Motherhood Becomes Her
Lina Ng dishes on the best role she’s ever had
JUST LIKE EVERYONE else, Lina Ng had a plan. She would join a local talent search competition, be one of the winners, and become a versatile actress. However, as fate would have it, life’s little detours happened, which eventually led her to the greatest and most exciting path she’s ever taken – motherhood!
After three beautiful sons and 13 blissful years of marriage, Lina has no regrets with her decision to take a break from the entertainment industry. She said leaving the limelight was one of the best decisions she’s ever made in her life. Currently a full-time homemaker, Lina cultivates her love for language and education on the side by running an enrichment company (Mustard Seeds Academy), which provides in-house Mandarin enrichment courses to childcare centres. Although she still does freelance acting and hosting – her latest stint was in the 2013 Monday variety show, Laughing Out Loud, as well as product endorsement here and there – she’s the current face of AFC Ultimate DHA70, a brain health product of AFC Japan, Lina’s number one priority is her family.
Ezyhealth recently caught up with Lina to see how motherhood is treating her.
Ezyhealth: With three kids (all boys) in tow, what’s your typical day like?
Lina: In the morning I drive my two older boys to school, have a nice breakfast, do marketing, head home and spend one-on-one time with the youngest. At noon, I will have lunch with my hubby and spend two to three hours on running errands – clearing emails, editing curriculum (enrichment courses), marking assessments, and helping the boys with their homework and revisions. At night, we will have dinner as a family, watch a little TV, and rest. I believe in honest hard work, discipline, integrity and filial piety. So I maintain a daily routine for the family, which maximises the children’s time for studies, for play and family bonding.
Ezyhealth: How has motherhood changed you?
Lina: I have become very patient and appreciative. People say I have become prettier – the rose among the thorns at home (laughs).
Ezyhealth: What made you decide to leave your acting career behind and be a full-time mum?
Lina: It was not a deliberate decision. When SPH Mediaworks merged with Mediacorp in 2004, I wasn’t offered a contract to carry on. To be a full time mother was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Ezyhealth: Was the decision worth it? Do you ever miss the limelight? Lina: Being an optimist, I believe that everything happens for a good purpose. Therefore, I sincerely look forward to living it to the fullest every day. The ‘jobless days’ were a blessed transition for me. I fulfilled some of my desires, like attending a Bible College and went on to take up a course in Early Childhood Education. That was where I unearthed another hidden talent of mine – teaching young children.
Ezyhealth: You’re a kindergarten teacher now, a far cry from being an actress. Has it always been your dream to teach children?
Lina: I’m an ex-preschool teacher, to be exact. I taught for three years in a well-known international pre-school before quitting the job to start my own business in conducting Mandarin enrichment. It took me a year before I understood the tricks of the trade. It has been immensely enjoyable to teach young children. It’s very fulfilling and enriching to learn with the children.
Ezyhealth: What’s your foolproof way to encourage/inspire your kids and students to love school/learning?
Lina: I always make learning fun and meaningful. I enjoy teaching through play, a methodology I learned in my diploma course and put into practice during my teaching in an international pre-school. Allowing children to make mistakes is a good and effective way of learning for them, too.
Ezyhealth: What values do you instill in your children as early as now?
Lina: Honesty and righteousness. I always tell them, ‘Don’t ever tell lies!’ Good grades don’t make you an outstanding man, good character does!
Ezyhealth: Any tips for raising healthy and happy children?
Lina: Mentally and emotionally – I do not force my children to do anything against their will. They must be happy in whatever they do and understand the reason why. I realised that a secured child learns well and will grow in confidence; therefore, my hubby and I make sure that our boys do get the emotional support constantly from us. Even when we discipline or punish them for their mistakes, we make sure they understand that we did it out of love. Most of the time, it involves a lot of speaking and listening.
Physically – we eat quite healthily, mostly stir-fry and steam food with soup, and lots of fruits daily. I do give the boys supplements like vitamin C (to strengthen their immune system) and AFC Ultimate DHA70 to optimise brain health (for better concentration and memory).
Ezyhealth: How do you manage to maintain your svelte figure after three kids? Any healthy diet and exercise tips you want to share with our readers?
Lina: I do jog twice a week to keep myself fit and healthy. I need it in order for me to have enough stamina to keep up with the boys (laughs). I have no special diet though. Actually, I’ve been longing to put on a few kilos. I am underweight now. I love to eat and I can eat quite a lot. As for my svelte figure, I thank my parents’ genes for it.
Ezyhealth: How do you and your husband make sure you spend quality time with your kids despite your busy work schedules? Lina: Dinner as a family is a must daily. Most of the evenings, dad will play sports with the older boys while I entertain the youngest. We set aside Saturday afternoons for just the two of us.
Ezyhealth: What are your considerations in taking on projects/endorsements?
Lina: I am very selective with endorsement choices. I consider the company background to ensure that there must be alignment of the corporate values of integrity and honesty with my own. The product must be proven and of good quality.
Ezyhealth: Will you be acting in TV/film again? I’m sure your fans would like to know.
Lina: I am very appreciative of the people who have always given me words of encouragement. It is humbling to hear good reviews about my acting and hosting. The itch to go back does get to me during those times. However, time spent waiting on set is time spent away from my children and family. So I am more inclined to work on selected projects which are fulfilling and which suit my family and business schedule.