With Mother's Day around the corner, it felt fitting to feature Kim Bey, the mother of the Creative Director on our series of #MYMIRACLE. Who we are today is because of our parents and the love of our mother, especially!
She took some time to talk mother to daughter in a formal interview and show us her collection of paintings.
Kim Bey wears Birds Don't Sing Dress in Cauliflower, Size L
Kim Bey wears Ain't It Fun Shorts in Blueberry, Size L
What are you doing now?
I am a homemaker, a full-time mother, wife and grandmother. I also spend time running Pew Pew Patches with my daughter. I have a few hobbies and painting is one of them.
What do you do for Pew Pew Patches?
I handle the operations and coordination. Occasionally, I help out with the events.
I helped out since Pew Pew Patches began and I’m proud that it’s successful and grown bigger. It’s now being carried in multiple departmental stores in Singapore and collaborated with big brands like Uniqlo. That’s a huge change from where we started.
Tell me more about your hobby in painting.
As a child, I could paint quite well. This runs in my family. My father was into art. He loved classical art, poems, ballet and that was an influence on my family. Drawing came naturally to a few of my brothers and sisters.
When I was in Secondary One, I drew a picture and it was so good, my art teacher was astonished. He told the class, ‘This was done by a Secondary One girl!’
Kim Bey wears No Problemo Jumpsuit in Blueberry, Size M
Did you end up as a full time artist?
I didn’t pick up drawing because in my generation, art doesn’t pay. So I went to another profession that could feed the stomach, ending up as an accountant. Accountants are needed in good and bad times.
I ended up working in a few public accounting firms. After I got married, I gave up my job to look after the family and when the children got bigger, I signed up for a course in NAFA to get a certificate in Western Art. They taught me the Nanyang style where they incorporated chinese influence with western techniques.
Was it easy for you to give up your job to become a homemaker?
No, it was not! I didn’t have help from my in-laws and mother while my husband was very busy at work so I was on my own. I saw my friends and sisters going to work, dressing up nicely and I felt so lonely. I asked myself what was I doing? I had a degree so I could bring in some income or excel professionally.
But I felt the impact on the children was more important. When the tree is still young, you can bend it the way you want. When it is old, no matter how hard you try, it is rigid.
We also hired a maid but I felt the maid might not give the same love as a mother. They might see it as a job but as a mother, I’ll go the extra mile. I may not be the best mother but I can guide and discipline my children in the best way I know.
Kim Bey wears Lost Boy Pintuck Shorts in Horizon, Size L
How do you think society views homemakers and what do you wish they see it as?
I feel, many women think that if they’re educated, it’s a waste. Economically, you don’t bring in any income. You don’t use your skills to develop society.
But actually, when you are a homemaker, you change the world from within. If you raise the children properly, they will not be social misfits or problems. We might not contribute in the economic sense but we are not bringing additional problems to the world by raising our children correctly.
What brings you the most satisfaction for all your hard work?
When you see your children and husband do well and they are aware that you contributed to their success. For example, if I didn’t take care of the children, the school might call to meet us and with that, can my husband focus on his work well?
Kim Bey wears Grandpa's Groove Wide Pants in Matcha, Size M
Do you feel like being a mother is a thankless job?
It depends on how you view it. The children never asked to be born so you can see it as your duty and responsibility to raise them. Then you won’t feel bad when you don’t receive appreciation.
The older generation grew up with the idea that they raised children to take care of them in their old age. When they didn’t get that in return, they felt unhappy.
Of course along the way, if there’s appreciation, it makes the journey easier.
What are some simple ways to make you feel appreciated?
When I’m not well, someone takes care of me and brings me to see the doctor. I don’t need flowers, though that’s nice once in a while. I rather a person be sincere than buy me things and not take care of me.
And… consider me in their decisions!
Kim Bey wears No Excuses Wrap Skirt in Bluepea, Size M/L
What are some essential skills any woman needs now to be a mother?
All women should know how to do housework. You might do it yourself or hire a helper, whom you’ll have to supervise.
After being married for 38 years and having 2 kids, what is some advice you’ll give to wives and mothers?
Learn not to speak unnecessarily. Sometimes you mean it for good but people take it differently. It’s good to wait for the right time to bring it up.
Honesty is always very important. If something is bothering you, at the right time, bring it up to your partner or children. Sometimes, they don’t know it!
Understand that your husband and children are also different from you. So value them and see them differently.