This is the second of a 4-part series by Focus on the Family Singapore to shine the spotlight on mums, and the different ways they express love to their families and juggle this thing called life.
Let’s hear from Lee Huiwen, Co-Founder of Studio Asobi and mum to an adorable 3-year-old boy.
My husband and I co-founded a pottery studio (Studio Asobi) and we have been working together from home for the past 7 years. We have a 3.5-year-old boy, 2 cats, and my mum moved in with us last year after experiencing a stroke. Before having a child, we loved having lots of spontaneous adventures. Now, we love sitting in the coffee shop and slowly eating breakfast or watching Chinese singing competitions with my mum while doing pottery.
Several years ago, I read a book by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, called How will you measure your life? I was struck when I read about the high achievers in his community whose personal lives suffered even while their professional lives soared. The book encouraged me to re-evaluate my life. Having lost my dad to cancer when I was 22, I knew that the most important things in life are not money nor accomplishments. My aspirations have more to do with the type of person I’m growing into and the quality of the relationships I’m cultivating.
My belief in God and values shaped my journey to Studio Asobi. Pottery was at first just a hobby we dabbled in to slow down our lives and spend more time together. We soon fell in love with the infinite possibilities of clay and after a sabbatical in 2013, I started our home pottery studio in 2014.
As with most working mums, I often feel stretched with full-time work, parenting, and housework to handle. Stress comes in waves, and sometimes without even realizing it, my body would react with symptoms such as tension headaches. It is an ongoing process to safeguard my time and flexibility so that I have enough buffer to respond to urgent needs without burning out or neglecting the people I love.
Earlier on in motherhood, I struggled with mummy's wrist pain on both arms (likely due to pottery work), so there were many things that I couldn't do, like burping the baby. This could have been emotionally crushing but I tried my best to temper my self-expectations and allow Kenneth to handle the bulk of the physical work. This actually helped Kenneth to feel more confident about being a father, so it was a blessing in disguise.
I am also thankful that by running a home pottery studio, we have the time and space to be present in our child's life. Being able to experience the little milestones has been really precious for me.
When I see my son laughing in that pure, innocent way and saying "I love you" to us, it makes me feel like life is so beautiful.
One thing that has helped me greatly is keeping the big picture in mind – which is cultivating a loving relationship with my husband and child for the long run. I know that as the child grows, there would be different seasons and I need to till and sow the field of his heart now for him to be secure in our love.
Here’s a note to all mums out there – the days are long but the years are short, so don't forget to savour each sweet moment as they come.
© 2021 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
Read other stories in this series: Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4.
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