Embracing Motherhood: Mumpreneurs In Singapore

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This Mother's Day, we would like to dedicate this post to all mums and mums-to-be out there. We interviewed 4 inspiring mumpreneurs in Singapore to learn about their unique motherhood journey.

Check out our conversation with Shanna from AYN SKIN, Daphne from Candles of Light, Yen from Madam Partum, and Liana from Souf Lavender Pillow!


Shanna, AYN SKIN

AYN SKIN embraces healthy, safe, and quality products that are ultimately good for the skin.





How do you manage motherhood and run your own business? 

Shanna: I find that women have it harder cos we have to juggle between a career and family which often comes with sacrifices and compromises. But I’m lucky to have a very supportive husband and family network which I am grateful for. Running my own business has its perks as my time is flexible to handle any urgent home matters. But it also means I do not have the luxury to switch off completely as running your own business and being a mother are 24/7 commitments. So a lot of discipline is required to juggle between work requirements and family’s needs.

Focus on the critical matters and leave the non-crucial ones till later is a good way to prevent burnout. My husband and I will tag-team to manage family needs when either of us travels for work (pre-Covid days) so we will make sure one of us is around for our children so the other person can deal with work in peace. I recalled I had to rush from the airport from a work trip to celebrate my son’s birthday in order not to miss it. It also gets harder when a child is sick. Every day brings different challenges be it work or family so it is really to hold your breath, keep sane and deal with whatever is thrown your way as best as you can.


What are the biggest changes you see on your skin/body after giving birth? And did it change your perspective on how you view yourself?

Shanna: I like my sense of confidence and self-worth as I got older but I missed my leaner body in younger, pre-baby days as I have loose skin around the tummy area now. But having said that, I am comfortable in my own skin. I try to maintain a healthy diet and exercise when I can.


How does your self-care routine look like before and after motherhood? 

Shanna: I learnt that less is more so I stopped using foundation years ago. I only use concealer and powder for my makeup base. I keep a basic beauty regime like making it a point to maintain a weekly Sunday self-care ritual of face, body scrubs, and facial mask. I also make it a point to tone and moisturize my face and body before sleep. Going for foot and back massages when I can spare the time also helps with self-care.


What are some of the biggest lessons you take away from being a mom? 

Shanna: I think women tend to feel guilty about not doing enough. Learning to let go of certain things that are not deemed critical and not sweat about small stuff is important for positive mental health. I also learnt to look at things differently from the perspective of a child and think from their point of view rather than from an adult and mother’s point of view.


What are the biggest challenges you face pre/postpartum and how do you overcome/deal with them? 

Shanna: The saying that “it takes a village to raise a child” is very real cos once you have children, you realised that your time is not your own anymore. You are constantly worrying and thinking about your child’s welfare and family’s needs above yours. So I learnt to let go of the small things and just focus on the bigger issues and needs.


Can you share some tips and tricks on how you rediscover yourself and ways to increase self-love after motherhood? 

Shanna: I feel me-time is very important for positive mental wellbeing e.g. hang out with girlfriends or some me-time to indulge in beauty and mental wellness. We are constantly caught up by the demands of the daily grind so I have learnt to make efficient use of my time to manage my work and family responsibilities. Learning to pace myself and delegate matters if I can help to get things done. Today’s work environment and stress do not allow us to be completely switched off e.g. you are constantly on mobile mail while on the move. You can be trying to have a foot massage or hair cut or dealing with your child’s parent-teacher meetings but you are also checking your work emails. We are so stretched for time. So I often have to reconcile within myself if I have done my best and it is good enough. Most importantly is that I did the best I can and move on. Having a positive mindset and outlook is important.


Daphne, Candles of Light

Light is a scent studio and home goods curator for the wellness sophisticate, specializing in botanical natural-based perfumes.




How do you manage motherhood and run your own business? 

Daphne: My daughter just turned 1, and when she was born, I made a conscious decision that I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her because she’s not going to want me around by her side forever. It does mean I have to be more intentional with my time spent on the business, and sometimes things don’t progress as quickly as I’d like to. I am thankful and privileged to have a good support network who can watch my little one while I’m at the studio, or at an event.


What are the biggest changes you see on your skin/body after giving birth? And did it change your perspective on how you view yourself?

