We know her as the previous Anchor Woman on CVM’s News Spot. More recently, she has continued to make her Mark as an advocate for persons with disabilities via The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation. Through this medium, she offers people with hope; hope that they are not defined by their disabilities and hope that with life, endless possibilities are still available.
Maia is one who has made public, emotional displays as it relates to her child being autistic and beyond all her efforts we see a strong and ultimately empowered woman. In her we also find a role model mother who lives to see her children happy and successful. She brings to the fore that hint of motherhood mixed with determination, hence making her worthy of being emulated. She has so much to share and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with a more in depth interview, but for today enjoy these 10 questions with woman dynamo Maia Chung, our Jamaican Celeb mom
Name: Maia Chung-Smith
Job title: News Manager Newstalk 93 FM – Managing Director/Founder The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation
Number of Kids: 3 boys Wickham Junor Smith- Ardenne High Cinquain Raphael Smith – Wolmers High Quinn Garren James Smith Promise Learning Centre
1. How do you manage being a professional mom?
Lol …lawd …how do I manage? God has blessed me he holds my hand all the way everyday he helps me to do the following … I segment my tasks -plus organize: simply put when I am on a task I blank my mind to anything else so that I can perform at my best for that thing e.g. when I am bathing my youngest I am totally plugged into that moment nothing else matters and I consciously gear my thoughts to enjoying everything I do.
I organize by put in place support systems that enable me have my cake and eat it – so I have a housekeeper so when I beat the late hours work or partying when I come home I can just chill with the boys for hours chatting playing …
2. Are there ever clashes with work and family time? How do you handle this?
There are always clashes lol my day would be someone else’s day if I never had a clash …how I handle this …NOTHING COMES BEFORE MY BLOOD (family) so there is no choice if I have to do something for the boys which is imperative versus work BOYS FIRST ask my friends they will tell you say “chung-fah we step off if anything wrong with har yute dem” – lol
3. What are some of the techniques you use to ensure that you have enough time with the fam?
Me and my husband split the work –tag team we hire help and our extended families are good people they help us when we need it …My grandmother Roselyn Blake lives at my house and she is like the supe when me and my husband are not there…
4. Favourite Family place/Activity?
Sunset Jamaica Grande. Favourite family activity all of us lying by the pool or beach there.
5. Proven Disciplinary strategy?
Proven is hard ….I try various things like denial of privileges, when they were younger they got spanked and I try to be very rigid in my behavior as it relates to discipline broken down that means if you give a report I don’t like and I know you can do better I will take away your game system privileges for the following term and I don’t back down “you coulda bawl blood” – it’s like the honour system they see mommy is a woman of her word and it works because if I utter the words it shall be done …so they behave so they can have a comfy existence
6. Fave thing about being a mom?
MY FAVOURITE THING ABOUT BEING A MOM ARE MY SONS I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THEM I THANK GOD EVERYDAY NIGHT MINUTE HE GAVE ME THEM THEY ARE FUN SMART AND NO MATTER WHAT I HAVE TO FACE JOKING AROUND WITH THEM AND WATCHING THEM DEVELOP INTO GOOD MEN IS SO FULFILLING …in fact me and my friend Nicole Hayles-McGowan both agreed while at CVM we would be happy being housewives raisng many babies with our partners….sigh
7. What are your major challenges as a mom?
My major challenge as a mom is I always and I am not kidding feel as if I am not doing it right …I feel like I am at GSAT and there is a question that is tricky and I misinterpreted it…I feel that day every minute everyday in fact honestly I wonder all the time “Lord am I a good parent” in my daily affirmations “God help me be a good parent to your children”
8. Most rewarding experience as a parent to date?
I feel embarrassed but I’m gonna tell the truth and shame the devil I say to my husband all the time “me feel good say them still with us…it sound a little morbid but the fact that with God’s help I gave birth and I haven’t done anything that has maimed them they are functioning in their right respect and they can read and know how to take the bus and use computers is THE BIG AWARD!!!”
9. What parent/child related development would you most like to see in Jamaica?
Well coz of how I was grown I took it for granted that other kids had it like me, from a very early age I was given the space to exercise my own understanding /choice naturally within reason so at age 7 me and my mom Jeanette Gordon would go to Pablo’s for cloth to make dresses I got the choice within reason to choose my fabric – what parent child development needs now is parents teaching their children to respect themselves by showing the children that they the parents respect them and their thoughts feelings concerns, it engenders confidence in the child – I gather many parents have an attitude that you have no sense so do what I want you to do. If you are raising a child in the way he ought to go you the parent has to gauge when room is needed for them to exercise your teachings adding their individualized God given angle to it…
10. What advice do you have for other moms?
Tell your children every day even when they are tots that you love them …then ask them when they can answer “you know why?”…and when they say “why ? “ – Tell them because you are great person…never let them believe you love them because they are pretty smart handsome athletic or any other conditionality …I was always sure that my parents loved me whether I was ugly smelly and that made me oblivious to what others thought of me coz you dun know my people dem and God rate me raeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! That confidence that I was a valuable part of God’s creation just because I existed and because I could do magic trick, feeds my belief to this day that anything in God’s world that I want I can get ….
Bonus Question: What advice do you have for moms who face greater challengers than the average? How can one deal with any disability?
Mom’s when life is hard walk closely with the Lord without GOD as the nucleus of everything I do (and I am no angel only Christ was perfect) I could not cope this is a literal belief I have there is a GOD and I know that he walks me through everything and I KNOW he loves me like he does everybody…my confidence in that love helps me be at peace because he is in control and I can relax no matter how ugly the situation looks because HE will take care of me and to date that has been happening and everyday it manifests mores
More tangible coping skills get counseling for things that bother you emotionally
Ask for help when you need it
Don’t be ashamed of having ugly parts in your life think about everyone you know now and realize real life is about pretty and ugly parts – when you truly believe this you worry a lot less
There you have it. One on one with Maia. In this single piece I’ve found so many words of wisdom and I’m sure you our readers will too. As always, please leave your comments and show love to such a lovely Jamaican Mommy. Also be sure to tune in to Nationwide News each Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. for her programme.