One World for Another

posted in: Life, Monkey My Son, Motherhood 131 comments

Oahu. Beijing. Phuket. Manila. Singapore. Portland. Ho Chi Minh. Bangkok. Jakarta.

These are some of the cities I’ve traveled to in the course of my last job as a Communications Manager, then Marketing Manager for an international sports company (I’m sure you know which one).

I loved it. The rush of being in a new place. The opportunity to head off on my own to neighboring cities after work was done (which included San Francisco, New York City, among others). The excitement of being part of an international press event. The accomplishment of pitching stories, dealing with journalists and laying back on luxurious pillows in hotels I couldn’t possibly afford and eating meals I wouldn’t dream of indulging in on my own. Meeting superstars in the sports and entertainment world. Learning the ins and outs of how a leading company does its business.

I loved every minute of my career.

I gave it all up nearly 3 years ago without hesitation.

I gave it up for this.

Newborn baby

For the rush of seeing you smile at me. For the full, bursting heart of love for you, my sweet child. For the looks of love we exchange daily.

I gave it up for this.

7 month old baby

For the simple, daily things we do together. For the joy you bring to me and everyone around you. For all the milestones you’ve reached and I haven’t missed.

I gave it up for this.

 Holding hands

For our togetherness.

I wouldn’t trade this world with you for anything.

Have you given up anything recently?

Linking up with my friends at yeah write, a wonderful writing community. 

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

Latest posts by Alison (see all)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • March 6, 2012 kubhaer

    and you’ve never looked, or sounded happier 🙂 congratulations!

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Koobz. Though working with you on that short film was one of the highlights of my career 🙂

  • March 6, 2012 Jen

    To think I could’ve met you here in Portland! That would’ve been fun.

    This was a truly gorgeous post both in word and image. I love your love for your gorgeous boy.
    Jen recently wrote…The Apple, The Monster, And The CookieMy Profile

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Jen!

      If I was blogging back then, I would have met a lot of you!

  • March 6, 2012 Tonya

    This made me feel all warm and fuzzy! 🙂

    Togetherness is SO worth it.
    Tonya recently wrote…The Things Lucas SaysMy Profile

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      It SO is!

  • March 6, 2012 Mary Trunk

    I am working on a documentary film about mother artists. I’m in post-production right now and I post short clips from the film to keep people interested. This clip seems appropriate to your post. And your post is so beautiful. You can also find out more about the film by going to Thanks for taking a look. or

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      I had a look, Mary, thanks for pointing the video out! And thank you for your kind comments.

  • March 6, 2012 Life As Wife

    You have given up much but gained even more.

    I have never regretted my decision to stay home. I love seeing that others don’t either!
    Life As Wife recently wrote…Want Him BackMy Profile

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      Yes, exactly that – I’ve gained so much more and nothing can replace THIS motherhood experience.

  • March 6, 2012 Lauren


  • March 6, 2012 Devon Riesenberg

    I actually got a bit teary eyed reading this alison!
    Such a beautiful and poignant post. The love you have for that little boy is just bursting!

    Thanks for making my night!
    Devon Riesenberg recently wrote…11 ThingsMy Profile

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Devon, for your kind sweet words.

  • March 6, 2012 Jessica

    I too gave up a career for motherhood. Staying at home is hard work, but every single minute is so worth it. Glad you get to experience it as well!
    Jessica recently wrote…A Letter To My BoysMy Profile

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      Worth every single minute.

  • March 6, 2012 Brandee

    What a great post. The picture of you holding hands is beautiful! Motherhood s the toughest but most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Sounds like your sacrifices have been completely worth it.
    Brandee recently wrote…Slowing down the crazy kidMy Profile

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      Yes, exactly that – this job we have? Is the hardest, and the most rewarding. Who wouldn’t want to do it? 🙂

  • March 6, 2012 Kimberly

    I gave up my career too, though it didn’t sound as glamorous as yours! I wouldn’t change a thing. Being together with my kids, for me, was the best choice.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Things I Can’t DoMy Profile

    • March 6, 2012 Alison

      We can always work, but our kids won’t always be young and small. I wouldn’t miss a minute of it for anything.

