Why I Stay Home

I was at my all-time low recently.

Having stayed at home to look after the kids for more than four years now, I have reached a point in my life where I have been asking myself if it was all worth it. Whether all these years of staying home had been in vain. Whether I have made any positive difference in the lives of my kids by staying at home.

So I was recalling how I made the decision to leave my job to stay home for the kids.

And I remembered this post that I wrote in 2010, in my old blog.

This was why I stayed home… and now, I need this to remind myself that it has not been a mistake.

So, here goes…

Why I Stay Home

I have now joined the ranks of the Stay-At-Home-Mums, aka SAHMs. Being a SAHM is not a norm around my circle of relatives and friends. I don’t really have many personal friends who are SAHMs. The norm is to go back to work, continue with whatever you were doing before you gave birth, and get someone to babysit your kids.

So, I followed the norm for years. After giving birth to Zac, it had never occurred to me that maybe I should just stay home to look after him. So, I went back to work full-time after my maternity leave.

Throughout my 2nd pregnancy, I was still teaching full-time while my mom helped me babysit Zac.

It was not until when I was about to deliver Jay that the light came on and I thought why not take a year’s no pay leave to look after our 2 boys at home. That was what I did. But the weird thing was I did not extend my leave but went back to teach after a year’s break.

I would have continued to be a FTWM if not for what happened next.

I had been pondering for months if I should just stay home. We have discussed. But always with no conclusion.

One day, Zac came back from school with a brochure for a parenting seminar. I took a look at it and just left it lying on the table. I had no intention to go for it at all.

But my husband saw the brochure and said, “Let’s go for it.”

I was surprised and he added, “Ask your mom to help us with the kids for that morning. Let’s go for it!”

And THAT seminar was the turning point for me.

It was a seminar on parenting skills, some tips and methods for disciplining kids and so on…. but I can’t remember most of the points, except this…

At one point of the seminar, the speaker told us parents,

“If you can afford it, mothers, stay home for your kids.”
“If you can afford it, husbands, let your wife stay home for your kids.”

He went on to say that many parents in our society got it the other way round. Many pursue their careers and leave their babies and little ones with others, be it grandparents, babysitters, maids, childcare. Ten years later, the mothers start to resign from their job to stay home, because PSLE is coming, they’ve got to be there for their kids to make sure they do well for it!

“But by then it is too late,” he said, “If you can, stay home for your kids, especially during the early years.”

My husband and I turned to each other, gave a nod and made the decision there and then, right at that seminar, that I will stay home. Period.

So, first thing on Monday, I spoke to my principal, then to my supervisor and finally the VP.

On Tuesday, I submitted the application form for no-pay leave.

By Friday, they had gotten a teacher to replace me and my application was approved.

All in a week.

By the way, it was stated on the application form that applicants must submit the form one month in advance to be considered for approval.

One month! But mine was approved within ONE WEEK!

If you believe in God, this is divine.
If you don’t believe in God, well, this is still a miracle!

So here I am, offically a SAHM.

And I know this is what I need to do, for this season of my life.

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

So, that was my story… more than four years ago.

If you are a SAHM, can you share with me, what made you decide to stay home?

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35 thoughts on “Why I Stay Home

  1. Congratulations. I absolutely agree with what the speaker said here – "If you can afford it, mothers, stay home for your kids.""If you can afford it, husbands, let your wife stay home for your kids."Kel and I took the plunge a year and a half ago and never looked back since. Were there times where we wondered if it was the right decision, wondered if we could cope financially? Hell yeah.But we took a step of faith and sure enough, God provided.You have made the right choice, now you just have to grit your teeth through those stormy moments (and they will come) when it seemed like it wasn't.All the best!

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  2. hi ing, thanks for sharing your powerful story! the part on the what the speaker said, deeply touched me :) i myself made up my mind to quit a demanding job when all i wanted was a dinner with hubby n j on my birthday but no, an external meeting that had to happen in the evening took that simple wish away. i always knew my job was on call 24-7, my life revolves around my job. it was ok w/o a child, but definitely no longer possible with a kid, unless i constantly choose my career over my kid – which is something i refuse to. so hey,well done for making your decision so swiftly! :) God bless u n family!

