Thursday, 16 June 2016

Demand for handmade toys for children

I'm currently doing a market survey for the social enterprise we're planning. The objective is to financially empower women artisans from disadvantaged communities by partnering with them to handcraft a collection of high quality fabric toys and gifts for babies and young children. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the products will also be channeled towards educational play programmes for underprivileged children. We would appreciate if you could spare several minutes of your time to fill up our survey. This will help us greatly in developing our business plan to move the project forward.

The link to the survey is as follows:

Thank you in advance for your valuable feedback!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Leaving the corporate world

I'm officially jobless... well it's exactly a month now since my last pay cheque. If you ever wonder how it feels being a SAHM after more than 10 years in the corporate world... well... here let me tell you...

Initially it was "Yay no need to go to work anymore, now I can spend more time with the kids", then it quickly became "Urghhh... the kids are driving me nuts, how I wish I'm at work!"

I'm now the kids' full time chauffeur - to school, to after-school activities, etc. My goodness, being on the road is so so tiring. Thank you poppy for having endured this duty for the last god-knows-how-many-years.. I need a driver!

I spent my first 2 'jobless' weeks spring cleaning. So many things to clear... clothes, toys etc. that my kids have outgrown. Had my hands full listing preloved items for sale and arranging delivery. I've kinda slow down since, my spring cleaning mojo had somehow disappeared cos I've now moved on to a more exciting project :-)

When I first told a friend of mine that I've stopped working, her first response was "I'm sure you can't get used to it!" That statement is so true. Although I've no intention (at least for now) to step back into the corporate world, I can't stop myself from thinking about business ideas. I want to do something. I need to do something. But it has to be something with a cause. It's high time I give something back to the community, to do something good. And I'm so glad I've landed on a great idea for a social enterprise. I'll be documenting my start-up journey at "Sewing Giggles"

Friday, 5 February 2016

Middle child syndrome

Just realised I've left the blog for more than half a year. So much has happened but no time to jot down. Baby R is turning one soon. He's grown so fast and is starting to become more interactive but this post is not about the baby, it's about my little girl L. Everyday seems to be a struggle with her - she just drives me up the wall. No matter how much I tell myself to be patient, I find myself yelling at her all the time.


Found the above draft post from a year ago which somehow I did not finish writing and post. Fast forward one year and thinking back, I do feel a tinge of regret for being so harsh on L on her behaviour. She was only trying to adjust to having a little baby around and was vying hard for attention since we did not have a nanny to help out and I was always with baby R. She is now such a darling to R, who will be turning 2 soon.

I sometimes do feel for L, being the middle child. My attention is mostly with H and baby R. H, because he is school going, so I need to help him with his homework and make sure he goes to bed on time. Baby R, because he is at this clingy phase and clings to be like a koala bear whenever I am around. So that leaves me no time for L. My poor little L, I hope she doesn't think that mommy loves her less than kor kor and di di :-(

Occasionally, L will say that she wants to be a baby or she likes being a baby; sometimes she will say that she wished she was a boy! Sigh... what should I do?

Financial management for kids

I can't believe it's been 1.5 years since my last post. Baby R is turning 2 soon, and he's been such a joy to have around the house. This post is not about baby R, but what prompted me to write again is the need to jot down my thoughts on the very important life lesson of financial management.

It really is never too young to start teaching concepts of delayed gratification, savings and being prudent. Let me first start with this very light moment which we all found rather hilarious...
One Saturday morning we asked the kids if they would like to go out for breakfast with us (hubs and I normally like to eat out on weekends).
H: Then we'll have to spend money. Why can't we just eat at home?
L: OK kor you eat at home then, I'm going out with mommy & daddy!
Two kids raised in the same home, two very different perspective. H, always the prudent one; L on the other hand, can often time be demanding. We thought the above exchange was rather funny, nothing more.

But hilarious no more when I witnessed first hand the way kids these days spend money when I was given the opportunity to chaperon a bunch of kids in a school field trip recently. The kids were spending at the souvenir shop like there's no tomorrow, ravaging the shelves and filling their baskets with all kinds of toys, novelties, knick knacks, etc. I must say it was really a culture shock for me. How much money do these kids have with them? Do they really need all those stuff? They were mostly 7 to 8 year-olds and the way they were allowed to freely spend made me extremely worried. These kids are going to grow up not appreciating the value of hard earned money. I can appreciate that parents may want to shower their kids with what they want (we love our kids and we can afford to spend on them so what's wrong with that?!!), but aren't we just seeding a whole generation of entitled kids?

I remember a friend once complained to me that his teenage son demanded for a car to go to college, not just any car mind you, but an expensive sports car. We may put the blame on the kid for being materialistic, but frankly, my friend ought to take the blame too. If this boy has been given everything he wanted all his life without having to work hard for it, what can you expect? It is easy to indulge the younger kids as their demands aren't as "costly" (yet), but we are just setting ourselves up for larger and larger demands as they grow older.

I'm so glad H is still grounded. I say 'still', since he's in an environment whereby he sees his peers spending freely ever so often, and hope it stays this way. Quite often I find myself reminding my kids about how hard it is to earn a dollar, about needs vs. wants, about having to save for a rainy day, etc. I just pray and hope that they will remain grounded and not succumb to peer pressure.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Dhamma School

I'm really very happy that the kids are enjoying Dhamma School. It certainly makes having to wake up early on Sunday mornings worthwhile. Last Sunday was their second lesson and they are already learning something good. As soon as class was over, H asked me if I knew how many precepts a monk has and he proudly told me that a monk has 227 precepts to keep (I think that was what he told me. It's only Monday and already I've forgotten) while we only need to keep 5.

That same night we were hanging out in the courtyard. The kids were playing while I was cutting out foam army tanks and helicopters for H's upcoming birthday party. A pesky mosquito was flying around. It didn't really bother me and I was shooing it away but as soon as it landed on H's thigh, I reached out to hit it. I normally wouldn't but with so many cases of dengue these days I wouldn't want to risk it. Immediately H reacted, "mommy, why did you kill the mosquito? You're not supposed to kill!" Oh my, my boy has so quickly internalised the first precept - i.e. refrain from killing. Oops... "Oh yah you're right, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to kill the mosquito, I accidentally hit it too hard." Double oops... not only did I break the first precept, I broke the fourth one too - i.e. refrain from lying.