Yvon Bock is the Founder and Managing Director of Hegen, Singapore’s leading homegrown mother and baby care brand with a growing international presence in over 15 markets. And Dr. Jade Kua is an established emergency medicine specialist, life coach, Director of the DARE Programme. Alongside these hats, she is also the mother of three young children and three teenaged stepchildren.
From balancing motherhood and career to finding the courage to switch careers in the middle of a pandemic, these amazing women share how they have done it. Along with useful self-care tips and advice they have on navigating life. Here were some of the notable takeaways:
How do you deal with mum guilt?
Yvon Bock: I think motherhood is one of the most beautiful things, I would never change it for anything else. But mum guilt is real and it often caught me off guard. For example, this year my eldest is going through O Levels and my third kid is going through PSLE, both are milestone exams. And as much as we try not to put academic pressure on them, there will be an intrinsic pressure internally.
When things like that happen, I remind myself that I am enough. I’m enough and I’m really doing the best that I could at this moment. I’m making decisions that’s the best for everyone right now. If something happens, I remind myself to keep a positive mindset and continue on.
Dr. Jade Kua: I get asked to give talks all the time on mindful parenting, but the first time I got asked to share a talk on this I thought “Gosh, I’m not sure I’m a very mindful parent at all.” I realised I can be a mindful person but it doesn’t necessarily make me a mindful parent. Initially, I felt an imposter when I realised that. I felt inauthentic and terrible. But then I realised that being a mindful parent is hard because it involves a relationship with you and people. Whether it is you and your child, or you and your child’s grandparents, you and your spouse, or you and your child’s caregiver.
Because of all these elements, mindful parenting can be hard and I think it’s okay to recognise that. I think it’s also okay to recognise that it’s really hard to be an expert on this, but we can always share our experiences. I’m learning that it’s enough to be present and to learn to delegate.
How do you find your centre in the midst of overwhelming times? What are the ways you cope with stress?
Yvon Bock: I listen to podcasts. There was one I listened to today that was really helpful. The speaker shared that as long as you always go back to your core values, no matter how life spins, if you’re in the centre you will suffer lesser turbulence. It’s very philosophical but it helped me a lot because my family are really the centre of what I do and why I do it.
So whenever I feel stressed, I allocate time to be present 100 per cent to that particular task, person, activity, and put distractions away. So my kids know that when I’m on a Zoom call, mummy is 100 per cent there. They’ll even get me coffee and treats. And it’s the same with my team. However, having four kids at home, 100 per cent to them is split four ways. So I realised midway through the Circuit Breaker that one to one sessions are the key to nurturing these relationships with my family.
Dr. Jade Kua: I very much value time alone, I value reflection and I journal a lot. I feel like in order to find your centre, you might have to do what Lancôme’s asking us to do which is to find our strength and live our strength. It’s important to identify our core values, the north star in your life, and allow your energy to return base on those core values. Journaling, reflecting, and meditating has helped me become more self-aware and realise what the core values in my life are. If you can find your strength, you can live it.
One of the forms of self-care is in taking care of our bodies and skin. How do you take care of your skin?
Yvon Bock: I like to keep things very simple. Simple, consistent, and keep it clean and fresh. Normally I will make sure I use makeup cleanser, regardless if I have makeup at all. I also make sure that I use sunscreen throughout the day and even top it up in the middle of the day. I was also oblivious to the effects of blue light on my skin until Zoom and now I’ve started to take better care of my skin. At my age, we have to be one step more hardworking when taking care of our skin. I also appreciate the R&D that goes into the Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique serum and how the ingredients can help people.
Dr. Jade Kua: Women tend to neglect ourselves and even our skin when we’re in the pursuit of many things. We try to juggle all these balls in the air, the myth is that you can’t let any balls fall but the truth is that that happens all the time. But you need to figure out which ones are okay to let fall. The way I see it, it’s about prioritising. As a frontline worker for many years, my priority has always been about others and I definitely haven’t prioritised myself.
Recently, I got to thinking that one of the balls I let drop is the fact that I don’t look after my skin. The things I look for now that I’m 41, I look for products that are efficient and backed by science. I pick a basic cleanser and a good serum, which is why I love Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique serum. I love the story behind the serum’s benefits on the skin’s microbiome, it makes a lot of sense to me and that’s one of the ways I want to look after myself.