5 things you didn’t know about Graduate Moms

26 Dec

It is every parent’s dream to get the best education for their children, watch them graduate with flying colors and equip with all kinds of skills like art, music and sports. I was one of them. Academic wise, better than average. My name will be called during Monday assemblies for winning the Story-telling competition, Debate, Netball and the list goes on. I was holding some top posts in the Prefectorial Board, Police Cadet, Groups and Societies. My everyday schedule was pack with music class, choir, sports practice, society meetings, charity activities, you just name it and I was there. My parents were so proud of me and my teachers had high expectations, especially if you are coming from an all-girl school. Girl Power is bionic!

It was not until recently when I got my first ‘tight slap on the face’ after I become a self-declared hippie. High-school reunions can be fun and to me, can be some sort of entertaining. After at least 14 years leaving my alma mater, I met up with bionic or commonly known as High-Achiever girls and my ex-teachers at a friend’s wedding.  The common questions were “Are you based here, in Malaysia?” and “What do you do now?” with very hopeful expressions. The teachers were mostly disappointed when they got to know my ‘career’. They wanted me to give a motivation speech to the current students but having second thoughts now.

As the society becoming more and more complex as well as demanding, the more I feel like balancing life by going back to the basics. If you were to ask me 7 year ago, I was adamant to be a career woman with all my charity projects along the sides. There was no way that I will be a Staying-At-Home-Mom (SAHM) and face my husband and kids and do the house chores everyday. I had finally earn my own income and freedom to buy my own car, house and travel anywhere I want! But then my life philosophy just changed in 2009. There is a saying that ‘You are the people that you meet and books that you read’. There were much better job offers, juggling between managing our new house, my infant son, domestic helpers and it was also the year my late mum was diagnosed with lung cancer and brain tumor. Everything was happening so quickly and before I knew it I had exercised all my 22 days of annual leave and my mum passed away in December 2009, 3 weeks after she was diagnosed. Life is too short, and I have decided to drop everything and become a Working-From-Home-Mom (WFHM) in 2010.

I was not alone. I met with more and more SAHM and WFHM or better known as Graduate Moms. These moms are highly qualified and were also career oriented. Somehow, most of us share the similar objective to convert ourselves into Domestic Goddess, which is to spend more time with the family and raise our kids ourselves. I have actually spoke to several Graduate Moms age between 25 years-old and 35 years-old with at least 1 toddler. They are based here mainly in KL and some Malaysians staying overseas. These Graduate Moms have at least a bachelors degree from reputable universities and one that I know has a PhD in Engineering. They were also working in corporate lines before joining Graduate Moms & Co. 5 THINGS YOU DID’T KNOW ABOUT GRADUATE MOMS are:

1. They DO NOT have free time.

Most of them prefer not to have domestic helpers since the family income is slightly less when only one person is earning. Plus they enjoy the privacy. If they are too tired to do the house chores, they can always call the part-time maid services once or twice a week. They range between Rm50-90 for 4 hours (1 maid, if 2 maids at a time will be 2 hours of service). From the moment they open their eyes, they are all geared up to do the dishes, prepare breakfast, bath the kid(s), feed them, teach & play with them, prepare lunch, feed them lunch, put them to nap, BREATH, try to quickly sort other house chores before the kids wake up, teach & play with them, bath them, dinner time and sleep. We try to run errands and do some grocery during weekdays to avoid the weekend crowd. One thing for sure time is not our best friend. It is a bonus #1 to us when the husbands or relatives offer to take care of the kids for a while while we enjoy our Me-Time. Bonus #2 is when our husbands pass us some extra cash to pamper ourselves for a facial or spa session.

2. They are an expert at Multitasking.

I’ll give you an example of what a graduate mom will be doing between 7.30am – 8.00am. One will be getting the laundry, sort and throw the laundry into the washing machine. While at it, one will be thinking of what to serve for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Whether there is enough food to cook for the next couple of days. If not, have the grocery list ready. Then quickly prepare breakfast before bathing the kids and get them dress. Some need to battle with the kids for a good 5 minutes at least before they listen to your instructions. Before you know it, its 8am already and the laundry is ready to be hang dry. At the same time, we would try to conserve our energy to have some quality time when husband comes home at 8pm. Many more example but I’m pretty sure you get the picture.