  • March 6, 2012 Kimberly

    It wrong that I want to give up mine? The job not the child.
    I’m starting to really find my footing in this SAHM gig. I’d be happy never to have to go back to work. That’s why Chunky starting school is pretty devestaing to me.
    Kimberly recently wrote…All Work No Play Meet Grasshopper KidzMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      I hope you find a good balance, Kim. And I love that you’re enjoying being home with Chunky. They’re only 2/ 3 once, right?

  • March 6, 2012 Blond Duck

    That’s too cool. As a journalist, I love you PR people.
    Blond Duck recently wrote…Ode to Spring and How I Love TheeMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thanks Blond Duck 🙂

  • March 6, 2012 tracy

    So glad I made the same choice. xoxo
    tracy recently wrote…Jesus Would Never Block My Sidewalk…My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      To the point where we just rock it, right? 🙂

  • March 6, 2012 Maureen

    So precious ‘trade’ you did, Alison and look at your cute handsome Monkey. He’s just too adorable. Love the pics 😀
    Maureen recently wrote…Tagging KillerMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      It’s a trade I’d do over anytime. And thank you!

  • March 6, 2012 Twisted Domestic Goddess

    Ok that second picture totally made me smile!!!!

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      I love that picture too!

  • March 6, 2012 liz

    I can definitely see how that would be an amazing time! That’s why they say, “Do it while you are young!”

    I’m pretty sure that while it was totally worth giving up, you’ll treasure that time for the rest of your life.
    liz recently wrote…BBCD is 2 (+ 2 1/2)My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, I remember those globe-trotting days well 🙂

  • March 6, 2012 Jenn

    Sounds like you have had some amazing experiences. . . one of the most being your little monkey!
    I love the photo of you two holding hands. I have a post rumbling around in my brain about how much I love my children’s hands . . . some small and yet capable of holding my heart.
    Jenn recently wrote…How do You Define WomanhoodMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Oh I just love my baby’s hands (okay not a baby anymore, but you know what I mean). Do write that post, it’d be amazing.

  • March 6, 2012 Nicole

    Simply put and beautiful. The hand holding photo is precious. Do you think you’ll go back when they’re older?
    Nicole recently wrote…6 People Who Helped Me Become “Me” {Listable Life}My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      I don’t know – I can’t picture going back. I’ll probably be too old anyway!! 🙂

  • March 6, 2012 Missy

    Very sweet. I gave up my career too. But I actually feel like I exchanged it, you know? I think you do – the title of your post says as much! 🙂
    Missy recently wrote…Hey! It’s OK! TuesdayMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Yes, motherhood is a full-time gig – just more unpredictable, fun, rewarding and lifelong! 🙂

  • March 6, 2012 Kristin

    Wonderful post! You’re in a much better place than I am about all the “giving up” we do for the “getting.” I’ll bookmark to re-read anytime I feel sorry for myself.
    Kristin recently wrote…Glad I Saw It: Fish and Fleur-di-LisMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Kristin! It took me a little while to get to a place where I didn’t think, perhaps a career would do me good – but now that I’m here, it’s a damn good place!

  • March 6, 2012 Lance

    i admire you for staying at home. I couldn;t do it. I;m too anxiety ridden. Plus, my daughters are a little older.

    Bless you for being so selfless. Your baby is adorable.
    Lance recently wrote…Not A Pretty GirlMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Lance. I’ve always thought of choosing to stay home with my son as a privilege, not a sacrifice 🙂

  • March 6, 2012 Natalie

    Awww he’s worth it! They grow so fast you don’t want to miss a thing.
    Natalie recently wrote…Wind, Rain, and a Salt Water PoolMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      He’s absolutely worth it. It would break my heart for someone else to tell me about what he’s been up to and what milestones he’s reached!

  • March 6, 2012 Kerstin

    Gorgeous writing and pictures. That smile! I’m glad that you are thoroughly enjoying this phase of your life! They do grow up fast… 🙂
    Kerstin recently wrote…Best DaysMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Kerstin! I’m totally enjoying it. They won’t be babies/ toddlers for long!

  • March 6, 2012 Christine

    It’s so great that you feel that way. Knowing you made the right choice (whatever that choice may be) is such a gift. Not only for you, but for your children. It colors everything.
    Christine recently wrote…Plan ZMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      You articulated that perfectly, Christine.

  • March 6, 2012 Pop

    I love his spikey hair!!!

