Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Oprah's Interview

Last week Oprah's show was somewhat a wake up call for me. She interviewed Gwyneth Paltrow on her newly embraced life as a mother and somewhere down the interview..Oprah says "So is it true that you don't have a nanny?"..Gwyneth says" Yes, its true I don't have a nanny"..and the crowd claps and claps forever and ever..
She goes on to say something about she doesn't care if she never works again after having the baby and that the reason why she doesn't have one now is that so that she can spend all the time in the world with baby Apple cos a time will come when/if she starts working and that will (the full time bonding) probably end..somewhat.

Why did it stir something in me that night? I don't know..It just brought waves of guilt from somewhere within me. Hey, it was GWYNETH PALTROW saying that she could do it without a nanny and she was in fact doing it without a nanny. Wow.

And here I am..konon-kononnya Supermom. The truth is..I have help, and MORE help than most.. I have not one but TWO maids. One especially for the kids and one for the housekeeping!

You think I am pampered? I probably am..but not by choice..I think!

The ONE question that went through my mind after listening to that interview was:

Financially, I believe N is stable enough to support the family should I decide to quit my job. Problem is..N is against me NOT working. He's probably the only husband in Malaysia who does not want his wife to quit working. He even told me once that if he were to retire early, I could go on working but not now..D has to work!

It is me too.. I find that my job keeps me sane. I hope that makes sense!? At work, I find a profound sense of satisfaction, I love the people I work with, I love the work that I do. And I'd hate to leave this job. Its a world away from my other world..and in a wierd way, a confort zone of sorts.

Having said that, every day when I am in the office, at exactly 11.45 I'd call home..cos that's when Baby N is back from school, just to hear his voice, tho he still doesn't/cannot say proper words. And then again at 12.30 I'd call, cos that's when N Junior is home from school just to see what he was up to during the morning. And I'd do that every next hour until I go home. My heart is always with my boys..

The "Domestic Help" that I have, they are like family to me.. In fact, they ARE a blessing cos at least when I do get home, I just concentrate on the boys and N..But do I really need 2? Do I really have to have help?

And most important of all.. wouldn't the most rewarding thing in life be to be at home with my two sons and personally going through each day with them?? What more do I want? Am I being selfish that I want to have a life away from home? And could I really do it without help???

Of course I don't have the kind of money that Gwyneth has to be able to throw my career away and say "I don't give a toss!" and I know I am NOT Gwyneth Paltrow in the first place..

But she really made me think.. What more am I waiting for?

Why can't I do the right thing?????


Blogger Ms.B said...

This is EXACTLY what's wrecking my brain at the moment.

I'll list my combusting thoughts in random order.

1. I got sick of working like a dog and told myself earlier "NO MORE rat race!!" .. and then I quit my job in a pow-wow firm for the unknown, ie. I wanted flexi hours (even if it meant less pay).

2. BUT!! Coming in to my 2nd year away from pow-wow job, I'm dead bloody broke. And so is hubs. On top of that, house payments will hit next month. On recalculating, we might not have enough to eat square meals.

3. I do have a job now, yes - but it pays pittance (coz it's a new partnership, and the drawings I get just ISN'T worth the effort and long hours) and unless money in the sum of RM50k falls on my lap (which it won't), I will seriously need to re-think this partnership and *shock horror* go back into a regular 9-5 which doesn't kill me in hours and pays a fatter cheque.

4. BUT BUT BUT!! Even if I were to get that RM50k and go back into a regular job, I want a baby. And I think once I have a baby, I probably wanna quit work. At least in terms of regular work. Mebbe run my own firm - from home. More to keep the brain active than for money.

5. And if I have baby, even if I'm home all the time, I believe I will NEED a maid. Dunno if I'll need 2 (hehehe) but DEFINITELY one.

I want to be with my child as much as I can, but I also want to maintain my independence, ie. by working. Does working from home denote independence? I dunno - but it's a nice thought. I gotta work towards that, but right now, Items 1 - 5 above keep banging into each other with no solution in sight!!

Can you do work from home in your line of work? Would that kill two birds for you?

And about Gwyneth's "revelation", pishtosh, I say! She may not have a nanny, but she probably has 3 gardeners, 3 cooks, 5 housekeepers, 3 personal trainers and 2 therapists!!

