Every year, the month of March holds a certain significance for me in my motherhood journey. It was in March 2005 that I made a snap decision to leave my career and relatively good salary to stay at home to look after C and tend to household matters. It was because depending on others for childcare was problematic and it drove me to decide that I should just do it myself. It's been exactly seven years since.
The journey has not been the easiest, neither the most enjoyable.That's an honest admission. I'm one who likes to be active, being outdoors, trying out new stuff or experiences every chance I get. I like going out, meeting people, trying new food, travelling to places I've never been to before. Till today, I struggle with stifling my wanderlust. An aching longing wells up when I watch travel shows, hear or read about other people's wonderful holidays. Also till today, we struggle with managing the change of lifestyle, from a two-salary to a one-salary household, having to always remind ourselves that we can no longer afford 'wants', but only 'needs'. Despite that, it's been rewarding as I look back the past seven years, considering the opportunities of 'being there' watching C grow from a cute toddler to a I-know-what-I-want, strong-willed pre-teen. 'Conscious' parenting is what I try to practise, and it's been a trial-and-error journey filled with ups and downs.
The past year, my seventh, has been the most challenging. If the 'seven year itch' is true for marriages, I'd term my seventh year at home as 'itchy'. I've been restless, lacking drive or purpose, depressed, always thinking of leaving reality for a blissful holiday somewhere exotic...and probably never return! I kept (and still am now sometimes) wanting to 'get busy', but had to remind myself of reality's limitations. It was in this seventh year that I also took a one-year break from writing for pocket money. Before this, I had spent three years writing a fortnightly column in a local daily.
Over the years, I've experimented with various ways within my capability (skills, time, interest) to find ways to earn some money while at home. I tried blogging, writing and writing-related work, and even direct selling. I found out the latter is just not for me. Trying to convince people that they should buy something, because they need it and because it's good, is just not me. And I didn't like living with grudges when friends who did not understand the business talked behind my back or threw insults, intentionally or otherwise. As for blogging, I've never ventured into seriously monetizing any of my blogs and have earned only some bits from some marketing communications type of blogging. I still view blogging as something that I want to have fun with, or something for journaling purposes like this blog.
Call me idealistic, unrealistic or whatever, but I think although money is important, I won't die if I have less of it (but that doesn't mean I won't complain, hehe!). We'll just have to do with what we have, and walk in faith day by day. It's my way of trying to stay sane because parenting is already a full-time job.
I've had, and still am having, people (who don't read my blog) hint, tell me directly or even suggest various employment possibilities that I should consider. They mean well of course, but I guess they fail to remember that their opinion and what they see is from using the spectacles tailor-made only for their eyes, and they don't know me as well as I know myself :)
At the start of my eighth year as a stay-home mum this March, I'm about to embark on a new fortnightly column, in addition to the occasional writing/proofreading/editing assignments I get. I don't actively seek out jobs for fear of biting off more than I can chew. Life is simply too short to be working too hard. We all need to march to our own drumbeat and be thankful for what we have.
What shall I be writing about here next March 2013?