Becoming a SAHM Part #1: Making The Decision

It never occurred to me that I would ever reached such a decision but it’s happening for real. After great deliberation and discussions with my husband, I am glad to announce that I will be a full-time mom to Ewan by month end.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto

Leaving my career and becoming a stay-at-home mum (SAHM) wasn’t part of the plans when we got pregnant. Our pre-baby idea was to find him a competent daytime babysitter and bring him home in the evenings. On the bright side, we were lucky to have found a loving and caring babysitter who was not only receptive to breastfeeding and cloth diapering but also respects our childrearing values as well as flexible with her working hours. In fact, the forfeited deposit for another babysitter engaged initially was probably the best thing we’ve ever spent on.

Yet, as time passes, I started feeling uncomfortable with the idea of leaving the safety and well-being of Ewan in the hands of a stranger. Leaving him at the babysitter’s every morning became more and more agonising. The constant stream of child abuse and baby dumping news did little to assure me. Ewan probably felt the same way too, giving me the puppy-eyed, “why, mommy?” stares on the way to the babysitter’s every morning. By weekend, he became a changed, happier and more manja baby.

Why SAHM?

#1 Solid foundation: A traditionalist at heart, I believe the first three years are the most important in a child’s life. They either make or break them. With that, I would like impart our values, guide him and make his childhood as memorable as possible – not by the means of giving him expensive toys and clothes – but through the quality time spent with him. In a nutshell, I want to be there for him throughout this learning and exploring stage.

#2 Milestones: We’re lucky to have witnessed his milestones so far; he seemed to flaunt his new achievements on weekends only. Every night after putting him to sleep, I found myself unable to resist the urge to stare at him and ponder how a tiny dot could miraculously turn into this bundle of joy and poop-maker. If I could turn back time, there’s NOTHING I would change about my life. Though we have our ups and downs in parenting, Ewan is definitely one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I certainly do not want to miss out any of his milestones or come home one day to hear from my babysitter, “he can sit up today!”.

#3 Giving adequate attention: Truthfully, what do you remember most from your childhood? Was it the costly toys and clothes your parents bought for you or the quality time they spent with you? For me, I treasured the memories of enjoying home-cooked nasi lemak in the hotel room of Awana Genting Highlands, surrounded by my parents and siblings. And the times when my Dad came home early from work just to ferry me around town in his shiny motorbike, or when I woke up early in the morning to follow my mom to the stinky and muddy wet market.

Attention is surely one thing I don’t want to deprive my child of. If we can afford to live simple on a single income, why shouldn’t I? In years to come, I would like him to remember us by the fun activities and time we’ve spent together, instead of “money is happiness” or “my mom is always too busy working”. With that, hopefully, he will grow up to be a wise, contented man with strong values.

#4 Time to move on: If you follow my blog, you would know that I love my job, workplace and colleagues. I have never been happier in my entire career history. Leaving everything behind wasn’t an easy decision. After three years with Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, I have built sufficient confidence to move on and explore new things on my own – all thanks to the experiences and knowledge I’ve gained here.

#5 Spending more time with my parents: My parents are not getting any younger with days. We are always apart and rarely get to see each other – once every fortnight if we’re lucky. By being a SAHM, I can always return to Malacca and spend a week or two there at my whims and fancies. It’s good for Ewan to know his roots too.

Sure thing being a SAHM isn’t for everyone. I’m fortunate to have a husband who supports this decision and will always be there to catch me when I fall. Undoubtedly, our bank accounts will be slightly less encouraging but for now, I’d like to embrace the fact that is it the best thing I can do for both myself and my child, knowing that he is cared for by someone who has unconditional love, commitment and devotion for him. Plus, I’m just plain lazy to work full-time.

It is therefore, not a sacrifice.

A big thank you to Hui Ling for holding my hands when I was lost in this crossroad.

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11 thoughts on “Becoming a SAHM Part #1: Making The Decision

  1. Welcome to the club, Joey! I totally agree with your rationale, especially points #1 and #5.

    I love educating children and think upbringing is very important. It is tough to educate them our style by being only a weekend parent.

    My family’s in Singapore and I have spent several long stayovers with them. It is wonderful for my parents to interact with their first grandchild, other than via Skype.

    Absolutely, it is possible to live on a smaller budget if hubby’s career is still fine. Just plan more carefully.

    All the very best!!!

    1. joeyllhow

      Thanks, MieVee! I’m excited yet nervous about this whole new lifestyle. I’m not sure if I’ll be a good educator but shall try my best. Weekends are always so short and mostly spent on running errands and buying grocery, leaving really little time for quality bonding.

      I can’t wait to go back to my parents’ and be a “parasite” for weeks!

      Perhaps my boy is just super active, but I actually salute those who can work full time and take care of their baby at night. It’s really tough and physically draining.

    1. joeyllhow

      Lydia a SAHM?! I can’t imagine this at the moment but then again, I didn’t think I would ever be one too! Hope to still be in touch with all of you after I leave SRHS 🙂

  2. emily

    congrats joey! as i read your story, i realised how much i want to do this too. I work half day, but yet staying at home full time is irreplaceable. It’s the hardest job but also the best job you’re gonna have!!

    1. joeyllhow

      Half day work is great too! If I had this choice, I would take it up…at least to keep my sanity intact 🙂 Luck wasn’t on my side but nevermind, I’m sure something even better will come along.

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