1. Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.
My name is Ping Coates – I’m a mother of three kids, and have been an early childhood educator for most of my professional life. Now, I’ve combined my work with children and my love of travel and adventure in a company called Holidays With Intention. We facilitate retreats for families focusing on wellness….physical, emotional and spiritual.
2. How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?
The nature of my works means I can work from home most of the time. So it’s flexible around the home schedule. Quite a few nights a week, I’m up late finishing up stuff I couldn’t get done during the day. When I travel for work, my husband runs the show. My husband runs a consulting business so we are lucky that his work is flexible too.
3. What top tips would you give to any working mum?
Let go of the guilt…all Mothers have it regardless of whether they work or not. If you work, you have guilt that you aren’t doing enough for the children, if you are a stay-at-home mom, you feel guilty that you aren’t contributing to the household finances. Either way, the guilt is unnecessary and doesn’t help anybody. Children need their parents to be fully present with them even if it’s just for 15minutes a day that you drop everything just to really listen to what’s going on with them.
Go easy on yourself…we are all doing the best we can with what we know and what we have the capacity for right now. Don’t beat yourself up with all the things you did or didn’t do.
Find a network of friends who support each other, and lose the folks who don’t. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone.
4. What do you love most about London? Do you have a favourite spot with your children?
I live in Singapore, but spent 5 years in England for boarding school. As a growing teen is was superb fun for nightlife, music and independence. Now, London for me is about Parks, playgrounds, museums, diversity of culture, food, and humanity. There’s always something to see and do, even if you just park yourself in one spot.
5. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
Doing uninterrupted yoga home practice in the morning, reading chick lit before bed or taking a nap when I need one without feeling guilty about it.
6. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
A favourite is watching the kids grow and blossom into their unique personalities.
A least favourite is watching the kids get older– sometimes I want them to just stay small. Double edged sword here!
7. Tell us something people don’t know about you.
Being in the spot light is uncomfortable for me, but if it’s something I’m passionate about, or if I think about sharing my perspective and passion for the greater good, it gets easier.
8. Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
No one is having an easy time with motherhood. It’s the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Just when you think you have it figured out, the universe will throw you a curve ball. If you’ve got nothing figured out, neither does anyone else. Go with the flow, ask and accept help even when you think you don’t need it.
9. I’m a mum and……still learning
10. Finally, please let us know what you love most about Kensington Mums?
It’s hard to say what I love Most – there are a wide range of interesting articles, community building and support groups, recipe inspiration…I guess it’s the Spirit of support I love the most. Good things must be shared.