What I Need To Be A SAHM.


"...so many things have been happening at work and the urge to quit working to be a SAHM is getting stronger. The only thing is I am afraid I will not be able to sustain my lifestyle if I just stay home and take care of the kids. How do I start a business? I need to work something out, so that I can generate some income while staying home with the kids. I get so jealous reading about your experience working at home and seeing your children grow up in front of you."

Toughcookie says:
First of all, the grass always look greener on the other side. Before you make such a decision, why don't you try it for at least a month or two. This is because, many SAHM have told me that they hate looking at themselves at home as they no longer have 'ME' time. A handful of working moms who've tried being a SAHM had also admitted to me that getting out of the house to work is like an escapism for them... they can be more relaxed outside of the house rather than screaming at the top of their lungs day in day out dealing with their kids and they are also able to go for coffee breaks and long lunches while gossiping or shopping without the kids clinging to their pair of legs.

As for me, I had always thought of myself a successful career woman. But I guess, I do feel burnt out after working hard every single day since the day after my final exams in Uni. Lucky me, I have a husband who works in an organisation with sufficient medical coverage for our family and I guess that was part of the encouraging factor for me to pursue taking a break for at least 6 months after the baby was born, or so I thought.

Well, frankly, I love being at home because my work required me to work long hours... and I had to travel at least a week of every month. I couldn't see myself separating from the family and truthfully, I became lazy ever since I found a man who pampered me the way no other man did. So, making that decision was not very difficult.

During the initial stage, though, you'd somehow feel a little inferior about yourself especially if you have friends who've kinda made it in their career. I found that I had to explain to people that I used to head a department in a public listed company (and made sure I emphasised that the department held responsibilities at 'group' level) just so that I would be taken more seriously and not be perceived negatively as a tai tai. Of course, I realised I am out of this inferiority stage as I no longer felt the need to tell an old friend whom I recently bumped into of this fact when she raved about how a former classmate is now a manager of a private limited company. So, I guess one would need to go through this initial stage until it wears off.

Initially too, as much as I liked how we were leading our life, there were many decisions that we needed to make especially in terms of our financials in order for us to lead an 'easy life'... what I meant by 'easy life' is a life that's not filled with so much debt just because we want to 'look good' all the time. Therefore, we needed to make some sacrifices so that I could still do some bits of shopping for the kids every now and then, that we could still enjoy eating out at the places we love to hang out and we made sure there's some emergency stash for well... emergencies.

As for you sustaining your current lifestyle, I can vouch that your expenses on yourself will slow down immensely when you've stopped working. I am not sure about the majority of SAHM's out there but I have spoken to some friends of mine who shared the same view - that they didn't need to shop that much anymore since they're always in their t-shirts and sweatpants. For me, I didn't feel that I needed to look smashing all the time, I hardly wear make up unless I'm out with the one and I've been wearing my very comfy pregnancy shoes almost everywhere I went. Of course, nowadays I do make it a point to look good because one year of staying chubby and plain became a little boring to me :) but I am still wearing them shoes from Scholl because they are so comfortable! So, when I think of this, yes, you'd be making some sacrifices in the beginning but things will turn out well in time... I believe so :)

I think when you've decided such a thing - to stop working, you must talk this over with your other half on what he expects out of you and what you both are willing to compromise. It can be a little depressing at times when you feel like there's no other way to cut yourself into 10 parts and still be useful to your family but all that can go away when you have a supportive and understanding partner. A lot of people think this SAHM is an easy peasy role (some even think it's a no brainer!) and it can get a little challenging having to explain how tiring it can be (and sometimes even worthless to get into this argument with people) so, it helps if your other half does not think of it that way and thinks of you as a strong contributor to the family.

As for doing business, what is it that you like to do? It's no point getting into a business for the sake of doing business. Doing something you like can ensure its sustainability and viability. It won't be a smooth start but your passion will keep it going, while you maintain your priorities to your family. All I can say is that the possibilities are endless. Once you're out of the rat race, your mind will think of stuff you'd never think of. Some people say my optimism is due to my business-minded nature. Truthfully, I was never business-minded but the fact that I would like to have my own pocket money to spend as I like, the mind starts to get very creative all the time and you'll see plenty of things as an opportunity to make money. Well... you'll think of something....

Sometimes, things will not turn out the way you planned and I don't think one should be very rigid. At first, I bought a sewing machine and an edging machine to start a sewing project but the projects never got through and I found myself doing writing and translation jobs for old contacts. I even took some part time sewing lessons just so that I keep myself abreast with the latest technology, techniques and tools to start up a tailoring business but as it turned out, the person who impart her sewing knowledge to me became one of my clients ;)

Therefore, one will never know what one's potential is in business until one starts doing something. Just do something and open your eyes and mind to any possibilities.

I hope my explanation is satisfactory to you and I wish you all the best of luck. It all boils down to how determined you are and you can start finding out if you are going to be happy staying home by taking small steps at a time. One shouldn't be hasty about taking this big step especially if you're so used to working. However, I do think that as much as being a SAHM can be pretty tiring, frustrating at times and not a glorified job, the non-monetary benefits do make me feel extremely happy and highly rewarded. Don't give up that easily when times are hard and it always helps to keep a positive mind.

7 comments:

azzamoro said...

i like this entry. baca satu2 sampai abeh. but still belum terbuka lagi hati nak jadik SAHM..unless financial betul2 kukuh...

adore u..:)

perhaps by mid 30's..hehe

nadnye said...

sebenarnya Juan, i got the same question as above.. still searching for the right time and macam u cakap, kene fikirkan sesuatu and biar betul2 ada minat and not because everyone have one..
good info for me..

FairyGodmother said...

sigh...

how? i want the best of both worlds.

but then again, i have always been greedy.

:)

whm6840 said...

you have an edging machine? jeles!

toughcookie said...

dear azzamoro,
since you're still young, eloklah timba pengalaman. nanti bila dah berenti kerja senang sikit start business because you already have contacts and network.

nadnye,
glad this info is helpful to you :)

toughcookie said...

fairygodmother,
sometimes greedy is good. for some moms, they are able to find that balance in their career & family life. for me, i just couldn't be bothered facing the hungry sharks at work. it came to a point where i think they're worthless of my time. plus, i suddenly felt i am not able to balance my focus... i get too serious at work and family would always be second. i am done with that... for now, that is ;)

mario,
hehe... you pun boleh buy what... singer punya edging machine around RM1,200 je.. tapi kalau you can afford, get the industrial punya lagi tahan. babe, then terrer nye you jahit baju nada without an edging machine? so leceh la nak lipat2 hujung kelim tu...

isabelle said...

wpun, i pernah terbayang nak jadi SAHM, rasanya it's just not me kot...

btw, i am gonna change my blog address to very soon. will let u know the new one.
xnak announce kat blog sebab nak elak certain silent readers tau.hehe