In Part 1, Annie shared on the greatest joys and challenges of motherhood. Here, she talks about being a working mom as well as her advice to new mothers.
I started the business out of pure necessity in 2001, which was a result of the desperate need to find nice, practical clothing for discreet breastfeeding. Public breastfeeding was much frowned upon and with the lack of proper clothing, it was nearly impossible. The opportunity came when my sister-in-law helped to sew a few of my first ever designs. With the help of Frontpage and a manual, I created my first ever website. It didn’t have any payment gateway so, every transaction was in cash. To have more sales, I would peddle my wares. Each time when I had to deliver the order, I would asked if I could bring extra items to show.
Pretty soon, I had a busy schedule; delivering and meeting other nursing moms. Those trips had always involved my children. They would come along and I guessed, they acted as ice breakers.
It wasn’t easy to run a SOHO business. I would work 24/7 around my children’s schedules. I was blessed to have a mom who helped out whenever things got too busy, such as when I participated in the fairs, and when I had to travel on business. My children practically were part of the business. They were my mini models and in recent years, they have been helping out during the fairs. They’ve experienced first hand the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. They have also witnessed how the business has evolved through the last 14 years. Sometimes, we would have business discussions at the dinner table.
Being a mom and running a business at the same time has helped me become more organised, patient and tolerant. We don’t have a helper but I am blessed with two wonderful children who have learned to cook and do housework, and are ever willing to help me out in any way whatsoever.
My advice to other moms:
Play with your children – the rule of the game doesn’t matter. Just play and have fun. Get dirty. Dance in the rain. Go crazy. They will adore you!
Read to your children – don’t leave reading to the ipad
Kiss your children goodnight – develop a ritual; maybe a song & a kiss when you put them to bed. It will be something nice to look forward to end the day with.
Take lots of photos and get them developed – have a physical photo album. It makes a whole lot of difference when they are 18, and your memory (and HDD) fails!
Answer your childrens’ questions with a question – get them to think of the answers themselves.
Share with your children stories of your day – this will encourage them to share with you their day, especially when they become teens.
Apologise sincerely when you made a mistake – will show them that you are not perfect and, they don’t have to be either
Ask your children for their opinions – be it your dressing, cooking or any other matters. You will be surprised at how wise children are!
Tell your children that they are beautiful all the time – it will promote them to think likewise and to be comfortable in their own bodies
Celebrate your childrens’ accomplishment – it will teach them to look for the positive, and be positive.
And lastly, take time out for yourself whenever possible. You deserve it.