Jihan Muse ― Talks work-life balance

Jihan Muse and Arsalan

Some say it is the “most difficult job in the world”. Being a mother is no easy task, especially for a working mother. Actor-comedian Jihan Muse explains the importance of being available around the clock, both at home and at work.

Time management is essential

Jihan prioritises her time with Arsalan more than herself.

Juggling between work and life is no easy feat, especially as a mother. Echoing this sentiment, actor-comedian Jihan Muse said that it is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, “and that is why time management is essential,” she shared.

“Ever since I became a mother, I have made arrangements to make sure that my working hours are only eight hours a day,” said the 36-year-old. She could no longer spent the whole day working like she used to.

Dividing her attention between work and family can be difficult, and Jihan would try her best to make use of the pockets of time in between work.

“For instance, if I have a job at night, I will dedicate my mornings and afternoons for my family,” shared Jihan.

As a working mother, she would organise and plan her days ahead. She would create a menu and a list of activities days earlier, sometimes weeks.

“This helps me save time and prepares me for any unexpected bumps later in the day.”

When she became a mother in 2018, she learned to prioritise his son before herself. “It is a journey that I hold very dearly. To me, motherhood gave me happiness and genuine satisfaction.”

Wanting to witness and be a part of his milestones, Jihan said that her son Arsalan is growing up too fast. To her, the value of time became more important when Arsalan was born.

According to Jihan, the birth of Arsalan turned her to be more self-aware and always striving to be a better person. This is because, as parents, “we are the child’s first teachers in life. Our children look to us as role models.”

Jihan further elaborated that for a child to develop good manners and behaviours, parents must set a good example for them to follow.

The award-winning actor-comedian also shared that prior to Arsalan’s birth, she was nervous and excited at the same time. “While I have prepared myself as much as I could, I understood that not everything would go as planned and that is alright!”

She said that it is an important reminder to all mothers not to be stressed out about life and just go with the flow, “Enjoy the moment as it is.” the multi-talented Jihan said. She also emphasised that mothers naturally have a strong maternal instinct, “Put more trust in yourselves! A mother always knows what is best for her child. Remember to trust that instinct!”

Jihan the disclosed that her biggest challenge as a parent was Arsalan’s fussy eating phase. Being a first-time mother, she was worried that Arsalan would not receive the proper and adequate nutrients.

Jihan believes that early childhood development is an important period for toddlers, “and nutrition is one of the key ways in making sure they grow up healthy and active, with a strong immune system.”

Ungku Hariz, Arsalan and Jihan Muse.

“During this period, we experimented with many types of food to understand his preferences,” Jihan explained. She admits that the process taught her to be patient as during the early development stages, Arsalan needs to meet his nutritional requirements.

Often, Jihan and her husband would explain to their son together for their son to understand the need for him to eat certain food. “The teamwork made the experience easier to deal with,” said Jihan.

Apart from that, she also received an advice during a Facebook Livestream event she did for Enfagrow A+ MedTalk from General Paediatrician Dr Rajini Sarvananthan to make fun food art to enhance the process of eating for children. “She also advised me to incorporate the MyHealthy Plate as a guide to create balanced meals in the right amount.”

Despite Jihan’s and her husband’s busy schedule, she hopes that Arsalan can receive proper physical and mental stimulation. “Every week, we would take him swimming, teach him ABCs, numbers and how to draw.

“Raising a child is no easy task, hence parents have to work as a team. Be the shoulder to lean on and support each other, and also remember to always share the responsibilities. It is easier to get through the hurdles in life when you have a support system in place,” Jihan advised.


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