Mothers By The Bay | A Special Mother’s Day Interview

03 May 2021

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Rehana Macdonald, a family photo of her four children and superstar husband.

 

In honour of Mother’s Day, we speak to 4 working mothers (and grandmother!) in the By The Bay community. These super moms balance high preforming roles in some of the world’s most recognised brand names. Hear their stories of their journey managing the myriad of roles, their challenges and joys and what keeps them going.

Happy Mother’s Day to Rehana Macdonald! A mother of four energetic children, read Rehana’s story on how she finds time for her weekly dose of Yoga and enjoying her favourite beverage – warm coffee, while living in a busy household and juggling work as a Brand and Design Manager at Deutsche Bank AG, Asia Pacific.

And a Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers in Deutsche Bank AG, Asia Pacific!

 

Do share with us some details of your role at Deutsche Bank.

I am the Brand and Design Manager for Asia, working within the Corporate Communications team. I manage all brand and design related projects for Deutsche Bank throughout the region, as well as supporting the Global Brand and Visual Identity team in Frankfurt.

 

What does the typical work day in a week look like for you?

During my typical workday, I start by writing down my to-do list and work out my priorities for the day. I keep in touch with my manager and colleagues to discuss any new or ongoing projects – we will have catch up calls and we update each other on the progress of each project. I am responsible for overseeing all brand and design related projects in APAC so there is always artwork that requires my review and feedback. I also help my colleagues in Singapore who need design support – for example templates for newsletters, Powerpoints, online banners, etc. If the brand team are at capacity, I will coordinate and provide art direction through our local design agency. I connect regularly with the global brand team to discuss new and ongoing global projects – talking shop!

 

We understand that you have 4 children. Are they boys and girls and how old are they?

I have three strapping boys and one princess. My eldest, Adam, is 16, Danial is 14, Kara is eight and the youngest, Kyle, is four. It’s makes for an interesting dynamic given the variety of ages, however it spreads the energy, and it helps they all get along extremely well (for the most part!)

 

Has there been something that your children taught you that you have applied to in life or at work?

Living in a busy household has taught me many important life lessons, such as the need to pace myself. I always have a long to-do list, both at work and at home. I have learnt to embrace the fact that I can’t always please everyone, so I will always take mindful moments and recharge with my cup of coffee, whilst it’s still warm!

The children have also taught me there is no shame in not knowing the right answers, but to encourage them to research and find the answer for themselves.

They have also made me realised that good things don’t come easy and that there is no such thing as “I will always get what I want”. I have worked hard and been fortunate to get to where I am – some of my past experiences are proof that good things come to those who wait. As my mother would also say, things don’t just fall from the sky!

Lastly, not to fret the small things. It is important to choose your battles when it comes to the kids. Sometimes it frustrates me greatly how they do certain things, and they often dislike being told what to do. Nonetheless, its key they have an opportunity to make their own mistakes – with guidance!

 

What is your tip on juggling life as an employee at Deutsche Bank, a wife and a mother of 4?

It is so important to have balance. I try my best to separate work life, home life and importantly, create me-time. My journey home takes me about 40 minutes, and it gives me an opportunity to recalibrate before “mother duties” kick in.

I am extremely fortunate that my husband is a superstar. He is very supportive and hands-on in all aspects of home life, particularly the kids.

Friday nights are our date night and give us an opportunity to have a full conversation without interruption!

My friends are also extremely important to me to share daily challenges, troubles and woes – it’s so important for my mental health to get everything off my chest!

Sometimes I plan one-on-ones with the children, to catch up and spend solo time together.

And finally, I wouldn’t be able to function without my weekly dose of Yoga; and plenty of coffee!!

 

What is the best part about being a mother?

I love the endless hugs and kisses. Hearing the children calling out for “maaaammaaaa” can sometimes feel unremitting, but it always makes me smile, gives me purpose in life, and I have certainly never felt lonely. Becoming a mum have changed my life completely – it can be exhausting, yet I love every minute of it.

 

What is one advice that has helped you in your journey as a parent?

My advice would be to always have positive thoughts. Don’t allow negative energy to enter your space and effect your vibe. Learn to walk away from a frustration and give yourself time to consider the situation and respond sensibly. Pay attention to your surrounding – be aware and always be ready to listen.

 

What advice would you give to first time mothers-to-be who are preparing to embark on the journey of motherhood?

Keep your soul nourished and know that it’s ok to do things differently from others. Keep your mind and body healthy, be flexible and don’t stress if something doesn’t go to plan. Never forget to make time for your relationship (happy spouse, peaceful house!) And just hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

 

Describe what an ideal day off looks like to you.

An ideal day off would start by making pancakes for breakfast, and then head down to Sentosa or East Coast with the kids and friends for some fun in the sun. And for sundowners, a cocktail in one hand and a chicken wing in the other (I’m a cheap date!!)

 

As a break from home, are there any routines or simple pleasures that you have enjoyed when back in the office at By The Bay?

I have really enjoyed being closer to the gym and Yoga studios, as well as catching up more regularly with work colleagues. It is great that we are gradually heading back to the office, however I am grateful for the additional flexibility over the last year and the ability to ‘work from anywhere’.