8:27 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

Unfortunately I can't work from home on my current job! Tried to sell a "Day-rate" idea to my management, but that didn't work!

For me, I think it's a matter of "security". Maybe, and I have thought this over a lot! Its not that I don't trust N..I do, with my life. But then "Jodoh" is in Gods hands and who knows what or who will come, whether we will still be together 10 years down the road? Who knows what God has in store for us? And then there's Death - no one knows when out time will come, and if he goes first, what happens? SO a job, gives some assurance that I'll be equipped for the unknown. Life is REAL, and it doesn;t always go the way we plan.

And financial independence is sacred to me. I really hate burdening N with stuff that I would want to get for myself or other people. Like, what would it feel like if I had to ask him money to buy my undies?? you know?

But then again, not being at home with my boys bugs me. It should be the most natural thing for me to want to do..And being in the position that our family is in, financially etc..I should be (like Gwyneth) able to say.."to hell with my job, I am staying home!"

The"help" that I have at home are really good. But that shouldn't be an excuse, cos surely nothing beats mommy being at home. You know to drive them to school, to do homework and stuff with them.

I do agree with u tho. If the day comes for me to really quit my job and stay at home (with or without another "home-job") I will definitely need help. TWO is a bit overboard lah but I will need ONE at least. Its i mportant for mom and dad to be able to have theor own quality time, just the two of us..for teh tarik, music, movies etc..u know what I mean.

But anyways Blabs, thanks! At least I know I'm not alone! You sound like a brave person and that has got to be admired. So good luck with the choices you make in life. I believe everything happens for a good reason, and THAT will surely come yr way eventually! :)

8:53 PM  
Blogger shidah said...

anedra:i don't think there's anything wrong in having a helper, in your case 2. you don't have to be like Gwyneth Paltrow to be a good mother. it will totally depends on what make you & your family sane. If it require you to work, then work. I have seen many good working mothers. And I like to think that I'm one of them :)

1:49 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

shidah: Its just that I sometimes wonder whether I'm missing a great chunk of their life.. But then again, we have to be happy with how we live and how we choose to live. I just hope I'm one of them, like you - A Good Working Mom. We can only TRY right? If u have any good tips, drop them this way! :)

3:03 AM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

ehem, ehem...can what? I work 25 hours a day and I remember when I had to go away - out of the country, i used to have this wonderful niece who babysat for me. The experience left quite a lasting effect on my young ones.
Anyway, on a more serious note...we really cant have our cakes and eat it..Its the way things are now. Sure, we will carry this baggage through life - but we are also working for their own beenfit. Just think having a grumoy and dissatisfied mum 24 hrs a day at home?

4:44 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

kakteh : so true. I'd probably be nagging away at home if I did and what more, if I had to do ALL the things that the bibik's do. I am amazed at their strength and perseverence..taking care of the boys ain't easy!

yes..the babysitting experience left quite a lasting effect on yr niece too. err.. your kids turned out fine RIGHT?

6:36 AM  
Blogger Nordz said...

The interview with Oprah wasn't recent. It was sometime soon after the birth of Apple that Gwyn made that statement. She started work right after she opened her mouth about wanting to give her all bringing up her child. The truth is, don't make this whole thing make you feel bad. It's all for show lah what Gwyn said. She is an actress and she knows whatever she says or do is in the public's eyes.

That said, I understand why you feel the way you feel. But doesn't mean if you don't bring up your children the way our mothers and grandmothers did, it makes you less of a mother.

Your career is your well earned hard work. I totally agree with N. And you are so lucky to have him. Your children will in time learn to draw wisdom and inspiration from the successful woman that you are today and the doting mother that you have also become to them.

Times have changed. Don't let glorious motherhood moments of the past (where moms stay at home and care for their kids) make you confuse. You know deep in your heart that you are doing the right thing.

6:58 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

nordz:thanks. feel better already! :)do i know you? ;)

11:39 PM  
Blogger SC said...

i am a sahm.i freelance every now and then. oh how i wish i have 2 maids....aaaaaaaaarggghhh!

2:38 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

sc: you know the grass is always greener on the side that you are not on! you may want my 2 maids, but i actually want to be like you, somehow, to be able to freelance and be a sahm, with one maid at least lah! :)

5:09 AM  

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