Motherhood to me is about setting the alarm the night before, getting up in the morning when the alarm goes off, waking my kids up for school with my eyes barely open, going to the bathroom and slapping my face hard with water, looking at the mirror and sighing, brushing my teeth, and then rushing to send the girls to school in my PJs.
Nothing glamorous at all but yet I look forward to doing the same thing every single day without ever feeling so 'sian'. No rewards that I am hoping to get from them. Okay maybe just their handmade cards on my birthday and Mother's Day.
The only thing I look forward to? Weekends – just so that I can wake up slightly later.
As such, I love my weekends so much!
BUT I LOVE MY GIRLS EVEN MORE.
How not to love these cuties
With all due respect to the working mummies out there, I have never once regretted leaving the career that I used to love so much. Why, I know that I want to be there for my kids while they are still at the super fun stage. I admit I miss working so much, and going back to the workforce one day will remain a hope that I will always hold strong to.
Of course financial wise, it is not that easy. It takes a whole lot of discipline and self-restraint, now that I am a Work at Home Mummy ('WAHM').
But my mum, who has been a full-time housewife ever since the day she got married, has taught me so much in this area, either directly or subtly. My mum is all about making self-sacrifices just so that she can give her children a good life. Never mind if she barely has enough for herself, as long as her children have everything that a mother could possibly give her kids.
I remember some of the quotes that #MyMumSays all the time. Well, she did not think that I would actually remember them because I always make it seem like I am never listening to her, so maybe that's why she repeats them all the time. LOL.
ACTUALLY I DO TAKE NOTICE OF WHATEVER YOU TELL ME LAR DEAR MOTHER!
Don't believe me?
Let me prove it to you then!
"You know ah, I never even work after I get married and I am full-time housewife until now. Only your daddy work. Whatever money daddy give me, I use for all of your education. How come we can still have enough to bring all of you up?"
Yes mother, you are absolutely right. I admire how you could bring all four of us up with Daddy being the sole breadwinner. You did not deprive us of an education and your time. In fact, you dedicated your whole life to us ever since you became a mother.
At the end of the day, it is not about how much you earn but how much you can save for your family and kids despite your income.
For self-employed mums like me, I think we need more discipline to put aside some of our earnings. The truth is, self-employed mums like you and me generally need to keep our finances more flexible to cater for any downturns in our earnings.
Let's face it, our income is not stable.
Just a question, how many of you contribute voluntarily to CPF?
So the question is, what are you doing to ensure you are saving enough? Are you topping up your CPF accounts voluntarily?
At this point, I know what you are thinking – it can be pretty difficult at times to remind ourselves to contribute voluntarily! I mean, most of the time, we will end up spending the money voluntarily instead. HAHA!
But seriously now, it's really important for self-employed mums like us to contribute regularly and make sure you have sufficient Medisave savings for your future healthcare needs. This is especially important during old age, when you may have stopped working.
And I found out that there are two ways for us to make voluntary contributions to our CPF.
Food for thought, mummies.
"Go buy piggy bank for your daughters. Ask them save their pocket money. Then you must let them spend some of their savings. Don't bully them so much. I do that for you and your siblings since young."
When I was still in school, Mak bought each of us a piggy bank so that we would save up our pocket money on a daily basis. At the end of the year, Mak would allow us to use a portion of the money to buy something that we wanted before depositing the rest into our banks.
This is something valuable that I have passed on to my kids. Every day, I will make sure they save whatever money is left from school and put them into their piggy bank. They have now started on a new piggy bank because their previous one is already full!
Well done, Nadyas!
IT IS DEFINITELY IMPORTANT TO START SAVING EARLY.
"You don't spend spend spend all the time. Must set aside some money for your kids and yourself. When you (are) old, who want to help you? Cannot depend on your kids what! I also never depend on all of you."
This quote is something that I have to keep reminding myself over and over again because I admit that I can be quite a spendthrift at times. But hey, I spend mostly on the kids, so that's not so bad isn't it?
IT IS TRUE; WE HAVE TO START PLANNING FOR OUR GOLDEN YEARS!
It is important for us to save for a longer retirement or we may end up outliving our savings. The fact is, retirement will happen. If we get to live long enough, we will reach a point where we will need to leave our jobs and either settle for less demanding jobs or stop working altogether.
What happens next?
Will we have enough to survive?
Will we have enough for our medical expenses especially?
I thought about this and it is actually pretty scary if we do not start planning from now.
But we should also know that having an income for as long as we live is very important.
Apparently, it is possible.
By the way, anyone of you heard of CPF Life before? I did not know about it prior to this so it was quite a discovery for me.
I am so sure that many of you out there are still unaware too.
So I did some reading (to prepare myself for old age LOL). Depending on your desired CPF LIFE monthly payout and your CPF balances, you can choose from a range of payout options that best suit your needs in retirement. Here's an infographic I came across while researching, that explains the type of CPF Life Plan I can choose from.
It is also interesting to know that one can receive a monthly payout for life of as much as $1,920 with CPF Life! May not seem like a lot right now, but I am so sure that amount will come in handy when we are old and not working anymore.
So choose wisely ladies as this is definitely a way to go when planning for your retirement nest. I am going to read up more about THIS and you should too.
"You must always eat supplements like me. You see I am 60 but no sickness. Every time I go checkup all very good. You young people ah don't know how to take care of yourself."
YAHHHHH MY MUM'S HEALTH IS TIPTOP UNTIL NOW! I REALLY ENVY HER.
But one of the things that she has practised since young is to drink lots of plain water. She will ensure that she gets her 8 glasses of water every day without fail!
I must really start to be more conscientious about my health.
REALITY IS, EVERYONE WILL GROW OLD ONE DAY.
If you brush this health issue aside, thinking that you do not have time to pay attention to it now due to your busy life, then perhaps you might want to look at your kids now and do it for them? They are your future, and their future depends on your present actions.
I am definitely doing this for my kids…and my older self.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MUMMIES!
We know that we will keep doing whatever it takes to give the best to our kids.
And most of the time, being the best for them means giving the best to ourselves first.
What is that one thing your mum has ever said to you that has left a big impact in your life?
Tag me in a photo of you and your mum on Instagram and share with us what your mum says!
Don't forget to hashtag #MyMumSays so that I can read all of your posts!
This article first appeared in etrangle.net