3. They are Creative, Resourceful and Well-informed.

These Graduate Moms are well read. They read newspapers, websites and all kinds of book so that they can have conversation with their toddlers and their husbands. They would find out the best options from baby food, household items to holiday destinations of course. These moms will have activities with their kids like playdates, teach them to play musical instruments or simply sing with them, go for a swim, and have all kinds of art & craft activities. They know some basic natural home remedies to heal their loved ones. They too enjoy experimenting cooking recipes from all parts of the world. In conclusion, they have special formulas and strategies to stretch and get value from the single household income. Happy family 🙂

4. They DON’T get paid.

Wouldn’t anyone be rushing to get this job with all the job description above and don’t get paid? Maybe in kind. Why more and more woman are turning into Domestic Goddess? It is the chance and opportunity to be a MOTHER to her kid before anybody else, a TEACHER to her kid before anybody else and a FRIEND to her kid before anybody else. Many sacrifice their career simply wanting to fully breastfeed their babies. Watching them grow in front of your very eyes is a bonus itself. Getting a kiss & hug and having them say ‘I love you, mom’ or even ‘You look pretty, mom’ without even asking them to do so automatically melts the exhaustion.

5. They are very loving, caring and selfless women.

More often than not, these women put their family first before them. Despite the nagging that you get whenever they are tired and their absent-mindedness, they are very loving and caring women.

I or even any of these graduate moms would be lying if they say that they do not miss their high-profile career, earning their own money buying those designer handbags and shoes and wearing those corporate suits. It is the intangible rewards that satisfy them. The fact that you can never turn back time, make that important decision and doing it to make a difference in the society while you still can. Sometimes I personally think that I am doing it for my children and family because I was expecting things to be like this when I was small. I remember that I always wish that my parents would have more time to play with me. I remember that I wish that they would hear me out sometimes and respect what I wanted. I vow to remember all that when I become parents myself. What do you remember of your childhood?


44 Responses to “5 things you didn’t know about Graduate Moms”

  1. Zakirah January 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    A great eye opener!

    • kureen February 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

      Good to hear that. Do SHARE this post with your friends. Cheers!

  2. Rachel L January 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    You are absolutely right!!! I’m one proud SAHM for the passed 2 years and now a WFHM. All the 5 that you mentioned just reassured me that we, the SAHM and WFHM, are the best. :o)

    • kureen January 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      Congratulations Rachel! So happy for you. What business are you doing from home if you don’t mind sharing? I’m compiling some information/facts on options for SAHM to convert into WFHM for my future post.

      • Rachel L January 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

        I am a Virtual Assistant, it’s similar to PA but the difference is that I do everything offline. :o)

      • Rachel L January 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

        Opps.. I mean do everything offsite.. means online.. :o)

  3. Expat Gourmand January 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks for the awesome read. Some women are surprised that I’m not back at work even though my son is already 3. Having a live-in maid is so easy and cheap to acquire in HK, that it’s a bit of a foreign idea to HK people that I consciously chose to be a SAHM. A mum of two adult girls (one was raised by a maid when she went back to work) applauded me for my decision, as she said that she noticed a marked difference in her two daughters just based on who they were raised by. It’s hard raising a baby overseas away from the support of family, but not impossible 🙂

    • kureen January 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

      I’m sure that you are having a blast with your son ( because I am as my son is the same age as yours and talks a lot). Through my experience and observation, regardless whether the mother is staying at home, working from home or even working overseas, their attitude will reflect from their kids’ behavior, upbringing and IQ. Even if you at your home country at don’t reach out, you won’t get the support BUT if you do reach out when you are away, it’ll feel and be at home. Generally, kids that I meet who have SAHMs and WFHMs, they have really admirable traits. Enjoy there!

  4. Azilawati January 6, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Very interesting article..dah 2 kali I bace and i will be reading it again and again. Being a WAHM is still my big dream. When my confinement period was about to end, I was thinking how great it would be if im a WAHM just because of one big factor, ‘being a MOTHER,TEACHER & FRIEND before anybody else’ (like what you have mentioned). Unfortunately, there are too much of discouragement. Well, i take it positively and at the same time, is trying my best to be a good MOTHER,TEACHER & FRIEND.

    • kureen January 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      Hahaha, some other blogs have the same effect on me and I’d keep on reading and following them. Life is so full of colors with different hues. I’m pretty sure whatever that you’ve decided is the best to your ability at that very moment. Don’t do it for other people but yourself.

  5. shima January 6, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    I am fulltime working mum of a 6 month old, i know abt stay at home mums because I was privilaged to have one. What puzzles me is that, it feels that everybody who commented feels a need to justify their choice for being SAHM, WFHM, which to me is unnecessary, you all should be proud that u have made this choice especially those who bother abt what other’s would say. No need to justify. Nevertheless, whatever the abbreviation is any mum would try to provide for thier children, i unfortunately have one of those jobs that cant be done from home, so i envy those who can, please do not be disheartened by society.

