“There’s no need to send daughters to go to higher education. They will end up looking after children at home and won’t have the time and energy to pursue career anyway."
When I was a child, I often heard parents chattered this among themselves.
It sounded very demeaning although they didn’t intend it to be that way. They just spoke what they saw and experienced.
But my mum was different.
She would tell us, her 3 daughters, “Learn as much as you can, pursue your higher education. You should always be productive, earn income, make yourself a living. Be independent financially so you can look after your family.”
When I become a mother myself, I saw the words of this old school mindset seem to be unfolding in my own life. I have 3 sons, 1 with autism and another one had an anaphylactic allergy condition, 2 of them is only 1 year apart in age gap. You can imagine how busy I was.
I had to completely leave behind my work as a freelance designer back then. Therapies, strict diets, managing their needs and household chores were my daily grind. I had no time for anything else other than to care for my children. 6 years I was absent from work. I solely dedicated those times for my family.
I often thought, was what they were saying true then?
It’s true that I had no time. Managing household and caring for children is a full-time job. It is double full-time jobs! It is very hard to do anything else, let alone work.
I thought, “has motherhood killed my career?”
6 years of being solely a stay-at-home mum.
Looking back, in those years, I have learnt these roles for my kids
A financial planner
An event organiser
Motherhood has grown the young timid woman in me into a brave, risk taking one who would fight for the sake of her children.
Motherhood has shaped the weak-willed woman in me into a determined persevering one who will keep trying even after many failures.
Motherhood changed me to be nurturing, to be patient, to see potentials and possibilities, to be hopeful, to be compassionate, to be diligent, to be agile, to be a fighter.
3 years ago, I started my business Harvest Collection. It is an art and design business making gift products and also offer design service to other businesses using my son’s artworks. It was a business that God puts in my heart, to showcase the strength and ability of people who have disability, like my son with autism. Through our art, Harvest Collection becomes a platform to inspire people to see hope and possibilities, in the midst of their challenges.
However, doing your own business is not easy, even when God puts you to it. Typical of His style, it’s not an instant microwave speed, it’s more like an oven, slow and steady to heat up. It’s like caring for a baby and you got to grow it into a healthy independent human being.
It takes time, patience, perseverance, caring, fighting off diseases, and on and on before you can even see any fruits. So much time, frustration and effort. Now can you see the resemblance of motherhood and growing a business?
I have since many times been tempted to call it quit. Dry retail condition, competing against mass produced products, lack of resources, and many other small business challenges often frustrates me.
But each time I was about to give up, my Father in heaven would encourage me of this word “I Conquer” which I had in one of our artworks. It is what He purposes His daughters to be. He reminds me of what I’ve learnt and am still learning in motherhood.
He cares more about my character building than being an overnight success. His success is when I bring fruits to Him - the characters of Christ. And in time, this will abundantly overflow in all areas of our lives, bringing blessings to others in need.