Empowering parents across Southeast Asia to live smarter and better
At age 44, Lynn Yeoh remains devoted to spreading the message of being a self-empowered modern mother who defines her own narrative.
A year ago, this same devotion was what made her leave a fulfilling 20-year marketing career to join Supermom, the biggest family product recommender and price comparison aggregator online platform in Southeast Asia.
Lynn’s efforts are not in vain. Under her leadership as the Chief Executive Officer, the company is breaking new grounds by moving its sphere of influence from web to mobile. Started by mothers, for mothers, Supermom will be launching its first Family Super App, empowering parents to live smarter and better.
Building close tribes for mothers in various countries
Lynn firmly believes in the power of online parent communities. This is where mothers can come together to seek advice, share their experiences, and learn from one another in a supportive and non-judgmental environment – no matter where they are in the world.
Lynn herself is a mother of two children: a 10-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son.
However, she confesses: “I had to learn — and I am still learning — to prioritise how well I wanted to do at work, and what I wanted to achieve as a mother.”
Reflection #1: Have conversations rather than give instructions
Through a conversation with her daughter, Lynn realised that today’s parents are getting their children ready for an uncertain future that even they don’t have all the answers to.
“Motherhood is about guiding your children to independence, so they can still make sound decisions even when you’re not by their side,” Lynn muses. She recounts what happened that gave her that epiphany.
A few months ago, her carefree daughter suddenly came to her for advice about accepting individuals who are different. Lynn was caught off guard as she did not expect to have this kind of mature conversation with her daughter at such a tender age. She was not deterred and decided to engage her daughter as a peer rather than as a parent.
Lynn believes in identifying teaching opportunities in any given situation. She wants to raise her children as active leaders who would think for themselves instead of being passive followers.
“I’d feel I’ve done a good job if they respect my opinio0n, rather than simply do what I’m doing without questioning,” she shares.
Reflection #2: Manage expectations and prioritise critical activities
The one piece of advice Lynn recommends to young and soon-to-be mothers is being realistic about what they can accomplish with their limited time.
More than half of Singaporean mothers did not find that motherhood matches up to their expectations, according to an internal poll by Supermom amongst 1,700 mothers in Singapore and Indonesia.
Lynn believes this is because Singaporean mothers tend to overestimate what they could get done and are far harsher on themselves when they fail to do so. She understands and admits that she set high personal expectations for herself when she first became a mother as well.
“I felt that I had this new life for which I had to do everything for,” Lynn recounts.
But a day only has finite hours and minutes. There is only so much one can do.
“I am now quite conscientious about assigning my time to different roles in my life,” she reveals.
Lynn understands her own limitations and subscribes to the 80-20 rule to make the most out of her 24 hours. She prioritises and devotes her energy to the critical activities in her life that yield 80 percent of the results. She says “no” to the rest which yields her low returns.
“It’s far more sustainable to be good at a strategic number of things, and take joy in doing what you can, where you are. There’s freedom in that,” she explains.
For example, Lynn is a big advocate of self-care. She makes it a point to schedule some time to focus and reflect on herself. To de-stress, she also recently started walking around shopping malls as an alternative way to exercise and to window-shop with her daughter.
Reflection #3: Review and adjust finances periodically
While her priorities change over time, Lynn’s only constant is to be fully present at whatever she is doing, be it at work or with her children and family.
Lynn’s philosophy of making the most out of her time translates to the financial aspects of her life too. She only invests in instruments she understands and does not chase trends. Instead, she believes that doing in-depth reviews of her financial plans from time to time and adjusting where needed is far more important.
“Being attentive and fully committed to what I’m doing will help me get it right the first time so that I don’t have to spend time doubling back. That often means assigning a task or activity more time, so there’s less of a need to correct any major errors down the line,” she says.
For soon-to-be parents, Lynn advocates getting the family’s financial planning done before the arrival of their little bundle of joy. Speaking from her own experience, there is a high chance both parents would not have time to make practical financial plans when they are tired from all the new parenthood challenges.
Lynn periodically goes through the available financial options with her husband and adviser so they can identify gaps and close them quickly. Tackling their finances early in life also allows the family to slowly save towards their financial goal of ageing well without compromising their current lifestyle.
After all, she believes that time is every mother’s most valuable resource, so it is best to make the most out of it.
This interview feature is a two-part series as part of “FWD Celebrates Motherhood” campaign to celebrate Mothers’ Day. The series features two women from different backgrounds, what they have learned from their time caring for their children and growing into the role of a mother aside from their other commitments.
FWD is pleased to celebrate motherhood and support families so that they can focus on their commitments while staying financially protected from life’s uncertainties. Learn more about FWD’s exclusive Mother’s Day promotions with up to 35% off selected products.
This is for general information only and does not constitute financial advice.
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