Life is A Choice


I was en route to what felt like the thousandth meeting I had that day, stuck in traffic, sleepy beyond control. My mind drifted off to a cool air-conditioned room and a toddler bed with a handsome little love and a mini ballerina tucked inside. How I wanted to give up everything I had at that moment to snuggle in with them.

I’d like to think that all working moms felt this way – the agitation from having to choose between climbing the corporate ladder or raising a child, the twitch after an award-winning achievement is washed over by the guilt over what we had to sacrifice to get there. And I reminded myself over and over again of why I did what I did.

I realized soon enough that I was tired of playing the pretend game with myself. Sure enough, the thrill of rolling out a new project, the supreme satisfaction that comes with every sales target being achieved, the planning, the meetings, the people – it was one package that revived me. Not to mention the compensation I got that made me feel secure and independent. But I wouldn’t deny that it felt like there was always something more, something bigger.

I focused on purpose and priorities. And after months and months of self-reflecting, self-discovery, and self-convincing, I finally admitted that work has been a part of me for so long that I was afraid of what was going to happen if I had to let it go.

It was a liberating statement. And I knew right then what I had to do.

My days are now filled with a whole set of new challenges. Finding creative ways to make the wonderbabies eat their vegetables is one of them. Well there’s that, and helping them to do their homework, potty train, and getting them to say “please” and “thank you”, among other things. And I’m also always on the lookout for new ways to burn their energy after their naps so they can get in some hearty dinners and go to bed on time.

This is a whole new ball game. It’s about learning new things, implementing new kinds of strategies, thinking in a different way, and practicing a new form of self control. (It is often unbelievable how persistent the wonderbabies can be in trying my patience.) It’s about finding out that closing my eyes for a second while I take a deep breath can save my child (and myself) from having an entire day ruined. It’s about setting up that foundation for a lifetime of emotional connection.

Life is a choice. And I know this one is completely worth it.


  1. Kintan
    Kintan July 18, 2011 at 12:30 am

    You’re not alone Mbak Maya. Couldn’t have put it in better words myself. After making the decision to become a full-time mom, there are moments when I still wonder at what I could have become or what I could have achieved, but then I realize there is a greater purpose in life than my own ego. That greater purpose is sitting there with the biggest smile in the world as if saying, “Thank you mommy for being here with me.” And then I am content :)

  2. tisyonk
    tisa 'tisyonk' July 18, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Been there as well.
    Keep reminding myself that we can catch up with career, but not with the kid’s growth.
    Surprisingly, being a FTM really tests my limits, way much harder than being an employee in å multinational company.. *phew

  3. thearizkia
    thea rizkia July 18, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I was in the same cross path last year and finally made a decision to stay at home with my kiddo last September. And now, I couldn’t be happier with what I am. The things turn our beyond what I thought. It is a very superb experience!

  4. SunShine
    Fitria Adriadi July 18, 2011 at 7:27 am

    could not agree more…thanks for sharing this inspiring story!
    *i’m about to make the choice too..wish me luck.. :|

  5. bumbbelly
    mariani sipayung July 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

    i wish i can do the same like yours..

    i wish.. i wish.. :(

  6. taniadavina
    taniadavina July 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Well put! oh I can sooo relate this. Just gave up lawyer-ing for 3 months now, probably one of the best decisions I had made in my life. It was, very liberating. Life has been more challenging in many ways ever since, but totally worth it.

    Bravo to all moms out there, working or not working, there is no such thing as “full-time mom” or “part-time mom”. Being a mom either way is a full-time job, and life is definitely a choice. You are all superheroes to your children, mothers. All judgments aside.

  7. Fransiska Setijono
    Fransiska Setijono July 18, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I feel so blessed can be a stay home mom. Ga pernah nyesal meninggalkan kantor setelah 8 tahun jadi “wanita karir”.
    Tahun terakhir masih ngantor, hampir setiap malam aku mimpi buruk: anak2 sudah abg, cantik2 tapi ga kenal sama aku.. terus aku nangis2 sampai dibangunin suami. Mungkin karena guilty feeling dari lubuk hati. Thanks God, sekarang ga pernah mimpi2 seperti itu lagi.

