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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Parenting

Juggling a career in the beauty industry and being a mother

Posted: 06 May 2014 05:40 PM PDT

It's always a learning curve: Three women share lessons they've learnt in motherhood.

Looking at the women who work in the beauty industry, it appears as if they look immaculately flawless all the time, and they lead a lifestyle that's brimming with glamour, beautiful people and luxury.

Truth is, when you look beneath the make-up and skincare veneer, it's actually a lot of hard work. On top of trying to juggle deadlines (yes, they've got deadlines too!), meeting targets, customer demands, budget constraints, dealing with technlogical changes, delivering PR spiel and handling principals, they are wives and mothers too! All of it, while still maintaining a gorgeous demeanour!

It's tough enough when you have bosses or husbands to answer to, but children are probably the most difficult as they don't succumb to adult logic or timelines, and the way they operate are not always within reason.

Perhaps, the hardest lesson for mothers to accept is that we're not perfect and our children don't expect us to be. Sometimes, we are own worst critics as we have such high expectations of ourselves!

Clarance Boo, public relations manager for L'Occitane, came across this quote: While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. She feels it's absolutely true as children are a lot more mature than we give them credit for.

This Mother's Day, Star2 took three women aside to ask about the takeaway lessons they've learnt as mothers.

Sharyn Wong, 45, general manager of Clinique, is a mother of two, a girl aged 17 and a boy aged 14.

Lesson 1: I've learnt to treat both of them like friends and talk to them with respect. They both clearly enjoy this sort of "new" relationship with my husband and I. It makes it easier for them to share their daily experiences with us so and we can keep abreast of what's happening to them.

Lesson 2: I've learnt to not be too upset if the outcome (at school) is not as expected. We always tell the kids that as long as they try their best, we're fine with it. We don't believe in having a kiasu mentality as we want them to be able to understand failure and learn from the experiences.

Life is not centred on winning, but rather, it's the journey that matters.

Lesson 3: I've learnt to rationalise with them and clarify when we disagree on issues, instead of forcing our opinions on the children as kids these days are very opinionated and have a mind of their own.

We encourage them to make their own decisions and be responsible for the outcome as empowerment comes with responsibility.

Thirty-something group marketing manager of Sothys, Joanne Teo, has two children: Natalie, nine and Nicholas, six.

Lesson 1: I've learnt to listen and try to understand my children. Gone are the days when they will do whatever we tell them to. My kids ask me "why" all the time, and I have to explain and rationalise with them.

As a mother, I realise I must understand them in order to be understood. It is a real challenge and sometimes, I just want to say "just do it!" but I feel it's good to communicate my feelings so that they know where I'm coming from.

Lesson 2: When bringing up a girl and a boy, it's important to have individual time with them. As a working mum, it's a real challenge to spend time with them. Often,

it's a case of "killing many birds with one stone", for example, when I'm out doing groceries with them!

I do try to make time for mother-daughter outings (doing to the salon, shopping, etc) and mother-son days too. I feel that with the little time I get to spend with them, I get to build our relationship.

During these precious times, I ask them personal questions about how they feel or what their views are, just so that they will feel more comfortable sharing information and their feelings with me.

Lesson 3: I noticed that as mothers, we try very hard to be the best. Motherhood is not a competition and we shouldn't compare with other mothers out there. It's a journey based on a foundation of love.

As such, we shouldn't beat ourselves up for the things we aren't able to do or provide, because at the end of the day, it should be a journey where we can look back without regrets, because we've tried our very best.

Clarance Boo, 31, of L'Occitane, has a three-year-old daughter, Gabby.

Lesson 1: I've learned that it's OK to speak up. Kids are not afraid to ask for what they want. Whenever Gabby wants something, she'll try her best to get it. Sometimes it involves doing adorable things, and sometimes it involves a bit of crying on her part.

As adults, we're often so scared of being labelled – self-centred, selfish, foolish – and we usually end up not realising what we really want. Gabby has taught me that with a little courage, sometimes it's OK to ask for the things you want in life.

Lesson 2: There's no harm in taking things one step at a time. Some days, everything seems to be happening at the same time and it makes me crazy sometimes because I never seem to have enough time on my hands. Because of Gabby, I've learnt to be more patient.

In her own little way, she's showed me that it's alright to admit that I'm can be wrong sometimes.

