To do it all and do so gracefully is an expectation that befalls every mother. “We are in many ways expected to be a nurturing mum, an attentive partner, yet have a successful career—and in this whole process, still look like we are in control and put together,” opines Anne Gauthier Das Neves. As 2020 came to a close, the theatre actress, professional host and co-founder of Behind The Scenes (a corporate skills coaching programme that utilises theatre techniques) welcomed her firstborn, Claire. “If I don’t feel overwhelmed or am constantly active, I feel guilty; like I am not contributing enough to this world and especially to those around me,” she admits. “But my most important role thus far is being a mother.”
Looking back on her early 20s, Bianca Gonzalez sympathises. “I was one of the many who used to glorify being busy,” she laments, wishing she had grasped “the concept of mental health much earlier”. A true multi-hyphenate, Gonzalez is a famed television host with over 17 years of experience; a co-founder of She Talks Asia, a women empowerment community; and most recently, the host of her very own podcast Paano Ba ‘To, an evolution from the 2014 book of the same name that shares advice through interviews with her widely-acclaimed guests. Her latest life lesson? “Learning to not be guilty about taking time for myself,” she professes. “When I make sure that I take care of myself, I see the better version of myself showing up for my family, friends, [and] for the work that I do.”
When I make sure that I take care of myself, I see the better version of myself showing up for my family, friends, [and] for the work that I do.— Bianca Gonzalez
Joined by Xandra Rocha and Patty Ang, these accomplished, career-driven women and dedicated mothers contend with the toxic pressures of over-productivity, share their philosophies for wellness and reveal how their own wellbeing affects their relationships with family.