Tag Archives: Life

Confessions of a WAHM (Part 2)

Earlier this week I shared my challenges, joys and struggles in my journey as a WAHM, and if that hasn’t deterred you from considering becoming a WAHM, there are some things I’d like to share with you as you contemplate your decision.

I haven’t figured out all the answers, but in the course of my journey I’ve learnt 9 things that I hope will make yours a little bit easier.

Get family support / external help
Help can never be enough. No mum is meant to be a supermum. Recognise that you’re just one person and that you want to be in this for the long haul (and not burn-out halfway).

Establish designated work spaces
Get organised and put a bit of thought and planning into your work spaces. Invest in the right tools for your trade, like a laptop or a particular software. If you work best when you’re out of the house, try to get help so you can spend some hours at a café or library.

Seek support and advice from mums who’ve been there, done that
There is something precious about learning from others who have travelled the path before you. There is wisdom to be found, not to mention friendship as well.

June and Work around kids’ routines
Plan to get major tasks done when the kids are at school, having their nap, or when help is at hand.

Be prepared for interruptions
Kids being kids, at times they just won’t take “no” for an answer. Sometimes it helps to give them a bit of attention, guide them to engage themselves in drawing, or playing with their siblings, and then go back to your task once they are happily busy.

Tip: Keep a stash of ready surprises in the storeroom as part of your weaponry if you need to whip something out for them in a jiffy. Bubbles, puzzles, or even an old box of toys will to the trick. If you’re really desperate, throw some ice into a tub and let them have some sensory playtime!

Be flexible
Be prepared to give and take where work is concerned, and recognise that you’re still a team player even though you see the team less often.

Prioritise and learn to say no
Recognise that you have a finite amount of time and energy to invest in both your work and family. When faced with new opportunities, ask yourself, is this in line with my long-term goals? Can I commit without putting unnecessary strain on myself? How will this impact what’s already on my plate?

Have a positive mindset
Look upon challenges as opportunities for creative problem-solving. 
There was once I felt guilty for not bringing the kids out to different places. Now I try to schedule small pockets of time for intentional bonding, through art, reading, exploring museums or running about in open spaces. I realised it’s not possible for me to be focused on them 24/7, so I start with 20-30 min of bonding time each day. This helps me to plan for meaningful activities, be it making a gift or designing a card, or encouraging my eldest to write/design a simple book.

Schedule regular me-time
As a WAHM, it’s easy to forget your own needs amid all the responsibilities you juggle. Taking time off to relax and do things that you enjoy is thus really an essential, and not just a nice-to-have. Having some me-time will help you to refresh and rejuvenate your tired soul, and give you renewed strength for the journey ahead.

I hope the tips above have given you practical insights into tackling the challenges that are part of the WAHM journey. If you have tips to share, do leave a comment below!

This guest post comes courtesy of June Yong, a writer-mum of three and creator of mamawearpapashirt.com. She shares grace-filled stories, lessons learnt, and ideas on how to live a simple and playful life with our families.

Confessions of a WAHM (Part 1)

confessions of a wahm

Hi. I’m June, and I am a WAHM.

Most of you would know that that stands for work-at-home mum, but you probably have little clue about how we operate. My world can be summed up in two words:

Organised chaos.

Yes, that’s me, trying to run a household of mini cute ‘monsters’ – three of them, to be exact. Desperately straddling both work and family at the same time, with no clear divider line.

The fact that I can actually hold down a job while taking care of all three (not totally on my own, thank God) is a miracle in itself. Though I do have days when I feel like giving it all up…

Days when the baby (and two pre-schoolers) fight sleep…

Days when lunch gets burnt or someone’s fingers get run over by a toy truck…

Days when I need to take a couple of work calls, and everybody decides to shout and/or sing at the top of their voices. All at the same time…

Most days, I hardly have the time to run to the toilet, much less sit and type an email. Then I feel like a crazy juggler, with more balls up in the air than I can handle. So what’s left to do but to multi-task, drop a few less important things like doing groceries or searching for a lost piece of Lego, grab a coffee (somehow this never gets dropped) and tell myself that I’ll get better at this. Eventually.

Working late into the night has also become a part of my reality. How else would I find peace and quiet to sit and think and craft with words?