    I recently gave up meat for lent. It hasn’t brought nearly as much happiness as you’ve had with your son. Maybe I should take pics of my veggies & cuddle them?
    Pop recently wrote…When Patience is Not a VirtueMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      I do too! I miss the spikes.

      I would love to see a picture of veggie cuddling.

  • March 6, 2012 Jessica

    It is worth it.
    Jessica recently wrote…Proving Myself WrongMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Totally, 100%.

  • March 7, 2012 Shell

    I felt the same way. I couldn’t imagine going back to my job after I had my baby. Even though I LOVED my job.
    Shell recently wrote…Crafts for the Uncrafty MomMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      It’s harder to want to go back as time goes by. Especially when another child is due to make an appearance.

      Also, if I worked, when will I have time to hone my uncrafty skills? 🙂

  • March 7, 2012 Jen {at} take2mommy

    Such a sweet post Alison! I wish I could say I gave up my job “without hesitation.” Truth is, I did hesitate. It was a difficult decision for me…I worked for 16 years before having my first son at age 37. But at least now I can truthfully say that quitting my job to be with my kids was one of the best decisions of my life.
    Jen {at} take2mommy recently wrote…Date with B in the Year 2020My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      I’m so glad you know that it IS the best decision. That’s the hard part in the trying to decide what to do process.

  • March 7, 2012 Ado

    Funny this should be your topic today – I’ve been having one of those “U-turn” moments in parenting when I am wondering if I should have given up my career or not. Really deep stuff. I’m glad I did – I would do it again – but as the kids are getting older it all changes – and now I’m kind of going, where’s the “me” here? Like you I loved having my career and $ and that “power” of a different kind – and I loved being home with my children – and now – I am questioning what my next step is. Sorry for blathering on here…! Great topic. PS: Oh that newborn baby photo! His face is precious!
    Ado recently wrote…My Parents FriendsMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      I might experience the same thing when the boys are older, I don’t know. But the longer I’m out of the workforce, the more reluctant I feel about going back. I don’t know. I just know that right now, I am so lucky to be able to stay home!

  • March 7, 2012 stephanie

    Another beautiful love letter to your boy(s). Though I haven’t given up anything lately I can well imagine doing so for the rewards of caring for another.
    stephanie recently wrote…Sisterhood of the Traveling CookiesMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Stephanie! The best part about this stay-at-home gig is the endless, unexpected gifts I get daily from my son.

  • This is so beautiful Alison. I gave up my job as I knew it for exactly the same thing, for the moments and the wonder of each day with the minis. Thank you for sharing this, it’s a breath of fresh air!
    Shannon from ‘mynewfavoriteday’ recently wrote…The sounds of letting go.My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Shannon! So glad you’re also experiencing the wonders of being with your babies daily.

  • March 7, 2012 JDaniel4's Mom

    Those moments when a now not so small hand reaches out to hold mine are priceless. I love that we get to be home and experience those moments.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Pause Life for a Moment- Stories from the ShoeboxMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Those moments are what make my day 🙂

  • March 7, 2012 Katie

    This was so touching. I can plainly see that your decision was the right one.
    Katie recently wrote…But, Now I SeeMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Katie, it absolutely is.

  • March 7, 2012 Natalie

    This is so lovely. It’s perfect. What a great piece for him. I know he’ll love to read it one day!
    Natalie recently wrote…Scrambled MeMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      That’s the hope for this blog – that my boys will love reading about themselves.

  • March 7, 2012 nikky44

    I gave up on my treatment and medicine. I have been over medicate for depression since 2007, and now i gave up on all the meds, as i have decided i can do it alone 🙂

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      That’s very courageous, good luck!

  • March 7, 2012 Lady Jennie

    I had a very similar job to yours (esp in terms of the int’l travel and all its benefits) but I was meeting the superstars in finance. But that wasn’t the job I left to be a mom – my life was much more subdued then and easier to give up.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Endives in BéchamelMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      I loved all your stories about your international life, Jennie. Just as much I enjoy reading your motherhood tales.

  • March 7, 2012 Julia

    So sweet. I agree with you; leaving the adult world for the stay at home mommy world was the best decision I ever made.
    Julia recently wrote…Sunday Silliness: 11 ThingsMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      It’s amazing, isn’t it?

