Life is 10% What Happens To You and 90% How You Respond To It!

~ Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 10:00 AM ~

Sometime I think back on the moment I decided "Enough is enough. I am going to quit my job and be a SAHM".

Had I responded and reacted differently, maybe I wouldn't be a SAHM today.

You see, over 1 year ago, I was in the midst of negotiating with my former supervisor on the possibilities of my previous company hiring me as a freelance consultant (they were in the midst of migrating over to a new application system). Lots of hurdles and issues were raised because of this, such as:

* that I am setting precedent to the company if I'm being hired as a freelance staff

* that I will not be committed to my work anymore since I'm quitting my job in order to take care of my baby

* that I will not be able to drop everything at home and rush to office to attend meetings, discussions and so on

* that it is hard for the company to monitor my deliverables as I can work from home if there is no meetings or discussions to attend at office

* that it is risky for the company to allow me to remote login to the company's server to do my work from home

All the above are just some of the excuses mentioned in order to stop the discussions from getting further. I know myseld and my previous supervisor really wanted to make it work (she really needs my expertise in the legacy system and liaising with the users and vendors on the new system) but her manager does not. Maybe because the manager feels threatened that if this freelance idea works, it's like the company is bowing down to my wishes and that I'm being manipulative.

I do not have any other motives other than to still be able to help my previous company (as much as I can), earn a lot less (but still be able to contribute and work) but of course, all this will be within my limits now that I have a new priority in life (that is taking care of Ben!) but somehow, there are people who tends to think bad of this.

There was actually an agreement being drafted out and it's already in the final stage of being agreed by all parties (the company and myself) before we can go official with the freelancing idea. I raised up some clauses in the agreement which was not favorable to me and because of this, my supervisor's manager actually got angrier and more agitated (I think this made the manager more determined to find ways to stop the freelancing idea from being materialised). You see, how can I agree to a freelance contract which stated:

* that I have to disclose the details of other clients I'm working with (that is in the event that I do freelance for other companies). I mean, wouldn't that be a breach of information to my other clients (if any)?

* lots of different tiers of fees calculations for the hours I put into work (if you read the contract it makes you feel sad that a company you have worked with for almost 5 years can be so calculative to you. I didn't even think of this at all as I was already working more than my expected hours when I was a permanent staff but why raised this concern now?)

* that the company is not responsible if I have any accidents, injuries or died at the premise... again, I didn't even think of this at all but since it's being stated out, it made me feel that the company is so cold blooded and not caring towards its employee (be it permanent or freelance)

Anyway, I have actually thought of just disregarding the above and not be so calculative over the details, after all, I worked with the company for almost 5 years and I really enjoyed working there and made lots of good friends but the incident that tip me over to my decision to quit is finding out the manager backstabbed me in front of the CEO. It's really sickening to find out someone could and would go to that distance in order to get rid of you and make the freelance idea not feasible.

The moment I found out about this, I wrote an email to my supervisor and the CEO telling them I'm pulling out from the negotiation and am not going to proceed further with the freelance idea. I did not mention about knowing I've been backstabbed.

Now, I sometimes think had I responded in other ways to this maybe things would work out differently?

What if I mentioned about being backstabbed? Will the CEO takes the matter with the manager and reprimand the manager?  Or what if I decided to confront the manager and demanded an apology?

But I thought, God knows the person I am to the company. God knows how committed I am and how I wanted and tried to make it work. If I have been the sort of person that the manager slanders me of, I wouldn't have work in the company for almost 5 years (long if you are in IT line), my users and vendors wouldn't be so sad to see me quitting and leaving the company for good (or even to date, still asking for my help and advice every now and then).

