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Where the Heart Is: Saluting Our Home Team Mums (Part 2)
Navigating the new normal by giving their very best at work and home.

Due to COVID-19, homes have been turned into classrooms for children, and offices for their parents. In this Mother’s Day Special, we speak to mums in the Home Team who are navigating this new normal. <3

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

GRACE CHAN, Assistant Director, Partnership@YR, Yellow Ribbon Singapore
At YRSG, Grace works with community partners and stakeholders to garner support for ex-offenders and their families. At home, she’s a happy mum to an eight-month-old baby girl. 

As Grace’s husband works in the healthcare sector, he’s been very busy at work lately, and this presents the family with a new set of challenges. “This extraordinary period is daunting because my husband isn’t around as much,” says Grace, “and it’s really a handful to juggle work and domestic duties simultaneously.”

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Grace with her husband and baby daughter. PHOTOS: Grace Chan

Grace’s mother-in-law stays with the family and often steps in to look after the baby. “Being at home triggers my maternal instincts and I can’t help but feel obligated to pay attention to my child’s needs,” explains Grace. “I’m very thankful to my mother-in-law because her support allows me to have uninterrupted time for work, and keeps me from getting overwhelmed.”

Caring for Others and Ourselves
2020 represents a new start for Grace at work as well. On 1 May, the Home Team statutory board known as the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) was renamed YRSG. For Grace’s team, the change offers new opportunities to support inmates and ex-offenders through training, employment assistance, work opportunities and community engagement.  

When it comes to work, Grace shares her trick for balancing her professional duties with family – focus on the results and stick to a to-do list. She reflects upon each day and fine-tunes her plans for the next, based on what she has achieved or fallen short in. 

At the same time, it’s important to Grace that she prioritises care. “During moments like this, we need to show compassion to others, and remember to care for ourselves as well,” she says. “There’s no greater – and harder – adventure than being a mother. As I navigate this world with my little one, she reminds me to find joy in simple pleasures, and to live life to the fullest, with courage.”

SERENA CHOO, Deputy Director (Crisis Preparedness), Joint Operations Group, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
As some Home Team officers like Grace experience motherhood for the very first time, others like Serena Choo have had to give their children more independence to look after themselves while they balance their responsibilities at home with those at work.

As a member of MHA’s Joint Operations Group, Serena oversees a team of officers in drafting daily reports for the Homefront Crisis Executive Group and the Multi-Ministry Task Force. This vital work has been made a little easier for Serena due to her supportive family and understanding supervisors. 

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Serena with her husband and three sons. PHOTO: Serena Choo

Over the past month, Serena and her team have conducted regular check-ins and meetings online. “My husband brings me lunch if I’m in a teleconference that stretches over lunch-time,” she says, “and my children are also independent enough to manage their Home-Based Learning on their own.” 

Moments to Reflect
Of course, it’s not all work and no play in the household. While Serena and her family are home, they’ve had more time to bond, playing card games and watching movies together in the evenings. Serena shares that finding a balance between family and work boils down to good time management.

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PHOTO: Serena Choo
“There are certainly challenges with being a mother, as well as working from home; with three boys around – my patience is being tested every day!” says Serena. “However, at the end of the day, it’s nice knowing that my children love me despite my shortcomings, and I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when I look at them during moments of reflection.” 

Happy Mother’s Day to our dedicated Home Team mums. Thank you for all you do! 

Read Where the Heart Is: Saluting Our Home Team Mums (Part 1)


© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Tiffany Tan
  2. 08 May 2020
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