Wednesday, 11 November 2015

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How to Develop Your Career and Passion As a Career Mom?


I have said that my goal is to be a career mom. What do I mean by that? I mean that being a mom must be treated as a career, and developed as such similar to a corporate career.

Why do people think that they can just be a mom, without investing in career development? I think this is a mistake.

No wonder so many moms suffer from burn-outs and can't wait to go back to the corporate world. Because they treat being a mom as a side-work, and struggle to find time for it. They see being a mom more as a time-sucker, rather than enjoying the opportunity and the journey of being a mom.

You don't just wake up one day, and become a great mom. You need the same kind of motivation and determination we see in the corporate world. You need the same kind of enthusiasm you muster in cultivating your corporate career.

It takes going for classes, on-going career training and development, on-the-job training and time for reflection and consolidation of learnings, just like any career.

Being a mom should not be accidental, it is should be intentional. It requires intentional career development similar to a corporate career. It deserves to be taken seriously as in developing a corporate career. Otherwise, you will burn out as a mom very easily.

If you put in all these effort and development, you will find that being a Career Mom is as exciting and passionate as pursuing a corporate career.

I discovered that there is so much personal and professional development as a mom, that it will take me a lifetime.

Here are 10 tips consolidated through my learnings from my last 6 years of pursuing a career as a Career Mom:

1. Set yourself a goal as a Career Mom

Take a cup of tea, and a paper and pen. Relax, sit down on the sofa, turn on some music. Ask yourself: What kind of a mom you want to be? Pen down your thoughts.

For me, I want to be a career mom. I use to use my energy climbing the corporate career, but now I am using that energy to be a career mom. To me, being a mom is a career that requires intentional career planning, nurturing, cultivation and going for training and development. I approach it as I would cultivating any other career in the private business sector. I gave it a name - Being a Career Mom.

So my goal is to be a Career Mom.

Next, my goal is to raise a child fit to be the Prime Minister.

It is no secret that most Chinese aim to groom their children to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, professionals. But I am aiming higher than that. I aim to groom a Prime Minister. You can read more about it here.

I don't need to reach this goal. I just need to have a goal high enough to make life exciting, that will motivate me to jump out of bed each day. It is the journey that counts :-)

From here, I develop a vision and mission statement for myself what kind of motherhood I want to pursue. For a corporation to survive and thrive, it needs to have a vision and convicted mission. It is the same being a Career Mom running the Family FECS Inc.

2. Work on Developing the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

To succeed in the corporate business world, it is well-known that it is very important to develop the 7 habits of highly effective people. In the workplace that I work, managers are sent for training in The 7 Habits workshops.

To become a Career Mom, it is equally important to develop these 7 habits in the family context. As such, I highly recommend this book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families" by the same author - Stephen Covey:




Rome is not built overnight. To develop these habits, one way to do so is to engage in ongoing career training.

3. Learn from your mom and from other moms

It is only after I have became a mom, that I was able to appreciate my mom, to see clearly where my mom has done well, and where I could learn from her. I have written a post on those things I am so grateful to learn first hand from my mother, as I lived with her during my childhood:

Our mothers are of course, not perfect. Thus, it is important that we embrace the good and discard the bad. You may be blessed with a wonderful mom, whom you could learn and emulate, or you may not had a mom who was there for you.

Don't despair, you still can learn from other moms :-)

Here are a list of great mothers past and present that I am learning from:

http://www.familyfecs.com/2013/08/list-of-great-moms-past-and-present.html

It is a good idea to meet up with other moms once a quarter, cook together, share experiences about being a mom and encourage one another. I am very blessed to have such friends in my life, one of my betsie is JS.

You might consider finding yourself a mentor to guide you through the heart actions necessary to becoming a Career Mom.

4. Read books to "sharpen your sword"

To overcome the routine of daily life as a mom, I find it rejuvenating to read books that inspire me in my journey to grow as a Career Mom.

Some people told me that they don't read books on parenting, nor do they need to. They are very confidence in their own ability. If managers and business leaders need to be sent to management and leadership course, why do people think that it is just so easy to be a great mom? If we study so hard through universities to prepare ourselves for career in the corporate world, why do people think that moms can just wake up one day and fit the role and demands without any preparation?

In the olden days, Danish girls attended special schools to prepare them to be mothers and household managers, and I think that says it all - preparation makes all the great difference.

I don't think I have that kind of confidence that I know best. Besides, there is always things to learn. Pride comes before a fall. So I humble myself and learn from others.

Also, I didn't come from a family, where my parents have been model example for parenting. I know my disadvantage, and thus I seek out books. Yes, true, there are thousands of parenting books and philosophy out there, how can we know which one would be good?

