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Car Rides : Our Opportunity to Build that Communication Habit with the Kids

16 September 2014 – 6:58 pm |

Here in Jakarta, I find myself ‘stuck’ in car rides (and traffic) with the kids a LOT. Everyday.
And this, naturally, can be draining. For the mom. Who is also the driver.
Like when the older ones …

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Home » Parenting

About our choice, willingness and enjoyment

19 September 20088 Comments

Just recently I was asked by another mother,

“Leonny, are you frustrated … at being a housewife?”

And my immediate reply was, “No”
(at the time I felt slightly puzzled, thinking why I should be feeling frustrated in the first place anyway)

I must say, the reason why I didn’t think long and hard for my answer was because I know my standpoint and my reasons for choosing to be a housewife, a fulltime mom.

Recently there’s been so much talk (and debate?) in the media between working and stay at home mothers.

And if you ask me, I think every family has unique needs and arrangements. And one practical solution / arrangement that works well in one family, may not work in another.

I believe there’s a reason behind every decision though, whether to work fulltime or to stay at home and be actively involved in raising the child / children.

For my case, I choose

… to be a fulltime mother to my two kids

… to have no domestic helper staying with us (instead, a part-time one comes for 3 hours every week)

… to handle a client or two, working part-time from home

… to lead an active life, going out and about with the kids even when at times my husband can’t join us due to work commitments

… to maintain a regularly updated site, in a hope to make a positive impact on other people’s life, whoever they are, wherever they are

And as to why I choose to be a fulltime mother, I guess my ‘Our time is now‘ post best describes the reasons behind my decision.

I realise that for every decision we make, there’ll always be ups and downs to it.

And while I personally never regret my decisions listed above, I must say though, living (and juggling) them all everyday is not an easy journey.

There are (many many) times when I feel impatient, mentally drained and verbally tired (from all the reminding, explaining, attending to questions, etc)

And while raising the two kids fulltime means I get to closely see their growth and developments, while enjoying the opportunity to actively teach them the kinds of positive values I wish for them to have, it also means I get to encounter (and deal with) their acts of ‘defiance’ much more frequently and intensively too (ie. being sinners themselves just like everyone else, they are – obviously – not always sweet, caring, respectful, appreciative or obedient).

And about working part-time from home, yes it means I get to contribute some income to the family, but the other side of the coin that many often fail to see is that work is mostly done when the kids are asleep and that automatically means very little sleep and rest for me on some nights.

My friends and I recently discussed Rev. Stephen Tong‘s sermon on how “Suffering PLUS Willingness EQUALS Enjoyment”.

And I completely agree with the statement.

When we’re not willing to do something, however simple the task is and however ‘light’ the level of discomfort is, it’s very tough to enjoy what we do.

On the other hand, when we do something willingly, even when we encounter ‘sufferings’ and ‘discomfort’ because of it, in the end we’d still get enjoyment out of doing it.

And I thank God (for giving enough strength and grace I need each day), the latter is what I personally experience.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I’d love to hear your thoughts and views on this. Do share in the comments section ya! See you in there!

8 Comments »

  • Leonny says:

    Hi Jen!

    Yes I agree… a ‘conscious decision’ with a firm understanding of ‘why’ that decision is made and is believed to be the best for all. A supportive hubby really helps too!

  • Jen says:

    I hear of more friends becoming SAHM nowadays. And yes, usually those with high education. For our generation, we choose to stay home. At our moms’ generation, often they are forced to stay home.

    As long as it’s a conscious decision and you are enjoying the time being with your children, then ignore all other comments or judgments that others may pass.

  • Leonny says:

    Hi Valentine!

    Here’re the replies to your questions ya :)

    - Part time maid charges by the hour, and usually they have a 3-hour minimum. Mine used to charge $10/hr, but now it’s $12/hour. Reason: Prices have been going up. And I don’t blame her. It’s fair, I think.

    - No, I don’t feel lonely with the kids though. May be it’s because I’m nearly always constantly busy with something? Even when the kids are napping and sleeping at night, I’d be doing something all the time.

