Why I chose to be a SAHM & a year on

9510_636076903098590_1055072763_nYou know what? This post has been in the draft section for a long time. I’m thankful that I didn’t publish it earlier because if I had done so then, that post would be filled with bitterness, frustration and much tears. I’m a much calmer person now and happier, no doubt. I guess I can finally say that I have embraced being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM); I even introduced myself as that to a stranger recently. 😉

To tell you the truth, I have never thought of being a SAHM. It’s never an idea that I toy with. After Faith was born, I struggled with staying home the whole time with a baby. Faith wasn’t a fussy infant but I just couldn’t stay in one place for too long. However, I did make a decision to be one in the end. There were a few events and considerations that led to this decision:

(1) Both K and I felt that taking care of our kid is our responsibility and it is not right to leave this task to others. This led me to negotiate a part-time work scheme with my boss. I was hoping to work in the morning and then come home in the afternoon onwards to take care of Faith. However…

(2) The part-time work scheme couldn’t work out since I was holding some responsibilities at work and would inevitably need to attend certain meetings. After working out the hours and be realistic about it, I probably would be having a full-time workload and getting a part-time work scheme’s salary. The working hours would still be from 7.20am to 1.40pm, without meetings. This won’t work out. Yes, I’m an educator.

(3) I love my job. I believe it’s my calling. From past experience, I could immerse myself in my work, working from 7am till 11pm. With a kid to take care of, I know I can’t do that. Both would need my attention. Something has to give. So, I reckon that my calling, in this season of my life, is to take care of Faith.

(4) This calling was confirmed during a Bible Study session. I believe God has spoken then – very clearly – about this issue. All I need to do is to trust and obey. Submission to the One who holds the future is the only thing I can do. If you want to find out more, do tell me!

(5) The following incident also prompted me to make the decision to be a SAHM. I was back at work after my No-Pay-Leave so I left Faith with my mom in the morning. When I went back home in the afternoon, she raised the white flag and commented that she couldn’t handle. Basically, she couldn’t stand being with Faith the whole time and she actually looked more tired than before, just in that few hours. That basically sealed my decision. I couldn’t leave Faith to my FIL as he is rather well-advanced in age and might not have the energy to take care of her. Putting Faith with a nanny or infant care or even hiring a helper is not an option for us. So, yes, being a SAHM is the way to go, for now.

Being a SAHM proved to be difficult and I experienced a steep learning curve. Ask my husband, I was most unhappy when I became one and it did cause a strain on our relationship. Faith was a great baby, easy to care for, but I guess I was just adapting to the change in lifestyle and the 24/7 parenting duty. Ken was most understanding and would accommodate me, giving all the assistance I need.

Thankfully as Faith grows, things get a tad easier. I got the hang of being a SAHM and more importantly, I have the support of my family members. My father would not hesitate to take care of Faith when I ask for help. In fact, he’s delighted to be able to do so. Mom said Faith has brought him much cheer. My in-laws would also come and spend time with Faith every week, giving Ken and me some time to ourselves.

Things are certainly getting better. We are a single-income family so we have to be prudent in terms of handling our finances. No grand overseas holidays but staycation and Malaysia are not too bad either. Once in a while, the hubs will still pamper me and give me the green light to do some shopping. Oh, in fact, he has never interfered. But well, I guess, with this SAHM status comes with some restraint in terms of spending. Yup, I’m proud to say that I’m a bit wiser now in terms of spending habits. And I’m thankful that we can still be generous towards others even with less disposable income. After all, it is more blessed to give than to receive!

Whether we are a SAHM, PTWM, FTWM or whatever titles out there, I believe we have calculated the cost, both tangible and intangible, in making this choice. Being a parent is a tough job but it is certainly a gift and a privilege and I’m still learning to give my best to God in this area.

Wordless Wednesday | Pursuing my interest

Never mind that I’ve quit my job to look after the little one. Something interesting is coming my way.

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Linking up with

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord

with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. 
In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will straighten your path.  

Blogs to vote.

Though I may not be voting at this year’s election, surely I can vote for the following categories of blogs @ Saveur

BEST BAKING AND DESSERTS BLOG
Desserts for Breakfast
Eat the Love
Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings
Joy the Baker
She Who Eats
Sprinkle Bakes

BEST ORIGINAL BAKING AND DESSERTS RECIPE
Beyond the Plate: Bomboloni with Meyer Lemon Curd
Cafe Fernando: Brownies with Hazelnut Butter and Chocolate Lace
Seven Spoons: Frozen Eton Mess
La Tartine Gourmande: Spiced Pumpkin Pots de Crème with Sautéed Apples and Pistachios
Sprinkle Bakes: Crown Jewel Cake

BEST COOKING BLOG
101 Cookbooks
I Made That
Lottie and Doof
Smitten Kitchen
Sprouted Kitchen
The Wednesday Chef

BEST ORIGINAL SAVORY RECIPE
Local Lemons: Sweet Corn, Chilis, and Burrata over Fettuccine 
101 Cookbooks: Quinoa Skillet Bread
Delicious Days: Caesar Salad – Kind Of, But Better
Dinner: A Love Story: Baked Sausages with Apples and Potatoes
Eating Brooklyn: Farro Salad with Roasted Red Grapes, Kale and Swiss Chard
Melissa Clark: Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Olives over Polenta

BEST FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
101 Cookbooks
Beyond the Plate
Not Without Salt
Seven Spoons
Sunday Suppers
What Katie Ate

