How long have you been in Singapore, and how has your time here been?
I’ve only been in Singapore for two years. I used to live in Hong Kong, and Sydney and Canada before that, but I’m actually French—I’m from Paris (laughs).
I have two young boys now. One’s almost three years old, and the other is seven months, and raising a family in Singapore has actually been lovely. It’s a great place to have young children.
What has it been like being a mom? What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt so far?
It’s been interesting being a mom of boys. I think I love them more than I could ever imagine loving someone, but at the same time, I haven’t lost myself. I work full-time, so I’m still me, but I’m also a parent now. And that’s really important for me—making sure that I haven’t changed in any way or anything like that.
The biggest thing I’ve learnt would be to not sweat the small stuff, which is really hard when you have a type A personality, and you’re used to being a bit more in control. I think you just stop worrying about the smaller stuff being a mom. And I think COVID has been a silver lining for me in many ways. I got to spend so much more time with my children, and I get to see them grow up. The fact that we’re together and we’re healthy is the most important, really.
Most working mothers feel working mom guilt to a certain extent. Is this something that you experience as well?
Yes, being a working mom is very hard and I feel very guilty at times, I’m not going to lie. But I keep reminding myself that I want my boys to know that women work, and can work, and that’s their choice. It’s not just daddies, mommies can work too. And I hope that one day when they meet their spouse, they’ll encourage that person to work as well if that’s what she decides to do, because they find it normal.
For me, it’s really important that boys—and men in general—find it completely normal that women work as well, in corporates and in big jobs. I try to balance it as much as I can: my priority is still my children, but I’m also a good mom because I work. I have my own time, space, and ambitions, and those have not changed because I’ve had a family—it shouldn’t change. You can have professional ambitions and also be a good mother. I don’t see why they need to be mutually exclusive.
What is something you always try to do as a family?
Breakfast. I think all mealtimes are important. Maybe it is cultural from a French perspective, but mealtime is a sit-down family time for me. That’s when we talk, and that’s when we exchange. I mean, they’re very little, so one doesn’t talk, and one throws food everywhere (laughs), but I still think mealtimes are very important. Apart from that, my husband, who works as well, and I try to be home for bedtime. The bedtimes stories, the nighttime rituals, I think is a very important routine for the family as well.