Working mums and their loved ones (From left to right: Cara G McIlroy, Davena Mok, Grace Lam and Nealy Fischer)
Juggling family life and a job still seemed to be the exception not too long ago. Today, it’s the most natural phenomenon for women to have it all – beautiful intimate family time and a fulfilling career. We speak to four working mothers whose hand not only rocks the cradle but whose finger is also on the pulse.
CARA G MCILROY
CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF GAENIE JUICERY
A popular model and TV host, Cara G McIlroy is also the co-founder of Genie Juicery, a natural juice cleansing company. Her entrepreneurial spirit hasn’t slowed down a bit since daughter India was born. Instead, the Hong Kong-based half Australian/half Singaporean mamma feels more determined than ever to be a good role model for her little one and juggles modelling gigs, company expansions and well-deserved family time with her three loved ones.
What does being a mother mean to you?
Being a mother means everything to me. It’s the greatest gift I ever got. I’ve always really loved children, and to have my own child is such an amazing blessing.
What are some of the challenges of becoming a mother?
It’s definitely challenging to be a working mum and hard to find a balance, but I love it, and I’m making it work. I could use some ‘me’ time to get some rest and rejuvenation. What’s very unique about both of my careers is that I don’t work regular hours, so I’m able to be at home with India quite often.
How do you juggle work and family life?
I try to enjoy weekends with the family: Jesper, India, Roxy (my dog) and myself. So we go for walks as a family, and Jesper and I have taken the role of parents in our stride, as we do everything ourselves, because we don’t have our families here. All of these precious things, like having dinner together, bath time and walking our dog, are all special times that we spend together outside of work.
You also have your Genie Juicery business. How does that fit into everything?
Of course India is always going to be my first priority, but I have a lot of things going on with my business. We’re opening a store at IFC, Hong Kong, and we’re expanding into retail. There are so many things going on. I’m very busy, but I’m doing my best to do it all.
Do you ever feel guilty for working?
Yes, I do feel guilty when I work sometimes, but we all have to work, and now I’m even more driven in my career. I want to set a good example for my daughter and show her that you can create your dream if you work hard. I want to be able to give her all the things that maybe my parents couldn’t afford when I was younger. Usually she’s at work with me though.
Does your other half support you in what you do?
My husband is a godsend. He is such a devoted husband and dad. He’s always there to help when I have to go to an event. He’s always at home taking care of India. We share that responsibility as equally as we can, and he’s 100 per cent supportive of me. He’s always there as an emotional support when I get home, when I’m tired, when I’m grumpy. So we make a great team.
What are the most rewarding aspects of having both, a beautiful family and a fulfilling career?
I think children learn a lot when they see their parents working hard. Also, I would love to be a stay-at-home mother, but in reality I have to work. Nowadays, I think it’s quite common that both parents go back to work. We’re very lucky; even though we both work, we both still take care of our daughter.
Do you have a philosophy or a motto?
My philosophy is to dream big and live life with open eyes, to see everything and be empathetic towards people and animals.