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  3. >DaphneThanks! Yeah, God will provide. I've enjoyed reading your blog even since I first visited it. If you've noticed, yours is under 'The Influential and Inspiring'. Haha. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. *clap clap* Congratulations! I had been following your blog – silently – for some time, and I thought you write really well. I truly applaud your bravery and decision to charge ahead with your SAHM decision. I wish I am that courageous! But for now, I prefer to take a less demanding job to have maximum work life balance…and see how it pans out!

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  5. >The Beauties In Our LivesThanks! Well, I only "charge ahead" after 4.5 years. :)I guess as long as you can achieve work-life balance and you and yr kids are happy, that's the most important. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

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  6. Oh goodness, thank you! I..dunno what to say. I'm very honored.Exciting times ahead for you but I sincerely believe you'll get through it. Do keep us posted on how it goes in the weeks to come. You can do it!

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  7. Hi there, came across your blog while browsing… Its a brave decision you did there, and I'm sure you won't regret it! I'm a teacher too, and am on childcare leave, am planning to resign soon… I didn't want a case where I spent more time taking care of other people's children and not my own! Mother's care for their children the best! Take care, and God bless…

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  8. welcome to the ranks of the SAHM Ing!!! I am really greatly encouraged by your post. Truly, when it's a decision that is right with God, everything will fall into place bec it's done at the right season!!! :) *kudos sister*

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  9. >MamaJThanks for stopping by! It's great for me to hear that you too are a teacher on childcare leave… makes me feel that I'm not the only "odd" one. :) God bless you too!

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  10. I came here via mamaJ's blog. Welcome to the SAHM club! You have made the right decision as you are the right person to bring up your own kids the way you want it to be. Cheers!

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  11. Im a bit late in commenting this but you can count me as one of your SAHM circle of friends bah! :) I agree, singaporeans just go it all wrong! Many of my frens are planning to stay home when the kids hit primary school, but i say that's too late. its best to near and present during their formative years especially when you can afford it. Congrats on embarking this amazing journey!

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  12. Hey chance upon your blog. In the same trade and going through like you, kid was 2 when #2 came along, took 3 more mths and went up, got promoted but couldn't cope so last yr took a yr off again yet now I'm back in the lowest rungs. Sometimes I wonder what is enough when everyone's going for enrichment. As a teacher I felt even worse. I know if I stay home, it's gonna be juz sufficient to meet basics…still in a delimma…

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  13. I'm a situation like you. Did what you did and I think my kids are about the same as yours with the elder 4yo this year. But went back to work this yr. Think it's a real occupational hazard that I worry I can't provide enough for my kids as juz one's pay is only enough to meet basic needs. Home without any helper I realised I'm only there for them but I've got no time to teach them if I had to cook and wash during my year of npl. Real delimma….

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  14. >Homeschool @ SG,Thanks for visiting my blog. I too have friends and ex-colleagues who are planning to resign from their job once their kids enter P1. I've never understood their rationale for doing that. But well, people make their own choices. You're homeschooling your child? That's not an easy feat but great job you're doing there!

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  15. >Joanie,great to know another fellow teacher in the blogosphere!I understand your dilemma. I've been there too… that's why it took me 4.5 years to finally make the decision. I have no helper at home now too. Have sent ours away 2 months ago since I'm a SAHM now. I guess being at home with the kids is more than just 'teaching' them stuff. It is about BEING THERE with them and for them at a tender age. There will come a time when our kids do not need us to be home so much anymore. That's why I have no regrets staying home for them now.

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  16. Hi Ing, Happened to chance upon your inspiring post on why u stay at home. Same as you, a teacher on npl currently who only decided to stay at home when my ds 1 turns 4 and ds2 turns 1 last year. I'm very fortunate to have a very supportive husband who agrees on having a parent taking care of the kids in their former years rather than to send them to cc. Many times, I asked myself why am I taking care of other kids when my own kids need my attention… Like u again, I sent away my maid one month plus ago and have since been busied with housework so much so that I have not done much homeschooling with my kids. Thanks for your last comment that staying at home is more than homeschooling them, it's about being there for them… Makes me less guilty now…:)

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  17. >Hosanna,thanks for stopping by! I'm always happy to get to know fellow teachers. :) It's wonderful that you've decided to be there for your kids too. I'm sure they are happy to have mummy home with them now.

