Celebrating Moms, Celebrating You – Mothers’ Day Special
The Journey to Entrepreneurship: Zea Lim – Founder of Parent & Child
Many of us moms juggle many roles and responsibilities, so often we find ourselves considering the options of being a stay-at-home mom or switching careers to care for our young ones. Here in our Mothers’ Day Special, we share an insight to the journey of Zea Lim, Founder of Parent & Child SG, who is also preparing for the arrival of her third child.
*1) Could you share with us a brief overview of who you are, how and why you started Parent & Child SG *
Born & raised in Singapore, I worked in the banking/finance industry for more than a decade after University. After becoming a mum of 2, I decided to stay-at-home (consensus agreed upon after discussion with my partner) as we have no child-care help/support from the grandparents and encountered helper issues. During this period, I find myself spending time researching information and tips related to parenting, family and kids. Even though I came across a barrage of information online, they are unfiltered, mostly product-related, scattered all over various websites and some are not applicable to Asia/Singapore/local context. There is also lack of information/help/support for parents on self-care. I saw a gap – there isn’t a holistic one-stop parenting platform with quality content on family, parents and kids. I firmly believe that happy parents will have happy kids, forming happy families. So I thought why not set up such a platform myself and share curated information with fellow parents/parents-to-be? That was how I started an online website, Parent & Child, from home.
Photos courtesy of Zea Lim, Founder of Parent & Child Sg
*2) What are the 2 biggest challenges in managing two kids and a new business and how you overcame them*
The road of entrepreneurship is never easy and fraught with struggles and failures others do not see. Two main challenges I faced were:
(i) Having to juggle household, childcare (especially when both kids are preschoolers), care giving (for parents) and career when working at home. It is a blessing to be able to be at home with kids, to witness their milestones, to watch them grow and be with them, especially during the crucial early years. However, it is also a struggle. Prying clingy kids away from “playing” with my laptop (and accidentally deleting drafts or sending out half-typed emails), ignoring the incessant banging on the room door, doing work calls amidst screams/cries, multi-tasking (when kids ask for food/snack/play/questions/etc). Many parents who are now working from home during this Circuit Breaker period will understand (laughs). There was also a series of unexpected family crisis I had to deal with as well as caregiver roles I had to take on around the same time Parent & Child was launched. It was really challenging and draining – physically, mentally and emotionally.
(ii) Getting others to know us and become a choice partner amidst strong competitors (magazines, publishers, mummy websites, etc) that have years of track record in readership, strong financial backing/clientele network, big teams and established brands.
Cliche as it sounds, passion in parenting and determination to make a difference kept me going. Due to our holistic and more personal approach, we are able to differentiate ourselves from competitors. Being open-minded has also allowed me to learn new skills, explore alternative/new ideas/new collaborations and trouble-shoot when faced with problems. I am also thankful for friends who had lent helping hands to contribute articles during the website’s initial launch phase so that I could focus more time and efforts in other areas like IT, marketing, branding, content planning, publishing schedule, collaborations, etc.
To be honest, there are times I feel burnt out from wearing so many hats. I find regular exercising, pacing myself (and slowing down when necessary), being self-aware of mental/emotional state helps. I also use techniques learnt in Positive Psychology to cope with life’s challenges. Sometimes it is also necessary to put oneself first and know when to say no (still learning this!).
*3) What is your biggest joy or achievement so far*
It is challenging to single out one biggest joy/achievement because life is filled with ups and downs. I feel every mini achievement and moment of simple joy is worth treasuring and celebrating. I am grateful for God’s blessings thus far and nothing beats the joy of being able to follow one’s heart and knowing that loved ones are healthy and safe. Eventually, that is all that matters.
*4) Will you consider going back to the corporate world?*
I believe in life, never say never. If there is a right opportunity at the right time, I will consider. If that happens, I hope to continue running Parent & Child, because it is my baby!
*5) Two tips for moms who are thinking of starting out on their own or doing a career switch*
(i) Be honest with yourself and know yourself. Ask yourself if you are prepared to jump out of your comfort zone, to start from zero and build business from scratch. To sacrifice glamorous job and stable income (and even use up your own savings). To effectively juggle home, work and life. Be prepared to spend late nights working especially with young kids (because the only quiet time you may have is when kids are in school or sleeping).
(ii) Passion and self-discipline have to be the anchor of your business. Without them, it will be difficult to keep going, despite the odds and obstacles.
Thanks for staying this far with us and we hope that it has given you mommies some food for thought in your decision on choosing to stay home or be a working mom or even doing a flexi work arrangement. Remember the grass may seem greener on the other side but where you water will stay the greenest. Be yourself and make the best decision for yourself and your family because no one else knows that better than you.
Parent & Child SG is currently giving away FREE Wellness Pack (worth $210) to mommies over at their site so do head over and register for yours today!