MY mother once told me that a big chunk of a working mother’s time is to constantly juggle identity, career and motherhood.
The busy minds and whirlwind of emotions of this special league of women often make it seem that the quest is elusive.
But is it really? Can modern mothers, in fact, do it all?
Ask mompreneur Fynn Jamal (real name Nur Affina Yanti Jamalludin), and she will enthusiastically tell you why they can, dispelling the myth that mothers can only choose one important thing over the others in life.
The businesswoman, who also moonlights as a YouTube vlogger and musician, admits she does not live by routines. So how, then, does she do it all?
The trick up Fynn’s sleeve is, alas, not a trick but the modern-day philosophy of being tech-savvy that every modern mother should live by to maximise time and avoid being left behind.
As the CEO of Fynntri, she oversees her Muslimah clothing line FYNNJAMALRTW and the national distribution of Dutch milk brand Juna Dairy — a job that necessitates much thought processes.
The 35-year-old sees technology as a personal assistant. “I am a tech freak. To tell you the truth, technology is life!”
While her husband manages their shared enterprise physically, Fynn prefers to run everything digitally. She oversees everything via video conferences, and monitors real-time activities via smart cameras installed at Fynntri’s headquarters.
This way, Fynn is able to fulfill her roles as both a successful businesswoman and an attentive mother to her son Arjuna who is autistic.
Expressing her gratitude, Fynn says, “Gone are the days when we would have to spend lots of money for meetings and lunch dates to discuss matters. Now, with everything literally just a click away, things are moving faster and it is also cheaper.
“If you think about it, even the e-filing process is a lifesaver! It’s also environmentally-friendly,” she adds.
No doubt, Fynn’s faith in technology and all-around positivity is largely compounded by the need to care for Arjuna full-time. Managing an autistic child is definitely not easy.
She explains, “My son can only be calm at home, so I have to work next to him while making myself available to my staff so they can reach me at all times. This can only be done via digital means.”
Her appreciation of technology does not stop short at managing her career from home.
She also uses gadgets to facilitate the ongoing work of keeping her son cognitively and emotionally engaged, as part of his development.
“Every morning, I will pass him his two iPads. One is for his audio use, and the other for doodling. Because he is autistic, he usually doesn’t respond to me. There is not much live interaction between us except when he feels like it. So it’s always one-way with him.
“So by understanding the objectivity behind the fact that Arjuna cannot progress without his iPads, we manipulate his usage of the gadgets to reach him.”
Arjuna’s digital learning, guided by various digital apps, enables him to understand formative concepts such as ABC, numbers, and shapes. This way, he is able to catch up with children his age, but at his own comfortable pace.
From time to time, followers of Fynn’s social media updates will see glimpses of Arjuna as he and his mother go about their shared lives.
She believes Instagram is a good way to showcase the trials and rewards of mothering an autistic child.
But being public doesn’t come without a price. Often, there are comments on Arjuna’s upbringing.
Fynn says: “I have grown tired of the pessimistic tones I receive from society regarding my child’s use of technology, so I have long decided not to care about it.”
“We are all online for different reasons.”
When she is not busy working and attending to Arjuna, Fynn will turn to YouTube for inspiration.
On top of learning entrepreneurial tips from other users, she will also upload her creative opinions and experiences of donning the niqab as a Muslim on her vlog channel, Fynnologue.
On the inspiration behind her vlogs, Fynn says: “I was a rebel in my younger days. Spoke to no one, listened to no one. The Internet was my confidante.”
Some of the topics she has passionately talked about on camera include social kindness and the politically correct nature of gossiping.
“Now that I am older, I see it as a platform for me to speak up for others. I hope I can help as many people as possible. In some weird way, I also feel like I am saving my old self.”
A fan of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s late Steve Jobs, Fynn contends that technology can help modern mothers know their worth and explore their true identity.
“Technology is a very helpful. No more driving long distances to get together with like-minded people, no more spending thousands of dollars worth of tuition to learn design. The trick is to use it with a goal and wisdom.”