Saejung is a business owner and mum to little Nico. When she was just 22, she started ‘Oh Rent me’ a designer dress rental platform. Originally from South Korea, Saejung’s family immigrated to New Zealand when she was just seven.
Now a full-time mother and entrepreneur, we asked Saejung how she is finding the often-elusive balance of motherhood and business owner, alongside her mum Sonia who is embracing her new role as first time Grandma to little Nico.
What does motherhood mean to you?
I've always dreamed of becoming a mother, nurturing a small human being is such a blessing. For me it means showing up every day, and being the best version of yourself for your baby. Whether it is by being the stay home parent, or working to support your family, just simply show up for your child, show them the love, the care and most importantly enjoy in the moment.
Tell us about yourself, and some of the pivoting moments that make you the woman you are today…
My name is Saejung Oh-Walsh, I am 28 years old and I am the director and founder of Oh Rent Me, we are a designer rental company that I established back in 2015, while studying my Bachelor of Science at the University of Otago. I was born in South Korea, and my family migrated to New Zealand, when I was only 7 years old. My parents fully emersed us within the NZ culture, and embraced it as their own. I grew up in Tauranga, and went to study down in Dunedin, where I met my husband, Brady. We are now proud parents to a beautiful little boy, Nico.
Tell us about Nico; what is he like, the things you cherish about him, the things that test you, and what he’s taught you…
Nico is my ray of sunshine, he is such a happy smiley boy, always giggling away with you. He is one bossy baby, he definitely knows what he wants, and if he doesn't get it quick enough, you will know about it. This was especially hard, as he wasn't a very patient new born, he demanded his milk right away, and so my breastfeeding journey was difficult. He has taught me to love my body even more, as it created such a gorgeous human, all my stress seems to drift away when I look into his beautiful eyes.
Tell us about your mum; the things you love most, the values she has instilled in you, what you cherish most?
My mum is one strong lady, she moved our family across the world, without knowing anything about New Zealand, nor being able to speak any English. She and my dad, wanted a better life for my brother and I, and here we are. She always put family first, and made sure no opportunity was passed up. I grew up trying all these new things that my mother never had the opportunity to, and I am forever grateful.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
There are lots of dreamers, however, there are only some that are willing to work to make their dream a reality.
What advice do you have to share with someone about to embark on their own journey into motherhood?
Take every day as it comes, if it was a rough day, tomorrow is a new day. Take some time for yourself too, when you are content, the baby too will sense you are calm. And it truly gets easier.
How do you balance Nico’s needs with your own?
This has been really hard to juggle, because I am a business owner, work for me never stopped, not even during my maternity leave. I was constantly working. Some days I just couldn't cope with it all, especially when you are heavily sleep deprived. But now that Nico is more in a routine, it’s a lot easier. I make sure Nico's needs are met first, and the time I have free while he naps, is the time I attend to my needs. And on weekends, I am super thankful that Brady is such a hands-on father, that I have more time to myself.
How would you describe Nico in one sentence?
Can I say "the cutest baby in the world" ha ha, truly, those dimples get me every time.
Any words of wisdom for mamas out there who need to take time out for themselves. How to you ensure you’re feeling as good as can be?
The fourth trimester hit me like a tonne of bricks, it isn't easy, but knowing it doesn't last forever helped me immensely. I kept telling myself, it gets easier, and this is a phase, and it truly was. Get as much rest as you can, nap while baby naps, drink plenty of water, and go for lots of walks! I try to leave the house at least once a day, it makes my day go a lot faster, and Nico is so much happier when out and about.
Sonia, what does motherhood mean to you, how has that changed since becoming a grandma?
Motherhood means a responsibility, but is precious, joyful hard work. It can be very stressful at times!
And becoming a grandmother has always been something I have always dreamed of but now that it’s here, it makes me feel old. I’m always constantly watching Saejung’s Instagram for Nico updates since I can’t be there every day. We live in Tauranga, while Saejung lives in Auckland.
What do you admire most about Saejung?
I admire the fact that she seems to achieve any goals she sets herself, and is very driven.
What’s on your Saben Wishlist and why?
Saejung - The Babette Handbag, as it looks perfect for the working mum. It can fit your work laptop, and anything else in between mum life and work life. And plus it looks so chic!
Sonia – The Roma Overnight bag,my plan is to travel some place new every year, whether it is around NZ or across the globe. So I’ve been looking for a travel bag and the size and quality looks perfect.
Spoil them with Saben this Mother's Day - Shop the Mother's Day edit