Daphne the doting mum
Daphne Ewing-Chow has three very active children – all girls – but she doesn’t mind because she is active herself. The 37-year-old freelance writer and research analyst for an offshore venture capital fund finds that there isn’t enough hours in a day to get all she has done but she manages – barely.
“My day starts at 5 a.m. and I head to the gym for half an hour. When I return, it is time to get the kids ready for school. After I drop the kids to school, I head to work. Luckily, my work provides me with the flexibility to be available to the girls around school hours. I wrap up at the office at around 2 p.m. and pick them up.”
Then there are the extra-curricular activities every afternoon – swimming, gymnastics, guitar, chess, ballet, lessons. By the time the family gets home, it is time for dinner and bed.
“I am not sure how I get all these things done . . . . I am still trying to figure that out. What I can say is that I have an amazing husband who is extremely involved. That said, I am still struggling to find a balance.”
Daphne is mum to Aerin (ten), Devon (seven) and Drew (six). Aerin was named after Aerin Lauder, Estee Lauder’s granddaughter and one of the most glamorous women in the world. Devon was named after Devon Aoki, a Japanese-American model and actress. Drew was named by her dad, Michael Ewing-Chow. “He just loved the name. I suppose it is fitting that since we only had girls that all of their names are somewhat androgynous.”
Daphne who just published her first children’s book, Little Lou Lou Goes To Limegrove, planned for all three pregnancies: “Yes, I did. I enjoyed planning for their arrivals so much. By the time I was pregnant with my third, there were so many clothes and toys because of how much I overdid the planning process each time,” she said laughing.
And while Daphne’s pregnancies were uneventful, she experienced post-partum depression after she had her first child.
“It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, but luckily I reached out for help and managed to overcome it quite quickly. Today, I use my writing to connect with other women who have had similar experiences and I am the regional resource for Post-Partum Support International.
“Nothing teaches you how to overcome innate selfishness faster than being a parent. Parenting makes me constantly want to be a better person – to do right by them. I am a much better person now than I was before I had kids.”
Calling being a parent one of the hardest job and noting that it is a cliché, she noted, “Bad days can tax you physically, emotionally, intellectually and psychologically.”
For Daphne the most stressful thing about being a parent is trying to balance the need to pursue her own professional and creative ambitions with the emotional needs of her family. She says she finds she is a lot less selfish and stresses less over petty situations or people.
“Parenting has had a very positive impact on the relationship [between her and Michael]. The things that we used to argue about before we had kids seem so petty- we now have much bigger fish to fry. We are both so grateful for the blessing of three healthy children.
“All three of my children are so completely different that there is no “one size fits all” solution to behavioral challenges. My biggest struggle at the moment is sibling rivalry.”
With her family living in Israel and the United States and Michael’s family in Trinidad and Canada, Daphne relies on support and help from a friend whose two girls are the same ages as her girls “and we help each other out a lot. Other than that, my husband and I rely on each other heavily.”
Daphne’s mother is Hungarian and her dad is a survivor of the Holocaust.
“My parents were extremely resilient people who understood the value of hard work. They moved to Barbados when my sister and I were very young and started a business here. My father was a survivor of the Holocaust but he never felt sorry for himself – he was strong and self-sufficient. My mother, artist and illustrator Judith Wieder-Burgida, is Hungarian and is an amazing cook. When I was a child, she started a catering business and supplied deserts to some of the best hotels and restaurants on the island.”
Daphne said, like her parents, she will always be there for her kids “but I do not want them to see me or their future spouses as a crutch when they become adults – I want them to be strong and independent and to be responsible for themselves.”
Daphne says she has an irrational fear of something terrible happening to someone she loves as she lost her father when she was a child and it has made her very conscious of the fragility of life.
Daphne recalls fond memories of her childhood, calling them “simple times that I spent with my parents and sister, playing board games or outdoors,” and she and husband Michael are looking forward to making their own memories with the girls and she says she loves that they are all girls because she can share in their excitements and relive “firsts” through them.
“I love sharing my wisdom, even though they are not always receptive to it. I love being the primary person that they long for when things happen, both positive and negative, in their lives. I feel so privileged to be in that position.
“There are so many special moments that we have yet to experience – the Common Entrance and secondary echool are on the horizon, and of course there will be first loves, weddings, children. I look forward to all of those moments, but ultimately I just want them to be healthy and happy through it all- everything else is secondary.”
Speaking of weddings, Daphne has one special keepsake that she has to pass on:?“My husband proposed to me with the ring that his father used to propose to his mom. I would like to pass on the same ring to the first daughter who gets married.”