My Balance: Lileis Mia, A Painter

Lileis Mia is a painter and graphic designer who works from home. She lives in Kuala Lumpur with her husband Ijam and two daughters, Alludra & Imoira. Here's how she tries to juggle it all...

What’s your daily schedule like?

I work at home most of the time which gives me a lot of flexibility around my work hours and finding time to myself. Since my babies are now 9 and 11, they are less dependent on me to do things for them. Between 5.30am - 3pm that’s when I fit in my time to paint (I’m a painter) or read about art. 3pm is when the kids come home from school, it’s family time & bonding time from then on.

Do you have help with managing childcare?

I did have a helper to help me with my girls when they were little. She was really great, she also helped with the laundry, house cleaning and sometimes cooked for us too. It’s really nice to have a helping hand around the house when they are still babies and toddlers. Now that my youngest is nine years old, we do everything on our own. I’ve even taught them to clean their own dishes after meals!

Where do you work during the day?

I have my own studio at home which I love, and that’s where I work most of the time. The studio has also become a shared space for my girls to do their homework and study, so we would all be in the studio/study together to work which is really nice.

What’s your favourite part of your work?

The satisfaction of finished artwork.

How do you and your husband fit into the balance together?

We make a lot of time for each other. Even though my husband works late hours most of the time, we share many common interests which makes it easy to bond when we find pockets of time to ourselves. He also helps out from time to time, some days he would cook and on weekends buy breakfast so I won't have to cook - and that makes me really happy!

Do you have time for yourself?

Yes, I do, and more time now since my girls are more independent. Time for myself is so precious and I make sure to really indulge myself when I can. Sometimes I get a nice workout in, get a massage, meet up with friends, or sit back and watch a movie with my family.

What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?

Don't be too hard on yourself and just take it easy. Lower down your expectations if you can’t accomplish all the things that you want to do in a day. Spend as much time with your children as you can, and most importantly, always be grateful and (try to keep) positive!

Do you wonder how other women manage the balance?

Most women I know do have a difficult time juggling their work and family time. But the trick is really just to keep going and never give up. I guess it’s their inner strength that motivates them every day.

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