Today IKIGUIDE has the privilege of interviewing an awesome lady…Kelly Ang!
Kelly has always been an inspiration to us, and we LOVE her writings. She is a first-time mom who has found her life completely changed by motherhood. Although never the maternal sort, she has left her full-time job in corporate communications to bring her baby up – much to everyone’s surprise.
She is now a full-time mom and part-time writer, working on her latest freelance writing project whenever her son is sleeping or being cooed at by his doting grandparents. When she still has any time left over, she enjoys reading, experimenting in the kitchen, shopping and dabbling in some gaming if she happens to be extra free.
She occasionally blogs too. So do check her out!~ IKIGUIDE is extremely pleased to have her here today with us!
IKIGUIDE: Thank you for being with us here today, Kelly!
Kelly: Thank you for having me! 🙂
IKIGUIDE: Congratulations on having baby G! Tell us, what’s the best part about being a mother?
Kelly: Where and how do I even begin!
At the risk of sounding cheesy, if I really had to choose the best part about being a mom, it would have to be when my baby smiles at me. The thing about a baby’s smile is that it seems to radiate and communicate some type of unadulterated joy and love. It’s amazing. It’s like a ray of sunshine that pierces right through and warms my heart.
When my baby smiles at me, everything else seems to pale in importance – the pile of dirty laundry accumulating in the basket, the ball of hair forming under the bed from days of not having the time and energy to sweep the floor, the creased and crumpled clothes I find myself throwing on just because I have no time or energy to iron… It makes everything worth it, everything.
(Take it from me. I am someone who didn’t like children and never carried a baby in my entire life up until I held my own.)
IKIGUIDE: Taking care of a baby, and the amount of housework seems really intimidating! How do you find your “Me” time?
Kelly: This one is tough!
I used to think I’d do stuff for myself whenever baby sleeps. But now that baby is actually here and now that I know he sleeps so lightly in the day, I find myself dashing off to complete unfinished chores or just do basic things for myself, like use the washroom, grab a nice shower, gobble down a meal. I admit, I had envisioned peaceful afternoons spent reading or catching up on some telly while baby sleeps. Boy, was I wrong!
So anyway, back to finding proper “me” time. I find that I really have to make a concerted, conscious and calculated effort to do stuff just for myself as a person, ever since baby came along. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do it without willing and capable family who are happy to help relieve me of baby for a few hours each day – I’m really thankful for my mother-in-law for this. Because she is more than happy to help me keep an eye on baby for a few hours each day, I can work on my writing, or get out to have my nails or hair done, or catch a precious nap. Also, I make it a point to set aside the 1-2 hours every night before I sleep to spend with my husband.
We are fortunate that baby G sleeps for quite a long stretch from when he first falls asleep, usually around 9pm… So we basically have 9pm to whatever time we fall asleep to do things together.
IKIGUIDE: What do you think are the greatest changes you’d gone through since becoming a mum?
Kelly: Most definitely my priorities in life. I’ve just left my full time job in public relations to primarily stay home with baby G.
During my maternity leave, I found myself absolutely unable to fathom how or why I would give birth to my baby, only to have someone raise him for most of the day, 5 days a week. It made me rather depressed, to be honest, and I really struggled with whether I should return to work or if I should stay home for a while.
In the end, I decided that my baby would be a baby for such a short period of time, and I didn’t wanna miss out on the precious moments of his too-short babyhood.
In the short 16 weeks I spent at home while on maternity leave, I had witnessed for myself the miraculous transformation of my baby from sleepy newborn to gregarious infant, and I wanted to be there for more of this. Before being a mom, I had always thought I was quite ambitious, career-wise. I had actually left my better-paying job to get into PR, just so I could challenge myself more. It is so ironic now that I’m leaving full time work and taking up writing projects from home, just so I can be around for most of the day with my baby.
But having baby G has really made me re-evaluate what is important to me and in a way, I’ve learnt to not waste time on the unimportant. Being a mom has also given me the courage to take more control of my life and do a lot more – I want to be able to tell baby G one day when he’s bigger that he should always follow his heart and not live half a life.
IKIGUIDE: What are the most useful baby products you have?
Kelly: My Manduca baby carrier is an absolute life saver. I almost never take baby G out in a stroller because I’m just really bad at opening and closing it, pushing it up and down the escalator is such a hassle, and baby G never falls asleep in it. The baby carrier seems to have some sort of magic sleep dust cos baby G almost always falls asleep soon after I put him in it and head out. He’s also happy to peep around and look at the world go by from the safety of the carrier 🙂 I can go anywhere with baby G in his carrier, and my hands are free to carry my shopping or sit at a cafe and sip at coffee with book in hand.
Another baby product I love is Mustela’s diaper rash cream. Baby G has not had a day of diaper rash since he was born. I use the cream on his bum whenever it looks a little redder than usual or after he poops, and so far it’s great. I actually even use this cream on his heat rash on his arms and neck, and it works like a charm to soothe the angry rash spots! I’ve tried other brands but this one is the one that’s most effective. And as a bonus point, we love the smell! 🙂
IKIGUIDE : We know that you’re great at writing, and that you love reading too! Are you reading any book currently? Tell us more!
Kelly: Right now, I’m actually reading two books, based on my mood. If I’m up for something fun and an easy read, it’s Veronica Roth’s Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent. I’m a huge fan of young adult dystopias!
For days when I feel more broody and my brain feels like it needs to be exercised, I pick up Love in a Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s a beautiful piece of literature but I have to be in the right sort of mood to really appreciate its beauty for what it is.
Reading always brings me back to a place in my head I find sanctuary in.
IKIGUIDE: How do you manage to look gorgeous every time? It’s amazing!
Kelly: Thank you! 🙂
That’s very kind of you to say so, especially since I don’t quite sleep enough now cos baby G has been keeping me up most nights so have been terribly sleep-deprived… Well, to compensate for this, I take extra care to put try to together proper outfits whenever I head out (whether I manage to iron my clothes is a whole different story though).
I feel that dressing well has huge impact on how you feel about yourself, so I make sure I don’t let my dressing reflect how tired I really feel! In fact, I try to put on extra bright colours or details to cheer myself up! I also make it a point to put on some basic make-up whenever I head out so that I know I’ve put in the effort to at least try to look decent even if I feel crappy.
I also make a lot of effort to go through my skin care routine every night no matter how tired I am. On days that I skip this, I find that my skin looks even more tired, coupled with the sleep deprivation, you can just imagine! My make-up also always comes off before I go to bed; I never sleep with make-up on overnight.
All this coupled with a generally positive attitude helps! It’s really mostly a state of mind. I find that if I allow myself to wallow in self-pity about how exhausted I am, how much time baby G takes up, my physical appearance starts to mirror my discontent. And of course, a huge dose of humour really goes a long way! 🙂
IKIGUIDE: On a parting note, do you have any tips/quotes to brighten our reader’s day?
Kelly: We are stronger than we think we are, more capable of doing more than we think we can, and when push comes to shove, more tenacious than we could ever imagine ourselves to be.
When I get tired from waking up for the 4th time at night, I also tell myself that everything is temporal and ephemeral, and all the more beautiful because of this. I remind myself every day of this, especially when I get up for the third time at night in the wee hours to rock baby G back to sleep and am cranky and grumpy. Before I know it, he won’t need me to rock him to sleep any more and I’d probably be all tearful at how quickly he has grown!
IKIGUIDE: Thank you Kelly for the interview with us today!
Kelly: Thank you!
We hope you have enjoyed this interview as much as we did!
You can read Kelly’s blog at where she blogs about the things that matter to her. Alternatively, Kelly can also be contacted through email.