    • kureen January 7, 2012 at 11:57 am #

      Thanks for your feedback, Shima. I guess that most of the ladies here were not so much of justifying but sharing some of their ‘perks’ being a SAHM and WFHM. Justifying sometimes can be so over-rated. “Justify for your justification”, analyze and over analyze, we become paralyze ;p so let’s keep it simple and be happy Moms 🙂

  6. Tesya January 6, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    very inspiring dear! after few years of being a SAHM, the thought of going back into the career world sometimes cross my mind…but after thinking for many many times, the rewards and satisfaction (and not to mention, the exhaustion too) u get just cleared my doubt…children nowadays aren’t like before, they are more demanding, learn faster and need more more attention from the parents. Thus, we have to learn more new things in order to teach them. The only thing is the society’s stigma towards the ‘graduate mums”…u know lah they would say, “belajar tinggi2 tp last2 dok umah jg anak je?”…i believe that to get good job is not the sole purpose of u going to uni…everybody needs to gain knowledge to produce quality generation…and it always start with the mother…

    • kureen January 7, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      Hi Tesya, couldn’t agree with you more and don’t we get those kind of remarks every now and then. I just learn to accept and smile.

  7. dandelicious mom January 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    great article. Inspire me & remind me of being a SAHM is the best job I ever had.
    Hope you dont mind I share part of the article in my blog while share the link as a credit. Thanx!

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      Thank you for the compliment and sharing the link in your blog. Feel free to check out my other posts on my Home water birth experience and Breastfeeding tips for busy moms.

  8. Siti January 5, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Thanks for writing this! I’m one of those so-called ‘high-achiever’ during school time, and now am yearning to be a WAHM, yet one of the things (not the main one, though) that is holding me back is the social expectation. I still have the dream and hope though, and now working towards that. It’s encouraging to see and meet more mummies doing it, makes my dream seems more achievable! 🙂 I’ll be following your blog!

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      Thanks for following my blog. I’ve got a few more posts in the pipeline, which might interest you.
      Social expectation is something we can’t totally ignore living in this part of the world. The bottom line is identifying what are the things that make you happy and making sure that they are harmonious with your surroundings. Hence, I became a self-confessed modern Hippie while some may label me as a rebel or a whacko. My unassisted home water birth recently supported their perception.
      A dream is a start to a wonderful journey 🙂

  9. yanihm January 5, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Great post!

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      thank you. It is an honor to share 🙂

  10. Wish to b WFHM January 5, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    luv your article! i was a full-time mummy for 2.5 weeks & m luving every moment of spending time with my lil bub. tat 2.5 weeks has made me realised tat m missing out on my little man’s growing up. i also hv the same thoughts as Jas to become a WFHM. wad is your advice on the work/job as WFHM? care to share?

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      tq. its such a wonderful experience isn’t it? since you asked the same question as Jas, I’ve replied in her comment below. Let me know what are your thoughts on it?!

  11. Yvonne Fong January 5, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    good one.. i m a wahm for 2 years + now.. been struggling on between work and kids.. but all is worth well… if boss bising i will go resign mode.. hahah then full time sahm

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      lucky you Yvonne. I really hope more and more organization will have the option or flexibility for women to work from home. Otherwise the nation will be losing more intellectual women in the workforce. Keep up the energy, girl power!

  12. nisya hassim January 5, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    well said! i am a SAHM.. not brave enough to call myself a WFHM yet since my small business is still in on and off mode..

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

      it is difficult to juggle between work and family demands when you are working from home, right? that is why I had to hire a maid after 1.5 years being a WFHM. I find that I’m more productive and less stressful. We still need a schedule and try our best to stick to it. Treat WFH as a job with respect and you’ll see happier results. For me, I bath my boy and prepare breakfast for the family before I start working. I observe their activities with my maid when I’m on my working mode. Before lunchtime, I’d be playing with them and feed my baby in between so that my maid would have time to prepare lunch. They’d be lunchtime, nap my boy, resume work and play with the kids again in the evening while the maid prepares dinner. Bath boy again. After dinner, I’d be doing activities with my boy and read books with both of them before bedtime. I try to ensure that he learns new things or skills every week. We cook or bake once a week too 🙂

  13. Jas January 5, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Hi there. Lovely sharing. My resolution for 2012 is also to switch from career woman to become a WFHM. Same thought as many mummy out there – to spend more time with 2 two toddles girls. But dun mind me asking, what is your advice the works/jobs that can be done at home? Im not from accounting/ design industry. Not prefer MLM & insurance. The only thing that i can think of is internet marketing… Headache…

