Wearing many hats makes her Xtraordinary

Wearing many hats makes her Xtraordinary

There's more than meets the eye to Jenny Wee, 38, who modestly introduces herself as a full-time mother of three children aged six, eight and 11.

Ms Wee is not just a mother and wife who does the household's daily chores and prepares meals for the family. She is also the owner of three businesses - a hair salon, nail salon and her family's pet shop - runs two online retail platforms and is an active community volunteer.

Her secret to balancing her different roles? Being disciplined, prioritising tasks and scheduling her time carefully, she told My Paper.

"I have a schedule written out and clearly displayed on the wall at the beginning of the month for myself and every child.But we should not be too hard on ourselves if we cannot accomplish (what we set out to do). Move on instead," she said.

Her ability to wear many hats has won Ms Wee the International Women's Federation of Commerce and Industry Xtraordinary Women 2014 award last month.

Xtraordinary Women is an annual award in which women who are financially independent and are managing their businesses are acknowledged for their efforts.

Ms Wee's businesses have been doing well, and she has 15 employees between them.

A microbiology graduate and National Institute of Education-trained teacher, Ms Wee started out as a biology and chemistry teacher at a secondary school.

After the birth of her first child, she stopped work to care for her baby. In trying to help her child with a reflux issue, she came across a baby product that inspired her to start her own baby business.

Ms Wee also started an online parenting forum and, while working on it, she became involved in voluntary work. She has been actively volunteering for the past 10 years.

She started out as a community volunteer and has since become a district councillor at South West Community Development Council.

Ms Wee's days are packed. It usually starts at 7am, with her doing household chores and preparing meals for her family.

She then alternates between going through her kids' schoolwork and heading for business meetings.

But she comes back in time to prepare dinner for the family at 7pm. The evenings are usually spent with her children and catching up on current affairs. She goes to bed between 1am and 2am.

Ms Wee does volunteer work once a week, and weekends are her days off.

For her, winning the Xtraordinary Women award is an affirmation of women's achievements.

"Women have many hats to wear. I hope to inspire more women and let them know that they can work, be mums and contribute to society, all at the same time," she said.

Her advice for young career women? Be happy with whatever you do.

"Seek your own definition of happiness. For me, happiness means doing the best in whatever role I am given," she said.

tanjeets@sph.com.sg


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