Daphne: Post-partum hair fall is real and hit me really badly. Thankfully the hair started growing back after 7 months or so, so I have a little halo of baby hairs around my crown now. My skin became a lot drier, and my core definitely isn’t as strong as it used to be! I have a lot of respect for my body, in being able to grow and sustain a human being. I’m a lot more aware that my relationship with my body will also influence my daughter’s relationship with her body. So the goal continues to be eating nourishingly and mindfully while being sure to move and stretch to strengthen both mind and body.


How does your self-care routine look like before and after motherhood? 

Daphne: I used to be so religious about masking my face almost every night, which has sorely fallen by the wayside since becoming a mum. However, I always wash and moisturize my face, that’s a non-negotiable.


What are some of the biggest lessons you take away from being a mom? 

Daphne: Patience! I’m not the most patient person and every night I pray for an extra dose of patience, especially when dealing with an adorable and very active almost-toddler. My daughter is currently learning how to walk, and watching her constantly trip and fall but bouncing right back up to try again really inspires me to take that same approach in both business and life.


Can you share some tips and tricks on how you rediscover yourself and ways to increase self-love after motherhood? 

Daphne: I do online yoga or barre class 2 to 3 times a week. Setting aside a little me-time when I can, out of the house and studio, to have lunch or drinks with friends or learning something new. Weekly date nights with my husband. I’d like to fit a facial and pedicure in somewhere, and am working on it!


Liana, Souf Lavender Pillows

Souf Lavender Pillows focus on handmade products to provide mental and physical relief through natural means. 



How do you manage motherhood and run your own business? 

Liana: I always remind myself why I started this business and that I am a mother first then everything else, which makes it easier to focus and prioritise. Sacrifices I would say is learning to say no as it is hard to reject opportunities. Sometimes work does affect my mood and I do not want my children to be on the receiving end of that so there needs to be a balance and that means letting go of some opportunities.


What are the biggest changes you see on your skin/body after giving birth? And did it change your perspective on how you view yourself?

Liana: The biggest changes are the tummy areas, the postpartum hair loss, and just basically how your whole body feels because of the hard labour work. I do appreciate how the woman’s body is built to birth and that never fails to amaze me.


How does your self-care routine look like before and after motherhood? 

Liana: Before motherhood, I would go for massages or do a face mask at home regularly. Now I would say I would do a body scrub once a week at least!


What are some of the biggest lessons you take away from being a mom? 

Liana: Lots of unlearning and relearning, choosing your battles otherwise you’ll burn out eventually. Being there is important, whether emotionally or physically. The best thing you can give to your child is spending time with them.


What are the biggest challenges you face pre/postpartum and how do you overcome/deal with them? 

Liana: Postpartum I would say would be comments from others (it could be well-intended too) and learning not to let it affect you or alter the decisions you make as a parent. The other one would be managing emotions and that’s why I mentioned that the biggest lesson is to unlearn and relearn.


Can you share some tips and tricks on how you rediscover yourself and ways to increase self-love after motherhood? 

Liana: I take heart in being there for my family, that’s where I feel I am constantly developing myself ( as a person and as a mother or wife, etc). Personally, I feel that being spiritually connected is important too.



Yen, Madam Partum

Madam Partum is the leading pre-and post-partum wellness and confinement care specialist.


How do you manage motherhood and run your own business? 

Yen: As a mompreneur, I admit that I still face numerous challenges in leading the company and balancing motherhood. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and the same can be said for running a successful business. I've been very fortunate to be able to foster a supportive team where they can be flexible and work around my schedule which helps to balance it all.

I always make sure to not miss my kids’ big milestones and when I make plans for work and meetings, I will factor in my kids’ schedules. A business meeting can always be rescheduled.

I’ve learned that the key to being an involved mother and mompreneur simultaneously means that I know that I will need to make sacrifices and compromises. Understanding and accepting that I have to put my personal life on hold until my kids are older and on their own. Right now, I focus my time and energy on being an involved mom to my kids and a leader at work.


What are the biggest changes you see on your skin/body after giving birth? And did it change your perspective on how you view yourself?

Yen: I gained over 20kg during my pregnancy, while at the same time experienced dermatological changes that I have not had before such as skin tags. After my pregnancy, I struggled with weight loss, as well as the appearance of stretch marks. And to add on, my skin was left looking dull and unpleasant from sleep deprivation and the many hormonal changes that occurred during pregnancy and after childbirth.

I felt that I looked terrible then, and was not even sure how I can get back to my pre-pregnancy look but I never stopped believing that I would surely look great and feel confident about how I look with time. I knew I needed time to shed the weight that was gained during my pregnancy. As they always say, 9 months on and 9 months off. I was also motivated to lose those extra kilos by continuing on with my breastfeeding.

