Karine took an unconventional path towards motherhoood; she fell in pregnant and got marrried at 18. After giving birth at 19, she continued working full-time. Now a mum to Raeann, 12, and Jaedon, nine, Karine owns three businesses, including Singapore’s first halal-certified skincare brand, Klarity Skincare, and skincare distribution company Secretive.  The 31-year-old mum reveals how she manages her career and her kids.

  1. Get your priorirites straight

Prioritise and define what is important to you. I had a more balanced work life when I understood that once I missed on my children’s developmental stages, I couldn’t turn back time. But if I missed the opportunity to make money, I could always make it the next time.

“Never neglect yourself, no matter how busy you are. Staying healthy means you have more quality time with your children. Love yourself and eat a balanced diet, exercise, and practise a good skincare regime.

2. Find support through friends, family or a helper

“It was tough being a mum at first, but my parents patiently guided me through it. I also engaged a domestic helper who was an experienced mother of one: This helped me manage my children quite well. I would also gather for meals with my close friends, and they helped take care of my baby!”

3. Think positive, and the rest will follow

“When I ventured into my beauty business, it was challenging; at times, I would have to stay late at work packing goods for deliveries. Still, my children gave me so much joy, with their smiles and hugs: I felt my life was meaningful and full of purpose. Always tell yourself: “You can do it!” You will attract positivitiy if you stay positive.”

Photo: Courtesy of Karine Estelle Cheong. This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of The Singapore Women’s Weekly.