Maybe you may think the act of me keeping quiet even though I know I've been backstabbed and slandered is coward. But what good does it make if I seek revenge and see that the manager gets punished for slandering me? Read: Romans 12:19 (NIV), 1 Peter 3:16 (NIV)

Had the freelance idea materialised and I continued working freelance in the company, I don't think I will have an easy time there. Obviously that would make the manager more envious (that I get to work freelance) and more determined to get rid of me. So, why stay on and try to pursue something which someone tries so hard to stop it from being materialised? Read: James 3:16 (NIV)

Maybe things happened for a reason. Yes, it is a bad and sad memory for me for that incident to happen. But I guessed, I'm thankful I responded to this situation the way I did. Read: 1 Peter 2:15 (NIV), Romans 12:2 (NIV), 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

This post is written as part of this week's Writer's Workshop.

Common Myths about SAHM

~ Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 12:09 AM ~

I was inspired to blog about the common myths (or perceptions) about SAHM after writing my post on "Footprints in the Sand" where I mentioned "one common perception by others is people think we became SAHM because we are rich and comfortable even with 1 less income to the family!"

So anyway, surfed around the Net and found more myths about us strange species of SAHM which stated that we are (myths in red, my feedback in blue)...

* Uneducated

My feedback: I may have only 1 year of Diploma in NCC (or what we called IT), but I have 9 years of working experience in IT line and as far as I know, before I quit my job to be a SAHM, I'm earning more than what some of the others (that I know) who got Degree or went to overseas for their studies. Yes, money or salary should not be the method to measure in this sense but if I'm not educated enough to learn what it takes in my IT line, then I wouldn't be getting that amount of salary before right?

 

* Throwing away their education

My feedback: Being a SAHM doesn't mean I'm throwing my education! In fact, I'm learning more things than ever! Cooking and making food for Ben, accounting for hubby's own business, etc etc...

 

* Not really working as they are not in a real paid job

My feedback: Oh? Says who? Does it mean that if you are in a REAL paid job, it means you are working? Does it mean that if you go to your office, sit there from 9 or 10 am until 5 or 6pm and gets your salary means you are really putting your ALL (as in heart and soul) into the job? For those of you who are having this perception, I'd like to invite you to do my work for a day. I'll PAY you and please let me know by the time you finish doing my SAHM not real-paid job if you're still sticking by this perception.

 

* Lucky to be wealthy to stay home

My feedback: Hey, I'm happy to even have a home to live in! Though I wish I was wealthy to begin with... than I don't have to wait until I get a baby to quit my job to be a SAHM! Being a SAHM means I have to give up my high paying job and stay home with my kid all the time! I hear this a lot from people around me. That we are wealthy and comfortable with 1 less income to the family. As if it doesn't hurt us at all for me to just quit my job anytime. I meantioned in my previous post that God is good, and He provides. Like what my previous pastor used to say, "God's will, God's bill!"

 

* Have the luxury of all this free time

My feedback: I wish... though friends and relatives might find me 'online' the whole day on Facebook and/or MSN, I'm mostly in and out and definitely not sitting in front of my computer the whole time. Whatever time I get to myself (always when Ben naps during daytime or when he goes to sleep at 10.30pm earliest) that's mostly the free time I get to myself. I don't even get to eat on time.. I might be having my breakfast at lunch time or having lunch at tea time... heck, it's good if I even get time to have any food!

 

* Not using their brains

My feedback: Unless you count having to think of what food to make, what activities to do with your toddler, etc etc as not using your brain, oh well, I'm not using my brain then... plus, I always blame my lack of intelligence is being caused by Ben suckling away all my brain cells through my breastmilk!

 

* Unproductive

My feedback: Uh? How much work do I have to do to be considered productive?

 

* Not using their gifts or talents

My feedback: I'd like to think my gifts or talents would be in my writing style but I'm not running for Ms. Malaysia or Mummy of the Year award, so what gifts or talents should I be displaying?

I love music, I listen to it almost whole day long and I'm glad Ben picks this up from me too (except for the super annoying repetitive Beatle's "I want to hold your hand" song), I'd love to see Ben picking up my passions in reading too one of this days!

