So, you define silai (housewife) please…

Saturday – Met my ex-company residence patphor (gossiper). Thank God I had taken that extra 20 minutes before I went shopping. It must be my lucky day.

I know she is probably going back to my ex-company and broadcast what has happened to the bitchy ex-sexy-turkey. I think every woman whom had stopped working to be a full-time mom has this deep-seated phobia. To meet the ex-colleague in their worst possible appearance and knowing that the ex-colleagues are going to bitch that ‘so&so has turned into a true-blue silai who wears baggy t-shirt, capri pants and Bata sandals, broccoli hair, sans make-up and looks haggard and yellowish with a rattan bag’.

I do. And I wouldn’t be caught alive in that scenario. I will probably scoot away before I actually come face-to-face with the person. Or I pretend to look the other way and turn deaf when people calls my name. Muster “Just keep walking, just keep walking”.

It is a big price we full time moms have to pay. The loss of our dignity, the plunging of our harga saham (share market value 🙂 ) , the loss of our identity and most of all, the label of ‘housewife’. Urghhh….

I sometimes do get very pissed when my husband casually replied to questions, “Oh, she doesn’t work, she is a housewife’. Man….I wanna buy rat poison in that situation. At least a widow sounds more glamourous than urggh…housewife. It happened a few weeks ago when I told one restaurant owner that I had put up his restaurant in my food blog.

It is sooooo unfair. If I am a janitor, sitting down at public toilets, collecting money, I am working.

If I am a clerical staff (like my residence patphor mentioned above), I still have a title and a job and NO HOUSEWIFE label.

So, you see, it is terrible being ‘not working, i am a housewife’ person.

Thank God I have the saving grace to appear so exuberant, with dangling earrings, blue nails and toes peeking out of my shiny sandals, a matching outfit with matching make-up and the pride to tell residence patphor “Nolah….I am not working. Enjoy life only lor. Kids grown up already. Shopping lor.” and then, put on a quizzical look and asked “What???? You still HAVE TO WORK?” Muaharharhar….

So, you define silai. What picture do you get when you hear this word? Silai = housewife = suri-rumah.

Tricky question. Whoever gives the wrong answer risks getting broccoli stuff up the baboon red backside.

30 thoughts on “So, you define silai (housewife) please…

  1. Kak lilian! Somebody mentioned housewife to me, I said rumah pon ada bini kah?
    Grrrr… that’s why I dun use the term housewife… And I cannot use your “Nolah….I am not working. Enjoy life only lor. Kids grown up already. Shopping lor.” esp since I cannot shopping all the time since the cik abang tuh dun make as much as your atm tee hee…

  2. Hi Lillian,
    was blog-hopping…thought i would make a quick stop to pay tribute to the honorable “profession” u r succeeding at…and that is being a mOm, a wife and a home maker all in one. CoNgRatS.


  3. What picture do you get when you hear this word? Silai = housewife = suri-rumah

    i can’t help thinking of that desperate housemates picture i did of u & yvy & helen! haha! stuff me the brocoli liao!

  4. Behind every successful man there is a Woman ! Never denigrate the importance of a woman/Mom. Do I detect a sarcasm in IDham’s remark? LiLian needs to buy more brocoli liao. 🙂

  5. maybe add a little bit of glamour to your position by calling yourself:
    home management specialist.
    house executive.
    home director.
    extinguisgh chairperson of the abode.
    etc, etc.

    sure feel better wan.

  6. lol I know what you mean. That is why I take the extra effort to put on makeup everyday. WOrse come to worse, I can hope to be passed off of a ‘radiant housewife’. (as in radiant bride) lol

    Church members & hubby’s frens like to say “Hah, you are not working ar…. “… and then turned to look pitifully at my hubby. (with, poor man, working his ass off to feed this woman.) I am coming in terms with that liao. To be honest, hubby gave me money to pay for the food and electricity, but other stuff I chose to indulge, I use my own money! I do contribute to half of the household expenses and my son’s college education is all my money! lol

  7. “baggy t-shirt, capri pants and Bata sandals, broccoli hair, sans make-up and looks haggard and yellowish with a rattan bag”

    Ok, ok except for the Bata and rattan bag, that sound like me during the weekends…oh no!

  8. housewife??? kain batik & tatty t-shirt, ekekekekeke…

    no, lahhh… housewife these days glamour, what… some more appear in top US tv series…

    anyway, housewife got more respinsibilities, mehhh… work 24-hours a day!

  9. oprah talked abt this in her show once. in truth, there are housewives look at career women (i.e those who spend at least 12 hrs in workplace daily) with disdain while the working women look at housewives with disdain like they’re some second class citizens. women are women’s worst enemies! it doesn’t matter whether u’re a career woman or stay at home mom, it’s a personal choice depending on which gives u greater fulfilment.

    on the other hand, i think majority of the men wud prefer (given the opportunity) their wives to stay at home?

  10. If only my husband can afford to be the sole breadwinner, I’d give up my job to take care of the family without hesitation.
    Not every woman has the privilege of being a housewife. The next time someone asks you what you’re doing, you should tell them you’re a housewife with dignity.

  11. LOL…I love your reply to the patpor!
    Sometimes I also just leave the house with big T-shirt and shorts, glasses and hair all bunched up. Hoping I won’t bum into anyone. But if it’s not someone close, I will just avoid, even if I am looking my best. Can’t stand small talk lah.

