Let’s hear Siu Lim shares her journey!
Siu Lim: Hello, my name is Siu Lim. I’m a full time Pilates instructor at The Flow Studio. I have four kids from the ages of 17,13,9 and 8. I am not Malaysian, I’m Chinese American came here about 15 years ago. And now I’m here.
Adele:15 years ago, how do you came here?
Siu Lim: I got married at a very young age, he found a job in Malaysia, we decided to conquer a two year contract. And we just ended up staying here. My children currently live in Turkey. Now with him. Unfortunately, we’re not together and I’m here on my cause decided to stay but you know, living in a country for 15 to 16 years, you end up finding home in that place. You’ve ended up finding friends. Yeah, finding career. Technically, when people ask me, I’m going to going back home to San Francisco. That was long gone ago. That was a previous part of my life. And now Malaysia is actually my home now.
Adele: Yeah, I remember seeing you going back to Turkey. And I had fun. Yeah. How does that make you feel being apart from them all the time?
Siu Lim: Oh, definitely. It’s been very, very difficult. And everyone’s like, Oh, but it’s okay. You have Zoom nowadays, but it’s not the same as spending every moment with your kids. So with me, I take every moment very special. Now, when they were here, we all kind of get confused as to how do we balance work life, social life with that many kids. I used to always have a date with one child per week, no matter what that child wanted to do, hey, had a date with them. And it’s the same thing as long distance, I always have to make sure I’ve spent 30 minutes per child. So that means no interruptions. No other child can be in the room.
Siu Lim: There are times definitely where I had my eight year old sit there and were just like, Mommy, I don’t know what to say to you. And I’m like me too. But she’ll sit there and she’ll draw for me, she’ll sit there, I’ll read a book to her. When we do have our children with us. We take little moments for granted because we have them all the time. But because my children are away, now I have to really embrace a lot of small things. Because a lot of times we’re on our phones with our kids, and then we tend to forget to talk to them. So they get used to that they’re so used to being us throwing the iPads at them leave me alone while I do my work. And then when they grow up into teenagers, they do the exact same thing to us. And then we start nagging at them like oh, you know, you do sit on your phone all the time, but they actually grew up with us being like that. Because of that I reflected a lot on parenting. Even though I don’t have my kids with me, I still parent long distance, I still give them a lot of advices what to do when things are hard and we try to stay strong together.
Adele: You know, just hearing you say all that and you do it with so much grace. That’s very beautiful. I mean, I really particularly like the dating thing. I’m pretty sure some parents live in the same room without talking to them 30 minutes.
Siu Lim: Oh, definitely. You know, when I had my kids living with me, I was a single working mom, I would work early, come back home really late and then they would just sit in the room. They’ve already had dinner on their own. They’re teenagers so they didn’t need me and then I took that part for granted because I assumed they’re older and they don’t need me I forget they also still need a conversation with me you would be surprised what goes on in a 20 minute conversation how close you can be to a child without the phone without this without that and just sit there my kids are at the stage now where they’re becoming young adults they’re you know starting to look at the opposite sex and wanting to date they wanted this they wanted that you know I’m sitting here with my kids and I can’t tell them what and what not to do it’s a very different generation. What I have to be is very supportive. I have to be their best friend at this point. I’m not a mom I’m lending here so we ended up actually just being each other’s best friends of course there’s parenting involved but that is not my intention when I get on the phone with them that’s my not my intention when I go visit them you know. When I go visit them, I’m more like this one auntie.
Adele: Yeah, because my husband is like super kind and chilled. Like he’s the nice guy. I used to think like okay, I’ll be the tiger mom. But now that my baby’s out so I keep telling my husband recently I’m like okay, I think I don’t want to be the tiger mom because I want to be the best friend but we’re navigate that through and to hear that spending time and putting down the phones and having a conversation I think it is just generally to any human being.
