Malaysian mums on motherhood and careers
Finding the balance between motherhood and a career is not easy, but two Malaysian mums have emerged as role models to all mothers who aim to have a career without sacrificing family.
New Straits Times ran an article about two "momprenuers", Hani Arziana Abdullah and Dayang Lily Maznah. The two Malaysian mums are young computer engineers who completed their education in the USA. Both of them were doing amazingly well on their career front. The only problem was that their ‘happening’ careers and long, unpredictable working hours left them with little time for kids. Leaving the kids under the maids’ supervision most of the time almost made them feel guilty for not being able to spend as much time with kids and family as they would have wanted to.
Quality time with their kids
Like most intelligent Malaysian mums, they wanted to spend quality time with their toddlers and make sure they were around when their kids needed them the most. Both of them were working for the same company and they soon realized that they were both sailing in the same boat some ten years back.
Lily and Hani, whose kids were toddlers and pre-schoolers at that time, realized how important it was to provide a healthy environment and positive values at a time when these little bundles of joy were highly impressionable.
Since they did realize that no caregiver, nanny or teacher could be as good and effective as the mother, they started exploring the possibility of working from home. They were both well qualified and that helped!
Islamic books in English
Lily, being the more enterprising of the two, decided to check if things COULD work out the way they wanted. She took a long leave and started exploring work at home opportunities.
As a young and well educated Malaysian mum, Lily wanted to ensure that her kids imbibed the best Islamic values. She noticed that though there was no dearth of reading material about popular television characters, there were hardly any good Islamic books available in English for her kids. She talked about that to Hani, and the idea clicked immediately!
The two spent some time searching for publishers of such books over the internet and were soon able to get in touch with people from US and UK who could send them colorful and simply written books.
“Because of our background in technology, we found it easier and more practical to sell books online. We did it part-time, through our website UmmiKuSayang.com which served as a platform to discuss motherhood and parenting as well as provide Islamic support and resources for bringing up children. UmmikuSayang.com was the first Islamic on-line bookshop in Malaysia specialising in Islamic books for children,” says Hani.
From bookshop to a playschool
Encouraged by the heartening response, the two soon started working full time on their dream project! The bookshop was soon rebranded as ALIMKids Bookshop, with ALIM being the acronym for Active, Lively, Intelligent Muslim.
As their books started selling, they started ALIMKids Playgroup and, soon thereafter, ALIMKids Playschool. The playgroup is for kids who are two to four years of age. These kids get to attend three classes every week as per a special learning module formulated to ensure that they grow up to be healthy and intelligent citizens.
Hani shared more about the classes saying, “We have 20 program licensees in areas that include Bangi, Puchong, Malacca and Terengganu. Ten of them are active. They are all listed in our website and they each have blogs and Facebook pages or groups for communications with parents. We also have a reseller program for the bookshop — both online and physical.”
Working from home is the way to go
Eager to promote unique concept of working from home Malaysian mum and being able to spend more time with kids and family, Lily and Hani started the UkSLC (Ummiku Sayang Learning Centre) which encourages ambitious and young Malaysian Muslim mums to look for opportunities of working from home.
Lily said about the UkSLC. “Through our [email protected] Seminars, we conduct workshops for mothers to empower them to make the right decisions for themselves and their families due to which many participants have gone on to become Malaysian ‘Mompreneurs’.”
Mompreneurs - being a stay-at-home mom with a career
Hani who is now pregnant with her sixth child is happy that to be a role model for aspiring mompreneurs and says, “We want to emphasise to mothers and children that Islam and life are not separate and there are ways to effectively integrate Islam into our lives in a natural manner.”
Her partner, Lily, who has four kids herself could not agree more and adds, “Mothers can have life balance through entrepreneurship. The tools and technology are there. It is a matter of planning and making sure that you are ready to become a Mompreneur.”
Do you agree with Lily and Hani? Can Malaysian mums have a balanced life running their own business and family? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Source of article: NST Trends