GUEST POST BY, KURA (DR. SERA Ma,)
I’m a mature aged mum. I never wanted kids. My son was a surprise gift (He just turned three). Now I realise that I was made for motherhood, and I should have done this a whole lot earlier! That way, I may have been able to have more. I would say I am one of those “gentle parenting” types. Mainly because that is my nature. Raised voices and loud noises make me anxious, so I tend not to employ such tactics when it comes to teaching my toddler. We are currently experiencing the “boundary years”, so this can present itself as a challenge sometimes, but I still find that reasoning over yelling works better every time. This also stems from my many years of horse riding (I was an eventer), where we were constantly having drummed into us, “gentle words work better than the crop”.
What is your business?
I own a Chinese medical practice in South Yarra, Melbourne. We focus on women’s health – in particular fertility and ante-natal care. We work inside a medical clinic of which there are GP’s, nurses and so on. There are three of us Chinese Medicine (CM) practitioners, although I am no longer practicing. I now focus on running the clinic and doing the marketing. I am also an army wife, and our current posting is in far north rural Queensland. There are no real IVF clinics up here to align myself with. Besides, I am now focusing on being a SAHM, a practice manager – and now, a health blog writer. The health writing I am starting up so that I may have a job that is easily transportable for where ever my husband is posted.
Why did you start it?
It was a natural progression after my five year degree. At the end of the degree I undertook my clinical internship in one of the biggest hospitals in China which was amazing and eye opening. When it concluded I wanted to work back here in Australia, and the only way to work here is in private practice. This is changing, but is not quite there yet.
What is the hardest thing about running a business and being a mum all at the same time?
Time! My toddler isn’t in child care, so finding the time/energy to actually sit down and work is very difficult. I have to be very disciplined to actually have things done. For example, I am currently doing this interview with a singing toddler climbing all over me, pulling my hair out and furiously giggling. The time thing will ease up as my toddler grows older.
How did you create the right balance?
Did – or Do? I don’t think I have found it. My baby is only this little for such a short time so I want to spend every single waking (and even sleeping) moment with him, however I have a responsibility to the CM doctors I have in my clinic. I schedule a couple of hours in the morning for work time, and then try and do a little more during his nap time.
Why do you think mum’s should start their own business?
Having your own business can be extremely challenging. It can be lonely and frustrating. However, it can also be very rewarding. I think it is vitally important that if a mum embarks on this kind of challenge then they need to build themselves a support network. This can be practical, outside help like cleaners or child care or it can be business related like mentors and other like minded colleagues in the same sort of life.
Dr. Sera Ma, CMD
Managing director, Practitioner
Kura Chinese Medicine