Looking back, 2014 was a pretty great year for me, I have so much to be thankful for. We may not be super loaded but at least money was never an issue. We have a roof over our head, food on our plates and every necessity that is required for us to enjoy a decent quality of life.
Wow, just wow, I can’t believe we are at the last chapter of the year 2014. This has been one of the best years in my life because of new experiences and the endless blessings from the big guy above. In fact, to be honest, I kind of do not want 2014 to end but that’s just me being silly.
Unlike past years, I do not have year end bonuses to look forward to. I don’t really have the budget to buy expensive presents for myself or others. I am, in fact, a lot poorer than before and yet I am so much happier. No wonder, they say that you can’t buy happiness. Sure, I was happy when I was earning an income. But then there were also all these moments where I had so much negativity; I hated my life, my job, the people around me and how superficial and patronizing I had became.
Now, I am the boss of myself, on second thought, well no, since my boss is actually a rather demanding and stubborn, emotionally-driven 2 year old but it doesn’t matter course I love him. I guess that is the difference. Being a stay home mother isn’t any easier than having a full-time job but I am happier doing the things I do because I love it. The amount of happiness I derive from each day outweighs the amount of money I should be earning.
But no thanks to the high cost of living especially in Singapore, I’m afraid that I might need to return to the workforce someday. Perhaps, some day my SAHM journey will come to end but before that happens, you bet that I will be making the most of it. And hopefully, things will work out fine and I won’t need to.
It’s the final chapter of the year, let’s make it one of the best! Have a blessed & magical December!
Note: I would like to emphasize that a stay home mom is not necessarily a tai-tai (太太 is a Chinese colloquial term for a wealthy married woman who does not work.) This only applies to the upper class.
I made that collage when I was still working and it reflected my feelings at that point of time. It soon dawned upon me that I wanted to stay at home to spend more quality time with my son. I had only 2-3 hours each day after work to spend with him and it wasn’t sufficient.
So I have been a stay home mom for about a year and some of you might be interested to know how did I come to such a decision? Well, after the 16 weeks maternity leave, I returned to work with a constant void in my soul. I found myself pinning for my son. There were also issues happening in the workplace which further fueled my desire to leave. I finally made the decision in June and wanted to quit without a job to try out the SAHM lifestyle. However, at the advice of my manager, I searched for another job before quitting.
I moved on to a new company but the work scope wasn’t what I had expected. I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to finally call it quits and stay home with my boy. And that was the best decision ever, I couldn’t be happier now.
So it has been a week plus since I started mom duty and boy, it sure is tiring. I wake up even earlier than I usually do for work and don’t even get much sleep at night because Asher is currently teething. And that means sudden screaming spells in the middle of the night. But it’s still all good, I’m still alive and kicking.
So what have I been up to all week? Well, lots and lots of baby play. During the other 10 over hours when Asher isn’t taking his nap, he is up and about doing all his busy baby activities. Sometimes that includes taking out all the wet tissue from its packaging, one by one.
Check out his play area!
I’m currently revamping our living room to be a cosy and safe place for him. Somewhere he can enjoy himself, learn through play and still be safe. I got him a crawl tunnel to compliment his sensory mini ball pit. Probably one of the best baby shower gifts we had gotten because he enjoys it a lot. I also tried to cover up most of the flooring with foam mats and sharp edges with bumpers. We got most of our baby proofing materials from Daiso. Almost every possible ‘bump’ corner has been fixed with cushioned tape.
I was inspired to create this place of fun and learning for him after I attended a trial enrichment class for babies. Apparently, it is a norm here in kiasu Singapore to start sending your 6 month old to school. Right brain training are very popular here with famous institutions here such as Shichida having long waiting lists for their classes. I reckon that Asher is gonna have many years ahead of him to be stressed over studies, so I decided against it. And what they do at enrichment classes, such as free play, read books, sing and dance etc. I believe you can do it at the comforts of your own home too. The only benefit I see a baby getting out of these enrichment courses is social interaction. But you could always arrange for play group sessions, right?
Play date for babies can be so much fun, sure, they are too young to really interact with each other socially. But it’s still a perfect opportunity for them to just hang around people and be with others whom they are not so familiar with.
So yeah, that’s what I have been up to of late. Getting in touch with my inner child while I look after my own. I really enjoy the bonding time we get to spend together through play and reading. You just can’t put a price tag to that. Last but not least, I do not miss working at all. Hah!
And so I have decided to commit to Asher full-time. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, certainly my mom didn’t put me through college to be changing diapers or belting out ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars’ whenever the little one gets grouchy. But here I am, knowing that I have taken the first step to be with my boy before it’s all too late; that’s when he is all grown up. And I know I won’t be having any regrets.
There were many issues to consider before taking the plunge. Loss of career opportunities, progression, continual flow of income, financial freedom and independence. And then, there was also the other side of the coin, missing Asher’s first milestones, spending only 3.5 hours maximum with him each day, how was that possibly sufficient? Having to work with a pathetic two-faced despicable manager also helped made the decision easier.
I admit though, losing my financial independence was one of the most difficult things to come to terms with. So I thought of taking up a part-time job or try working from home but with Asher it is almost impossible. I don’t even have time to hang around Facebook anymore
This little fellow is a bundle of never-ending energy. Sometimes, he takes only 1 nap, and if we are lucky, he does 2. But it really all depends on his mood. He gets up at 6 or 7am in the morning and only goes to bed between 9 to 10plus. And in between his naps, he is up and about, crawling or cruising over everything.
So to be honest, my hunt for a part-time job has been abruptly halted. I still have Hellobaby SG for some passive income though. And because I have always been financially-independent, I would most likely try to continue doing so. I could be going back to a full-time job in the future and I didn’t want to ‘break’ the cycle. It’s a good habit anyway. So thank goodness for my “just-in-case-I-hate-my-job” funds which I had set aside.
I had initially thought that the cutting down on my expenses would be difficult. But after going through my finances, I realized that majority of my money went to food and Asher’s or Mocha’s stuff. I hardly shop for myself ever since his birth, I think I spend 70% of my money on him. It’s so easy to spend on him than on myself.
Anyway, it’s still only the first week, I hope I won’t be raising the white flag too soon. Wish me luck and let’s hope it all works out fine. I guess I would probably be blogging more often about our little baby adventures than beauty stuff in future.