By day, she is an analyst programmer; by night, she trains as a national floorball player. But when Angela Danielle Model is home, she is really home.
INTERVIEW LOW LAI CHOW
National floorball player, Angela Danielle Model knows why she has such a mean competitive streak.
As the eldest child with a younger sibling, Angela said to Motherhood, “I wouldn’t allow my brother to beat me in anything. I felt I was older, so I should always be first.”
That totally explains why the 29-year-old athlete of Swiss-Singapore parentage is winning in life. Aside from pursuing her floorball passion on a professional level, Angela also holds down a regular 9-to-6 full-time job as an analyst programmer, while playing mother to three young children.
Her weekday evenings are totally devoted to her three young boys. Her youngest child Mikhail is three, while Azariah and Danial are five and seven respectively.
“My children really put in quality time for me once I’m home and give me the fullest attention. Studying with me gives them a strong foundation to love learning, rather than (having them see) me lay on the couch watching TV – though that happens occasionally around 11pm.”
Only after her kids hit the sack does Angela steal away for her floorball training, which takes place thrice a week: “I get special permission from my coaches to come in a bit later due to family time.”
From only shopping during the weekends and packing her own meals
so she can eat on the fly, to combining commuting time with husband time,
this spunky mum is ruthlessly efficient at time management.
“We have our ‘how was your day’ talk in the car with updates about our kids and challenges we’re facing – similar to talking over a meal,” she said. “It’s like killing two birds with one stone: husband time check and transport time check.”
Back to Work
For Angela, the return to the workplace – thanks to a robust support system that includes her mother, who stays at her place, as well as a live-in helper too – offers her respite as it is “only me and my work”. Besides gaining confidence in an arena outside of the home, the former housewife says having the financial independence to pay for household expenses makes her feel good.
“Although the time spent with my children is less, our quality time is more,” she observed. “When I am at home all day, there are times when the kids might find me naggy. I catch them having bad emotions and they catch me having bad emotions. But when I work and come home, there are all good emotions on both sides.”
Parenting in Her Own Way
Her parenting style is unflinchingly fuss-free. Angela vividly recalls one occasion when her eldest boy, who was roaming around the stadium track while waiting for her to finish her training, tripped and injured himself: “He fell and hit his teeth until he was all bloody. One of his teeth chipped off.”
Angela relates that the team halted whatever they were doing to attend to her son.
“They were obviously very shaken,” she said. “But I’ve had this happen to me many times playing in Switzerland, getting a scrape here or a knock there. I asked him to find a water cooler to wash off by himself. You see, he’s not going to die of missing teeth or small cuts.”
From winging it as “complete newbies just trying our best from what we learned
on the Internet, combined with our mothers’ practice and what experts say” to now,
Angela and her husband have arrived as parents in their own element.
“I realised only later that somehow, all kids make it through quite well, no matter how soft the porridge is or whether it was white rice or brown rice or whether it should be more vegetables or fruits. Breastfed or not breastfed, we try our best but we should not over-stress… having peace and rest as a mother is more beneficial to the child than any of the small things,” she said.
Whether it’s about delegating duties or getting proper rest, self-care is a must for any mother. “As a sports person, I know straight away once I’m moody or perform badly. Most of the time it’s because of lack of sleep or bad nutrition.”
As for what she wishes most for her children, Angela strives to help them achieve their dreams by choosing her words carefully: “I try to speak ‘life’ every time I’m with them. I want to be very careful with my words about them and believe in them. My parents’ words and beliefs about me caused me to either fail or succeed. So that is important to me.”
She is aware that her children look up to her as a role model: “If I argue in front of them, they start to argue. If I play floorball when they’re around, they want to try it too. If I study, they sit down next to me and study. I still get caught up at times, but I know I have to lead the life I want them to lead so that they will follow what I do.
“They hardly do what I ask them to, anyway!”