Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Would my kid ask the Q?

We are having a seminar on Seismic Hazards in our department for a week. Yesterday, I had a friend came to listen to the talk. In my group of friends, I mean the ones who graduated from U, the most popular topic discussed during our meetings is mainly on how to earn more money, who is doing what job, who drives bigger car or again basically it is about money. So, this topic is also a favourite to my friend.

Something he said is really disturbing to me, that I just got to blog it. But before that, let me just explain a bit about my job: I'm a lecturer, holds a PhD. Not only teaching, I do research. I chose the job (as I'm sure I would love doing it forever, or at least till I retire), and worked hard to get this job, had a hard times but overall enjoyed every bit of the journey before getting here. It gives me flexible working time, which make it possible for me to be with my kids in between works. And I love my job. But for a lot of people, the salary sucks!
Anyway, over here it is flexible, there are oppurtunities to do consultation job to earn more (money), but off course you have to work more. It is all up to individual. While I sometimes wish to own bigger of everything (I mean house, cars...) most of the time I'm just happy as at the moment we have a roof over our heads, and more often than not, more than enough food to eat.

So, the conversation started with our jobs. This friend started giving me suggestions to improve (or basically to earn more money and recognition). I was fine with it, inspirational. I did mention that eventhough I'm ambitious, being a mother and a wife, I really have to think carefully before making any commitments which may take more time away from my family. Here, we got into a little argument. He insisted that as parents, we must show our kids how to be successful, the kids observe what we do and will understand and respect us for good examples that we show them. I agree with that, but insisted that if 'succesful' here means more time is taken away from them, I may chose not to go ahead with it. Argument went on, but he surprised me with this question:

How would you feel when your daughter grows up and understand your situation, asks you "Mama, why ah...that time when you are a associate Prof. or Professor, you had this oppurtunity to make a lot of money, you did not take it?" Would you feel sad, or would you regret it if you can't provide the 'best' for your kids.

So, that's the golden Q...and for a few seconds, I was speechless. Taking a deep breath, I told him, if I sense (through the Q) my kid's interest with my money, there is something wrong somewhere with my parenting. Thinking that it was going nowhere, I chose to end the conversation. But before that, I reminded him to be grateful to have his wife (she got retrenched some time ago, and the husband once complaint of having to be sole-breadwinner) at home taking care of their daughter.

On the way back, I related the conversation with hubby (also a friend to my friend). He just smiled and said that I should have asked my friend if he ever asked the question to his parents.

Back home, looking at my Bea1 playing with a flower that she picked from the grass, I thought would she one day ask me why I could not afford to send her to further her studies in a uni. of her choice. And would she ask why I don't work harder to make us rich. Still a long way to go, but I strongly feel it will depend on how I raise her.

She came up to me and showed me how she moved the stem of the little flower in between two fingers and said "look, ma...it's a helicopter!" She is so precious, the responsibility to raise her, to instill good values in her sometimes gives me a shudder!

13 Comments:

Blogger mjey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:07 PM  
Blogger mjey said...

little precious moments like this with yr kids are things you will miss if you had to be out making more money. With all the things you have done and will continue doing - I think when yr kids will be wise enough and think twice b4 asking you that question. They will surprise you with even bigger achievements and tell you they made it cause "you were there mama"

5:09 PM  
Blogger 5xmom ~chanlilian.net~ said...

mama22beas - Recently I got a new neighbour who is taking care of two kids, day and night. I tell ya, you do not want that kind of life for your kids. Being with the mommy and daddy is all they need. And then, I am very confident my kids will not feel anything if we can't afford to send them abroad for studies. So, relax...

1:16 AM  
Blogger Lrong said...

Same same here, Mama22beas... lecturer, phd, salary so-so, but enjoying the job and deriving tremendous satisfaction out of it... money is there for every one to make... depends on individual... me, don't care so much about it altho sometimes wish I have more... only wishing lah... think you are doing fine with they way you treat your kids...

8:42 AM  
Blogger Belacan said...

well written. thought provoking. ;)

3:37 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

mjey...thanks, such inspirational words.

5xmom...yeah, I believe in what I'm doing is just right but sometimes some other people's thinking makes me wonder a bit if if is good enough. Well...I should just relax and enjoy life more;)

lrong...yeah, that's what I thought. If I want to work, it must be something that I love to do. I mean we got to do it everyday, right?

belacan...though provoking, maybe yes but well written, nah...don't think so, look at my grammar! Anyway,thanks...you are too kind;)

5:30 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Twinsmom said...

follow the flow, guess when the time come will know how to answer gua ;).

1:35 AM  
Anonymous mark said...

Hello There,
I am a teacher in Japan at a private school and I just graduated from canada. Here is my take on your situation. They say money is time, but i believe otherwise. From what I have learnt in my life....the time you spend with your child is more important then money. HUmans will be humans, there can be no end to how much money we want. The more things we own the more the things own us. We do not own anything, its the things that own us. the less u have the more freedom u have. Money thats used can be earned but time that has passed cannot be earned again. From my own relationship with my girlfriend of 3 yrs that i lived with for 3 yrs together; i realized that relationships are more important than money or personal success. the key here is balance. How much time should we spend on work and how much time to spend with your family.
Your child will never ask you why did you not earn more money when she or he grows up. They will remember the time u spent with them.
Remember the key is Balance in life. Never overdo something or you will regret; know your limits and draw the line. As I always say, too much honey is poison.

8:55 AM  
Blogger mumsgather said...

mama22beas, like Mark above there said:
"Your child will never ask you why did you not earn more money when she or he grows up. They will remember the time u spent with them."
So just relax and enjoy what you're doing. Getting paid not very much for a job you love is way way a lot better than earning big bucks for a job you hate to go to every morning. And the extra perk is you get to spend more time with your lovelies. Money cannot replace the precious time you can spend with them.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

twinsmom...yeah, if that kind of q is ever asked, I sure will.

Thanks mark for dropping by...agree with every bit of what you have said.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Hey mumsgather...thanks, that's what I'd been working on: to get a job that I like, and the flexible working time that I have now gives me more time for the family. Yeah, I should not be worried with what other people say!

2:38 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

people will be people...they wont stick with u when the ship goes down...they will just blame u for the krap thats happening. The only ones that will stand by you is family. Blood is always thickier then water no matter what people say.

10:05 AM  

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