Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Are You A Happy Parent?

I have been invited by my former secondary school to be the guest of honor during their "Quality Day for Cocuricular Affairs and Student Affairs". They requested that I come to inspire and motivate their students to strive for achievement in cocuricular activities seeing that I've had many successes during my golfing days.

Anyway, this is not my topic for today but it sets the background for it. You see, for me to attend the function, I would have to stay overnight at my mom's and have her drive me there the next morning. As I was making arrangements with my mom, she brought up a couple of questions that sort of surprised me. It also made me a little upset as those questions represent the viewpoint of many others I have talked to. Here is a gist of our conversation (may not be the exact words but sums up what happened):

Mom: But you're not playing golf anymore (referring to why they would invite me).
Me: Yeah, but I was successful when I did.
Mom: Do you think you are successful now? (referring to the fact that all I do is stay at home to care for my kids).
Me: Yes I think I am successful now. The fact that I stopped my golf does not erase what I have accomplished in the past.

Isn't it sad that many people think that being a SAHP (Stay at Home Parent) is a death sentence to a person's talents, education and success? It grieves me even more to hear a woman, especially one who is a mother, adopt that kind of thinking. Even worse is when they try to convince others that they are right. I have had many people ask me when I was returning to golf? Or why am I wasting my talent staying at home? I also get comments such as "You could be making so much money on the LPGA. Just look at so-and-so."
It is this sort of thinking and comments that give birth to many unhappy parents.

How can we (SAHP) raise above this negativity and senseless talk? Believe in the following instead:
  1. Parenting is NOT for no-brainers. It not only requires much talent and education, it also gives opportunities to create more talent and education that cannot be offered or found even in the best educational insititutions. Caring for another being is not a job to be taken lightly.
  2. No regrets. Do not look backwards and ponder on the "what ifs". Look forward and focus on the "what can be."
  3. Success is measured in more than one way. Believe that what you are doing is worth more than money, gold, fame, power etc.... You are investing in people and relationships which is of far greater worth.
  4. Occasional set backs do not make you a failure. It does not erase past achievements and do not define who you are. There was a time in my life I would feel like such a loser whenever I lost a tournament or had a bad round of golf. I felt pressured as I believe I didn't live up to other people's expectations. It was then that my father taught me a very valuable lesson. He reminded me that a bad day or a bad tournament does not make me a lesser person. I was still me with titles to my name and opportunities to do better.
    And so it is with being a SAHP. We have our bad days and our challenges. People may not think very highly of what we do. BUT it does not make us a lesser person. You are still you with all your past achievements, potentials and a future that is still very bright.
  5. There is a time and season for everything. This is the chapter in your life that spells "FAMILY". There is nothing wrong with that and nothing to be ashamed of. Plus, it is not the last chapter in your life.
  6. "What happens in your house is more important than what happens in the White House" - Barbara Bush.
  7. "No other success can compensate for failure in the home" - David O. McKay

People, we need more happy parents in this world. Stop the negative talk, the belittling and the put downs. I say with much conviction that I am a happy parent! Don't try to convince me otherwise.


  1. hello ai lian,

    Its so inspiring to read how you can remain positive despite such belittling comments, especially when it comes from your own mother! I know i'd break down and cry if my mother ever said that to me.. guess you're made of sterner stuff! Thank god my mother agress with me wanting to focus on my child as much as possible despite having to work...

    N'ways chin up, keep up the positive attitude and i'm so glad to find another happy parent to look up to :)

  2. I share your sentiments, Ai Lian. We should not live up to other people's expectations especially those who put us down. It is an honour to be chosen to speak about your fine achievements and I am sure you have many. To me, being a good parent is success ...when my daughter makes me proud with her positive attitudes, her wit and wisdom and above all, her generosity, love and compassion for others. She is my greatest achievement, nothing can top that! Raising a child who will turn out to be the best she can possibly be and one who make me feel blessed in every way, this is the most important "career" a woman can ever have.

    It is good to make a difference in the lives of the students in your former school.You have great thoughts, wisdom and knowledge. Do share them with others, they invited you because they know a good thing! Let your light shine...


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