My stretch marks have become lighter with time and still very much a part of me. Whenever I see them, they remind me of my pregnancy and tell a beautiful story about my motherhood journey. They are a constant reminder that I am a strong woman and have exactly what it takes to be the best mom for my kids.


How does your self-care routine look like before and after motherhood? 

Yen: Signs of stress can be seen on our faces such as acne, dry skin, rashes, and fine lines. I know that beautiful skin will not happen overnight and without any effort. So regardless of how busy or tired I am, I will not skip any of the steps in my beauty regimen even during pregnancy. It is a daily routine that consists of caring for my face, body, and hair.

I am also a firm believer in the benefits of body massage to help reduce my stress level and improve blood circulation to relieve my tension and aches in my body. Hence, massages are definitely a must-do as part of my self-care and a quick escapade for my “me-time” routine which I get to enjoy weekly.


What are some of the biggest lessons you take away from being a mom? 

Yen: There are so many life lessons I have learned through motherhood that I would not have understood before I had both Ethan and Emma. After having them, my perspective on life has changed positively and I have learned to push myself and take on things that I didn't think were possible before becoming a mother. It is never about just me but us as a family.

Learning is not only a matter of absorbing information but a process of developing many other internal skills, like curiosity, perseverance, and the ability to tackle tough challenges in life. A valuable skill and virtue that one can never live out.


What are the biggest challenges you face pre/postpartum and how do you overcome/deal with them? 

Yen: Going through the perinatal phase, things that I have discovered about myself and have experienced amazes me even till now. I have learned the physical, mental and emotional strengths that I never knew I possessed. I believe that all mothers have these innate abilities and not until being a mother do we realize how strong and capable we really are.

As I have often mentioned, breastfeeding during my initial motherhood journey was the hardest. Although breastfeeding is natural, it certainly didn't happen naturally, and in fact, it was so difficult that I started to struggle physically and mentally especially when it was time to breastfeed Ethan as he was an extremely fussy baby. From the initial worries of not being able to produce enough breast milk to having sore nipples, milk blisters, and developing fever from blocked ducts, it was a stressful period for me so much so that I had wanted to give up.

It was physically and mentally exhausting for me, but I persevered with a positive mindset and determination. I was also supported by my father who is a TCM Physician, and he guided me on specific meridian points and breast massage techniques to help resolve my lactation issues. Over time, with regular care, breastfeeding became less frustrating and painful, and I had not only gained healthy milk flow, but I had also gained confidence.


  • Visualise what you want to see for your ideal self

When I gave birth to my son Ethan, I remember holding him in my arms for the first time and how overwhelmed I felt. I shed a river of tears and at that moment, I made a quiet promise to myself that I would love him with all my heart and provide the best of everything in life to him. I was consumed with this thought and wanted to give 101% and even more if possible. I had lost sense of myself, my identity as my whole world now revolved around him. I knew then that my life is not just about the kids but it is also about me living a life that I am passionate about and I ultimately feel fulfilled and happy. I believe that only when one is capable of loving oneself can they then have the ability to love others. Therefore self-love is important to me.

I am constantly seeking to understand my strengths and weaknesses and knowledge in areas that I am interested in and keen on. At the same time, I always keep in mind that I am a good mom to my kids because I can still pursue my dreams and achieve my goals and take care of my kids. I no longer feel like I have to make a choice or sacrifice, but rather being able to strike a fine balance between my personal growth and their growth towards adulthood.


  • Explore your passion

After I became a mother and went through pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, I enjoyed a renewed sense of passion, which led me to the founding of Madam Partum. I also get a great sense of fulfillment when I can help mothers with their recovery.

For me, I find the greatest meaning in life is helping the mothers we work with. It delights me knowing that with my help, they will be able to ease through their motherhood journey in as many ways possible.

Motherhood can be tough, but I know that mothers possess a strength that allows us to embrace the beautiful journey ahead.

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If you are a mom and ever feel bad about your postpartum body, we hope you remember what Claire Riley says, "your body is not ruined. You're a goddamn tiger who earned her stripes." 


And to end off, here's what Cassie Fox have to say about her stretch marks:

"A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn.

One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness.

One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me.

It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it's ugly. That's OK.

It was your home. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it." 


Wishing all our wonderful mum friends a Happy Mother's Day!

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