Indeed, unlike many who are determined that their offspring excel academically, May, who is mum to Siena, 7, and Leala, 9, says that she is more concerned about their “emotional intelligence and social skills.”
The Malaysia-born, Norwegian-Chinese scrummy mummy’s parenting partner-in-crime is Indonesian businessman Audric Haryadi, 42, whom she wed some nine years ago.
“The random emotional outbursts!” May laughs.
While her girls have kept her busy, she does still find time to “occasionally entertain the masses” with freelance hosting gigs.
She even had a home-baking business for several years, but took a sabbatical to look after her late father, after he was diagnosed with cancer in June 2017.
“I still bake occasionally for family and friends,” she says.
We caught up with May to find out how motherhood and life has been treating her.
Hi May! Your girls are now out of babyhood and toddlerdom! What do you miss most about those days?
“How they treat others is highly important to me, more so than the marks they bring home from school. I am always aware of setting a good example for them.”
Tell us more about them – what are their personalities like?
Now that your girls are older, do you have to deal with academic stress in school?
As a mother, I feel more stressed and challenged towards their emotional intelligence and social skills. How they treat others is highly important to me, more so than the marks they bring home from school. I am always aware of setting a good example for them.
Who is the disciplinarian at home, you or Audric?
It’s pretty much equal in terms of discipline. We both see eye to eye when it comes to raising the girls.
We used to be called out for being strict but as the girls are getting older we can see the result of our values and decisions that we have imparted to them. They are both very warm and loving children, who have a lot of empathy and respect for humans and animals.
Coming from a mixed parentage, what languages are the girls learning?
English is mostly spoken at home and I try my best to speak to them in Indonesian occasionally. Their Mandarin is way better than mine as they learn it in school every day!
You still do some freelance hosting gigs ― how do you find the time?
I love what I do and I love being on a microphone. Hosting works very well for mums like myself because it’s only for few hours a day and not very time consuming.
Choy as a 3-year-old boy, Dylan ― are the cousins close as well?
Absolutely! We’ve grown closer as sisters, too, now that we’re mums. We FaceTime almost every day, so the cousins get to see each other and my sis and I catch up on our daily nonsense.
“We used to be called out for being strict but as the girls are getting older we can see the result of our values and decisions that we have imparted to them. They are both very warm and loving children.”
Who is your parenting role model?
It is actually my stepbrother’s wife who has inspired me the most. She lives in Australia and raised four boys on a huge property. She does everything by herself without a single complaint. Her children are amazing kids and are doing so well for themselves. So when I had two babies in a condo, I said to myself, heck if she can do it with four, I can do it with two!
How do you cope with stress, and what do you do to de-stress?
Three words ― Gin and Tonic.
How would you describe your parenting philosophy?
What is the most important value you'd like to impart to your girls?
Complete these sentences…
My dream dessert is… Anything with chocolate, raspberries and champagne!
If you close your eyes and could be anywhere on earth when you open them… Walking the streets of Penang, holding hands with my late father and hearing him laugh out loud.
The most shocking thing about parenthood is… The crazy insane amount of love that spills out of you!
Mums are better than dads at… Tolerating physical pain!
Dads are better than mums at… Hiding their feelings.
My greatest wish for my girls is to… Be happy and be loved.
Photos: Instagram/Teh May Wan
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