‘There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.’ Mothers are often faced with pressures from those around them, or even from themselves. A caregiver, teacher or friend, mothers have many shoes to fill. They are our superheroes, but often, their everyday powers go unnoticed.
This Mother’s Day, we invited the founder of Hadasity, Hadassah to share with us her motherhood journey. We were deeply inspired by the story of her brand, Hadasity, which aims to bring hope and celebrate the uniqueness and strength in each woman. Hadassah believes in empowering women by collaborating with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide employment and bring dignity to women who were exploited and trafficked.
As a mother of three, we get to hear how she has grown from strength to strength in her journey. Read on to find out more about how she juggles family and work, and on empowering her community through her craft pieces.
How has being a mother changed you?
When my first daughter was born, my heart expanded in ways that I had never thought possible. “How could I love someone THIS much, much more than myself?” Being a mother teaches you what selfless love looks like - not just in words, but in actions, daily.
As a working mother of three and a homemaker, how do you balance work and family?
After having my first child, I learned that kids need quality time. I would give them undivided personal attention for just 30 minutes at any time of the day and that would make them very happy and secure. I’ve also learned to put my phone away and, unless necessary, reply to messages only after my children sleep - this has allowed me to be present for them. We have dinner together as a family everyday and during this time, we have conversations and talk about our day. I’m still learning to compartmentalize work and quality time with my kids and focus on one thing at a time. If I have work to do, I would swap out the time to do it first and then spend more time with my family the following day.
Some people jog at the same pace when they run but I find that I am a sprinter. I sprint a 100m and then walk 200m and this is the way I work as well. If I’ve had a busy day or many orders and ideas on one weekend, I would be hanging with the kids filling up our love tanks for the next few days.
Can you share with us the inspiration and story behind your brand, Hadasity?
Hadasity started in NYC back in 2009. I loved vintage markets and started incorporating beautiful vintage brooches into statement necklaces. That was the beginning of it all - from placing my jewellery in a little designer collective on the upper East side which did regular fashion shows in NYC, I found myself one day with the favour of being featured in Marie Claire's online magazine. I would later go on to be featured in CNNGO as Singapore's top 20 people to look out for, be on the cover of Straits Times twice, be interviewed and featured in multiple magazines and a few TV shows. Looking back at how those features happened, I now know that it was God.
Fast forward 10 years later in 2019, I had two daughters and our family was slowly transitioning back to living in Singapore. I could no longer work on Hadasity full time and had fully accepted in my heart that the season of wiring jewellery was over. However, in January 2020, I had a dream where I was showing a video about social causes to an auditorium full of people and selling items to raise funds for the cause and conducting a workshop corporately. I knew it was something to do with Hadasity as the dream was very real to me.
Starting from zero with a new found purpose - LIFE GIVING was exactly what I wanted to do. GIVE LIFE through design. I dreamt of supporting NGOs all over the world to love on widows, orphans, the impoverished women and provide jobs through our business, collections and stories we tell. Hadasity has been sponsoring four widows and orphans through organization Love Rowan. I hope to use Hadasity as a voice for the voiceless and to share stories with my community.
Hadasity has been a business adventure and a faith journey. God has weaved the lives of many of our customers into His heart through jewellery - that has been my greatest source of income and has been making me feel rich in the bank of my heart.
What are some of the challenges you face being a business owner and a mother?
I think it’s finding that balance between being present with your children while trying to also grow your business. We all have the same hours a day and need to take care of our needs and for moms with newborns like me - nurse and nap our babies. For moms with older kids, they have studies to support and emotional tanks to fill. I pray for wisdom and discernment to know what are opportunities and what are distractions.
Any advice you’d like to share with working moms?
Quality time alone and with your children and spouse will help to recharge and refill love tanks! Our kids love it when we have dates with them one on one and we sometimes bring one of them out for a lunch date. This always makes them feel so happy and special. Finding time, even once a week to give our children individual attention will set the tone for an entire week. Make it a point to have a date with your spouse and children.
Are there times when you felt so overwhelmed that you almost wanted to give up?
Definitely! I would never give up on my children, but I absolutely had times where I was so overwhelmed and frustrated, mostly when I had my first daughter as a new mom. I remembered hugging my daughter, crying as she cried as I was very sleep deprived and exasperated at her toddler antics. There was a season in her terrific twos that she did not want to brush her teeth, shower, wear her pants before we left the house and everything was no, no, no! I am so happy to share that she is a completely lovely seven year old that I can have conversations with and does not have such episodes anymore. This too shall pass, mamas!
What’s your favourite self-care routine? (Favourite hobbies, activities)
My favourite self-care routine is prayer because out of it flows everything else in my day and life. Starting the day with a heart of gratefulness takes me to a place of gratitude, peace and joy. I also make it a point to do a short workout and if time permits, I love having a hot bubble bath!
What is the best parenting advice you’ve ever received?
In my hardest seasons as a mom dealing with a toddler I could not understand, I found a book that helped me communicate with my children. I highly recommend this book titled ‘How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk’ by Adele Faber. Many times, a lot of the conflict and turmoil that our children face is partly due to feeling misunderstood and being unable to communicate their emotions clearly. My children love telling me about their day and I usually repeat to them what they say to let them know that I am listening to them. Another book that I would highly recommend that will help anyone in parenting and all areas of life is ‘Boundaries’ by Dr. Henry Cloud.
From these books, I’ve learned that giving our children some options, hearing them out and setting clear boundaries for myself and for them are important. When it’s clear what lines not to cross, they will not push your limits to the point where you explode on them. Letting them know that you mean what you say and then taking action with an immediate consequence will help them register boundaries they will learn in time not to cross.
Any tips or advice for married couples?
We’ve been married for 14 years this year and over the years have learned not to major in the minors! Agreeing to disagree on the minor things, making decisions together when it comes to the children and being one in disciplining our children has been fruitful for us. We always tell our children that if mummy says no, you don’t have to ask daddy again. Daddy and Mummy are ONE and the same. We are also very quick to appreciate each other and thank each other for every little thing. When we see each other in the mornings, even if we wake up at different times in the day, we will make sure to give each other morning hugs as we do to our children as well. We call them - Morning Huggies!