Covid-19 marked a lifestyle change for many families. Living in close confines 24/7 was a new, stressful experience for many, especially during 2020’s circuit breaker.
Junia Tan, a parenting coach and mother of 5 kids, was anchoring weekly live webinars on parenting. Through her sessions, she experienced an influx of mums reaching out and quickly realised that many of them were going through challenging transitions.
“Before Covid, the office-school routine meant time and physical boundaries for both parent and child. There were at least 7-9 hours a day where each was in their own world. Remove those boundaries and small cracks in relationships begin to deepen,” explains Junia.
The modern mum doesn’t have it easy. Junia identifies work-life balance as one of the main challenges of motherhood today. Unlike the past when it was a social norm for women to be stay-home mums, today’s mothers juggle their limited time between work, kids and other commitments.
That’s where Mum Space comes in. Founded by Junia, it is a groundup and social learning platform to help mothers connect, create better relationships and celebrate the entire motherhood experience. She explains: “I wanted to support mums through mentorship and sharing of life experiences. We all have so much to offer.”
Junia’s Journey As A Former “Tiger Mum”
It was Junia’s own exasperating experience as a parent that led her to become a parenting coach. She used to be a ‘tiger’ mum who tried to get her children to do what she thought was best for them – leading to strained relationships.
While her kids complied with Junia’s wishes, it eventually dawned on her that her actions were limiting their self-expression and could lead to a negative long-term impact. The realisation that she was stifling her childrens’ “voice” made her cry.
“I realised that while parents say we love our child, our love is conditional. It is only lavished when our child agrees with our opinions or does what we say. Rarely do we create safe spaces for our children to freely express their thoughts,” she shared. Sometimes, it seems, parents do not always know best.
Helping Mums Realise Their Kids’ Full Potential
Junia realised that more mothers were seeking to bring out their child’s unique potential. The obstacle was the lack of qualified yardsticks to assure mums that they are on the right track.
At Mum Space, Junia helps mums by coaching them to first identify their kids’ specific temperaments, personality traits and natural motivations. This starting point is critical to unlocking their potential in areas of strengths, and to formulate strategies to work on their weaker subjects.
Citing education as an example, “One of the main sources of parent-child tension is because parents believe good grades equals a good future. I challenge that. In the new VUCA (short for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, entrepreneurial skills, creative problem solvers and critical thinkers who add the most value will emerge as winners.”
One piece of advice Junia has for mums out there? Celebrate the mistakes your child makes!
She reasons, “Because we tend to equate failure with negativity, we shun failure at all costs.”
What she hopes to see? “A culture where children are happy to be making mistakes and parents are happy to be drawing out lessons learnt”.
Make your voice heard this International Women’s Day by supporting non-profit organisations dedicated to women and girls with a donation or becoming a volunteer. You can also join the Mum Space community as a volunteer!