Celebrity Fann Wong has to cope with the demands of being a working mum too. Read more for coping techniques working mums can adopt
Fann Wong needs no introduction for making waves through decades of success. Her portfolio stretches all the way back to the days of Chronicle of Life (which won her the Best Actress and Best Newcomer at the 1995 Star Awards). It continued to music videos such as Private Number with 911 (remember that??) and even became the first Singaporean actress to break into Hollywood for Shanghai Knights.
Safe to say, this is one working mum who knows how to milk it.
So, it was no surprise that she took up the role in a Taiwanese film - Packages From Daddy, after becoming a new mum - right? Not quite.
Fann Wong found it really hard to even take up the role (as Fang Hui-Ying - a mum of two kids) in the movie directed by Yin-chuan Tsai, because she just had her son Zed when the script was given to her.
"When I found out that Tsai Yin Chuan was going to be the director, I became interested, especially after reading the script."
As per the report in The New Paper, this strong reluctance was something all of us can relate to - not wanting to go back to work after having our offspring. The instinct to stay by your youngling’s side is an unavoidable force of nature.
Check this out: Work-life balance - Can mums have it all?
"I could not bear to leave my baby. My husband noted my reaction and asked me to accept the role since it was so good."
Just like Fann, most of us are lucky enough to experience this as well - the positive push from our loved ones. This definitely helps with the coping process as a working mum.
Husband Christopher Lee's motivation and support for Fann to pursue her dreams and optimise her talents, propelled her to go ahead without having to feel more guilt than she would have otherwise.
As icing to the cake, she was grateful to have taken up the role and it has improved her relationships as the storyline pulled at her heartstrings. It should too, as she put herself in a role of a mum who had to take care of her kids (and their growing pains) after her husband's death. Adding on to that, she felt maternal towards the cast playing her children.
"After filming a movie with this topic, I feel that I cherish my relationships more, and that my relationships with my husband and baby have changed. I have realised more about myself as well."
"I was more work-oriented previously, but now I am more kids-oriented. I do love my job, but nothing is more important than family."
Read this: Working mums don’t have to feel guilty
Ways to cope as a working mum:
1. Don’t hold back
We have dreams and ambitions. Go for it.
Maybe it's not about dreams but a more practical need, the need for a dual-income. Go for it.
You do what you need to do as a mother, a provider, a carer and that is all that matters. Don’t hold back.
2. Garner support where you can
And appreciate it. This could be from your spouse, your parents, your siblings etc. As much as we want to think our ‘Supermum’ abilities come only from us, the reason we are able to half the things we do is from ‘our sidekicks’ - the support we receive from our loved ones.
Be it our parents who help to take care of the kids while we work late or have me-time, or the little gestures from our spouses like taking the kids out for breakfast or dinner while we catch up on sleep.
Read also: 5 things that only a working mum understands
3. “Oxygen in a plane”
Why are we instructed to put on oxygen masks on ourselves before putting it on others, even our children? Because we can’t help others if we can’t help ourselves. It’s not being selfish at all. It’s being practical.
There cannot be a better metaphor out there to show the sort of mindset we have to adopt (as parents in general, not just as working ones).
It seems difficult to still have me-time after spending SO much time away at work, right? However, taking care of ourselves and not feeling guilty about it, will make you a happier, more energetic mother.
4. Stay true to yourself
Your values and principles ultimately make you who you are, and shape your child’s opinion of you.
So all you have to do, is stay true to yourself and trust that you know what’s best for you and your family. If it means having to take on a job that requires you to travel for a little bit, or if it means you have to turn down a project; you have the power to nail it and make it a positive experience.
Related article: SAHMs have it harder than you think
The grass is always greener on the other side
I have been lucky enough to have had a taste on all sides of this prism - a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM), a work-at-home-mum (WAHM) and as a working mum.
I can tell you right now that one is no better or worse than the other. Each one has its own pros and cons. I have even fallen prey to the DON’TS of each category.
As a SAHM: Feeling guilty if I don’t push myself to stay up all night in preparation of home-based activities.
As a WAHM: Feeling guilty if I don’t do more work than I should, because it already seems like I’m not doing enough as a mum after I’ve been home all day.
As a working mum: Feeling guilty for finishing up work or not be home on some evenings.
See what they all had in common?
At the end of the day, it’s how we cope with our stresses.
So, fellow mummies, tend to your garden the best way you can, and it will be the greenest of all.
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