Zoe Tay on kids, discipline and speaking Mandarin

Zoe Tay on kids, discipline and speaking Mandarin

Read the lovely and talented Zoe Tay's very interesting interview now.

It's always nice to re-visit interviews we've done in the past with celebrities we love! Here, we go down memory lane to an interview with Zoe Tay, whose words and advise remain timeless! 

A revered celebrity, an award-winning actress, a doting mom to 3 lovely boys, and now, a budding designer!!  Is there anything that this versatile queen cannot do?   We caught up with the Queen of Caldecott at the First Moms' & Dads' Congress supported by Abbott Nutrition, where she was promoting her self-designed tote bag and baby rompers.

Q: Congratulations on the birth of your 3rd son.  You were invited by Similac to design a tote bag and baby romper for them.  What was your inspiration?

Zoe: When Similac asked me to design a tote bag for them, I was surprised, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway.  I thought long and hard and had several meetings with my manager.  Finally, late one night, I was looking at the Similac teddy bear and it all came together.  We decided to put the teddy bear emblem all over the bag as it is so cute.

Q: Tell us about the Limited Edition Similac Mummy Tote Bag.

Zoe: I wanted to come up with a bag that all mothers can appreciate.  So in my design, the bag has to be light-weight, waterproof, and full of compartments – bottles and mummy’s wallet on the side, diaper mat on the back and tissue papers on the front.  I chose black as the background as you cannot go wrong with black. Plus men can carry and not be averse to it.

Q: What styles do your boys adopt?

Zoe: Boys are pretty easy; they are always in Bermudas, shorts, T-shirt, sneakers and jeans.  My 2nd son wears hand me downs from his big brother. My 2 boys have very different styles.  My 1st son is very easy.  He wears whatever I take out.  My 2nd son has very strong ideas.  He likes to choose his own colour and style and is very insistent on his own style.

Q: Where do you shop or buy clothes for them.

Zoe: I shop online a lot.  I like baby Gap, Paul Frank and a Japanese brand called Konka’s.  Also, a lot of friends give clothes to my sons as gifts.

 Zoe Tay

Q: What about yourself?  What is your style?

Zoe: (with a laugh) When I was pregnant this last time, I bought normal fashion clothes that is trendy, loose and baggy, and fashionable of course.  And I wear them during my pregnancy.  So, now I still have a lot of nice clothes and I can fit into them.

Q: How do you look so beautiful after giving birth to 3 kids? What are your beauty secrets?

Zoe: I watch out for my diet, and take care of my kids myself, that’s the fastest way to slim down. I keep a balanced diet and have lots of fluids, lots of fish and lots of vegetables and fruits. I love fruits.  I crave fruits as other people crave for char kway teow.  I also drink 2 cups of milk a day especially now because I am nursing my baby.

Q: With such a busy schedule as mom, career woman and wife, how do you manage to do it all?

Zoe: You have to enjoy what you are doing.  For me, acting is a passion and I still love doing it.  Although I don’t encourage my kids into the industry because it’s tough.  I also love to spend time with the kids and hear their laughter and conversation.  I have so much fun and joy spending time with them.

Q: Was there a time when you were torn between work and family? How do you find time for your kids with such demanding schedules?

Zoe: Yes!  My 2nd child has a tendency to get fever when he was young, because his older brother goes to day-care and passes the germs to him. Once, when he was a few months old, I was on set filming and I got a call.  He had a fever of 40 degrees.  I couldn’t leave work.  I had to call my mom and neighbour to help send him to the hospital.  Luckily I have a very nice neighbour.

As mothers, you always feel guilty when you go to work.  When I’m home, I try to take care of the baby myself.  Luckily, my babies are very well taken care of by my helpers.  You have to let go sometimes.  If you want helpers to help you, you must trust them to help.


zoe tay

Q: What is your discipline style?  Who is the disciplinarian at home – you or Philip?

Zoe: I’m more strict.  When it comes to parenting, Philip and I will talk and we try to respect each other’s parenting style.  We always try to be calm and when one is disciplining the child, we do not get involve.  Like there was once, Philip was disciplining my son.  He came to me for help.  But I told him, no, he must listen to “baba” – father.

Q: Do you send your kids for enrichment classes?  How do you coach them?

Zoe: I consult lots of my friends for advice on the best enrichment classes to send the boys.  But I don’t want to over-stress them.  My mother-in-law is a teacher, so she helps to teach them in Maths and English.

Q: With the recent interest in teaching kids to speak Mandarin.  How do you enforce your children to speak the language?

Zoe: The kids have to speak the language. You have to force them to speak Mandarin.  For example, if they know how to say table in English, you must ask or teach them to say it in Mandarin.  Create an environment for them to learn, play games with them in Chinese, and let them understand the culture.  That is very important.

What wonderful advise for all Singaporean mummies! We hope you enjoyed reading this interview. 

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Written by

Roshni Mahtani

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