It is the month of March when women across the globe celebrate the International Women’s Day. Wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters gather together to observe this glorious celebration of women’s rights. MummySG joins the bandwagon of the said celebration as we feature another supermom who doesn’t only live for herself, but as well as for others. Meet Binni Ong, the new addition to the league of MummySG’s supermoms:
Binni Ong is the mother of a 3 year-old boy. She is also a currency trader and investor, a trainer as well as Chief-Trainer of TerraSeeds Market Technician Pte Ltd that she started with her husband in 2005. TerraSeeds is a company that conducts a course on forex trading for adults who aspire to achieve an additional income stream. The course is called TerraSeeds Forex Tflow® and teaching is conducted by Binni and her colleagues 6 times a year.Free Forex Seminars are run regular to introduce forex trading as an additional income and way of life to interested individuals.
Binni's personal achievements include a nomination for Spirit of Enterprise 2007 in addition to gaining a degree of prominence in her career. She is often interviewed for her opinion on financial markets in local Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily. However, it is her son Yurui who is at the centre of Binni's life. She enjoys motherhood as much as having a career where her passion lies - currency trading. She loves her current flexible arrangement of her job - a stay-at-home mom trading forex and earning a living, at the same time, conducting training to like-minded adults (many of which are mothers too!) and enjoying every moment of Yurui's company.
Read the rest of her interview, and be inspired!
1. Are you a working mother or stay-at-home mother?
I am lucky to be a bit of everything because I run a training business together with my husband. Our business operates on weekdays only and about one weekend in every two months. I get to work from home unless there are classes going on. At the moment, I send my son to my mother-in-law's place at noon and fetch him after dinner every day in a temporary arrangement. He stays at home every weekend because those are 'family-days'.
2. What influenced your decision to work/stay at home?
My decision was based always partly on the requirements of my business and of my son. We have given him the best that we could. For example, I breastfed him until he was 9 months old and only stopped when he rejected me after a bout of diarrhoea. Our business was shorthanded for some time so we decided to bring him to my mother-in-law's place. She was a stay-at-home mom her whole life and one of my sister-in-laws was also available to look after him. So he has 2 playmates and caregivers who are totally dedicated to him.
Since the beginning of this year, I have made an effort to stay away from office even more. I wanted to spend more time playing with my son, to read to him and to look at his writing exercises. I love the joy to share a piece of his everyday experiences.
The strongest driver that allows me to stay at home is because my job doesn't require me to be desk-bound. With forex trading, I am thankful that I can still earn a living while being with my son.
3. What sacrifices did/do you have to make to work/stay at home?
It is certainly not a sacrifice to stay at home more. I see my son as my greatest 'project' but I do have to quickly put plans into motion. There are many business challenges involved. Although work is not intensive, it has to be a bit delayed sometimes when I am on the road ferrying my son or playing with him. Otherwise, staying at home is definitely enjoyable.
With technology, I can easily communicate with co-workers via email or phone to meet deadlines. My trading doesn't require me to be desk-bound. I could be trading from my tablet or smartphone. Usually I spend about 3-4 hours a day in the afternoon to analyse the market and place trades. After which, I could do my housework or play with son, then occasionally catch a glimpse of market prices. There is no need for me to be in front of my computer at fixed hours.
4. Do you feel that your child is missing out on anything because you work/stay at home?
This is a very interesting question because we cannot have the most of both worlds. If I were employed full time, I could take a job with regular hours but might have to deposit him with a maid or childcare centre. This is something that my husband and I dont't want to happen. With my flexible work arrangement now and two streams of income (businesss and forex trading), I think this is the dream arrangement for both myself and my son. Our relationship is definitely much closer now. With the additional arrangement of sending him to my mother-in-law's place for several hours a day, I feel that he has richer interaction with his grandmother and aunts.
There are a few nights in a month when i have to work late and fetch him late from his grandmother place. This disturbs his sleep pattern, but he is used to it now. He is enjoying those extra hours of play with his aunts.
5. How do you think your relationship with your child would differ if you worked?
If I worked from 9am till 6pm, I will have maybe 1 hour of interaction with him before his sleep time by the time I reach home. Only 1 hour out of his 24 hours a day. This is definitely not the type of relationship I want. Our mother-son bond is very strong. I dont't want to work full time to destroy it.
If I were to work, he may have to be placed in the care of a maid or childcare centre. I can't bear to do this to him. Now i have the peace of mind that I am there to guide him in every possible way and be there for him
6. What would be your ideal situation (stay home, work part-time, work full-time)?
I love an arrangement where I could work from home part-time. The ideal arrangement seems like one where I could get 6 hours of my own time. Anyway as a 3 year old, my son takes a 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon. It’s good for his physical and mental development. This is the best time when I could get some of my work done.
I love to trade the market and I love to interact with my students who are equally passsionate about it. And it is this very special skill that I got to where I am now in terms of personal financial security, of becoming an entrepreneur and receiving recognition for my work.
Afternoon is also a good time because the European currency and stock market is very active during this time. So having six hours in the afternoon of my own is great. But I would do anything to make sure my boy gets to sleep regular hours, to go to bed regularly by 10pm or latest 10.30pm. This is for his physical and mental well-being. I could also then get him conditioned to a play-time, reading-time, TV-time routine to instil discipline. This will prepare him for school in future.
7. How do you view mothers who work/stay at home?
I see mothers who stay at home as very noble but also very privileged individuals. Certainly it is not easy to be 'trapped' at home with super-energetic children. Also I feel it is not easy to give up a career entirely because a part of life feels ripped out. And maybe very soon we will lose touch with what is going on outside. But stay-at-home moms are privileged because this stage of childhood passes by quickly. In households that need double income to make ends meet, the mothers are missing something very precious. Mothers who stay at home must treasure what they have.
As for mothers who work, I feel many do not have a choice. I think many are wonderful supermoms too. After working long hours at workplace, to come home and still work, but now ‘working’ for family, catching up on the loving and bonding with children and husband and then the washing and the cleaning.
8. Have you ever or will you join any baby/toddler classes?
I have attended a free session conducted by a private centre at Forum Galleria. It was many months back so I cannot remember the name. Yurui enjoyed the session. If I find a right one, I will attend.
9. What skills do you think your child could/has gained from these types of classes?
I think that a 3 year old like my son can pick up motor skills through physical challenges and social skills such as interacting with other children. He could also acquire some kind of awareness to his surrounding as well as the ability to take instruction from adults.
10. What is the best piece of advice that you can give to all mums out there who do like you do or even those who dont't?
Each parent will have her own challenges. Household finances could be different. Husbands may or may not participate in a child's upbringing. Children may have different learning abilities, traits and temperaments. So my advice at this stage is for mothers to decide based on herself and her child. dont't let peer pressure compel them to do any differently.
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As told to MummySG. __________________________________________________ ___________________________________