Hi, my name is Valerie, and here’s my story.
I worked in a club 10 years back as an accountant. and because I had 3 kids who is still studying, I decided to leave my job and became a full time driver and a full time mother.
The kids slowly grew up, and I thought, maybe other than family I can try to do other things too. So, I tried to venture into food, which is something I am more familiar with. This is also because my neighbour was also doing homemade food business and it has given me a big encouragement. I decided to not think too much, not to think about how to grow, or what the response. I wanted to just try to step out the first step and then adjust accordingly. Honestly, my neighbour really gave me a lot of encouragement
I think as a women and as a mother, taking care of family and pursuing self interest can co-exist, as long as we find a balance. Following my interest brings me joy. Personally I think it’s very common for a woman to feel very lost when their obligation to the family ended, for example, when the kids grown up. Doing something I like other than taking care of the family has given me self-recognition and I feel like I have not lost touch to the world.
When I left my job 10 years ago, it was my husband alone shouldering the entire family. I still recall, there was a period which was very difficult because I did not have any income and I had to adjust my own mindset to accept the reality. Luckily, it took me only about few months to fully get used to not having income. I thought to myself the family needs me.
When my kids slowly grow up, I started to take on some part time job. When my daughter went to kinderdarten, I will then work part time in the kindergarten too. This way I could spend more time with my kids.
Although I have left my job in the corporate, but I have always talked to myself to never stop making progress. Other than making some income, what I really wanted was to still get connected with the society, because I hope I won’t get out of touch with the real world. Well, it’s not exactly out of touch, but it’s more like I am afraid I will lose myself, and I can’t find my own place in the world anymore. I am afraid that I will one day ask myself “What is it for to make myself so tired…?”
Slowly, I found a balance. Ever since I worked as a kindergarten teacher, I realised that as long as the work that I do is not huge, I can actually take care of both my job and family. Gradually, I rebuilt my own self-confidence and realise my own self-worth. I suddenly realised, actually other than taking care of family, I am still capable to do something else. And importantly, everything that I do is for ME myself, I feel like the self-recognition is very important.
Today my lei cha business is my full-time business and the income is fully supporting our family expenses. Even my husband has joined me in my business now. Am I making a lot of money? No. My husband is still supporting my kids education fee, but from my lei cha business I manage to help to reduce a lot of burden from the family.