    1. thearizkia
      thea rizkia July 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Wah Fransiska sampai mimpi2 nangis yaaa. Tapi sekarang udah hepi banget pastinya yaaaa udah bisa meluangkan banyak waktu buat anak.

  8. dewiamel
    dewiamel July 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    saya ngambil keputusan itu januari 2011. dan tidak menyesalinya!! cudling with my baby feels like HEAVEN! kissing him anytime all day long: HEAVEN! becanda guling2 di kasur HEAVEN!. ngadepin jahil nya, ngajarin hal baru, melihat perkembangannya dan memblok pengaruh buruk environment bener2 tantangan and still HEAVEN.
    Heaven on Earth deh pokoknya :)

  9. naniyusuf
    nani yusuf July 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    makasih banget mbak maya.tulisan ini membuat saya kembali tersenyum sambil nahan tangis melihat si kecil yg lagi bobok saat saya baca ini.mengingatkan saya kalau segala kehilangan dlm pencapaian karir saya dibayar dgn jauh lebih besar dengan melihat tumbuh kembangnya.thanks very much for sharing

  10. denadahar
    denadahar July 18, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I was a single mom with a 6-month-old son.. I have to raise my son alone so i dont see that i have any other options but to work.. It’s sad for me that I can’t spend the most of my time to be with my boy.. So for you, moms out there that left your jobs to raise your kids, hats off!

  11. keevie
    keevie July 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I just submitted my resignation letter last week and Iam convinced that this is the best decision. Thank you for sharing mbak Maya!

  12. prastawa
    Nita Prastawaningrum July 18, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    It is a matter of choice :) and such a brave one you’ve made!

  13. Izzet Vanya
    Izzet Vanya July 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    well…feel the same way… guilty… looking at my child call my name when i’m home…
    how i want to raise my child by my hands *still convince myself & cry in the corner*
    Mbak Maya, salam kenal…

  14. Davincka
    Jihan Davincka July 22, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I resigned more than 2 yrs ago… (feb 2009)… so far, it’s always up and down, sometimes I completely believed that was the best decision, and sometimes I felt lost… but never regret it anyway ^_* …

  15. mummyhilya
    Ummi Kaltsum July 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Hi mbak maya, salam kenal. I was asking that question to me and the answer is I want a career and I want to be with my baby whenever I can. Slightly different with your choice but I can live with it. I chose to be a career girl.. And am ready with the concequence, well.. At least until now :)

  16. mamadom
    mamadom July 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    i can see how hard that position must have been… since i am a FTM but also work from home, it’s a hard thing but i’m working it out.
    the harder part is when everybody around me judge how i kind of abandon my child when i need to work !
    but then i think, i just choose what i wanna do to make me happy because i don’t wanna wake up one day and regret i didn’t do it :)

  17. mandalynn
    mandalynn December 1, 2011 at 2:45 am

    salute for your courage mbak Maya! i still struggling about this thing myself, career or my kid.
    Total hardship to left my daughter alone, and kinda need to silently go or she’ll end up crying when she knew.

    i hope i can come to the point where i finally made my decision :)

    thanks for sharing mbak :D

  18. ILDA
    ILDA February 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Mba Dena, hats off to u as a single parent who undoubtfully strong..
    Stay the same, and I’m sure ur son will be so thankful to u to be so strong.. *hugs*

  19. ILDA
    ILDA February 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Mba Maya,
    Well I’m nobody to judge :) but u really made ‘brave’ desicion..
    Emang tdk bisa dipungkiri utk sebagian orang butuh pekerjaan for their financial reason atau need sense & thrill of being indepence..
    But in my case, I choose to both, resigning from my office a year ago, and take part-time work as translator so that I can do my work at home,I have my financial & ego reason to do this :)
    Either way, hats off to all moms,whether they work or stay at home..we all are wonderful & strong, and we know what best for our children..

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