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  18. Hi Ing, I read that you are expecting your no.3… Congratualtions!! :) just a question to ask… Are you still on npl? Do you have to go back to service for a period of time before you deliver in order to enjoy the maternity benefits? Cos that's wat I tot it should be and thus have been putting off my plans for having no.3… Hosanna

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  19. >Hosanna,Thanks! Yes, I'm still on npl. What I understand is that in order to enjoy maternity benefits, you have to be in service for at least a few months before delivery. Not sure if it's 1 term or 1 semester prior to delivery. Which means in my case, I won't get to enjoy any maternity benefits.

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  20. Staying home with the kids is truly special! We’re going against the grain of societal norms of working moms but it’s all worth it. Just found your blog and am enjoying it.

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  21. Hang in there mama. I’m a SAHM as well and have been unemployed for a loooooong time. I love it, mostly. However my career hungry, ladder climbing part of me still wishes I could do that AND stay at home. It’s a shame we mothers have to make such a decision and always think about the “what if?”. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone and you’re doing a wonderful job. xo

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    1. Thanks Rene. It’s wonderful to hear from other SAHMs who are loving their SAHM role. It’s true what you’ve said… I wonder why mothers have to constantly be faced with this decision. Thanks for your encourgement… It’s heartwarming to know that I am not alone. :)

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  22. Hi Ing, actually I’m also currently on NPL until my girl turns 4 next year. Actually intend to quit and continue to stay at home as my hubs and I still feel they need my attention. I don’t think I can manage having even half load while caring for my 3 kids. Are you still on NPL? Or have you quit? I’ve been SAHM since no.2. So about 5yrs. Let’s JIAYOU! Am just very grateful to God to be able to Stay at Home to nurture our own.

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  23. Hello Ing. Thanks for sharing your blog.

    I decided to be a SAHM 7 years ago with the birth of my eldest son. I now have another daughter who just turned 3. We can be rest assured that our decision is never in vain and it will yield positive results in years to come.

    There are personal struggles we face as SAHM and sacrifices we have to make. Nevertheless, I know it is worthwhile and important to be available for our young children during their formative years.

    After all, we only live once. And this is one of the primary reasons that propel me to continue to be a SAHM, to love, cherish and nurture our children. And more importantly, to raise them as godly children, to love and revere God for eternal purposes. It is not easy to stay the course, so we have to diligently seek God’s strength and grace to keep us on the track.

    One thing I need to be mindful is that whilst I dedicate my time for my kids being their mummy, I should also not forget my role as a wife to my husband; a child to my Heavenly Father; a daughter my parents; a sister to my brethren and a friend to my circle of close friends.

    You are doing a great job! Your kids are very blessed to have your love, commitment and dedication. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Hi jkel,

      Thanks for your words of encouragement. Staying home for 7 years is long… I agree it is good to be our kids’ caregiver during their formative years. Although it’s tough at times, I’m choosing to believe that it will be all worthwhile in the end. Thanks for reminding me not to neglect the other roles in life. :)

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  24. I thought I’d share with you a true story, my aunt’s.

    She was a teacher with an only son. She became a stay at home mum when he was in a pri level. She guided him in his homework. When my uncle moved to another country for a slower pace, my aunt remained SAHM. She gave her son support during the move transition. And now, his son is an uni grad.

    After being a SAHM for about 20 years, my aunt went back to teaching – in a foreign sch there for a few years. Now, she works part time in a church. She is 60 and returns to workforce a little late. But she never regretted staying at home and spending time with her son. My cousin turns out to be a really fine man, now happily married.

    Hope this inspires you to be a sahm for a really long time. :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing the story of your aunt. This is such an encouragement to me and many SAHMs, I believe. I’m not sure if I will be a SAHM for such a long time. But one thing I can be certain is, my family and kids will always be placed above my career. Your aunt is a wise woman, and I’m sure she is happy seeing how her son has turned out to be a fine man! :)

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