Lesson 3: As a young mother, I do what's best for my child. Sometimes, people feel entitled to give me advice on how to raise my child. Over the years, I have learnt not to take all the advice to heart. At the end of the day, what matters is that Gabby grows up well under my care, be it the "right" way or not. Her happiness is above everything else.

Lesson 4: It's perfectly alright not to be the "perfect mother". I picked up cooking when I became a mum. My food is not super delicous, but I cook with all my heart and my daughter eats it with gusto, which makes me feel really contented.

Every feedlng time is an enjoyable experiece as Gabby makes me feel that I don't need to be an award-winning chef to cook for her. It's the effort which I have put in that counts.

Related story:

Win stuff for your best gal aka your mum

Lovely gift options for mum this Mother's Day

Posted: 06 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Celebrate the woman that brought you into this world by showering her with these exquisite finery.

She rocked your cradle, now she rules your world. As your mother is, and always will be, the star of your heart, it is only proper that you make her feel special on the occasions that you can do so.

Come Mother's Day, why not take the time to treat the lady who has raised you for a good 18 years of your life? You may never be able to completely pay her back for what she has given you, but it will certainly make her day.

What we have below are some gift ideas for the different mothers out there. Whether it is something practical like a bag or phone, or a trinket that complements her beauty or home, find something for your mum here. She deserves it.

The Constellation is a modern smartphone that combines all of Vertu¿s expertise in fine materials, craftsmanship, technology and services.

The Constellation is a modern smartphone that combines all of Vertu's expertise in fine materials,
craftsmanship, technology and services.

Just a call away

If money is no object, go all out and get the elegant Vertu Constellation. A mother who is technology savvy will appreciate it for being a modern smartphone that possesses all the features needed to keep her connected, and is fashionable too.

A scratch-resistant sapphire crystal covers the entire front of the phone, under which sits a high-definition 4.3-inch screen. Surrounding that is a grade 5 titanium casing – a material two and a half times stronger than stainless steel, but half the weight.

Available is a range of stylish colours. These include orange, raspberry, black, mocha and cappuccino, as well as two limited edition shades called pure navy and plum alligator.

A fitting tribute to mum would be a lovely Comyns sterling silver photo frame.

A fitting tribute to mum would be a lovely Comyns sterling silver photo frame.

Decorations of love

How about presenting your mum with something that will sit beautifully on her shelf or tabletop? Comyns has a selection of one-of-a-kind sterling silver gifts that will be beautiful additions to any home.

Consider the Classic and Emma photo frames. They are of a sleek design, in which she can house her most treasured photos. Fine lines along the borders and a lustrous finish give each an opulent feel.

Look to the Gracilis candelabrum that is inspired by pitcher plants, or the filled figurine of a swan and cygnet. Both are great decorative pieces to display in one's house.

Coach's Madison Gingham Totes are available in different sizes and colours.

Coach's Madison Gingham Totes are available in different sizes and colours.

Bagging it

You can also spoil mummy dearest with a new and fashionable carry. For instance, there is a wide range of choices to consider from Coach – each inherently irresistible to a "bag person".

There is the Madison Gingham Tote that comes in three sizes. This colourful beauty will bring out your mum's playful side. For the woman who prefers a sleeker look, try the Borough Bag with white leather and bright trimmings.

If you prefer something different, choose the Preston Satchel. It has a novel design with a fresh silhouette and refined lines. This may very help your mother feel fashion forward and in vogue when she's out with her friends.

Poh Kong is highlighting a floral themed jewellery collection for MotherĂ¢¿¿s Day.

Poh Kong is highlighting a floral themed jewellery collection for Mother's Day.

A touch of sparkle

Jewellery is a convenient go-to, as far as Mother's Day gifts are concerned. Poh Kong, for instance, has a stylish floral-themed collection that consists of pendants crafted from rose and white plated gold, diamonds, and jade.

Similar are Selberan's white and yellow gold rings, necklaces and bracelets. Complemented with diamonds and other jewels, they provide chic interpretations of flowers for the modern woman.

Swarovski nevertheless adds on nature motifs to its floral designs. Highlighting crystals, the different pieces exemplify simplicity and romanticism that all women can surely appreciate.

Another standout is from Forevermark's Cornerstones collection. Featuring a solitaire diamond held fast by four elegantly adorned prongs that represents honesty, trust, respect and appreciation, this is said to denote a mother's love.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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