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      TQ. First of all, you have to ask yourself what is your objective of this ‘career’ change? The hard cold fact is You Win Some and You Lose Some. To spend time with the kids and do activities with them will take a lot of time and money too (of course they are all worth every penny). The journey will be a bliss if your other half is making big bucks and nothing to worry about. Not so much in my case where I have to trim my ‘luxury’ lifestyle and work for my husband, who is in Professional Photography services business (www.ariffinaris.com). My husband was kind enough to give me some seed money to do Scuba-diving Online Store (www.diveculture.com) to gain some income without living the house much. Besides, we love scuba-diving and going to beaches and islands as a family. He brings us or rather we love to tag along whenever he has outstation assignments. MLM, Insurance, property investment or whatever business, in my opinion still requires your time and energy. The best part being in any of these businesses is that you can bring your kids along with you and expose to them what is life all about. I call it, my version of ‘field trip’. One of the many ways I’m home-schooling my kids. That way we’ll keep education fun and cost low. You just have to be patient to answer the Why-s and How-s from the kiddos. I might put up a post in the future on Home-schooling – the Hippie way. Do Follow this blog 🙂

  14. syima January 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    I’ve tears in my eyes while reading this article. Fyi, I’ve been on leave since April last year until end of Sept 2012. This article really hits my nerve… Yes.. I choose to care for my kids, my family over my freedom to buy or do stuff with colleagues. For the past few mths, I became a part time baker, something I didn’t think of doing then. I dread when thinking of having to leave my kids and start working….I honestly hope I don’t have to!

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      Frankly, I didn’t want to put up the post after completing it because I was afraid that it’d sound too emotional and I was not going that path with this blog. I’m glad and surprised that it has inspired many people, women and men. I’m thankful too for getting quality feedbacks.
      why have you been on leave if you don’t mind me asking? after I left the corporate world and chose this path, life has been more interesting and a mystery. There is no such thing as security anymore for me as I become dependent towards my husband. Besides than learning a lot from my growing up 3yo son, I’m exploring things I’ve never thought I wld too, like you in this case baking. It just makes life more exciting, isn’t it?

  15. Arifah January 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I want to be one in the future!!!!

    • kureen January 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      best wishes! you know that you are not alone.

  16. azurahanuar January 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    love it!

    i miss working and having all the time for myself at least 8 hours a day, and get paid, but i love the new life more.

    many working mothers are dying to be in our place, cik puan Kureen, that one i’m sure.

    So let’s enjoy and embrace life.

    • kureen January 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      sometimes we get too caught up with the rat race and forget that the essence of happiness is right in front of our faces. I couldn’t agree with you more and let’s make the best out of what we are blessed with 🙂

  17. Roubdhillway January 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    LOL! Don’t we all love riddles 🙂 . Thanks for the hint. I know now.

    Btw, do you mind if I share this post with others? It’s such an inspiring read!

    • kureen January 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      Yup, please feel free to Share, Like and even Follow my blog 🙂 I’m glad that I’ve managed to inspire others as much as I was inspired by other bloggers and mothers especially. Do check out my home water birth story and breast feeding post. I really hope that more graduate moms will continue to empower themselves through knowledge.

  18. Hanim January 4, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    Good writing there! Rather than complain about people not understanding how busy life is for you, it is now in writing. You can now quote: 5 things….

    Adik Syawa?

    • kureen January 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      Thanks for your compliment, really appreciate it especially when I used to get remarks from my high school English teacher that my essays were always “Atrocious!”.
      Which part does it say that I’m ‘Adik Syawa’? I’m just curious. Syawa appears in several posts of mine like Birthday Picnic and Part 1: Motivation and Support 🙂 She is a darling!

      • dochanim January 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

        Was reading thru iPhone and your full name and contact no was in one of your replies. You are Darina’s batch kan. I’m her big sis 🙂

      • kureen January 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

        Yes, if this is the same Darina, she was my classmate when we were in standard 2. Congratulations on your newborn!

  19. roundhillway January 4, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    Spot on! Hits me on every point as I’m also a SAHM. Mind if I ask which alma mater did you belong? Who knows, we might be from the same one. Keep on writing!

    • kureen January 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      Ad Veritatem Per Caritatem – To Truth Through Charity. You can find the answer from my “Meeting my super-duper senior” post 🙂 sorry, I just love riddles and mystery…

  20. she wears premium beautiful January 3, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Love this article! Hope you don’t mind me sharing it?


  1. Challenges for Working From Home Mom who ‘works’ for her husband « Happy Hippie Avenue - April 10, 2012

    […] the see how they’d respond when I give them my creative answers. I’ve shared more in my 5 things you didn’t know about Graduate Moms. Working from home mom who works for her husband does not confined to home where you live in. I […]

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