Siu Lim: yeah you know our friends we don’t see our friends in so long then the minute we meet this person we go on our phone so sorry I’m busy maybe it had something to say maybe they’re going through a lot of things maybe they have a lot to vent out I always do have a rule whoever I meet I don’t touch my phone for at least one hour my close friends and us like we actually have like a competition with each other like whoever picks up their phone first pays for the bill.
Adele: That is so good. That is so good. I think like last time my friends will really say like Adele is the one on the phone one that forever so recently I think like I did less of that like I listened better right there my friend. They were like Adele you very good. You know now Do you realise you never really touched on phone so much if without my realisation yet people notice what could happen if I’m even more intentional. You have so much like grace, you’re also Pilates instructor, maybe just tell us what is Pilates to you? And what do you think it can actually bring to someone?
Siu Lim: Honestly, I believe in any form of exercise. But because Pilates and yoga connected to a certain part, I never knew how to connect the body and the mind, right? You know, I’m Muslim to like I had religion lies, and yoga has really helped me understand everything. It’s not just an exercise to me. I mean, if I don’t work out, if I don’t do Pilates, you know, like more than a few days, I’m in a really bad mood. It really gives me a lot of energy. People might think it’s slow and everything but just any movement, I would say that you make it become your lifestyle, it actually increases so many levels of happiness in you.
Adele: I think the next part so I really wanted to ask is like your whole journey of like becoming a content creator and influencer like, how did that happen? And you know, share with us a little bit about that.
Siu Lim: I recently, I got a divorce. I didn’t know what to do with my life. Because now I’ve been a stay at home mom for like, what, 12 years. And then to get back into the world was like I was handicap. I didn’t know what to do as a job. I became a teacher to tuition centre. And then also I taught autistic kids. And I slowly I had some friends who were influencers, right? And they say that because to me, they were just my friends. But I didn’t know at that time, the blogging world, Instagram just came out, you know, the Instagram has been like, you know, I was doing that for my friends just learn all these things. And then I decided to do it for myself. And because I have such a niche title, Chinese Muslim Pilates instructor, I guess that caught on real fast. I learned how to find connections. I learned how to I hustled, I learned how to take pictures, I learned what people liked. I learned what people liked on Instagram. What was hard about it was the fact that when you work for a company, they have to do what they say that was hard for me because till this day, I feel like I’m bursting with creativity. Being a content creator. I absolutely love doing it. But there are days like anything, there are days that become very challenging, and especially with another full time job. So technically, I have so many full time jobs, being a mom and being a Pilates instructor and being a content creator. So people ask me what, wow, where’s his energy coming from? And I have to say at the end of the day, all this energy is coming from the fact that I wake up every morning early at 6am. Go workout. And then I start my day working out is like brushing my teeth and taking a shower. I always remind myself the feeling I have never regret working out. But you do regret missing it when you change your perception of things. And you say no, this is something I have to do so that I survived the day,
Adele: What is the best advice you have heard from someone else that you would love to share with us?
Siu Lim: Basically, there’s never a good time, you just have to do it. There’s never a good time to have kids. You just have to have kids, there’s never a good time to get married. You just have to get married. When you feel it. You’re always going to have some sort of excuse for anything, especially as women, we overthink a lot of things the more we overthink things the more we procrastinate the more we just kind of hesitate to do things but how proud of the ones that actually come to a class feeling that way because they don’t know it. Everybody else feels the same exact way. Everyone feels timid to go to the gym or to a studio to go work out like everyone’s staring at me. But you know what? Everyone’s actually thinking the same exact thing just to do it. Time is not our friend. Time is definitely our enemy. And then we keep saying that we’re going to do something we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna meet up with our friend. Yeah, and before you know it, it’s been like a year since we were meant to meet up with that friend, and it never happened.
Adele: Thank you so much for your time. If you like this, be sure to share it out, and give Siu Lim a follow. I’ll see you guys in the next one. Bye bye!
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