If you think you’ve got a busy schedule, just look at Dr Kim’s. On top of being a doctor, the resolute 35-year-old entrepreneur juggles multiple business ventures and non-profit work while raising three children Kyan, Luke and Nate – and she still finds time to travel with her family. Here, the multi-tasking working mum reveals her six top tips to managing it all:
1. Know why you do what you do.
“Every vocation, project and role I take up stems from an alignment with my values and desire to make a positive social impact on society, which helps me prioritise the different aspects of my life. As a palliative care doctor, I look after patients in their twilight years, giving them and their families support with comfort and care. With CRIB, I help empower women to reach their full potential, while the co-working space Trehaus was founded with my own role as a working parent in mind.”
2. Recognise that there are different seasons in your life.
“It’s impossible to do everything at once, but you can choose something to focus on. For instance, when I had my third child, obviously I wanted to spend the first few months really focusing on him. Right now, my focus is on building Trehaus.”
3. Surround yourself with good support.
“I’m blessed to have a wonderful family and helpers at home. But it’s also important to have understanding co-workers. When I had to be away on maternity leave, my business partners helped to step in to meet different needs.”
4. Find creative solutions.
“Look for ways to be close to both your children and work at the same time. I work as a doctor in the morning, then spend my afternoon working at Trehaus so I get to have my 15-month-old son with me. That’s why I started Trehaus, to help working mothers spend more time with their kids. You need to fight to find that balance. Don’t be afraid to have creative discussions with your employer – Trehaus has a corporate membership programme that offers customised working arrangements.”
5. Actively make concrete plans to travel with your family.
“Holidays are very precious, as I get to spend important quality time with my kids and husband. At the start of the year, I will sit down and set time aside for travelling. I take no-pay leave and block out my schedule for the summer, which is when my kids will be on school break, so we can go overseas together.”
6. Take time to rest and recharge yourself.
“Sometimes, you need to be brutal about saying ‘no’ to things. I really rest when I read a book, or go on a short holiday. At times I do feel guilty for being away from my kids, like when I go for a spa retreat, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you end up being less effective at work, less present with the kids and the family.”
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Photos courtesy of Elaine Kim