 

* Not able to handle the many pressures that working mom’s encounter

My feedback: Oh believe me... I'd rather handle the multitasking part in my previous REAL PAID job than the ones as SAHM! I've been the acting IT head, database adminstrator, application adminstrator, web content developer, analyst programmer, project co-ordinator, application support, and many more (sometimes all at the same time) and all this cannot even be compare to what I'm facing in my daily life as a SAHM. My previous performance appraisals stated that I am very capable of multitasking and is a good person to depend on in critical situations.

But anyone who think we SAHM are not able to handle many pressures that working mom's encounter, please think again. Best still, try to get sick one day, and tell me whether you can rest at home or not. Some working moms I know who fell sick even wanted to leave their babies with their nanny or babysitter as they cannot handle taking care of the child while they are sick.

 

So please, don't think just because we are at home all the time, it means we are free / rich / got it easy / stupid / etc etc.

You have no idea what we are going through everyday.

Btw, if you are considering to be a SAHM, you can read my previous post in my old blog "Can You Afford to Stay Home?" on things to consider through and evaluate before deciding to be a SAHM.

Now, what other myths have you heard about SAHM?

Or what do you think of SAHM?

Footprints in the Sand

~ Posted on Monday, August 9, 2010 at 1:10 PM ~

Looking at this picture of Ben carrying his favorite buddy Elmo, reminds me of the inspiring story of "Footprints in the Sand":

"One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.

But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.

Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Author: Mary Stevenson, 1936"

The first time I read this article (which was a few years ago), I just went "Woooowwww" that is just so freaking inspiring and awesome!

It's like whenever you think you're in the worst phase of your life, you felt alone and helpless and there is no one to turn to or to help you back up, think again!

God is there with you all along!!!

Imagine, if life is smooth and uneventful all the way from the moment you are born into the world till you die wouldn't that be sad? It's like you're living with no purpose! What use are you if you're just doodling through the day all life long? Your life is much better than that! And life on earth is too short to be wasted on doing NOTHING!

As a SAHM, I do now and then feel left out when I see the latest things happening to my ex-colleagues, friends and/or family members. It's like their life (be it working or personal) is so much more exciting than mine! They get to go to company trips, they get to go holidays here and there, and so on. Then I go on thinking, "I am alone within these 4 walls day in and day out with Ben. Their life are so happening outside compared to mine!"

But then, upon closer look, I noticed that there are some of them who grumbles about the coming week days of work. They dreaded the coming Monday (Monday blues so to speak) and that they don't want the weekends to end. (Heck, I too don't want the weekend to end but it's not like it makes much difference to me since  a SAHM works 24/7, 365!!) And by around 5pm or so, upon closer look again, statuses popping out on their Facebook walls, counting down the hours and minutes before the work day ends. FYI, I used to do that too, when I was serving my 1 month notice of resignation (I quit to become a SAHM but that aside, I feel if you are paid to do your work, you should do it honestly and do it for God!)

So, now, I think again... I shouldn't compare myself with the life of others. They get to go for trips, travellling, dinners, and so on, they get paid but are they happy with it? Are they doing it cos they need the money to survive? To maintain their lifestyle? Are they doing their job wholeheartedly and doing it for God?

Of course, I am not saying all of them are like that, but some of them are.

Read: Colossians 3:22-24 (NIV), Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)

I came across this bible phrase years ago and since then, I told myself to do my work as if I'm working for God, not man. I do things that satisfies God and pleasing to Him.

Which is why when I quit my job and became a SAHM, I think it is the right thing to do.  I am in no way bragging that life as a SAHM is all glory and nice (one common perception by others is people think we became SAHM because we are rich and comfortable even with 1 less income to the family!)! I know we might have difficulties adjusting initially to one less income for the family but God is good! He provides ALL THE TIME!

So, back to the "Footprints in the Sand" topic, yeah, from now on, whenever I feel all alone at home with Ben, I'm going to remember this article. God is with me and Ben and He is watching and looking after us! Although I don't have those company perks anymore, no bonus, no annual leave, no medical leave, I know that  I'm doing the right thing and God is with us all the way!