I left my 5 figure paying job to be a stay at home mom.
I’m Felicia, and here’s my story.
Ever since I'm young, I've always aspired to be just like my mother. A strong, independent, multi-talented, successful and financially well woman.
I grew up being really competitive, whether it is academically or in sports. And sure enough, I graduated from the University of Glasgow with flying colours.
Even though I’ve heard enough horror stories about working in audit firms, I’ve accepted a job offer working as an auditor without a second thought.
I’ve worked 7 days a week and 24 hours straight before. And it wasn’t an issue for me at all, as I believe my sacrifice today will bring me to a greater height - to be how I’ve always envisioned to be - a strong, independent, career-driven woman. Along the journey, I met the love of my life and got married with a mutual understanding.
And the understanding was that I am still able to pursue my career after our marriage. Simply because I’ve believed that this is the way of life - my way of becoming who I’ve envisioned from young.
The thought of being a stay-at-home mom had never crossed my mind and will never be part of my consideration.
Time has proven me right again, my hard work paid off. I’ve been offered a job overseas in a multinational US company.
I still recalled the very moment I received the news, it was pure joy. The thrill of being so close to achieving my childhood aspiration was immense. All I wanted was to pack my bags right away and fly over immediately. But things changed almost instantly when I saw my husband and kids. I suddenly realised, it wasn’t just about me anymore. I am not only Felicia, I am also a mother and a wife.
It was hard. How do I choose between my childhood dream, a dream that I’ve worked for countless nights, and my family?
Lucky for me, I managed to negotiate a remote role. Which temporarily gave me what I thought was a good balance between my career and family.
Very quickly I realised that it wasn't the case. There was no balance. Suddenly the line between office hours and my personal time started to fade away. Sometimes, I would have to work until 6am in the morning, and immediately need to prepare my kids for school. Just to work again by 9am in the morning for the Singapore office. Coupled with a demanding finance job and reporting to bosses both in the US and Singapore, it’s draining me way too much time and..
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I’m starting to miss out on important things in my life, and the stress level is flying through the roof. I started to think deeper - if this is the outcome of the dream that I’ve always wanted, is it still worthy of my pursuit? After several sleepless nights, I think I’ve got the answer.
But asking me to give up everything that I fought for the last 20 years of my life now? I cannot accept it. It was the last straw when my husband talked to me about quitting my job. I guess he knew what was happening. After a long chat, I am finally relieved. Accepting the fact that IT IS OK to have my priority changed as life progresses. I left my job and became the someone that I thought I would never be - a stay at home mom.
I started picking up a new hobby, something that I've been passionate about but never had the time to do so in the last 20 years of my life - I started to bake.
I had the recipe given to me by a sweet professor of mine when I was studying in Glasgow. It was the first thing I tried to perfect because I love to eat shortbread and everytime i took a bite, it’ll always make me remember my time when I’m studying - along with those dreams and memories. I took her recipe and switched it up to my own liking, I tried different flour and variations. Over hundreds of experiments later, I finally made the “shortbread of dreams.”
The first time looking at my “shortbread of dreams” coming out fresh from the over, it was pure joy. The happiness was different from all the successful moments in my life, it was just pure bliss. I felt like this moment truly belongs to me. It was a feeling long lost and it felt nice. Christmas was just around the corner, and I packed my shortbread cookies in pretty little gift boxes and started giving them to family and friends.
To my surprise, they love it so much and are even asking me if there are extra boxes to sell them. I was skeptical at first. Because anyone would say nice things if you give them cookies isn’t it? But what I did not anticipate was the next thing that happened. The very moment that changed my entire course of life. They opened up their wallet, took out an RM50 note and handed it to me.
It was how my current homemade cookie brand - Bestie Cookies was inspired. And I believe it was all the occurrences in my past 20 years that lead up to this very moment. And i never looked back ever since.