    Oooh, I real geram when I hear, “you don’t work ah? must be very free hor? what do you do with all your time? ” Niamah…Want to reply in their faces “I wank myself all the time, can or not?? ”

    Another one is, “aiya, she’s only a housewife, she doesnt know anything” DNMCH!!!!

    But then again, who can blame them? There are alot of ignorant people out there. LOL

  12. i hate being known as housewife. but, i prefer being with my kids than with a bunch of conniving, backstabbing, bitchy, office colleagues. Plus some of them even more brain-less than a 2 yr old!

  13. kak liliannnn… replied the emailed but it could not be delivereeeddd…it bounce back boink ah?

  14. It used to really irritate me too to be called a “not working” housewife. My answer was “yeah, i am a driver, chef, laundry maid, cleaner, accountant, teacher and nurse” and i am still not working? Now, I don’t get those looks or remarks anymore. Sometimes, even called “taukeh nio”. LOL

  15. jen – Ya, call me taukeh soh anytime never mind but never say ‘oh, she is a housewife’. Haha.

    maR – This streamxy problems la. Can you forward to my gmail? The addy the5xmom[@]

    mott – So, you are still working? Lucky you!

    foodcrazee – Whatever as long as not housewife.

    domestic rat – Yahor, mistress has a level of their own. How come ya? They are still glamourous than housewife. Even widows. LOL.

    king’s wife – Yalor…I dem tiu-ed whenever people think that just because we don’t work, we become ngong-ngong. Tiu them la.

    Florence – When you get into our shoes, then you will occassionally feel the envy.

    MG – Then, I run with my Bata shoes.

    sooi2 – Wuah, last time in my parenting forum, almost got war when the SAHMs prided themselves being at home and the working moms hit back. Touchy issues that I dare not talk about except here.

  16. zyrin – Yalor, huge responsibilities tapi kadang-kadang can get tiring oso. And dun forget the ‘tangan belacan’ after tumbuk sambal belacan.

    mma23beas – Don’t worry, these are just temporary. Been there, done that. Not proud of them but what to do, it is a matter of survival. So, just keep walking, just keep walking. The light is at the end of the tunnel. 🙂

    cocka – You go give that title to your wife lor.

    helen – Yalor, worse come to worse, at least least can be taukeh nio or sithaupoh.

    ahpek – No need title wan actually. Just don’t squeak the word housewife.

    zberjnak – yaya, like those at the markets, haggle with fishmongers for 20 sen. Don’t ever want to be that!

    david – Hahaha, no lah, I think Idlam means well.

    wuching – You are going to get that one day, when you pushed the limit. Muahahar

    Idham – Tks

    maR – It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Pocket kosong, oso I can buy a few bucks of things to make me happy.

  17. hehe, that part where you dread meeting your ex-colleague in the shopping centre… exactly what happened to Lynette in DesHousewives… yep, i’m still watching dat show…

  18. the term housewives reminds me of desperate housewives and also nagging home makers but nowadays, we also have househusbands, and they nag, gossip and go shopping as well..LOL

  19. OOI! I AM HOUSEWIFE LA!!! I QUIT TO TAKE CARE OF KIDS! BOOOOO HOOOO HOOOOO HOOOO (being called the h/wifela…not the taking care of kids bit)

  20. Wow. I learn so much. My ever expanding vocabulary is, uh ever expanding. Plus I like the insight.

    Wish my missus could be a house wife. But she triple my salary. Maybe I can be a house husband instead. keke Never happen. Especially with Chinese in laws watching.

  21. SA – Hahaha, remember never, ever to call your wife a silai. She won’t be proud of you learning this new word, trust me. LOL.

    mott – I got another moot so I tend to get confused. Now I know.. But ermm are you Natasha? Kehkehkeh, pardon me but I am trying hard to remember every mom in my parenting & grief support. Plus those bloggers moms. One of these days, I will burn a fuse and go cuckoo. Your blog hor, I read before but I cannot connect the baby talk there with your real woman talk here. That’s why lor.

    dylan – I guess when we are holed up at home, our brains tend to turn into mush. That’s why I have to get active online.

    simon – You still follow? Ouch!

  22. woman without her man is nothing.

    housewife, or silai, is like the phrase above. it’s just, how you define yourself, by putting the comma yourself.

  23. Hi! I got your link while at Bengbeng’s website ( from wuching’s.

    I really don’t understand why people put “housewives” as a downgrading and stinky job. Personally, I really envy housewifes because they can actually arrange their own time to either fetch the kids, prepare lunch, do housework or any other hobbies. I have to try and fit all that and 8 hours of office work into 24 hours. By 11pm, I’m already half dead and have to start all over the next morning. At least, for housewife there is some credit given but what about househusbands? My husband was so called house husband for nearly 2 years because he could not find a job after winding up his small business. I had to answer to questions like..”How come his not working?” “Why don’t he find a job?” “Can survive meh?” Even from rich relatives “Ahh… Bo cho kang? Anchua chi kia?” What to do? I told him, we survived what! Kids got food to eat, cloths to wear, got ask money from them meh?

    Anyway, conclusion, Be proud that YOU ALL CAN have the choice to be Housewives. Some people like me and the patpor cannot afford to be housewives. Probably the next time the patpor ask again you can tell her “I’m a housewife. Cannot meh!?”

    CheekyBears last blog post..Ma! Look! Heaven!

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