On a good night, I’ll be able to get some serious writing done. Press release – check. Q&A – check. All within three hours of sitting bent over my laptop, furiously tapping on its keyboard while praying fervently that baby sleeps well and no preschooler gets any nightmares.

At the end of some days, I head to bed, exhausted and wondering: Why did I choose to be a WAHM? Did I make the right decision?

There are pros and cons to every career move you make. A major struggle for me is in the area of achievement. I don’t feel like I’m progressing as much as I should. It’s also hard to draw the line between work and home.

Another struggle I face is spending time with the children. One reason I chose to be a WAHM is to have quality time with my kids – but I’ve realised that being physically present at home doesn’t equate to quality time.

There are times when I feel like a failure in both the domains of work and home … and on such  days, I eat lots of chocolate and offload my sorrows onto the poor unsuspecting husband!

On the flip side, there are moments that remind me what I’m doing this for. For instance, just being there when my children need me. To break up a fight, and on a good day, actually teach them something through the process. To encourage them when they fall or find it a struggle to accomplish a task. To try new things together, or just enjoy simple activities like crafting or visiting our favourite playgrounds.

The days when our children need us most are short. I’d imagine that not too long from now, I’ll be wondering where all the time had gone.

This is why I keep at it, even if it’s a struggle balancing both worlds.

Editor’s note: June will be sharing some secrets to make the WAHM journey that little bit easier (and to retain some sanity) on Saturday. Be sure to join us for Part 2!

This guest post comes courtesy of June Yong, a writer-mum of three and creator of mamawearpapashirt.com. She shares grace-filled stories, lessons learnt, and ideas on how to live a simple and playful life with our families.

MARRIAGE IDEALS & MY IDEA

 A friend of mine recently told me that she and her boyfriend have applied for a flat. In two years time, when they graduate, their home would be ready! And they won’t have to be “homeless” for a time. With the rising costs of housing in Singapore, and the long wait for a flat, this seems like a practical move, on the surface.

So, on one hand I’m excited for her. What fun it must be to imagine your own home – a blank canvas for your own tastes and fancies! Coming from a home of six people and two bathrooms, I’d love to have a space to call my own. Not that my home is tiny, but it is a little crowded. On the other hand, being of the same age as my friend, I’ve started wondering about my own future too. And a move like that is scary!

Having parents who are marriage counselors is both a boon and a bane. While they plan for sessions, I get to peek at their PowerPoint slides and catch snippets of their conversations. I’ve seen and heard about tips for better communication and also bits about differing personalities and how to get along amongst other things.

Seeing how much preparation goes into just talking about how to prepare for marriage, I wonder how much more preparation do the couples themselves have to do then? There’re so many topics and potential issues to go over and resolve; not to mention the many things more to learn about your partner beyond his or her character and values. Sometimes it’s the nitty gritty of everyday life that can trip you up. And even my parents have their tiffs.

Because of my parents (the work they do, not their tiffs), my fairytale happily-ever-after vision of married life has gone up in smoke (“bane”?). I now see that marriage is hard work! It isn’t something to take lightly and that’s why when my time comes, I want everything leading up to my decision to be conscious and purposeful. In the meantime, I’ll be working on making sure I grow into someone another person would want to marry.

Who am I?

I certainly didn’t think much about it while in junior college. I thought I had it all: sports achievements, decent grades, shoes that look better than my uniform… basically everything and anything a teenager wanted or needed to feel good. But then I started university, and everything was different. It was huge new world where I didn’t have anything: my friends were dispersed, I was no longer in a sports team, I didn’t belong anywhere… I just felt lost. Nobody knew me, and I didn’t know anyone either.

As uncomfortable as that felt, the “lostness” forced me to realize that that was more to me – more to anyone – than what they have done or what they had. As I got to know people and form new friendships, two things struck me:

  1. It’s cliché, but people are who they are on the inside, and this shines through in how they approach life. It also means that people can see who you really are based on how they see you react to things. Are you considerate of others? Do you give them the respect they deserve?
  2. Knowing what you value helps. For me, it was the usual myriad of values such as love and loyalty. It was also the relationships with the people I loved and my aspirations to be a psychologist. Once I had my values clear, I realised how much I really had! I wasn’t nobody. There are so many other things that define me.

I have since made many new friends, each more unique and beautiful than the ones before. They know who they are. How? They know what they value and stick by what they believe in. And it is that easy self-confidence that speaks far louder than any title.