Dawn Ling is the owner of Bag Kids Up, an online shopping store which offers a wide range of products for babies, toddlers, children and mommies that are found across the globe. Bag Kids Up provides high quality yet affordable products so that kids and mommies alike can enjoy and pamper themselves without the guilt of overspending.
But most of all, Dawn is a doting mother of 2 beautiful kids: Myron, 3 years old and Memphis, 1. If you think that business is her only forte, you are wrong. Motherhood is her cup of tea.
So there. We would like to bring you our very first Supermom to be ever featured in Mummysg. Hope you all enjoy reading Dawn’s interview and inspire all moms to follow your dreams.
Are you a working or stay-at-home mother?
I’m a working mother. It’s a challenging role to be working and to care for your children right after work. After having my first boy in 2009, I went back to work straight after my 4 months maternity leave. It was a culture shock as I was still breastfeeding them. Imagine not having a nursing room and having to express milk in 20 min while having my lunch at the same time! Thinking back, I wonder how I ‘survived’ and persevered during that period. It was very upsetting when my milk supply dropped merely 2 weeks after starting work. It was mainly due to stress and also lack of time to express milk during working hours. However, I still managed to breastfeed my boy for 15 months. This definitely made me a very proud mother!
What influenced your decision to work/stay at home?
After discussing with my husband, we decided that double incomes have an advantage over a single income as we can spend more freely on the kids and their necessities. Truth be told, I’m also a workaholic so I dont’t really see myself suitable being at home 24/7 with the kids. Working somehow maintains my sanity while it makes me feel accomplished to be able to provide for my kids without having to worry if we are overspending.
In the recent months, I have embarked on another personal interest and passion: Having my very own online shop! Early this year around April, during my maternity leave after delivering Memphis, I started an online shop selling ladies’ handbags. The response was good but I was too busy with my full-time job as well as caring for Memphis to really follow up on the business. Since having a baby girl, I started to shop out more for baby’s stuff as I could doll up my girl! A great idea occurred to me that I could switch my focus from selling bags to baby and kids’ stuff! My purpose of starting Bag Kids Up was to source for quality baby and kids’ products but cheaper than retail prices. This will benefit all mothers who love to shop for their kids. I started sourcing for reliable suppliers with quality goods and Bag Kids Up (www.facebook.com/bagkidsup) officially started in September. In just 2 short months, the page garnered 700 over likes. This is a great achievement to me and has definitely surpassed my first online shop. I guess the selling points of Bag Kids Up are that the prices are reasonable, the products are of good quality and we try to bring in unique goods that cannot be found in Singapore.
What sacrifices did/do you have to make to work/stay at home?
Ever since starting Bag Kids Up, my closest friends started asking me if I was a superwoman. How can someone already working full time (8+ hours) in the office come home only to start work again on the computer to answer customers’ queries and to purchase stuff from supplier and sending them out again to customers by courier. More importantly, how about my kids?? My answer was that my kids are still number one. Whenever they require my attention, I will put away all other things and tend to them first. Work is important to me but secondary as compared to the kids. Of course, with all things, there are sacrifices to be made. I only slept for 2 hours daily when Bag Kids Up just started. Now that everything is more stabilized, I can sleep for up to 4 hours a day.
Do you feel that your child is missing out on anything because you work/stay at home?
I guess I would have liked to spend more time playing and teaching my children. That is why my husband and I maximize our time during the weekend to bring them out for outings. I also read and watch educational shows with them for bonding them.
How do you think your relationship with your child would differ if you worked/stayed at home?
If I were to resign from my full-time job, my children would probably be even more attached to me. I can also teach them more things as opposed to expecting the caregiver to do that.
What would be you ideal situation (stay home, work part-time, work full-time)?
I am still contemplating to focus all my attention on Bag Kids Up since it is picking up really well. If I were to resign from my full-time job and just focus on Bag Kids Up, this will mean more time at home with my kids too. However, this is my long term plan.
How do you view mothers who work/stay at home?
As mentioned earlier, whether mothers work or stay at home, I salute them as the onset of being a mother is already a tough job. As long as our values revolve around giving our children the best we can, there should be no regrets to any decision made.
What advice would you give to a parent who is struggling with the decision to work or stay home?
I would say follow your heart. I have gone through the struggle of making a firm decision but as time goes by and through observation of your situation, your partner and you should be able to work out the best solution that works for you.
Have you ever or will you join any baby/toddler classes?
I have not’t had the chance to join any of such classes but if I can free up my time after I resign from my job, I might consider joining one. After all, it’s a good networking opportunity with like-minded mothers to render one another support.
What is the best piece of advice that you can give to all mums out there who do like you do?
Persevere to do what you can do best with your children and family in mind. Never compromise your children’s needs as they simply grow up too fast. Once you miss their growing up years, you will lament that you should have spent more time playing with them or teaching them. dont’t leave any regrets!
As told to MummySG