Inspiring Mummy: Linh Vi
Tell us about yourself: Hi, I’m Linh Vi and 41 years old and after being a driving instructor for 8 years in London, I decided I needed a change of direction and location.
I qualified as a driving instructor when my son was 3 years old as I needed a job that gave me the freedom to work the hours I wanted. I lived in London for over 25 years and was a single mum for 7 years before meeting my partner on holiday in Hong Kong.
Tell us about your family set up: I’ve been with my partner nine years and we both have children from previous relationships. I moved in with my partner six years ago with my son who is now 15 years old. Home life, it’s just the three of us most of the time, with his youngest daughter from a previous relationship staying with us every two weeks. It’s pretty quiet in our household as my son, a typical teenager spends most of his time in his room and will only venture downstairs for food and water.
Do you work or stay at home? How does that work for you? How do you feel about those decisions and choices? Has what you do greatly changed since you’ve had a family? In what ways?
Working for me never stops, I manage The Salt Cave during the day then all the behind the scenes stuff at home. I’ve been pretty lucky as my son is a great help when it comes to housework and even cooking the odd meal. As there are times when I have an urgent deadline or have to work late, I can give him a call and trust him to follow my instructions to put the dinner on.
Leaving London was tough and it did break my heart when after a couple of weeks my son said “I miss when it was just us”. But after six months I knew I had made the right decision when on a trip back to London he tells me he never wants to move back to London.
I don’t think I’ll ever get the whole home and work life balance thing “down”, but secretly I think I rather enjoy the chaos. (not sure why, but could be being really organized means more work)
What are your day-to-day challenges as a mum?
Making sure my son gets up at 6:30am and that he doesn’t miss the school bus at 7:30am each morning is a constant battle. Other than this and the usual role of mum taxi, my son doesn’t really demand much from me. He’s easily pleased as his main concern when I pick him up from the school bus stop is “what’s for dinner tonight?”
What would you most like to change about your current situation?
Currently I work six days a week, so being able to have a whole weekend off as a daily routine would be fabulous. This is something I will be looking to make a reality in the near future.
In what ways do you hope to inspire your children?
I hope that my work ethics will inspire him as I believe you have to work hard to achieve your goals.
I hope he learns from me to never give up, no matter how tough things get.
I hope I will inspire him as my parents inspired me, to be humble, honest and hardworking and not take things or people for granted.
What inspires you the most? (People/books/art etc…)
My parents, they risked everything to get us from Vietnam to the UK and never gave up on their dreams of getting the family to London. They faced life threatening challenges, poverty and hardship throughout our young lives (I’m one of six siblings). Growing up I never really stopped to think about my parent’s achievements, it was only after becoming a parent myself that I took the time to really think about and appreciate everything they did for us.
Having my son changed me a lot too, before he came along I was happy just being an office temp and living at my parents. It was like a switch had flipped in me and I knew I just had to do what ever it took to give him a better life.
I went through some tough times but when things were hard I would stop and remind myself that I can get through this because mum and dad went through worst.
I also enjoy reading self help, motivational books and currently loving “Girl Code”, I find it very interesting and all the ladies who shared their personal stories absolutely amazing and inspiring.
Do you currently take any regular time out for yourself? What do you do with that time out?
I love my “Me” time, this is when you’ll find me in the pool, then in the steam and sauna rooms at my favourite gym. Its one of my go to places to distress and clear my head. One of the benefits of having a teenager means I can do this as often as I like without having to worry about child care.
A while back I used to get embarrassed to admit to this, but now I totally embrace it “I LOVE BINGO!” and every few months I’ll go with my youngest sister when I’m in London. I enjoy not having to “think” for the whole evening, just listening out for the numbers being call is rather therapeutic (crazy right, but I love it!).
What are your thoughts about the Inspiring Mummy Club, and what do you see as its appeal?
I’m all for any clubs, groups that offers a safe, friendly and supportive environment for women to share their thoughts. Having these groups have been great for me as there are times when I find myself feeling rather alone or overwhelmed, so its very reassuring to have the support of other mums who feel the same or have been through similar experiences.