SINGAPORE — How do women entrepreneurs and mums find the time, energy, and focus to straddle motherhood and entrepreneurship at the same time?
Yahoo Finance Singapore spoke to six Singapore mothers who run their own businesses – some of whom have been featured on Yahoo Finance Singapore's Money Choice series – and asked for their insights on how they balance the various aspects of their lives.
Here's what they had to say:
Rhonda Wong, co-founder and CEO of prop-tech company Ohmyhome
"We are mums, wives, daughters, sisters, friends, bosses, and teammates. There are many roles that we play, and we have to be comfortable and aware of the path that we have chosen. Time is the most precious commodity that equalises everyone, no one has more or less each day.
Therefore, how we choose to spend time has to be intentional. I check my calendar regularly, especially before the start of the week or day. When that decision is made, staying focused is key, whether at work, with children or in any other roles, so that we are fully present during the times we have chosen to be present.
I miss my kids too but to be quite honest, when I am fully focused at work, I don't actually have the time to think of my kids. When work is meaningful, exciting and often full of challenges, it consumes me during those hours. But once it's time for kids, they have me 100 per cent. Same for my parents, husband and anyone I choose to spend time with."
Rachel Lim, co-founder of clothing line Love, Bonito
"Raising a child truly takes a village, and one key thing I have learned is not to be afraid to ask for help at home or at work.
There are resources available at home, within the community and at work to accompany you in your own journey of parenting."
Lynsey Lim, co-founder and director of natural skincare brand Handmade Heroes
"Every little bit of interaction can make a big difference; squeeze in a chat or play before and after work. Bond with your children in ways that make sense for your family and lifestyle.
There's no right or wrong way, as long as it's quality time together."
Jasmin Tay, founder of beauty salon Perky Lash
"I think it is really important to learn to draw the line between your personal life and work. We need to really stop working when we are back at home to fulfil other roles as a wife and mother.
I used to say this a lot to my kids, "Mummy is working, please wait a while" in the early days of my business. One day, my kids were playing – they love to act and imitate the adults – and they said "Mummy always say, "wait, wait, wait".
That struck me at that moment, and I realised how guilty I felt to keep rejecting them. It could be just something that happened in school that they wanted to share with me or spend time together, but I did not fulfil that.
Now, I make sure that I am off work by 9pm when the shop closes, then rush home to accompany them for bedtime at 10pm. We will read storybooks and share what happened during the day. This is our we-time together, and I treasure it a lot.
Through my years of building my career, I have also learnt to trust and delegate tasks to my team. This way, it helps reduce stress so I can focus on doing what I do best and manage my workload more effectively. With a happier mood, I can enjoy my time with my family and children better."
Viveka Kalidasan, founder of semiconductor startup accelerator Let-Lab Singapore
"I believe in work-life balance. When people talk about prioritising, I talk about meticulous planning. Building a startup accelerator from scratch, through pregnancy and maternity, in a hyper male-dominated industry 4.0 manufacturing space, as a solo woman, was a challenge I took on with utmost pleasure.
I plan my day very well, to cater to my baby's needs and my job's needs. I have a family that supports me through thick and thin. I ensure the ecosystem supports me. If there is no support, I create it, so as to deliver my best. Passion and planning are what I vouch for."
Pamela Lim, co-founder of hair spa TwoHerbs
"There is no perfect formula to balance work and family, especially with schooling children. We can only try to be in equilibrium every day.
One thing that I do is that I cut off work and (the use of the) phone totally to give my kids 100 per cent attention – even for a short 30 minutes to a couple of hours – every day.
That's when I really look at their faces, talk to them, listen to them and really do what they are doing. I will make my presence felt during these precious moments."