This story is dedicated to my daughter who has taught me the passion of love.
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Far, far away in the kingdom of Fabulousville, in the deep winter cold, a baby girl was born. Her name was Nadia.
(It’s true, I was born while it was snowing.)
Okay, fast forward please…
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She grew up to be a lovely lady, and this is her story of how she became where she is today…
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CHAPTER 1: THE CORPORATE SLAVE/BROADCASTING GAL
Pink heels, black slacks, black blazer and red lipstick — we’re set for the office.
Oh wait, is it uniform Monday or casual Friday? *laughs*
The working girl.
I’ve always known myself to be that, straight out of university.
I’ve always loved working. I never liked staying at home doing nothing.
Either I was interning at a company while studying or awaiting exam results, I was doing something. Provided you’re at the right company with the right bosses, you’ll have the time of your life.
The responsibility and challenges are bigger whilst being an employee, not to mention very stressful, but I’d rather be working than being a full-time student again. Don’t get me wrong, school and university is a very critical stage of life that I feel must be completed to the utmost best, but the independence you reap when you do start working is priceless.
Boys and Girls, although this may sound intriguing, it’s important to FINISH SCHOOL first! Without qualification, it’s hard to get a good-paying job.
Before I was married, apart from working full-time in the corporate arena, I was also a part-time news reader and even took on side jobs as an event emcee. It was exhausting but exhilarating. I was a go-getter. When you’re single, you can afford to shift all your focus and energy on your career.
My plans were never carved in stone, although I knew marriage and kids were definitely in the cards for me. I made the decisions that impacted my life as I journeyed along a path called Life.
While I was pregnant and even after giving birth, the plan was to keep at my career for as long as I could, full-time. But I guess, the passion of being a mother brought me to an early retirement of the working world…
CHAPTER 2: NO BOSS TO ANSWER TO!
Not too long after my first daughter was born, I made a decision.
I chose to become a stay-at-home-mom.
Why such a decision at an early age?
The main reason obviously, was to become the primary caretaker for my baby. She needed the attention, love and affection of her mother, especially as a baby.
Suddenly, I went through a lifestyle transition. No bosses, no meetings, no early punch-ins and no emails. The majority of my everyday life revolved around the home life and of course, my daughter.
It was awesome. You’re on your own schedule, under your own instructions.
However, being at home without much physical interaction with the outside world, you tend to somehow ‘let yourself go’.
Sometimes you’re (accidentally) dressed like a Mak Cik, but you’re not bothered.
When you’re at home almost every day and not required to prep up for work or meetings, you’re mostly in your ‘mom-drobe’. You’re at home in the most comfortable clothes, without a dash of make-up on.
Sometimes, when you do go out for quick errands, you just don’t want to dress up either.
The other day, I charged the corridors of the mall……unknowingly dressed up, well, sort of like a Mak Cik. I left the house thinking I was dressed OK, only to find out before a mirror at H&M, that I kinda looked like one.
“Do I look like a Makcik?” I asked my sister.
“Yes,” she replied bluntly, without hesitation. (That’s how honest we are with each other.)
I was in maternity jeans that was a tad too big for me, an over-sized top (that I would have usually tucked in if I wasn’t pregnant), with a bawal tudung tied to the back and I had my glasses on. I deliberately didn’t wear any make-up either, except for a swatch of dark purple lipstick, because later in the night I would be getting dolled up to read the midnight news. I love make-up, but sometimes a naked face is just so much more comfortable.
Boo-hoo, I told myself. So what. What did it matter how I looked or dressed? I was on an important (and quick) mission at H&M to purchase household items, followed by an undelayed exit from the holiday crowds.
That’s the sort of mentality I want to instill in my daughter — that looks don’t matter and everyone is special in their own way. Don’t ever let TV or social media bend the meaning of true beauty.
Those, yes….depressing moments.
Know why you keep seeing those viralled “open letters from a housewife” on social media? These open letters serve as a mouthpiece on behalf of all the housewives of the world, spilling the beans on the reality of being a housewife/stay-at-home-mom/homemaker.
