Hubert Burda Media

Mum’s the World

This Mother’s Day Suhana Ab chats with our cover personality SANDRA CHANG and other society mums and their kids on life’s important values and lessons learnt
May is a joyous month for Sandra Chang. Not only will it see the wedding cel

This Mother’s Day Suhana Ab chats with our cover personality SANDRA CHANG and other society mums and their kids on life’s important values and lessons learnt
May is a joyous month for Sandra Chang. Not only will it see the wedding celebration of her only daughter Tara, it’s also the month where Tara’s son, Chase — her only grandchild — turns two.
“Being a mother is a privilege,” says Chang. “To be blessed with a beautiful young soul for you to love, guide and develop is an important responsibility.”
Not only did she want her daughter to grow up to be a caring, well-mannered individual, she also felt it important that Tara stayed close to the family. Chang, together with her husband who is in the yachting business, always made it a point to have family holidays at least once a year.
One of their best times spent together was when the family travelled to Dharamsala in India. There, Tara studied the Tibetan language and attended Buddhism classes at a monastery. “Watching her develop her spiritual side in a place of beauty filled me with utter bliss and contentment,” Chang recalls.
“As a mum, I encourage her to reach for the stars but to balance it with realistic expectations. The most challenging bit about motherhood is to say ‘no’ to your child. It can be tough but it’s the right thing to do for positive character development.”
— Sandra Chang, on the challenges of motherhood

“What I admire most about her, is her passion for the people and things in her life. When she decides on a cause or goal, she devotes to it completely. For example, many people know that my mother is a keen yoga practitioner, but not many know that she possesses the academic knowledge in this discipline. A certified yogi taught her Vedic studies and the Patanjali scriptures, and she has undergone intense studies on the various types and forms of yoga. In fact, my mum has enough practical, spiritual and academic knowledge on the subject that she could, if she wanted to, set up a yoga studio and pursue it as a business.”
— Tara Chang, 35, mother of one, on how her mother leads by example
Photographer/ Simon Sim
Creative Director/ Catherine Wong
Make-Up Artist/ Dollei Seah using Dior
Hair Artist/ Jas Lim

Kathryn Yap with daughters Isabelle, Nicolette and Beatrice Techawatanasuk

“When my daughters were born, I wanted them to learn that they did not necessarily have to conform to what their teachers were saying, or that they had to be the same as the people around them. In the course of my career as a head-hunter, I have met many successful CEOs, captains of industry and politicians who are fundamentally risk-takers. So, I’ve always believed that being original and different is a good thing.”
— Kathryn Yap, 40s, managing partner of headhunting firm CTPartners, on her advice to her three daughters

“Mum encourages us to think out of the box — to be dismissive of the rules that don’t make sense and to be firm about those that do. My sisters and I grew up in an environment where finding loopholes and innovative ways of working around rules was encouraged. No instructions were ever set in stone. This taught us to look at the principles behind the instruction, rather than to follow others like sheep. For example, we could play computer games for more than an hour, if we achieved good grades and were not addicted. If the opposite happened, then the rule of limited game time would apply.”
— Isabelle Techawatanasuk, 23, a business development executive and sister of Nicolette, 21, and Beatrice, 18, on her mother’s parenting style
Photographer/ Simon Sim
Creative Director/ Catherine Wong
Make-Up Artist/ Ernest Lim & Melissa Chan
Hair Artist/ Celia Tham & Desmond Yap

Tanny Kea with her children Arianne and Nikolai Kea

“Like most parents, I found the teenage years to be the most challenging, as it is a time when children spread their wings and push the boundaries. I had to take a step back and switch from the mode of parenting to developing a friend-parent relationship and control my emotions. It was very challenging, but I learnt a lot from my children along the journey. My best advice for new mums? Take a deep breath and relax. Every child is different; as long as the child knows that his parents’ love for him is unconditional, he will always come back, no matter how far he wanders.”
— Tanny Kea, 40s, founder of beauty brand JavaGlow, on the evolving role of a mother
“The best advice we have gotten from our mum is to always do something you love. For me, it is music. At times, I think a career in music is not very practical or that I’m not good enough, but my mum encourages me to cast all doubts aside and pursue it. She is my biggest supporter and fan, and will always encourage me to go for an audition or a performance. Sometimes, she even packs food and drives me to the venue. It is one thing to do something you love, but it is even better to have your loved ones do it with you.”
— Nikolai Kea, 20, student and brother to Arianne, 18, on how his mother shows encouragement
Photographer/ Micky Wong
Creative Director/ Catherine Wong
Make-Up Artist/ Amy Chow using Make Up Store
Hair Artist/ Jason Ng @ Salon Le Jardin

Georgia Lee, with her eldest son Georges Ip

“During my earlier years as a doctor at a hospital, I spent many long hours at work. My children were taught to be independent from a very young age. I also made sure that they are able to differentiate right from wrong, to be respectful of people, to appreciate the talents they are born with and to make the most of them. I also try not to interfere with the decisions they make unless it’s absolutely necessary. My husband is the wise one who tries to teach them the value of thriftiness, as I tend to be the indulgent parent. There have been many memorable moments raising them. Two that I remember so vividly: My second son exclaiming loudly that he loves me when we were strolling in town (when he was three) and my eldest son using his bag to shelter me from the rain while holding me in his embrace and saying: “I’ve got you”, as we ran towards our car. I realised at that moment that he had grown up and I was so proud.”
— Georgia Lee, 46, medical director of TLC Lifestyle Practice and founder of DrGL, on raising her children
“I admire my mum’s indomitable spirit and how she always strives to do her best in all her endeavours. Just look at the way she handles the multifarious situations and patients at her clinic. She approaches each situation with tenacity and determination. My mother motivates us to do the same and reminds us that in life, it is inevitable that one will face setbacks, but the important thing is to remember to keep our chins up, smile and think positively that we will one day reap the rewards of our hard work.”
— Georges Ip, 18, a student and brother to Pierre Ip, 15, on how his mum inspires him
Photographer/ Micky Wong
Creative Director/ Catherine Wong
Fashion Stylist/ Joshua Cheung
Make-Up Artist/ Lolent Lee using Clé de Peau Beauté
Hair Artist/ Ryan Yap @ Passion Hair Salon

Simone Khoo with her children Scott, Stuart, Shane, Kimberley, and Shaun Khoo

“Children are a joy and a blessing. Give them room to grow and don’t smother or coddle them too much. Raising kids is a two-way street — we may be the adults and parents, but we learn along the way too. Respect them and they will respect and love you for it. Always let your kids know that you are there for them no matter what.”
— Simone Khoo, 46, mother of five, on parenting
“One of the valuable things mum taught us is to not care too much about what people say, because some of them don’t know you at all. Take my first two years in secondary school, for example. Schoolmates often gossiped about me just for the sake of banter. So mum reminded me not to pay too much attention to what was being said and that what’s important was that I had a loving home to come back to. The people who matter most will love you no matter what.”
— Kimberley Khoo, 19, student and sister to Shaun, 22, Scott, 20, Stuart, 15, and Shane, 10, on the most valuable lesson she’s learnt from mum
Photographer/ Micky Wong
Creative Director/ Catherine Wong
Make-Up Artist/ Tinoq Russell Goh and Emily Lim
Hair Artist/ Kenneth Ong and Dylan Goh