  • March 7, 2012 Miranda

    I don’t have the perspective of a mom, but I do have the perspective of a being a child raised by a stay-at-home mom. As much as you cherish the moments, know that your child is doing the same and will one day be very thankful for you making the decision to give up the crazy work life for them. 🙂
    Miranda recently wrote…Looking back, looking forward…My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for that perspective, Miranda. It’s reassuring to know that the choice I made is a good one for my kids.

  • March 7, 2012 Mayor Gia

    Awww baby! So precious.
    Mayor Gia recently wrote…Animals Giving Awards, Part IMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Hee! Thank you.

  • March 7, 2012 January

    You made me cry Alison. So beautiful. The picture of your hands? *sob!* So sweet.
    January recently wrote…When they make it hard to love them…My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thanks January. Or is it sorry? My sister took that picture of our hands without my knowledge. I found it on my camera and it instantly became my favorite picture.

  • March 7, 2012 jamie

    Such an inspiring tale, Alison.

    You see, I was working 2 jobs to keep things at home. And I recently gave up my part time work so that I can spend the evenings with my furkids, Pepper and Tango. Coming back from work with enough energy to play with them and taking them for evening walks.

    I feel fulfilled.
    jamie recently wrote…What To Do When People Talk Behind Your BackMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Fulfillment is what we all strive for isn’t it? We’re lucky.

  • March 7, 2012 Bridget

    Beautiful post. It’s always worth the tradeoff. Always.
    Bridget recently wrote…Deadly DinnerMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Absolutely, Bridget.

  • March 7, 2012 Elizabeth

    This is just beautiful, Alison. I too am blessed to be at home with my girls and I cherish the time with them (even though it’s not always sunshine and roses =)). It may not be the most glamorous job, but for me…it’s the most glorious. Thank you for sharing. And your little boy is adorable!
    Elizabeth recently wrote…Frugal Fashionista FridayMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Glorious is a perfect way to describe it! (and thank you!)

  • March 7, 2012 Jamie

    “It’s official” in my house! I love holding hands with my kids when they let me!
    Jamie recently wrote…rsv is a dirty wordMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Yay!! So happy for you.

  • March 7, 2012 Sarah Reinhart

    So sweet! You little one is adorable. And I totally and completely understand the pull to give up career for family. I gave up teaching three years ago to stay home full time to my brood. I’ve since balanced things out a bit by working part time from home. But I love love LOVE getting to be with them all the time. Sure they drive me nutso, but that’s what I asked for. Aren’t we lucky Mamas?

    p.s. love your belly pic over there in the sidebar!

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Oh we are SO lucky! (and thank you!)

  • March 7, 2012 Leighann

    In the first picture he looks like that little baby off of Ice Age!
    I hope you take that as a compliment cause I mean it as one!
    Leighann recently wrote…Ignorance out of FearMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Absolutely, and thank you 🙂

  • March 7, 2012 My Inner Chick

    Oooo, Mama, A…

    You make me want to start. all. over. again.

    You Inspire. Xxx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…A Beautiful, Unexpected GiftMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you so much Kim!

  • March 7, 2012 Galit Breen

    This is stunning and lovely and all that is good in between.

    I think that sometimes you have to let go of one thing, to make room for another. I’m thinking of the good things – bad eating habits for good, TV for talking, and so on. Does that make any sense at all?!)

    (I love this one – so much!)
    Galit Breen recently wrote…Well Practiced LoveMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      I do know what you mean, Galit! (and thank you!)

  • March 7, 2012 kristen

    I love it. I quit my job 2 months ago … for the hugs and cuddles. And I love it. I grumble about doing a bad job, etc… but the truth is – I love almost every moment of it. Beautiful post.
    kristen recently wrote…The things we do for our kids – that we won’t do for ourselves.My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Kristen. It’s awesome, isn’t it?

  • March 7, 2012 Mirjam

    You were right to make sure, you wouldn’t miss a thing.. Beautiful post Alison!
    Mirjam recently wrote…ChoicesMy Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Mirjam, I am blessed!

  • March 7, 2012 Leslie

    You lived the life that seems so exotic and exciting to most of us. I like to think that instead of ‘giving up’ your career, you ‘moved on’ to bigger and better!
    Leslie recently wrote…{Looking Back} March 2011My Profile

    • March 7, 2012 Alison

      That is a wonderful perspective, Leslie!

