4 Lessons on Motherhood, From Shopee Working Mums

Working mums master the art of doing two jobs at once — a professional career, and their role as a mother! Hear from four Shopee mums about their experience of motherhood: balancing responsibilities, rewarding moments that make the juggling worth it, and their tips for working mums out there.

1) “Learning that my child has his own schedule, personality, and wants.” – Haenle, South Korea

Hi there, I’m Haenle. I lead the Business Development team in Korea, acquiring business opportunities as we continue to evolve to address the fast-changing needs of our users and communities. I have a 20-month-old son, whom I gave birth to during my time at Shopee. The best part of being a mother is how he loves me unconditionally: no matter how many times I ask him to hug me he always gives me one with the biggest smile. 

On being a mother:

There are many sacrifices a working mum goes through! I’m sure that every mother can relate to the “deprivation of sleep” where you have to get up based on your kid’s waking time, even on weekends or weekdays regardless of when you went to sleep!

I also guarantee it will be difficult to accept that he/she is another human being with their own will, even from such a young age! No matter how early you wake up to make that delicious organic plant-based dish, he wants just bananas! No matter how many times you take him to new places for sightseeing, he sleeps throughout the trip in the stroller. That was when I learned that he has his own schedule, personality and wants. My role as his mum is to support him. Despite all these tedious efforts, seeing his smile and witnessing his growth made it all worth it.

My tip for fellow mothers: 

Be okay with failure and struggles and adopt a growth mindset. It’s okay if he doesn’t follow through with your plans and timelines. It’s okay if he cries a bit. All will be well. 

2) “Learning to have a positive attitude, learn, and take motherhood one step at a time.”  – Monica, Indonesia

Hello, I’m Monica. I lead the Product Management team, which builds fun games to promote user engagement and create a captivating e-commerce experience. I gave birth to my son during the pandemic, and he’s a lively 2-year-old toddler now. When I held my son for the first time, it was a very surreal experience, and it was love at first sight. I kept wondering how I could take care of him, be his guardian and at the same time let him explore the world with his senses.

On being a mother:

As a working mum, not being able to be there for my son when I’m at work is definitely something I worried about and discussed a lot with my friends. I feel sad about it, but through this, I have also learnt about perseverance, time management and the importance of a support system. My team at Shopee has been with me throughout my important milestones, from getting married, to getting pregnant, and having a kid. They’ve been my greatest support, and therefore I’m looking forward to supporting other women in Shopee via Women@Shopee.

Not many might admit it, but being a first-time mum was intimidating. When I was too afraid to hold my newborn for a bath, my husband held him for me and told me that if other parents can do it, so can we. There are just so many first-times, from breastfeeding to finding a pediatrician to regularly check and provide vaccines for the baby. Nonetheless, I know that my child is counting on me and looking up to me, so I’ve learned to have a positive attitude, learn, and take it one step at a time.

My tip for fellow mothers: 

Be fully aware of your strengths and limitations and understand yourself well. Where you need support, rely on your support system who will be there for you.

3) “Learning to be the best version of myself, to be a good role model for my daughter” – Luciana, Brazil

Hello, I’m Luciana. I lead the Public Relations team in Brazil, and my goal is to build Shopee’s reputation in our country. I have a 5-year-old daughter Sofia, and I love hearing, “mummy!” and being greeted with her sweet smile when I make use of flexible working hours to pick her up from school. Sofia is super proud of my job at Shopee. She’s a Shopee Ambassador at school. She goes around telling her teachers, her friends, and even her friend’s parents that I work at Shopee. It makes me laugh!

On being a mother:

My daughter looks at me and learns from me, so being a mother makes me constantly aspire to be the best version of myself every day. I want to be a good role model for her and encourage her to become a well-developed adult with good values. 

Being a mother also means being there for my child. A working mum has to be resilient and more productive so we can have time for everything, and we need to be organised for things to go well. We also need to make plans in advance, for example, planning what meals to make next week, so that we know what groceries to buy at the supermarket during the weekend. This training has actually made me more productive at work, and I joke that being a mum is a useful skill to add to every mother’s resume.

My tip for fellow mothers:

Be present, and enjoy your motherhood because time doesn’t go back. When you feel tired balancing your responsibilities as a working mum, don’t give up. Take a break, take a breath, and keep going.

4) “Learning creative ways to manage work and chores, and schedule in ‘me time’ to recharge” – Trang, Vietnam

Hi, I’m Trang! I lead the Recruitment team, bringing the best talents into our organisation. I have a 4-year-old son who makes me laugh a lot with his creative thinking. When he learned that blue whales are as heavy as 15 school buses, he turned to me and said “Mummy, I love you as big as a blue whale!”. 

On being a mother:

A working mum has many responsibilities. It can be challenging when you’re up to your ears in tasks. To get everything done, I look for creative ways to complete my chores. For example, it’s okay to use delivery services to order fresh food instead of going to the market, which saves me time that I can use for family activities. Leaning on Shopee’s flexible working hours helps me as well. I can care for my son at my convenience, which is especially important when he falls sick.

Fellow working mums, don’t forget to schedule “me time” to recharge too. My husband and I have an arrangement where he would take care of our son every Sunday morning, and I would go for a bike ride, visit my favourite cafe and enjoy reading a book. Little getaway times like these bring me so much positive energy when I return home — refreshed and ready to start again. 

My tip for fellow mothers: 

Be open to share about your job with your kids, who are usually curious and eager to learn. My son delights in explaining to his grandparents about the different services that Shopee’s platforms provide, such as ShopeePay or ShopeeFood. He is an expert who has agreed to be recruited by me in the future to work at Shopee! Work and family do not always have to be separate — it could be an opportunity to develop a meaningful connection.

Inspired by our four working mums? Join us for a vibrant and fulfilling career here.

Hear from our Shopee working parents, as they share tips on how they build fulfilling careers with the support of communities at work and at home.

Photos were taken in compliance with local COVID-19 safety measures or before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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