Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Life as a Stay Home Mom

I started my "job" as a stay home mom on 1 March 2012. It has been almost a year since I quit my full time job. Several months back, I made a list of 10 reasons why I am glad I quit my full time job. And now, as I reflect on the year that has gone by, I am filled with much thankfulness.

As a child, I remember how I looked forward to the rare occasions when my parents didn't go to work, or came home from work early. These occasions were few and far between. My parents worked really hard when I was younger, coming home past 8 every night. My bedtime was 9, so we spent barely an hour together each day. They worked half days on Saturdays too. The school bus picked me up from school, and I had my sisters for company at the lunch table. We were cared for by a domestic helper, none of whom I had a close relationship with. Those days, I really looked forward to the weekends when we get to spend a bit more time as a family. My dad and mum came from families that were not well to do. They did not have the opportunity to be educated beyond the current equivalent of Primary 6 and Secondary 4 respectively. Starting life as independent adults with just the clothes on their back, working hard was necessary. Through sheer hard work and determination, they provide well for the family, till this day. I can perfectly understand why my mum was not able to be a stay home mom. To her credit, she has done a great job as a full time working mum, and continues to be a supportive mum and doting grandmother.

I, on the other hand, have the option of staying home, for which I am grateful. I am thankful that Dean is able to shoulder the responsibility of being the chief breadwinner of our family. I am thankful that he values the work that I am doing in our household.   

I am thankful that I get to be the one who greets my boys each morning, makes them their bottle / mug of milk, helps them get ready for school, and drops them off at school each morning. I do not deny that there were days when I wished that I could sleep in. But my faithful 'alarm clock' a.k.a. Noah, wakes me up at 7am every morning, without fail. 

While they are at school, I have 2 hours to spare... put the clothes to wash, sort and return the clean clothes to the cupboards, change bedsheets, take the trash out, tidy up the house a little, prepare some home learning activities for the boys, buy groceries and other household necessities, do work related stuff like reply to email enquiries or prepare packages for delivery... I have recently managed to include BSF in my routine, and hope to include some form of exercise too.

2 hours fly past quickly and it is time to pick Nathan up from school. Peering through his classroom window, I love seeing him smile when our eyes meet. I love hearing about his day at school... some days, he is delighted because they were celebrating a friend's birthday in class, and he has a balloon and a goody bag to bring home. Some days he is sad... "because Amber didn't want to hold my hand". Some days he is excited... "mommy, we are going to have a funfair in school"! Once in a while, I turn up later than usual... that irritates him and he goes... "mommy, why did you take so long"? Whatever kind of day he had in school, I am just thankful that I am the first to hear about it. I drive him home, we sit down for lunch together and chat some more. Thereafter, I help him as he practises his violin, takes a shower, works on some puzzles, reads, writes. By about 1pm, he gets tired, and needs an afternoon nap.

Nap time for the kids means 2 hours for me to do what I've left off from morning. On days when I am also tired, and there's nothing super urgent, I get to lie down beside him for an afternoon nap too. Bliss!

After nap, we'll either be doing some home learning, attending an enrichment class or running an errand. I like to make sure that my boys are meaningfully engaged and are given ample opportunities to learn a skill, build up knowledge and develop character. I am thankful that I can play an active role in nurturing my boys, and it is my prayer that they'll grow up to be men who live lives that are pleasing to God.

Time passes quickly when you are busy having fun. Dinner time rolls around. I feed myself, nag at Nathan to eat his dinner quickly, and keep Noah satisfied with small bits of food. After dinner, we usually spend some time with the grand parents & cousins... playing toys, watching TV, snacking on fruits that 公公has bought and lovingly cut. I am thankful that there are more people to help with Nathan and Noah every evening, so I can relax a wee bit. 

13 hours after our 7am wake up call, we start preparing for bed. A shower, a nice bottle / mug of milk, stories, bedtime prayers, kisses, cuddles and off to dreamland. I am thankful that I get to be with my boys during most of their waking hours and also be the one to kiss them good night and tuck them in bed.

Dean has been working late and usually comes home just when I am tucking the boys in bed, or after. We spend some couple time together after the kids are in bed... he tells me about his day at work, and asks about the kids. I tell him about our day at school/work/play, and all the funny antics that the boys got up to.

I wind down by surfing the web or reading a book, and doze off... ready for another day of work as a stay home mom.

I do miss not drawing a salary, and all the recognition I get at work for a job well done. I do miss lunches with girl friends, tea breaks with colleagues and interacting with adults. I do miss climbing the corporate ladder, the monetary rewards and personal satisfaction that comes with doing a 'real job' well.

But I know that my job as a stay home mom is of utmost importance in this season of my life, and I strive to be a good steward with all that God has entrusted me with. Proverbs 31:10-31 paints a beautiful picture of a wife with nobel character, and I continually pray that I will be like the woman described in the Bible.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Linking up with:
$AHM Linky Badge photo NetWorthSAHMbadge_zpsf095377d.jpg          


  1. Proverbs 31!
    I think it is wonderful that your husband values your role as a SAHM. It makes your decision surer and helps spur you on in the good works. In my family, this is role is not valued as much as many SAHM's tasks are seen as less important (and outsoure-able) than a women being able to have her own life and career. As such becoming one has added dilemmas for me! Thankfully, I have the chance to be one for a year+ to test it out so to speak :) Seeking God's direction for next steps!

    1. Hi corsage, thanks for dropping by. Not sure if you remember... I first 'met' you on the Singapore Motherhood forum for Sep 2009 babies. Bubbles and Nathan are both Sep 09 babies. :) I perfectly understand why some families see SAHM's tasks as less important, and outsourcing would usually be the more logical option when one takes into account financial benefits. I am sure that God will direct your paths as you seek Him for your next steps.

  2. Hi Ling! Sorry I took so long to pop over! Thank you so much for sharing your journey as a SAHM.

    I love your positivity: "Time passes quickly when you are busy having fun."

    Indeed.... it's all about perspective. For me I just wonder how come I have having so much fun.... that time seems to stand still. LOL.

    And whoa... Proverbs 31! Tough call!

    Thanks again for linking up!

  3. I enjoyed hearing about how you grew up, and how much you enjoyed the times when your parents were home. I can feel it. I am also happy for you that you had your sisters with you. It was sweet and moving :)

  4. The greatest gift a SAHM can get is the other half's appreciation...