BEST FOOD PHOTO
Canelle et Vanille: Pear-Apple-Fennel Salad
Fussing with Forks: Roast Chicken
La Tartine Gourmande: Red Snapper
Nordjlus: Figs
Orangette: Blood Oranges
What Katie Ate: Double Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

BEST WINE OR BEER BLOG Vote in this category »
Alice Feiring
Blog About Beer
Good Wine Under $20
Vinography
Washington Beer Blog
Wine Terroirs

BEST COCKTAIL BLOG Vote in this category »
Alcademics
Cask Strength
Cocktailians
Drink Dogma
Jeffrey Morganthaler
Kaiser Penguin

BEST CULINARY TRAVEL BLOG
David Lebovitz
Eating Asia
My Kugelhopf
Rambling Spoon
Souvlaki for the Soul
Traveler’s Lunchbox

BEST VIDEO CONTENT
Epic Meal Time
Food Curated
Food52
FoodWishes
Perennial Plate
Sky Full of Bacon

BEST REGIONAL CUISINE BLOG
Homesick Texan
Indian Simmer
Jun Belen
Just Hungry
Lucullian Delights
She Simmers

BEST KITCHEN TOOLS AND HARDWARE COVERAGE
Delicious Days: How to Organize Your Spices
Food in Jars: Equipment
Kitchen Generation
Lifehacker: The Geek’s Guide to Rebooting Your Kitchen
Regrettably Edible: Top 11 Crappy Kitchen Tools To Avoid 
The Kitchn

BEST CULINARY ESSAY
Gluten-Free Girl: “Apple Fennel Slaw (New Year’s Cleanse)”
Monica Bhide: “Does a Recipe Need to be Complicated to be Good?”
Vanilla Garlic: “For Many Reasons: Blood and Chocolate”
Bon Appetempt: “In the Kitchen With Grandma”
Leite’s Culinaria: “Saints, Cakes, and Redemption”
Grub Street: “The Crowded Restaurant Conundrum: Why We’re All Gluttons for Punishment”

BEST COOK-THROUGH BLOG Vote in this category »
Alinea at Home
Cookbook Archaeology
Momofuku for Two
Nose to Tail at Home
The Bitten Word
The Way We Ate

BEST SPECIAL INTEREST BLOG 
Alkaline Sisters
Tartelette
Golubka
What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway?
The Sweet Beet
Silvana’s Kitchen

BEST RESTAURANT/DINING COVERAGE Vote in this category »
Immaculate Infatuation
KevinEats
Skillet Doux
The Delicious Life
The Girl Who Ate Everything
Ulterior Epicure

BEST PROFESSIONAL BLOG Vote in this category »
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Cooking Issues
David Lebovitz
Dorie Greenspan
Food52
Melissa Clark

Peanut Butter cookies with chocolate chips

The other day, after baking Peanut Butter cookies, a friend sent me Curtis Stone’s Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks. I thought I could just bake them since (1) we are finishing our peanut butter cookies and (2) I have all the necessary ingredients anyway. I don’t have the chocolate chunks and so I replaced them with chocolate chips.

In then end, I still prefer those crunchy, crispy cookies to the soft chewy types.

While baking, I decided to check out KitchenAid’s Standmixer. I have always wanted one since I started baking and heard wonderful review and stories about it. Once, I went for the cupcakes demo class at Shermay’s Cooking School and I’ll always remember one remark that the instructor made, ” You guys have the KitchenAid mixer right, right?” Since that day, I would occasionally go to the retail store near my workplace after lunch and admire those sexy machines and promised myself that I would get one eventually.

SO, when we moved over to US, I thought it would be great to buy one since the price is a real bargain. It was about half the price back home. The hubs had also agreed to buy for me (yea!) and so, to be certain, I went to check on the voltage since I would be bringing back to Singapore after our short stay here.

To my dismay, US units are 110V while we run on 220V (the same as Europe) and it would cause problem if I were to bring it back home to use (thankful to find useful info on David Lebovitz’s site). I was so downcast as I was baking the cookies until the hubs suggested some solutions:

1. Buy and use and then sell online before going back.
2. Buy a second-hand and then sell online before going back. In both cases, I need to check if there is a market for that. 3. Use a transformer when we go back home.

It’s really kind of him to offer to buy even though the odds are against me. I know he didn’t want me to be sad but I really ought to think through properly. I know I would use the mixer very often since I’m here to bake to my heart’s content but I don’t want it to be a white elephant when we go back (i.e. if I don’t sell it).

Argh. I hate making decisions.

Culinary school?

It must be the chef coat.

No. I think it’s the joy of seeing the surprised look and smile on the hub’s face.

I don’t know when it started.

The thought wasn’t new. Last Christmas, there was this game which we were asked what was one thing that you really really wanted (something to that sort) and I wrote on that small piece of paper – Le Cordon Bleu.

I started baking last year. Baking wasn’t entirely new to me. We all went through home economics classes in our Secondary School and I remember I aced it. I loved what was created in the end. They made me smile.

Over the years, I lost track of baking because the oven at home somehow went on a strike and refused to work. Mom was getting busier and thus her interest for baking waned as well. I was not really encouraged in the kitchen because mom was fussy about her territory and always nagged us on the mess we could create.

Last year, the interest came back because Ken’s place has got an oven, waiting to be used. I tried on the simplest recipe – the chocolate chip cookies – and when I popped them into my mouth, that kind of heavenly feeling came back. Encouraged was I and more baking resulted.

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