That is where we need to have discernment.

Make it your goal to read one parenting, marriage or family book a year.

Here are two of the books which I love:






5. Take on-the-job training seriously, but with a tinge of humor

It is in the day-to-day mundane life of being a mom, that your physical, mental, emotional resources are stretched and put to the test. It is how to day-in-and-day-out fulfill your role as a mom that determines the winner. Are you able to go far? Will you fizzle out? I have to admit that for me, it is not without struggle. That is the reason why it is important for me to rest, take time to reflect and to "sharpen my sword" by reading good books and learning from other mothers. I take comfort from http://www.thebettermom.com/ and take comfort that I am not alone.

In this aspect, I think of my own mom, although without much education, she managed to keep the same consistent standard for decades as a mom of three children.

6. Lead by example

This is what I hope for J to become. This is the goal I set for him. Children learn best from adults demonstrating it in their own lives. Thus, I have to lead by example.

Everyday I pray for myself too, and everyday I evaluate myself. No, I am not perfect, and I still keeps on making mistakes. I have to learn to seek God's forgiveness and forgive myself and try again. This is what I pray for myself, that I may become:

1. A person who loves and fears God.
2. A person who leads a life with integrity and without reproach.
3. A person who demonstrates selfless service and works for the common good.
4. A person who leads by example to preserve and promote these moral values.
5. A person who endures to uphold the values of justice, equality, progress, peace and harmony.
6. A person who values and protects the life and dignity of the human person.
7. A person who protects and cares for the weak, elderly, under-privileged, and those with special needs.
8. A person who commits to marriage and family for life.
9. A person who works to build an inclusive society, free from oppression and discrimination.
10. A person with a servant heart, who is willing and able to roll up his sleeves, take hardship and to serve with an empathy of heart.

8. Get your sleep

You will need the energy to handle the energetic kids.

Besides providing the energy that you need, it is the best beauty treatment. Don't be conned - the best beauty treatment is not going for facial (seriously which moms of young children have time to run to the facial and then spend hours there, unless you are the crown princess of denmark or a tai tai in Singapore!!!) or buying those expensive skin care, nor make-up (though it helps of course). It is sleep.

The best skin care and secret to youth, really, is to have sufficient sleep and to stay out of the sun. The sun causes winkles.

Personally, this is an area I need discipline to be better, as being a goal-getting with so many things I want to achieve, I tend to view sleep as a time-stealer.

8. Pray

"Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand in guard in vain." - Psalm 127: 1.

Among all these points, this is one of the most important. You can't achieve raising a child on the right path on your own. "Unless the LORD builds this house, its builders labor in vain.

Pray for your children. For me, I spend time on my knees and pray for J that he will grow up to become:

1. A person who loves and fears God.
2. A person who leads a life with integrity and without reproach.
3. A person who demonstrates selfless service and works for the common good.
4. A person who leads by example to preserve and promote these moral values.
5. A person who endures to uphold the values of justice, equality, progress, peace and harmony.
6. A person who values and protects the life and dignity of the human person.
7. A person who protects and cares for the weak, elderly, under-privileged, and those with special needs.
8. A person who commits to marriage and family for life.
9. A person who works to build an inclusive society, free from oppression and discrimination.
10. A person with a servant heart, who is willing and able to roll up his sleeves, take hardship and to serve with an empathy of heart.

9. Learn to let go

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

No matter what we do, some things are not us to decide. Your child can still choose to make the wrong choices. Have the wisdom to let go. God will work all things for the good of those who love Him. But never let go or give up on your child.

10.  Above all else, the most important is loving your child

I know I am highly ambitious and have a tendency to overwhelm people. I tend to run very fast, and tires out even my own hubby. If this list can be of help, use it as a reference and approach it step-by-step, but it is not the goal to overwhelm you with this post. If you find the list too overwhelming, remember that the most important is to love your children, other things are secondary and a bonus. Blessed are the children who have parents who love them. With love, it can go a long way. So don't be discouraged, if you can't keep up. Just concentrate on loving your children (in a right way, not to spoil them).

In conclusion

Being a Career Mom can be exciting and challenging, if you pursue it with all your heart and give it your very best. You only have one life-time opportunity to do it. Don't waste it.

Having said that, I know that I am a very goal-oriented person. If you are not like me, and this does not work for you, don't be discouraged. The most important thing being a mom is to love your children. And if you have that, all the rest are really secondary. So give yourself a pat on your shoulders for the love and care you have shown your child. Your child is really more fortunate than a million others in this world.

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