Mum of six, Michelle Choy shares her secret on how she’s able to juggle a household, a successful business and multiple children in Singapore.
Michelle Choy, award-winning blogger, business owner, occupational therapist and parent coach might wear many hats, but the one she’s most proud of is being mum to her six children. To those of us familiar with raising kids in uber competitive Singapore, it is nothing short of a feat. And yet, Michelle is able to do it all with a positive attitude — and with moments to spare to get her me-time in, a must, she says, for any parent.
Life in a six-child home
The Wee household is always in flux, with noises echoing from all corners of the home. To manage it all, Michelle says you have to be an octopus — ensuring everyone’s needs are always met. “It’s not just basic needs,” she explains. “It’s also keeping the logistics running smoothly and maintaining space between each child.” And as a parent to children ranging from age 8 to 22, it’s also managing the emotional support according to each age group.
According to Michelle, the closer her children get to their teens, the more support they need. To the onlooker, it might seem overwhelming, but Michelle relishes in the love and concern that the children give back. “I might not have enough personal space and silence,” she intimates, “but I’ve managed to get around that by being intentional in carving time out for myself each year for a retreat or pilgrimage. It allows me to spend time in the silence of nature to re-centre myself.”
Sixth time’s a charm
Having six children was never Michelle’s intention. After her first child, there were one or two siblings in the plan, but four daughters later and tradition beckoning, Michelle found herself with five children under the age of 10. The challenges Michelle faced during these years well-prepared her for the birth of her daughter, six years later. “With the experiences of the first five kids, we knew how to be better parents — I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed almost every moment of parenting in the past eight years. My sixth daughter Kate has been a joy to raise,” she ruminates. “She’s well-behaved, thoughtful and does everything she needs to, without needing me to nag or shout.
She also learned how to lean into being a multi-tasking mom, extending into how she spends quality time with EACH of her kids. “I’ve discovered that even just 10 minutes a day works,” Michelle says. “Bonding happens in different ways. For one child, it might be making her favourite food. For another, it could be a trip to the art supply store. With one-on-one time, we get to chat.”
The secret to having it all
Despite the chaos that six children entails, Michelle admits she is fortunate to be able to do what she is most passionate about. “My enrichment centre, The Little Executive, helps children develop their 4Qs, which are non-academic domains, focused on developing kids’ personal growth mindset and teaching them to be more resilient,” she shares. And she also uses her six-children family to her advantage. Thanks to her experiences, she’s become a parent coach, focused on helping mums parent better with less stress.
Her greatest tip? Being mindful of how we push our kids to meet goals. “It’s not about pushing them into the ocean and expecting them to survive,” Michelle explains. “It’s about providing an appropriate level of stretch for them, and being that supportive and encouraging person for them as they keep on improving. That’s how they can get a can-do attitude.” We couldn’t agree more.