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Interview with Jaclyn, Co-Founder of Colour Me Mats

Did you know that Colour Me Mats is a homegrown brand founded by 2 Mummies? The amazing ladies behind the brand, Jaclyn and Serene, loved picture books and wanted to minimize screen time for their little ones, and hence Colour Me Mats was born!

In light of our National Day collaboration with Colour Me Mats, we decided to revisit our interview with Jaclyn, as she candidly shared with us what it’s like to become a Mum when she was only 23 years old, quickly adapting her lifestyle to take on her new role and eventually becoming a Mum of 3!

Jaclyn's interview is also one of the many stories from our book, In Time, We Blossom. If you'd like to read more stories like this, you can download our free e-book here

As parents, our only wish for our children is to have great health and happiness, but not all children have this privilege.

- Jaclyn, on why she initiated the Give Back campaign with Colour Me Mats, in support of Club Rainbow

We first got acquainted with Jaclyn through Instagram, as we had been following her first foods journey with Baby Masen and healthy meal recipes for Kyler and Avril. When we got to interview her, we were grateful that Jaclyn was so forthcoming in sharing her motherhood experiences with us!

Jaclyn also runs Colour Me Mats, which offers silicone colouring mats that are educational and tell a story with each scene. The idea came about as Jaclyn and her partner, Serene, realised that their little ones loved reading picture books and wanted to bring the characters to life through colouring. They hope that their mats can help parents bond with their little ones and minimise screen time.

Yi Jun: Let’s go back to the day you found out you were pregnant. How did you feel?
Jaclyn: Terrified. Although I always wanted to get married early and start a family young, it was probably 4–5 years too early! I was 23 when I first got pregnant and I had only known my husband for a few months. There were many things I was uncertain about, but I was clear that I would keep the baby, whether or not he decided to take up the responsibility. Thankfully, he married me and 9 years later we have two more in tow!

What changes did you start to experience when your first born arrived?

Our lifestyle and priorities changed completely. Before I became pregnant, I was a party- goer, clubbing till 6 am three times a week—I was young and wild and free! Then everything stopped immediately. I hung out less with friends, except for the occasional birthdays where I would have a few drinks then head home by midnight.

I think my friends stopped calling me because my answer was always no, yet I did not mind at all. I only wanted to be with my baby after a full day of work. It comes very naturally to all mums, probably something that non- parents cannot imagine feeling till it happens to them! From the moment my first born arrived, it’s always been kids, kids, kids.

The first few months with my husband were tough. He worked night shifts so he would sleep through the mornings, which meant that baby and I barely got to see him. We were both tired, yet somehow we made it work. There were moments where I’d flare up because I just needed him to spend more time with us, but I also appreciated that he was working hard for the family.

From the moment my first born arrived, it's always been kids, kids, kids. 

Jayina and Her Kids: Anya and Adam

You share what you feed your kids on Instagram, placing a lot of importance on healthy, organic food. Why is this important to you?
As much as possible and to the best of my ability, the food I get for 
Masen is organic, because they carry significantly fewer pesticide residues. By limiting their exposure to chemical residues, the kids are less susceptible to harm, especially the littlest one whose digestive system is not strong yet. Our journey with organic food has been rewarding. The children eat well and rarely fall ill, save for when they entered preschool. Thankfully the kids aren’t picky eaters (except our daughter!) and they finish their food most of the time!

What is your proudest moment as a parent so far?
On 30th May 2019, my firstborn, Kyler showed his support for children with cancer. He shaved his head on his own accord. It was an amazingly proud moment for me. Tears welled up in my eyes as he sat there for five minutes. This was MY BOY. No matter how mischievous he can be, or how many times I have scolded him, times like this make me proud. His classmates were also cheering him on!

A month earlier, when he brought home the consent form for Hair for Hope, I had tossed it into the bin. The next morning he asked if I would sign and was angry that I had thrown the form. Here was a boy who was selflessly and bravely showing solidarity, and his mum was only concerned with how his shaved head would look in family photographs! I felt so ashamed, and still am, and will never forget this incident. He taught me that compassion and having a big heart, mean showing others that we care.

Jayina and Her Kids: Anya and Adam

After 3 kids, do you feel like you have blossomed as a parent? 

Definitely! I’ve learnt to be more patient, to accept who they have grown to become. As a mum, I guide them along the way, instead of forcing them to do things just because I said so.

Jayina and Her Kids: Anya and Adam

What advice would you give to your younger self?

"It’s natural to feel both excited and afraid with a new family member, but hey—it’s the start of something beautiful. Let baby guide you and everything will slowly fall into a routine. When that happens, enjoy the moment!"

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