Being a Stay Home Mom

There are people who asked me : what it’s like to be a stay at home housewife/mom. Hmm.. how could I possibly describe the life as a stay at home housewife/mom? But I know that there is one thing for sure – there are no ‘magic beans’ –> that when planted, it will grow you a nanny and a housekeeper. What you got is just you, you and you yourself. For those who says that stay at home equals to a nice, heavenly vacation? From how I see it : if on the job -sorry no, it is NOT at all. But after all the hard work – PRICELESS. Only someone who’s lived it can understand the juggling act it requires.

About a year ago, I went thru a DNC for the third time, in 2 years – trying to get newbies. That was when the doctor told me to take a good long leave – get off from work for a while and be healthy again. Well, since working was not as ‘inspiring’ as how it supposed to at that moment, I decided to quit. At the beginning, all I wanna do was not to think about work ‘engagement’, I just wanna be free and thought that after a while, I’ll be working again somewhere, if not at the same place.

My dotter Anyea, was three and a half at that time. For the last 3++ years, we stayed with my mum in Ijok since Anyea was in her care and she was doing great. Well, what can be wrong when she was in the care of her own nenek who loves her so much? After my ‘pantang’, all three of us – me, my hubby Orff and Anyea went back to our own house at Subang Jaya. For almost 4 years, we went there on and off on off days, but definitely returned back to Ijok on working days. Just that time, for I quit my job already, we stayed there longer. And I really thought that was temporary too, before I’m back to work like before.

Once, when I was younger, I’ve told myself that if I ever, ever in a situation where I am in a position of not working, and just stay at home, think I’ll die of boredom or something. Who knows, that the reality of staying at home and being in charge of everything there is, actually open up the other side of me that I ever knew existed.  I kinda can deal with it! The best part was, my husband share the same feeling with me – even at some point, he as well afraid that I might get bored just staying at home and ‘just’ take care of things. As I am, he afraid that I might think that taking care of Anyea and household stuff can’t really suit me. From last time job – Project Manager to Household Manager eh?

After three months passed by, seems like all of us actually enjoyed the situation we had. And after lots and lots of talk about it, at last, we have concluded that it is in OUR best interest –>if I stay home and raise our child ourself. Now of course there are loads of thing to adjust, but if we have faith in it, that everything will go well- from good to better, Insyallah.. It took me a lot of guts to do this, but as much as we wanna see this thing work, we have to reconsider whats the best for the most important thing in our lives – our child – the precious treasure that been given to us, and we would like to raise and mold her the best we can, our way. So, there is my new career in line.

After awhile, my husband and I have entered a new season in our lives and we’re getting a lot of negative vibes and feedback from friends and family. The taboo no-no we crossed over into? –> I quit my job  and became a full time housewife.  Then there are questions like : Are you lazy? What do you do all day? You fight your butt to get your degree and what for? You used to be so good in what you do but this? Anybody can do this! At certain point, there are feedback like : Feminist fought for so long to give you equality and you’re wasting it! Well, what can I say? Most of the time, I was just smiling and replied : nantilah, nak rehat puas-puas dulu!
Am I wrong that I don’t agree? Thank you feminist for giving me the FREEDOM to choose how to live my life. I choose to live it by keeping my home and family as happy and comfortable as possible. Sue me. Am I lazy? I mean, I get up at the crack of dawn with my husband and work my butt off until I go to bed. I’m proud that my floors are clean enough to eat off of every day, and every drawer is neatly organized, and that our home is actually clean and not just ‘tidy’. I’m proud that I cook healthy meals  for my husband and my dotter. I take care of the finances and budgeting, shopping, errands, taking care of my husband needs (he works hard! He needs all the extra help he can get!), and I am constantly planning for the next day, vacation, holiday, family event. It takes efficient planning and skills to run a home. The decision wasn’t easy alright, but why is being a stay at home housewife such a crime?

As I said, the decision isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially for EVERYONE to make, and there are many factors that come into play.  Its not a one-person decision but have to be discussed together in details. The pros and cons have to be enlighted  like:

Can I afford it? This is the first and most obvious factor I consider. Giving up a salary is hard to do, especially in this difficult economy. But I found out that I might not be giving up as much money as I thought. After some considerations – the costs of daycare, taxes, commuting, professional wardrobe, eating out, and other work related expenses, after calculating – plus if I do some budgeting the right way, think we will be ok . Not easy, not rich, not so bad, but ok.

