In our Dare to Dream series, we invite 12 inspiring individuals who have courageously stepped out of their comfort zones to dream about a future they can truly call their own.
Becoming a mother led to a major shift in Jayne’s (@jaynetham) priorities. Having left her career as a full-time marketer so she’d have time for her kids, she initially mourned a sense of identity loss. After all, as someone who had always been incredibly career-driven, who was she outside of that? After realising that her newfound role as a mom didn’t mean she had to stop dreaming and pursuing her goals, Jayne took on more flexible roles, both as a digital creator and consultant for health and wellness products, to make time for her young family. For Jayne, #daringtodream is also about taking bold steps to make sure that her children are provided for and taken care of, even in times of crises.
Below, Jayne shares the #1 advice she tells fellow moms, and little steps we can all take to take care of ourselves physically, mentally and financially.
How did you wind up doing what you are doing today?
Before I had kids, I was very career-driven; I was set on doing marketing for fashion or beauty brands. After I gave birth, my child became my priority. Initially, I felt a sense of identity loss. But as my child got older, I felt it wasn’t so much a swap in priorities, but more a shift in perspective. I realised that children grow really fast and whatever career aspirations I had were not as time-sensitive.
That’s one reason why I left my job just prior to getting pregnant with my second child. It made more sense because I was still working but on my own time and target. I like that flexibility because it allows me to spend time with my children.
My good friend told me [about being a consultant] because I’d mentioned that I didn’t want to give up my freedom and time with my children. She shared with me that it allowed her to have her own keep while still being able to be there for her family – which was what I wanted.
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Is there any setback that you’ve learned from, that has led you to where you are today?
When I graduated from school, I set up a small business with my sister. I was too young to understand that there were a lot of commitments involved. After about a year or two, we were really struggling so we decided to close it before it started bleeding money.
This taught me to be smarter, do my research better, and ask questions. Wherever I was working, I put myself in the position of a businessperson. I would think of how I could make things better and I’d ask questions on how things worked.
Digital creator Jayne Tham and her husband Vernon
What does your dream future look like to you?
When my kids are all grown and married, and it’s just me and Vernon, I would love for us to go on holiday after holiday. Just being comfortable and having enough to sustain us both, plus any safety funds in case anything happens. I realised it’s so important to have all these [plans] in place because you never know when something will hit you.
What’s a habit, belief or behaviour that has positively impacted your life in recent years?
I always tell myself that the days are long but the years are short. My first year with my firstborn Liam flew by so fast. When I had my second child, I told myself: it’s going to fly by so you better cherish every single moment. I really try to – like I don’t use my phone when I’m with my children, for instance – but still, time flies.
I always tell parents, especially moms whenever they feel like they cannot cope, that yes it’s very tough. But try to enjoy every moment because it really passes so quickly.
When we started to plan for the wedding, that was the first wake-up call I had to start managing my money wisely because weddings cost a lot. As you grow older and start “adulting”, all these things come into play and you have to learn how to manage your finances properly.
What have you become better at saying no to?
Work-wise, I find it easier to say no because I understand that there’s only so much I can give and pour out from my own glass.. I’ve learned to say no to things I don’t want to do or feel have no value for my life.
Where does your concept of money come from and how do you think that has impacted your relationship with finances?
My parents would instil this in me: if you can save money, just save money, you never know when you’ll need the savings.
I only started to realise what my parents taught me after I got married. When we started to plan for the wedding, that was the first wake-up call I had to start managing my money wisely because weddings cost a lot. As you grow older and start “adulting”, all these things come into play and you have to learn how to manage your finances properly.
Also read: Autumn Conversations: “How I make time for your my career and well-being”
Complete this sentence: “My favourite Autumn app feature is….”
The Finance Dashboard. I like that you can see all your assets at one glance. You can link all your accounts from different banks, and see all your insurance policies and coverage in one place. It helps me see how much expenditure is going out and also keep tabs on my loans and how I can manage them.
What little steps our audience can take today to move towards their dream future?
Take a breather and meditate. It helps you stay focused and grounded, and get things done. Also, have a savings plan. It doesn’t have to be a big amount. But at least take that action and commitment to protect you from anything that happens in the future.
A small step to get more physically fit would be to book [fitness] classes, because making that commitment means you’re more likely to force yourself to stick to it.
Follow Jayne’s #DaretoDream journeys on our socials. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. Enjoyed this article? Take your little step today – write your dream pledge card for 2022 here.