    Before Vai was born (and even after he’s born, but before Anya started her nursery this year), we almost always go out everyday. Not necessarily for meet-ups with other moms. We just, go out. To Bugis, to orchard, to libraries, to playgrounds, to shopping centres, to Vivo. Anywhere :) It’s just refreshing for me to be out and about, though with kids in tow (and often, kids being kids, they get cranky too in public, but I’d still choose to go out and about)

    Now that Anya’s started school, I don’t (and can’t) have weekly meet-up arrangements with other moms. It’s more for the school holidays I think. But, on weekends we’re always busy going out and about. And almost always every Sunday after church, we go out with other friends and kids.

    I think it’s important for us SAHMs to have / do something else other than ‘parenting’ our kids. Pursue a hobby, finish a book. Just something. For me, my passion is photography and sharing through my blog and other sites where I’m their columnist / resident blogger. So THAT actually keeps me going and occupied all the time. I need to have that variety (ie. other than just being a mother to my kids) to keep myself ‘sane’ :)

    - As for ppl saying to me ‘how good my life is’ .. I don’t think I’ve had that so far (even if I’ve had it, I can’t remember:) I get more people (ie. strangers) saying ‘must have been tough caring for two kids’ … to which I just smile back.

    I can’t quite understand why ‘friends’ would distance themselves from you though, simply because they think you’re a ‘tai tai’ at home. Because I believe ‘real friends’ wouldn’t do that, especially not because of a ‘misperception’ of an SAHM’s life. But then again, may be that’s where you’d know who your true friends are ?

    xxx
    Leonny

  • Leonny says:

    Siska :

    Your situation is a tough one! Can’t imagine if I were in your shoes. But then again, I think if we sincerely wish to give our best time for our kids, God will give you the needed strength and grace. He’ll be with us all the way!

    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    kkf :

    Thanks kkf! All moms who dedicate their time and energy for the kid/kids deserve a pat on the back! It’s tough work, though a joyful one.

    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    Karen :

    Hi Karen!! Yes I agree it’s an excellent statement that ‘summarises’ it all!

    xxx
    Leonny

  • valentine says:

    I got a few question if you dont mind -
    How much do you pay the part time maid? Because my mom’s current maid is planning to go back for good next year after working for us for 7years.
    2nd- do you feel lonely at home with 2 kids even? And how do you cope? Like weekly meet up with other full time mom too?
    3rd- ever had people criticizing you or commenting “how good” your life of being a full time mom? Because i had people distancing themself from me ever since they find out i am their so called “tai tai” at home.
    They are more though, but this is jut a few.
    I am actually quite keen to ask mom with 2 kids for advice although i am not planning for no 2 within these 2 years.I just want to know how you really cope with them at home alone.

  • Karen Yee says:

    Hi Leonny

    I feel that the statement about willingness + suffering = enjoyment is so true. I have not been able to find words to describe my enjoyment too as SAHM and yes!, these are exactly what they are. THanks for bringing this up.

    I now know exactly what to tell people who ask why am I a SAHM. Short, sweet and so very very true. :)

  • kkf says:

    You did a very good job in raising your kids, so there’s absolutely no regrets for you!

    You are such a creative mum doing so many creative artwork with your kids. If you dun stay at home, then its wasted!

  • Siska says:

    I agree with what you wrote about every family is unique and has their own arrangements regarding being a FT mum/FT worker. Humans by nature are too easy to pass judgment.

    I’ve had ppl saying what’s the point of having kids, just to be left at home and cared for by the grandparents or maids or nannies or left in the child care. might as well not having kids if not prepared to stay at home and look after own kids.

    On the other hand, I’ve had ppl saying being a FT mum is an easy job, they get to stay at home, do whatever they like to do, more flexibilities, a waste of skills and knowledge (most of us graduated from uni and to stay at home, to them, is a waste of so many years spent in uni).

    I think ppl shouldn’t judge ppl based on what they do. every family faces different situation. and therefore decisions are made to suit their situation.

    But what I really disagree on is those ppl who do not work at all (not even part time or casual jobs) and do not want to look after their kids either. They’ve got the money to hire a nanny and leave kids with nanny FULLY. just so that they still have their freedom to go shopping without being disturbed by the lil ones.

    as for me…. I’ve worked in child care for 4 years before and I told myself, there’s no way I’ll put my own child(ren) in child care. But at the same time our family struggling financially if I don’t work. so the solution for us (not the ideal solution, I know…) is for me to work at night full time and care for JL full time during the day. tiring? yes for sure… but like what you said suffering + willingness = enjoyment

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