If you are a former career woman turned stay-at-home Mom, it’s easy to let things slide and let yourself go.
You don’t realize it but slowly, you stop dressing up, stop putting on make-up and the next thing you know, former colleagues don’t even recognize you when they walk past you in the mall!
Or worse, they realize that it’s you and say, “You look SO different…”
When I went back to work last year, I realized how much I’d changed since I became a stay-at-home Mom.
Now that I’m back to becoming a stay-at-home Mom (working on becoming a work-at-home Mom), I thought I’d write down what I learned before I slide back to what I was!
1. Dress up
Change out of your pyjamas or nightgown. Cute t-shirt and shorts are OK at home but not for the market or dropping kids off at school.
My son actually objected to my favourite old t-shirts because he’d say, “Those are not clothes for going out!”.
He would delight when I wore a suit or a dress,
“Wow, nice dress!
Wow, you look so beautiful, Mummy.
Wow, I like your clothes today, Mummy.”
He even has an opinion when I am trying to mix and match my clothes!!!
I am especially grateful to the Klinik Kesihatan government nurse who visited me during the baby’s check-ups. I was wearing an old nightgown and looked terribly unkempt.
She kindly advised,
“Basuhlah muka baru nampak berseri. Gosok rambut sikit. Tukarlah baju yang ceria sikit – nanti husband dan anak-anak you pun happy tengok Mummy.”
(“Wash your face – you’ll look and feel fresh. Comb your hair. Put on some fresh and bright clothes. Your husband dan kids will be happier to see Mummy“.)
2. Put on make-up
Hmm…I’d put on skincare, tinted sunblock and lipstick when I went to work but I wonder if I’d continue to use the tinted sunblock and lipstick if I’m staying at home in the long run. One, I like my skin to breathe and two, I dislike removing make-up at the end of the day. Will play it by ear.
For example, I took the kids out to lunch today and was tempted to just pull on a t-shirt and casual shorts but I changed my mind after I dressed the kids up. In the end, I went for a cotton top and a khaki skirt. Yup, I slapped on the make-up. Much better
3. Do not obsess about the home, food or kids
When I went back to work, Hubby was glad to have someone he could talk with about working life i.e. the daily demands of having a job and a boss.
Because the maid we’d hired didn’t take on the cooking as well as we’d hope, I HAD to obsess about groceries and family meals. The best part though is that Hubby chipped in to help buy groceries and even offered to cook on weekends!
He’s always enjoyed helping me in the kitchen e.g. taking down pots, washing smelly fish and meats, kneading flour and washing up so I know he’d be delighted when I take on the cooking 100%.
During these cooking sessions, we’d chat about lots of things and he has commented how nice it is that I have NOT been barking at him about picking up the toys, the air-cond breaking down, how naughty the kids are etc
We housewives may not realize this but it is a serious problem if we only talk about babies, breastfeeding, diapers, milk, cooking oil, fish and other housewife-y or motherly stuff
Of course, it’s fine when you’ve JUST had a baby and the kids are small.
Just don’t forget that you are more than “milk” or “food” or “soap” or “clean clothes”. If you forget that yourself, then slowly, the people around you especially your husband and children will forget that too.
For example, I was talking about the relationship between a husband and wife marriage with one of my male colleagues and he said the worst thing about his wife:
“Talk to my wife? (laughs) She only talks about how much the price of fish has gone up, cooking oil, the stove has broken down…She’s only a housewife.”
I was quite angry and told him, “Oh my God, she’s your WIFE. Remember that you married her because she was beautiful and fun and she thought you were Mr. Wonderful? She cooks for you, she washes your clothes. She keeps your house clean! You are so lucky to have her.”
“Ya, I know that but she doesn’t have to talk about it all the time. Every day I come back from work, the first thing she’ll tell me is how naughty my son is or how much money my daughter spent…aiyo, tiredlah…”
Probably that’s why he’s always chatting with the younger female staff in the office…
4. Spend time with the husband
As the real life example above shows, husbands tend to look elsewhere if they’re not getting love and attention at home.
Me, I don’t watch TV dramas. I’m not on Facebook a lot. Neither do I do handicraft although I wish I did.
My husband’s pet peeve with me would be I spend too much time blogging or surfing the internet!!!
We reach a compromise: he’ll hint if he wants my attention and I’ll tell him how much more time I need. Or I’ll read his body language and decided if I’ll continue or close the laptop
So, here are the fabulous four tips to remember as I move on to the next stage of my life.
Incidentally, I found this interesting book of the same title:
“Is your style more shabby than chic? Or maybe you’re the opposite and couldn’t possibly leave the house without making sure you’ve filed, pruned, and dusted.
Or are you an ex-career woman who’s trying to run your household like the stock exchange?
Or perhaps a trophy wife, left to your own devices while your husband works long hours to pay for your diamonds?
This book looks at four stereotypical housewives—Single Mom, Alpha Wife, Stressed-Out Wife, and Trophy Wife—and examines their personalities, homes, clothes, hobbies, and men.
Then each wife is offered professional advice from fashion gurus, make-up artists, beauticians, and relationship therapists to help her avoid becoming a desperate housewife.”
Sounds interesting, right? I know I’m eager to read what the professionals advise the “stressed-out wife” LOL