This month’s ‘That Mama’ is major foodie, PR queen, mama of four and Sassy Mama Singapore founder Lynn Yeow-de Vito!
As one of the co-founders of Sassy Mama Singapore, Lynn Yeow-de Vito’s status as a super mama has been no secret to our team, and we’ve long wanted to feature her in our That Mama series. With four boys (Marco, 13; Tanin, 7; Nico, 4; and Lucio, 2), a thriving PR consultancy, and a burgeoning restaurant empire, to say this foodie has a full plate would be the understatement of the year. But she still managed to take time from her busy schedule (seriously: she fit her fab photo shoot into one day between international trips!) to sit down and chat with us on her thoughts about balancing motherhood and romance with a thriving business career (we should have asked for her secret to not aging!). Be prepared to be dazzled, mama!
Can you tell us a little about yourself, your career and your family?
I’m a Singaporean mother of four boys who’s worked in PR and Communications for more than 15 years. I founded my own PR agency focusing on the lifestyle industry, and in 2009 became Executive Director of Ate Consulting. I’d say I’m also well known for my generous appetite and passion for the food & beverage industry; I’m married to Italian chef and restauranteur Beppe De Vito, who heads the il lido group. I love to travel the globe in search of good food! Finally, I’m also a co-founder of Sassy Mama Singapore, so I’d say I’m definitely always on the hunt for what’s hot in the world of parenting in Singapore.
Can you talk us through your career pre- and post-baby?
I used to be excited about overseas projects but with marriage and arrival of children I tend to not take on too many projects involving lots of travels.
How did you get back into the swing of things after having kids?
I am lucky to have good help at home and also my mum was pretty involved in helping me. Beppe is extremely supportive of me. I didn’t really switch off from pre pregnancy to post pregnancy, I pretty much worked through it. I enjoy my dinners most therefore since young I trained my children to sleep early. Usually by 8pm when the boys are asleep and the house is nice and quiet I go out for a meal or prepare something at home to relax and keep my stomach happy!
How has having children changed the way you define work?
Priorities definitely changed. I choose projects I work on very carefully as I would like to minimise time spent away from my children.
How do you save time? What are your organisational tricks and tips?
I try to find activities that the boys can all enjoy together, like basketball or swimming, so it’s about sending them all to the same place.
With four boys’ schedules to manage I definitely need more help in this department!
I wish I had more time for…
I always feel saner after….
A nice meal!
What part of Singapore do you live in? What do you like about it?
River Valley Road. It has the Park Connectors very close to us which the boys can skate or scoot around. Beppe and I also at times walk along the river toward MBS and back for a good walk out, often stopping for supper along the way! Lots of family-friendly cafes, restaurants and parks in the area, too.
Favourite kid-friendly activity in Singapore?
Singapore Zoo. The boys never get tired of it!
Favourite kid-friendly restaurant in Singapore?
We don’t necessarily look for kid friendly restaurants when dining out as my children eat what we eat – and they enjoy it. We frequent mainly Asian foods and enjoy dim sum restaurants along with Japanese casual dining experiences.
Favourite family-friendly holiday spot in Asia?
Niseko! My boys love skiing and Niseko has great après ski restaurants both for children and adults. Even in the summer Niseko has amazing outdoor activities and most good restaurants stay open for the season, too.
Do you have any tips for keeping the romance alive in your relationship?
Passion! We are very passionate (sometimes stubborn!) individuals, we both fight and love very passionately! Remember the things you enjoyed together when dating in the days without children, and make the extra effort to continue those things as you grow old together. For us it revolves around food and travel.
Favourite date night restaurants?
Braci Rooftop Bar in Boat Quay or Aura Sky Lounge for sundowners to start. We love Japanese cuisine and frequent Tori-Tama Yakitori, Yazawa Yakiniku and Waku Ghin occasionally too when dining out. When we do eat Italian we will always head to one of our 6 restaurants within the il lido Group.
My favourite date night is after putting the boys to sleep we have a good bottle of red with both Beppe and I preparing our favourite food, eating in bed watching something on TV, and enjoying our couple time!
Do you have any tips for aspiring “mamapreneurs” and other working mamas in Singapore?
We work hard, go for it, and the bright light at the end of the tunnel lies our happy family we go home to! Guilt is one big emotion that lingers around us when we are out at work; try to spend as much or as little time you have with the family to the best of your ability.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
Every child is different, let them keep and express their individuality. We are here to nurture that.
Give us your essential new mama advice that might never occur to other women.
You never knew you could love more than you ever had! Sometimes it’s scary but embrace it and enjoy the love and tears and sleepless nights that come with it!
As a mama I wish I were better at…
Giving more TLC to my husband. Totally guilty of neglecting him after being a mama!
What’s your favourite family ritual?
Boys all in the kitchen, enthusiastically helping out to prepare a meal, being messy and destructive. Putting the meal together and at the end of it sitting down to enjoy the fruits of our labour!
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about….
What my schedule is for the week and how to squeeze in as much time as I can for my family. I would start looking at my calendar and sometimes freak out when I realised I have been committed to too many appointments and meetings. Quickly start emailing people in the middle of the night to reschedule whatever I can. Sorry if you are reading this and are one of the victims I had to do that to!
My favourite moment of the day is…
When I get home having all the boys (sometimes including my husband!) running enthusiastically towards me to welcome me home!
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us, Lynn! And a HUGE thanks to the super talented Katie Martin-Sperry Photography for the gorgeous photos of Lynn and her boys!