This driven mother of two children divulges her secrets on striking a balance between career, motherhood and self-care.

A devoted wife and loving mother to two toddlers, Geraldine Dreiser is a biotech scientist-turned-hotelier. Aside from straddling motherhood and a career as the vice president of marketing of YTL Hotels, she carves time in her schedule to work out and give back to society through voluntary work.

Here, she describes the joys of her work and motherhood, shares her daily struggles and reveals how she copes with the various responsibilities in her life.

You are in the travel and hospitality business but your background is in biotech. Why did you switch careers?

"I studied biotech because the field was in demand in my student days. Over time, I knew it wasn’t right for me. After graduation, I tried working for an airline company and enjoyed the job. After that, I moved to a travel concierge for a credit card company. Now I am with the hotels division of YTL Group. It’s been nice, seeing the full spectrum of the travel industry in my journey."

How did the hotel, travel and hospitality business captivate you?

"I think hotels are places where you craft moments with others, such as family holidays, honeymoons and weddings. Hotels and resorts are also sanctuaries—places where you rest and rejuvenate. I derive joy from knowing that everything I do at YTL Hotels has an impact in someone's life and that my team and I helped create beautiful memories for our guests during their stay with us."

What has motherhood taught you?

"Fulfilling as motherhood is, I would be lying if I say things are easy and smooth sailing! As a runner, I would like to refer to marathons as an analogy for motherhood: it tests your strength, endurance, stamina and patience but it is worth it!"

How does your work fulfil you?

"It is important to work and give back to society through your talents and skills. You must believe that your work have impact—only then can you find meaning in work. That's the mindset that pushes me everyday."

What about motherhood? Does it fulfil you?

"Yes of course! That being said, I grew up with a mum who worked, so I have always known I want to be working mother through her example. While I am blessed that I have help with the kids when I am at work, it is still a challenge to make impact at home when you have responsibilities at work. The struggle is real. Presently, my kids are young and they need me. But I don't deny that working gives me a lot of joy too. So I ask myself each day, how much can I put in at work and at home this point in my life? This question helps guide me. I take it one day at a time, learning and adapting to what is needed of me."

What makes you happy?

“I get so excited when I see my children thriving; I remember being so proud when I saw my daughter swimming for the first time!"

How does Lancôme fit into your busy life?

"I have just started a beauty ritual with Lancôme Absolue Revitalising Rose Mask and Lotion. The first thing that struck me was the products’ scent, floral but not overbearing. The mask left a cooling sensation, which is great for tired skin. In fact, the entire range is great for my busy schedule, especially when I have to go for work visits to other resort and city properties under YTL Hotels which are overseas. The mask is so easy to use, I simply apply it and leave it on overnight. And as much as I love working and my kids, I love blissing out too. I think of this mask as a luxurious treat, twice a week, to my bedtime routine."

Photography: Aaron Lee; Styling: Andrea Kee; Makeup: Zamri Zainol using Lancôme; Location: The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Lancôme Absolue Precious Cells introduces two new products—The Revitalising Rose Mask and Lotion. Concentrated with Rose Nectar to regenerate the skin, the products are infused with rose petals; a truly luxurious treat for the skin. Visit Lancôme's website for more information

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