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Daphne Iking on Motherhood, Style and Comfort

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Last weekend, Makchic and Uniqlo welcomed the winners of Makchic’s shopping spree giveaway at Uniqlo’s exclusive “No Tricks, Only Treats” event. Daphne Iking was present to share her parenting journey, while the kids sat down and got creative with colouring.

We briefly caught up with Daphne and had a chat on motherhood, its surprises and expectations along the way, and how she manages her daughters’ different personalities.

Balancing your busy schedule while being a mom can’t be easy. How do you manage your time?

I get this question a lot. The moment you find out you’re pregnant, your whole lifestyle automatically changes. But then I’m lucky because with the first child, my previous manager ran my schedule to the tee. Now that my husband is also my manager, he also manages quality time for the family. I just do the creative bit, get my work done. I know that having everything scheduled sounds rigid, but it really does help. I even plan exercise for the whole week – which days I go swimming or to the gym for example – for days where I don’t wanna blow dry my hair. Everything just boils down to having a proper schedule.

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Biggest surprises in motherhood?

Isobel is from my first marriage. For the longest time, she wasn’t sure who her real father was. One night, we were watching Inside Out and bawling at one of the scenes. After that, Isobel and I were bathing together. She said, “Mama, this is the first time I’ve seen you cry”. I said, “Actually, not really. The first time you saw me cry was when it was just the both of us, before bapak and Iman came into our lives. It was just the both of us at the time, and I was going through a very dark phase in life. I was depressed and crying in the room, and you came crawling – you were maybe about seventeen months old – and you wiped my tears.”

I don’t know what got me to say this at that particular time. Guess I was just feeling a bit emotional. And she just suddenly brought it up. She asked, “Where’s my papa?” It’s something I’d never brought up with her, because we’d planned to have this talk with her and were mulling over the right time to do it. I knew this day would come; I just didn’t expect it to come this way.

To answer the question, I was very surprised at how mature she was at grasping the situation. We monitored her behaviour for the next few weeks after and she seemed completely okay. She may have more questions in the future, but the fact of the matter is – that’s out.

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Best lesson your mom gave you?

Sex ed. She was a nurse and also a tutor at the hospital. Sex education is really important. Isobel understands what being a virgin is, she knows that your body is your temple and you should take care of it. If she feels uncomfortable with anyone, she should come tell me. Bel and Iman learned to wash themselves as an early age, so that helpers and caretakers didn’t have to touch them.

My husband isn’t comfortable talking about sex to them, but I tell him, we have to. So much so that one of my Tedx talks were on sex ed, not because we’re encouraging it or promoting promiscuity, but to educate.

What do you normally do when hanging out with your kids?

Simple things like movie night, manicure and pedicure sessions – I’m very much into essential oils and new age aromatherapy, so we experiment by doing massages on each other. We bake, cook, do juicing, some gardening. So yeah, there’s a lot of activities you can do that you don’t have to splurge on.

Do you look more for comfort, style or both when shopping for your daughters? What are your favourite brands?

Let’s start off with Uniqlo. I come here because they have all the basic essentials, for both the kids and I. Everyone probably loves Uniqlo for their jackets, because they’re lightweight and easy to pack. I’m very open to stores that sell comfortable and affordable wear. Uniqlo also has very simple designs, which I like compared to many gaudy children’s wear out there. Some try too hard to make clothes look grownup. Let kids be kids. I’m very much for the simple, basic, white shirt and jeans ensemble.

Image credit: UNIQLO

 

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