Every mother is a goddess. Creating a human with your body is more than a superpower, and nurturing that new little life is a full-time job. We wanted to feature some special mothers who have a very exciting life in Beijing either as entrepreneurs or creatives, and who might be able to impart a bit of wisdom on finding balance between their professional and familial obligations. With some hair and makeup help from Blow + Bar in Sanlitun, we took to the streets of Beijing for some wonderful pictures that show off their fierce individuality. After all, there’s more than one way to mother.
Hannah Muthoni Ryder is a global citizen who was born in Kenya and moved to the UK when she was 10 years old. She has since traveled to over 45 countries and has been living in Beijing for four years now. Ryder’s son, named Moses Safari Ryder, is almost two. Ryder runs Development Reimagined, a global consultancy that focuses on international development, and in particular, improving the relationships between China and poorer countries.
When Ryder had her son, she decided that even after going back to work full-time, she would make sure to have Friday and weekends off to spend quality time with the family. “Now I’m my own boss, I can make that happen, and I even started running Safari Time, a multilingual baby singing class on Friday mornings. That stems from the same vision that I have for my work: we are all global citizens, and that we will all cooperate better if we understand each other’s languages and cultures as early as possible.” It has taken Ryder a while to find balance, but her husband and ayi enable her to work nine to five every day while being able to travel when necessary. Her husband is always there to help her think through her vision and priorities, and deal with crises. “He’s my greatest rock,” Ryder explained.
This will be the second year that I will have the honor of celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother. Your mother… Which is a double, ten, one hundred times the honor – as you make my life so complete! Your father and I waited for quite some time after we got married to have you, partly because I was building my career, but I’m glad to say you chose exactly the right time to come into our lives.
You have given me the courage to move into a new direction in my career, to help people in poorer nations even more effectively than when I was in the UN or one of the world’s top aid agencies! You give me inspiration (and challenge me!) to keep putting in three hours a week, at least, learning Chinese, because your little mind soaks up so much so quickly. You have brought “Safari Time” into my life, opening up to me the potential to change the world through children; an idea I would never have started if your dad and I weren’t so concerned about making sure you were being stimulated enough in the city we live. In your almost two short years of life, you have made me not just a mama, but a better person, better than I could ever have hoped. Thank you. I look forward to many more years of being influenced and shaped by you, and having the honor of celebrating Mother’s Day with you over and over again.
Photos: Uni You
This article appeared on p48-53 of beijingkids May 2018 issue.