-essentials, the days were filled with darkness and anger. Confusion at what had happened and pain that no words could describe.
Two months of hibernation later, I found myself at a cafe, sitting opposite the owner of a private education organization, interviewing for a job. I felt like fish out of water, wondering how do I not appear ordinary (which was how I felt).
“How do you see yourself contributing to the business, Adele?”
Stumped. I think I rattled off some canned type answers I remembered reading 20 minutes before I got to the cafe in an article that appeared in the organic results of google search “how to answer interview questions”.
Half an hour later, “When would you like to start?”
What?! Start what? Did I get the job? Ok, I had concerns. I had questions. I have a son. I don’t have help to look after him. I needed to speak my mind. But what if I spoke my mind and lost that opportunity? What if it was not acceptable to say anything out of the ordinary? What if…
“Mr Song, I need to be honest with you. I am … now… more recently… a single mother. My son is not even two years old and I need to sort out childminding arrangements. I would love to work with you however I can’t do a full shift like most people do. The best I can do is come in after my mother returns from her part-time work in the morning and do a half day shift with you. That means I can get to you by about 1pm and I need to be home by 7pm so that I can do the night shift with my son. I know this is probably not what you are expecting but this is the best I can do until I have a more solid arrangement at home.”
Crap. That’s it. Wait for the rejection. Adele, you twat. It is a job, you need the money, you do what you need to do and turn up for work. If you can’t sort this out, when are you ever gonna get your life together?
“Yes, that’s fine. I understand that you have just returned and divorce is never an easy thing to deal with. I appreciate your honesty and I am ok with that arrangement. So see you at 1pm tomorrow?”
That 30 seconds felt like the skies have opened up, unicorns were flying above me, and there were not one but four rainbows spitting confetti that was raining down on me.
“Yes! Thank you! I will see you tomorrow!”
I struggled for months to find words to describe my life up till that point.
Finally, i found my word: Hope.
Tomorrow at 1pm: I am… a business development consultant.