Do I want someone else raising my child? This was the deciding factor for us. Well, my mom is not getting any younger.  At one point, we don’t think we wanna burden her to take care of Anyea, no matter how glad she said she was to do that. When that time come, then what? For sure, we prefer to raise our child instead of shipping her off to day care and spend  few years of her life there while we feeling uneasy at work. Maid? Got that one a tryout and failed. The situation may differ if we have a trusted relative who can watch over her while I’m at work either full or part time. But we gonna lost  the time we have when they are young. I wanna see her first of everything, not 2nd, 3rd, by the phone or after half day passed by.

Will being a stay at home mom hurt my career? This is an important question to ask, if you plan to get back at work one day. Taking a several year off definitely gonna effect your skills when you decide to return to the work force. But that doesn’t mean you can’t remain active and work on your skills while you are a stay at home mom. Take part time job as instant. As for me, before I was a Project Manager, I was a senior designer in graphics. I’ll work that one out if I want to.

Highs and lows of being a  full housewife. I have to say, there are challenges over the past year. This has made me realize it’s not the easiest job to do. But can be one of the most rewarding. Forget the bonuses, or salary at the end of the month or days off. Instead, you’ll be on call 24/7. Being a full time housewife can get very hectic at times. Sometimes you get so busy taking care of everything else, you forget to take care of yourself. When your day is going crazy and your spouse is asking what you’ve done all day, even thats just a way for him to know how was your day gone by, its stressing you out. I try to smile. Sometimes, I don’t have the energy even to move a muscle to smile.

Some men and yes – women too, can’t see the stress a housewife endures to keep a household running smoothly. Maybe their mothers made it look too easy. Maybe thats why it supposed to be as easy for you too. Give them a week with the house and kids, they might be understand. Look can be deceiving.

I gotta say, staying home, your schedule is your best friend. You must plan something that works for you and everything else in the house – then half the battle will be won. There are no time clocks like time line, date line what so ever, so we have to be self starters or nothing gets done. At times, there will be days full of stress and I would rather leave the house to go to a job because when you leave your job for the day, you know you’re finished or paused till the next breather. Housework doesn’t work like that, it is never done, there will always something.

It get crazier when people coming – parents – inlaws – friends – relatives – especially on occasions like celebrations, kenduris, parties or just, social visits. Gotta hold the house all in one piece in the same time – and maintain and clean, cooking of course and not forget, entertain. I love when people coming as I love being a good host no matter what, so how will I do that? Multi-task, multi-task! I dont know about any other house wife, but my time sometimes flies faster than I thought. There are times, how I wish the day can be longer so I can get more time to do more things. Funny is, when I was working, there are details that I never knew or bother to care of like when I’m at home.

Talking about other relationships,  in normal days, there will be not much adult interaction or stimulation.  Just you and your kids, and your home. Your husband comes in only after the sun is set. Thank god there are stuffs we called Internet and networking, and FB and blogs for us to know whats going on out there.

Above all of these, I know I wont have to miss un-rewind moments in my dotter’s life anymore. I will always be there, for both of them – dotter and husband – whenever needed. I get to improves relationships and bonds between us more than before. I’m able to teach my dotter a lot – in religion, moral, ethics, what good and what not, answer all her questions and you name it. At this very moment, Anyea at 4 1/2 years old, can hafaz 5 Surah, simple doa, a bit of maths, spelling and art. So proud that its all happens right in front of me. Some nursery or school probably can teach them as well, but the honor will never be yours. Its a pure satisfaction that nothing you can compare with.

Of that, no matter how hard or tired I am, its paid off. I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. It has taken a little adjusting for me, but I feel I am starting to get the hang of it.  There is no other job I’ve had where I have felt this much satisfaction, fulfillment, and enjoyment. No pay check in this world can buy that. Only for those who’ve been in my shoes can see what I mean and know what you’ve been missing!

I don’t believe it is every woman’s job to stay at home. But it was the right choice for my husband and I so far. We are happy with it, and hopefully it will last. If not, I can always go back to a working mom. Most important is, we are trying the best we can to give the BEST to our family. All I need is just for others to just respect that. Nothing more, and nothing less.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. zulfadzil
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 08:04:32

    Being a full-time mother/wife is one of the highest salaried jobs… since the payment is pure love. – Mildred B. Vermont

    Reply

  2. juliajulieya
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 08:39:56

    right on!

    Reply

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