For some, it’s a dream come true to be able to get domesticated, take care of the household, without the need to be answerable to anyone like a superior at work. Not every woman gets a chance to do this. But it’s not all rainbows and stars.
On the flip side, while you have the luxury of being at home on a daily basis and pursuing the passion of taking care of your children, you are still prone to feeling depressed, sad and underachieved. At least, I did go through that initially.
I was jealous (but glad) to see ex-colleagues climbing the corporate ladder.
I would always feel a little tinge when I see women with high-powered positions.
They’re amazing ladies and should be glorified for being able to break the glass ceiling, but I missed the corporate chase too.
I was lucky to have never encountered individuals who looked down on my choice to become a SAHM or those who questioned the fate of my law degree and whether it would go to a waste. Instead, they applauded my decision and some even envied me for having this choice. Indeed, it did cross my mind whether I was doing a disservice to my parents who sponsored my education all the way through, from Malaysia to the UK and back to Malaysia.
Even though I did not choose the route of being a practising lawyer, they are proud of me for what I’ve achieved in the broadcasting industry. I may not have gone as far if I were to become a legal advocate because the passion wasn’t there. I mean, I love the existence of the law but becoming a lawyer just wasn’t for me.
Today, despite the concerns I had, I knew my parents were still happy and proud of my decision to stay home and care for their granddaughter. They have been a tremendous source of support and help, too.
To keep myself grounded, I cheered myself up by trying to innovate new daily routines/activities for my daughter and I. It didn’t have to be a dull and monotonous life. Even getting a new toy for her would excite me. It could simply be decorating a bedroom or your child’s nursery, even if it meant the need to splurge a bit. Hey, I’m a part-time working mom, let’s channel the money to good use. 🙂
Being a SAHM was still keeping me busy, although not in the office. In fact, it was more tiring than the 9 to 5 job I had. After being able to master the art of handling and managing a household daily routine, I found that I had spare time to do my own thing, which led to something very unexpected…
CHAPTER 3: A STAY-AT-HOME-MOTHER’S UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
During confinement period after giving birth to my daughter, I felt the need to connect and interact with other mothers, whether friends or new acquaintances. This led to the formation of an Instagram account under the name of @itsmommynadia, dedicated for moms, moms-to-be and those who aspire to be one. (Follow me! :D)
Let me tell you, the power of social media is UNBELIEVABLE. In no time, I had my own circle of mom friends in the virtual world and later even attracted influential individuals in the parenthood scene. We were able to exchange thoughts and ideas – social media is indeed a practical and fast platform these days.
About one year after activating the account, I was approached by industry players who offered the opportunity to pursue two of my biggest loves: being a mother + being in front of the camera or on stage with a mic.
This time, it wasn’t being in front of the camera for reading the news but to promote parenthood and child well-being.
This was absolutely my dream job!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would never have thought an opportunity like this would come a-knocking. Boy am I thankful to have met such hard-working individuals who believed in me!
Thus far, I’ve emceed several mommy events where I got the chance to talk to other parents and share my own endeavours. I’ve also done an infomercial video on a new product in the mommy and baby world, for a trusted and well-known brand – Tommee Tippee! It’s so rewarding when you’re able to endorse a brand that you yourself believe in and actually use.
CHAPTER 4: NEVER GIVE UP
Delving deeper in the parenthood world eventually self-labelled me as a mom advocate. Hehe. I am very excited to not just be an active participant at home, but also out there with other moms.
I am feeling more grateful than ever. This is why I always emphasize on passion. I never knew I would be walking down this road, but my passion led me here.
Going back to what I mentioned earlier – a disservice to my parents who provided monetary aid for my education? Scrape that! Their daughter is now embarking on a new career path that offers once in a lifetime opportunities. Alhamdulillah, I am happier than ever. In shaa Allah, I will be able to repay my parents for their good deeds.
The next time you’re sulking at home, thinking you’re worthless, THINK AGAIN! Find what you love and dissect from it how you can realise your dreams. It won’t happen overnight, but the hard work and time spent will do you good!
So that’s my story, in four, very short chapters.
It’s the new year and I can’t wait for what’s in store. Do keep reading because there’s lots to come!