Founder, Away from Mum Guilt
Director & Principal Consultant, Marketing On Point Pte. Ltd.
(In her 40's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
Yasmin is a champion for maternal mental health in Singapore. As a mother of four children, ranging in ages from 15 to 3 years, Yasmin understands the various challenges and struggles of being a primary caregiver with limited support, while at the same time negotiating various expectations from society. Having undergone high levels of guilt and anxiety in various stages of her motherhood journey, she advocates fellow mothers (mums) to prioritise self-care and self-compassion, in order to be better versions of themselves.
To do this, she began a social cause known as "Away from Mum Guilt" in 2018. What started as an Instagram page to remind herself to take care of her mental health, has now grown to a mums-to-mums community and safe space, with more than 1,000 followers. Yasmin facilitates both physical and virtual "safe conversations", where mums, in a small-group setting, share each others' real life struggles and challenges in a judgement-free and advice-free space.
More than a 100 mums have benefitted from these sessions to date. The community has become more grounds-up and supportive of one another, with fellow mums offering to co-host these sessions too. Yasmin also hosts pre-recorded Youtube conversations with subject matter experts in wellness, to provide the community with practical tools to enhance their mental well-being.
Yasmin is very passionate about self-care for mums, because they are an overlooked segment of society. We focus quite a bit on youths, seniors and women, and mental well-being as a whole, and even on fatherhood. However, we might have a gap in understanding issues from a maternal health perspective, where a mother's role may be assumed to be a "given" and that they are supposed to know what they are supposed to do. However, today's mothers (and parents in general) are also struggling to navigate a complex world, and Yasmin's efforts fill a large gap in society. She gives a platform for mothers to voice their pain in a judgement-free environment, which can be difficult to find. Further, these initiatives are low-cost or free, reducing barriers for mothers to come forward. Yasmin does not do it as a "side gig" that earns an income, preferring to maintain this as something of a service to fellow mums that can hopefully sustain itself someday. Yasmin also champions mental health as a member of the Tiong Bahru CC management committee, where she regularly organises wellness events for children and adults.
In her own words:
I was tempted to answer this with some awards or certifications but that would not be correct. Looking back, my greatest achievement has been the ability to have the courage to show up in life. As a primary caregiver with minimal parenting support, it has mostly been just me, my husband and the kids for the past 15 years. There were times, when life got too hard, and I wanted to run away from it all. I was tempted many times to throw in the towel and say I am unable to do it and not get up from bed. The times when I suffered a panic attack, tried to balance a toddler with a bad attack of vertigo or just laid in bed refusing to face another day, I always made sure I psyched myself to get up and show up for my kids and my husband. I have always showed up to my commitments and responsibilities even on my toughest days. Taking things day by day and hour by hour on some days. Looking back, I realise it takes great courage to do that and that will be my greatest achievement.
Biggest challenge thus far
putting aside my insecurities and guilt and seeking professional help for my mental wellness after the birth of my 4th child in 2020.
After the birth of my 4th child, I realised I was feeling very overwhelmed and depressed. At this phase of my life, I have been on a self-work journey for a while. Usually, the first 3 years of having a child will send me on a downward spiral and I would be extremely negative which would affect my family members the most. I would also refuse seeking help and try to fix the situation with my husband who would be just as overwhelmed.
However, this time round, realising I was going on a downward spiral, I called a friend of mine who is a coach to seek help. After which, I saw a psychologist who gave me good advice and ways to move forward. I worked on her advice and used the mindfulness techniques I was familiar with to reduce the burnout. I kept myself away from the depressed state that I usually end up in post-birth. Choosing my well-being and putting aside my insecurities to seek professional help is something I feel proud of till today. It was a time I realised that I was emotionally more mature than my previous years and I would be 'all right' in future situations.
what judges say
great, honest writeup. Maternal mental health advocate - much needed in society.