We truly believe that mums are superheroes that can do it all. They manage kids, the house, a partner, and even their work commitments. Meeting all the deadlines time and again.
In fact, seldom will you find mums boasting about their multi-tasking skills.
So it should hardly come as a surprise when they start a venture and manage to make it a super successful one.
Let’s take Singaporean mum Engel Koh for instance.
If you are a fan of the social media app TikTok, you may have already heard her name. Engel is one of the most successful TikTokers in Singapore and runs a hit cooking channel on the app.
Just to give you an idea of her popularity, Engel has over 1.53 million likes and over 88,000 followers on TikTok. Not surprisingly, this number is only amplifying each day with her TikTok viral recipes.
theAsianparent recently caught up her to talk about her inspiring journey, from being a working mum hit by the pandemic to becoming a social media sensation, and everything in between.
From A Working Mum To S’pore’s Most Successful TikToker
Image Source: Engel Koh
Like several other small and large businesses, Engel’s corporate events took a major hit in the wake of the pandemic.
With all events either cancelled or virtual, the industry collectively suffered over the past year and a half.
However, this did not deter her from trying something new.
And in our opinion, it is this quality that makes her a winner in life.
Speaking about her TikTok channel, Engel says, “This new journey of mine started during the lockdown last year. I personally enjoy cooking but did not have the luxury to do so due to my busy schedule at work. During the lockdown, when I was at home every day it gave me the opportunity to cook daily. I then had the thought to record my cooking process and share it with people.”
Finding opportunity in adversity, the mum figured that much like her, other people at home were also running out of ideas to try in the kitchen. After all, the more you stay at home, the more times you need to cook.
“Cooking has been a natural thing for me. As a young girl I loved watching my grandma cook and from there I started to recreate some of her dishes by myself,” she adds.
“I started my channel simply wanting to share my recipes with people. And I love to try new recipes so it also helps me to keep a record of my creations. I try to post a new recipe daily and some people ask why and how do I have so many recipes!” she quips.
The secret to all these dishes is her curiosity to try different cuisines and recipes.
Add to that – the Internet – which is a strong source of information and Engel spends a lot of time watching food-related videos.
The newfound fame has given Engel’s career and culinary skills a new lease of life. Apart from the TikTok viral recipes, the mum is now in the process of creating her own line of products so that more people are able to try her cooking.
Simple and easy to make within minutes, her recipes have a massive fan following among local parents who do not have the time to cook and want to try some unique recipes at home.
While her social media success has made her a common name in Singapore, she is still primarily a doting mum to her six-year-old daughter.
Juggling Between Parenthood And A Social Media Empire With One Mantra Of Success
Engel shares that although she loves every aspect of her work, being a mum and spending time with her daughter is the most important part of her life.
But she says, like other working mums, she also has her own set of challenges in balancing work and motherhood.
As she describes,
- Time management – As a working mum, how can I find time to spend with my child and not miss out on her growing up process?
- Dealing with an unwell child – Feeling helpless whenever my child falls sick, not sure what to do and how to help her to ease the discomfort. Google always comes in handy when that happens.
- Attachment issues – How to overcome the attachment issue for my child towards me and vice versa? After all, I was my girl’s main caregiver till she was a one-year-old when I decided to head back to work.
Although these are omnipresent parental concerns, Engel constantly reminds herself — “to stay positive and persevere through any difficulties that arise during this journey of parenting.”
This, she says, is her mantra.
Something she learnt during her pregnancy.
As Engel shared with us, her pregnancy journey wasn’t completely seamless either. The first and third trimesters were more challenging with constant nausea in the first three months, while the last three months saw the mum lose appetite and sleep more often.
Thankfully, her mum and mother-in-law were huge pillars of support in her life. They took care of the little one, which allowed Engel to persevere and build an empire as well.
She also credits a large part of her success to her husband.
Your Spouse’s Support Is Important Too
Image Source: Engel Koh
Engel’s husband is also her constant pillar of support, and was especially one during childbirth.
Engel says, “My husband was extremely caring and lent me emotional support during my pregnancy and delivery. He ensured that he was available for all my check-ups and doctor appointments after our girl was born and was in fact, on ‘night shift’ when our girl was born.”
That support is also important as the child grows older.
She says, “I feel that it’s important to come to an agreement with your other half about how you want to bring up your child. If both of you have different thoughts on how to bring up the child, it will result in disagreements and might eventually affect the relationship with your partner.”
Engel’s Unique Parenting Style
As far as her daughter’s future is concerned, Engel truly believes that good schooling sets the right foundation and her parenting style reflects the same as well.
As any other doting mum, Engel also ensures that she is present and ensures that her little one completes her school work, which allows her to monitor her academic performance. Plus, this also creates an opportunity for the mother-daughter duo to spend quality time with each other.
She also believes that this is necessary, especially in Singapore where parents are generally more competitive.
“Everyone wants the best for their children,” says Engel.
“However, we have to understand and let our children understand too that sometimes to lose is fine. We don’t always have to win, losing is also part of the learning process,” she notes.
Engel believes that every parent must try to inculcate three qualities in their child.
“Learning to be graceful, patient and positive in life,” she shares with theAsianparent.
She strongly believes that it helps build character and personality.
Life Is All About Striking The Right Balance
Image Source: Engel Koh
Despite the hectic schedule that includes dividing time between her business and creating those TikTok viral recipes, this mum manages her home and work commitments with ease.
Engel prepares breakfast for her little one, along with lunch and boiled soup before she leaves for work. She also ensures to make it back home early and read her child a bedtime story.
The weekends are earmarked for only the family.
Despite all her achievements, Engel hasn’t stopped to go out and learn something new. She manages to squeeze time between her hectic schedule to attend cooking/baking classes.
The two-hour class is her “me time” and lets her unwind. Interestingly, she’s also an avid viewer of drama shows and will catch up with them whenever possible.
How does she do it all?
Well, as Engel puts its “Don’t give yourself excuses to not take the first step into venturing into something new. Find time for yourself and give it a try. Though it might be tough or even fail, but you will never know what will it be like if you never try. Even if it fails, don’t be disheartened and give up.”
Engel’s inspiring story is all about believing in your skills and making the most when fate presents an opportunity.
It’s also a story of how it is necessary for mums to keep a positive attitude in life that will eventually help to open new doors.
We couldn’t agree more!
Download theAsianparent app (iOS, Android) to watch Engel Koh’s recipe videos.
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