An Interview with Jean of Wee Stories
Hi I’m Jean, a full-time working mom to two gorgeous girls and wife to the best husband a woman could ask for. I work in health communication so I write for love and money. I started blogging way back in 1997 when I was still an undergraduate, and it’s been a good way for me to document Life’s events over the years. My blog, Wee Stories (http://wee-stories.com), is about our little family’s adventures in Singapore and beyond. Sometimes, I also write about current issues and health issues, especially those that affect our family.
What’s your secret to managing career and family?
I am blessed three times over when it comes to work-life balance. The first blessing is my husband. He works from home and juggles two jobs as a designer and cycling coach with parenting our two girls. We’ve always felt that it’s good for the girls to have at least one parent be at home, and since I make a very poor stay-at-home-mom and enjoying working, while he loves nothing more than spending time with the kids, it’s a great arrangement.
I am also very fortunate to have a good helper who has been with us for nearly 10 years. She loves the girls and runs our household with ruthless efficiency. The house would fall apart without her!
Finally, thanks to a very understanding boss who believes in the value of work-life balance, I’m able to get my work done efficiently, go home to see my family each evening punctually and still have time for keeping fit and indulging in my hobbies. I really couldn’t ask for a better balance between career and family.
Tell us something about yourself and your life as a mother?
I used to think that “try your best” was a cop-out phrase used by the lazy to justify not doing better, until I became a mom. Now I realize that trying your best is really all you can do. I thought that I had mothering down pat after my first child Alison was born, but when my second daughter Zoe arrived four years after, she took us on a rollercoaster ride which no parenting manual could have prepared us for.
Things like breastfeeding problems and colic – which we went through with Alison – were a walk in the park compared to seeing Zoe go through major heart surgery with a 10-day stay in the ICU, hand surgery which gave her a huge “drumstick” dressing that encased her entire hand for two weeks, and Kawasaki Disease that necessitated a 7-day stay in hospital, with me sleeping over all of those 7 days. After these experiences, managing her asthma and allergies is easy by comparison.
As Alison enters adolescence, it’s challenging to deal with a sulky, whiny, attitudinous tween after a hard day’s work. But I believe that with a bucketful of love, a dollop of patience and a pinch of understanding (plus not a little eye-rolling), we’ll get through this.
Having gone through all kinds of ups and downs over the last 10 years, I’ve concluded that a mother’s heart must be tough yet tender at the same time. We are capable of so much love, wisdom and persistence, even as our imperfect hearts are bruised repeatedly from trying to raise tiny human beings to be good and useful persons in this flawed world. The ability to pick ourselves up and carry on because our children need us is the magic of motherhood.
Share with us, what you
My family, my sails and my anchors in life.
That my daughters will grow up to be self-assured, independent and level-headed women.
HAVE FAITH IN
That the big guy up there loves, hears, understands and plans.
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