Thursday, 30 May 2013

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Thinking-Out-Loud

Someone said to me that as moms, we should also have time apart from being a mom and have our own time and our own life to pursue our hobbies and leisure. According to her, it is so nice that she is going to work and time at work is an escape from being a mom for a moment. That's very good for her. She has found her balance.

I think hard about it. That's very true. We need to have time to pursuit our own hobbies, passion and leisure. I have to be true to myself.

If so, I will have to be a SAHM.

Precisely so that I can have my own time and my own life. And that is what I want for my time and for my life. Because stripping to the core, my passion, hobby and what I find most engaging is - being a mom.

If I could choose to pursue my next level of professional development, what subject specialization would I choose? It will be a PhD. And I will choose to do a PhD in parenting, child development and child psychology. I will choose to do a PhD in being a mom. Incidentally, this is also how I tagline my blog three years ago - Acquiring a life-long PhD in cross-cultural home-making.

That is really what I really want to do, if I have a choice, yet it is such a difficult choice. It is hard to serve two masters.

If I may be allowed to borrow from the Bible:

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." - Matthew 6:24

I love my job very much, and I am passionate about my work. It is hard to devote myself to the service of more than one. I want to give my whole heart to being a mom, but my energy is divided as a FTWM. It is hard to switch off from working on exciting projects and to come home on time. It is of course a matter of discipline, and I need to improve on it.

Do I have the courage to follow my heart to pursue the one true thing in my life that I want to do?

I am still thinking...

4 comments:

  1. I wasn't way up in the corporate ladder & I didn't find a niche or passion in my career. Hence It was easier for me to ditch my job for my kids. But my real push factor was knowing that once their toddler years pass by us it would be gone forever: nothing We do would bring it back. These are formative years which I do not want to miss. I can see why it's hard for you to make a decision. It's one of the tough decisions all moms have to make. Something's gotta give I say. And once you make that choice, don't entertain the 'what ifs, maybes' Anymore, be happy with your choice and deal with whatever consequences that come with it. I hope you'll find your answer soon!

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  2. From what you wrote, it seems clear that being a mum is your #1 passion. :)

    When I was in Singapore, I loved my work and was on the way to being one of the top in the field. Then hubby moved back to KL, I got pregnant and decided to drop everything in Singapore to join him.

    Spending my pregnancy months away from Singapore and at my new KL home allowed me to do thorough soul-searching and decide that I'd be a full-time mother. 5 years on, the "job" satisfaction of being a homeschooling mum is still intense and increasing by the day, as I get more "proficient" at what I'm doing.

    I also agree that it's important to pursue hobbies and have sufficient me-time. That's why I set up a "tiny" company, write 2 blogs, and earn some passive income. Somehow these (the blogs) still surround my life as a mum, yet owning a mini-company forces me to continue polishing my corporate and marketing skills in a small way. These are the brain challenges that I still enjoy. Then when my kids no longer need me around 24x7, I'm free to expand the company in any way I envision.

    Having a choice whether to be an SAHM is a blessing in itself. May you find your answer soon. Once you do, don't look back and enjoy life. :)

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  3. Haha... every day is a challenging day, especially with 2 active kids, and soon 3 kids! This type of challenge can be emotionally-draining on certain days. Once in a blue moon, I SMS hubby to come home on time cos my patience has run out. I just don't wish to handle another fuss / whine / cry / tantrum anymore, want to hide and get some quiet time alone. I'm an introvert who love kids, but being surrounded by my kids can be more than what I can stand on certain "off" days.

    I'm homeschooling them, and realise there's a big difference between being a parent-homeschooler and a teacher. A parent is MUCH more emotionally-involved with the kids (though I'm generally a person led by logic and my head), so it's easier to over-expect (when I know I shouldn't based on all the readings done), and easier to lose my temper at them (because it's also easier for them to fuss / whine / throw ridiculous tantrums at Mum vs a teacher).

    That said, good days are many more than the bad ones. When a bad one comes along, we try to relax and breathe a lot, and wait for the next better day to come along.

    Money-wise, I always think of it as a 身外物. Indeed, it's important to have enough to survive reasonably. Once that minimum level is reached, it's usually a case of earn more, spend more. Being an SAHM has allowed me to save the family lots of money over the years. And the more kids we have, the higher economies of scale, haha... (I'm stopping at 3 though.) We can only afford a bigger vacation (with longer flight) once in 2-3 years. In between, we're happy to make lots of small road trips within the country.

    As for hubby being the sole breadwinner: he has confided to me that he's glad I'm at home to take care of the kids and manage the home well, so that he can focus on his career without worries. We also have more time to maintain a strong relationship.

    Of course, I'm prepared to return to work full-force should circumstances require some day. That's why I seek ways to grow a professional network and learn to earn passive income, even while staying at home. Many SAHMs in the past have a skill that help them supplement the family income. For instance, my mum (and several aunts) was a seamstress.

    There're also mums who do adjunct lecturing at a Uni in the morning, when the kids are in school. One friend brought in a preschool franchise, so that she can manage the preschool while her toddler attends it.

    There're MANY options nowadays, especially for highly-educated and resourceful mothers. It isn't necessary to stop working completely if that's not your type of life. Even working on something professionally productive for 1-2 hours a day can bring immense satisfaction for a more balanced life.

    Happy seeking... :)

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  4. Haha... I actually think being man's easier. No need to go through pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and make the difficult choice between family vs. career. :)

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