  • March 7, 2012 Barbara

    I think you have gained so much more than you have given up!
    Barbara recently wrote…Dear Nathan …My Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      That I definitely have.

  • March 8, 2012 Kristin

    You’ve truly had the best of both worlds. You’re a very lucky woman, Alison. 🙂
    Kristin recently wrote…Kids Say the Darndest ThingsMy Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      I definitely am!

  • March 8, 2012 Trish in AZ

    Lovely post…and so very true. Thanks for sharing. You brought me back to the years when I realized for the first time that I hadn’t given up so much. I just traded it for a whole new kind of fun and joy.
    Trish in AZ recently wrote…An Indie AuthorMy Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      Yes that’s exactly it – a new kind of fun and joy!

  • March 8, 2012 Jessica

    This is such a sweet post and wonderful reminder. I wouldn’t trade this life for any other. I’m so grateful to be here with my girls, to be present for their smiles and stumbles and wet kisses.
    Jessica recently wrote…How I lost my baby weight with mindful eatingMy Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      I wouldn’t want to miss all those amazing moments.

  • March 8, 2012 Stacey

    Beautiful post. “I wouldn’t trade this world with you for anything.” I feel the same way about my boys.
    Stacey recently wrote…CasanovaMy Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      We’re so lucky, aren’t we?

  • March 8, 2012 Susan

    I did the same back in October after 21 years in the corporate world.
    You give me faith to believe it gets better ~ I’m finding it to be a huge adjustment. Wouldn’t change it, it’s just a whole different world.
    Susan recently wrote…What.I.WoreMy Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      It is a huge adjustment. But you’ll grow into it and it’s absolutely worth it.

  • I have this little test I played with myself when I left medicine. If I am at the end of a long life, on my death bed, would I regret not being a doctor or would I regret missing the magic of my children’s lives? I am a SAHM and it has always been the right choice for me. A hard job at times, but one that is constantly steeped in joy. Ellen
    Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms recently wrote…Flummoxing Technology: The Rubbish ListMy Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      That is a very good question to ask oneself!

  • March 8, 2012 Susan

    So, so worth it. So glad to see it written so eloquently! You hit the nail on the head.
    Susan recently wrote…Why Periods Should be Punctual (Ha.)My Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Susan!

  • March 8, 2012 Lenore Diane

    What a beautiful piece, Alison. Good for you for capturing this moment, as it is fleeting. Your heart will jump when you come back and ready it several years from now. Lovely. Just lovely.
    Lenore Diane recently wrote…What the heck do I know?My Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      Thank you so much, Lenore.

  • March 8, 2012 XLMIC

    Sweetest post ever. Love the shot of you holding hands 🙂
    XLMIC recently wrote…But first…My Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thank you! I love that picture too.

  • March 8, 2012 kgwaite

    Isn’t it funny how easily we change once we see that little package? New life puts things into perspective. Lovely post.
    kgwaite recently wrote…MissingMy Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      Yes, absolutely! And thank you.

  • March 8, 2012 Jackie

    Like Ellen, it was about what I would regret later in life. I don’t think I’ll ever look back and think “I should have spent more time with other people’s children in my first grade class.” I am thankful every day that I had the choice to stay home with my two gals!
    BTW, Alison you look fabulous!!
    Jackie recently wrote…Timing is everythingMy Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      We’re so lucky, Jackie! (and thank you)

  • March 8, 2012 christina

    as always…beautiful.
    christina recently wrote…Will you? Huh??My Profile

    • March 8, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Christina.

  • March 9, 2012 Kim Pugliano

    I did it for the same reason, only I work from home. But I gave up the good money. Is there any other more amazing choice we could make.

    I recently gave up my sanity when everyone in my family fell ill, fell onto my last nerve or just fell and broke another bone. But I’m working on getting it back.
    Kim Pugliano recently wrote…Comment on Core Values by Kimberly PuglianoMy Profile

    • March 9, 2012 Alison

      Sounds like a tough time! Hope you get your sanity back soon 🙂

  • March 11, 2012 Robin

    And I have no doubt you made the right choice.

    • March 11, 2012 Alison

      And am I glad I did!

I Write This Blog

Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

The Books I’m In (Buy Now!)

I Am On Google+

Oldies But Goodies