By day, Sobonneth Ung works as a school psychologist. But after becoming a mom, Sobonneth and her husband, Tony Ji, a business analyst, decided to create Vianetic, a game-changing travel diaper bag that uses magnetics to make on-the-go diaper changes quicker and easier. We talked to Sobonneth and Tony about the inspiration behind Vianetic, life with a strong-willed baby and a heartwarming proud parent moment.
Congratulations on the launch of your diaper bag! What inspired you to create the Vianetic?
We were on a roadtrip with our daughter and we found ourselves needing to change her diaper. Gas station restrooms were not a safe option, and the rest-stop bathroom had a long line out the door. So we did what any parent would most likely do in that situation; we changed our daughter in the backseat of our car. That experience was very stressful and difficult, as our daughter was super fussy, and we couldn’t find the items we needed easily in the diaper bag we were using at the time.
How did you get the idea to use unique features like the magnetic components?
We found that having to change an energetic baby who can roll over and crawl while attempting to use a diaper bag full of zippered pockets can be a nightmare. We thought about what would help someone to be able to quickly open and close a bag with one hand. That’s when magnets came to mind!
You mention your child has a strong personality—many of us can relate! What’s been the most surprising thing about having an intense baby?
Her willpower and strength! She’ll express her dislike for things, and she will make it known. We’ve found that she has quite the strength for a baby!
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
Diaper changes. It’s a tough job when your baby wants to do other stuff while you’re trying to change her diaper.
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
Sit back, eat a bowl of ice cream, and catch up on one of my favorite TV shows.
What is your best parenting hack?
Creating super silly noises during diaper changes. It catches our daughter off-guard, so she will just lie on her back looking perplexed. It gives us just enough time to change her diaper!
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
When my daughter is a bit older, I may just tell her that staying up past her bedtime might stunt her growth. I’ve used that line on my younger cousins when I watched them as a teenager. Surprisingly, it worked since their goal was to be taller than me.
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
A journey. Every child is different and other parents may want to reassure you by saying that it gets easier when your child gets older, but in reality, I don’t think parenting ever gets “easier.” New challenges present themselves and you just have to roll with it. Like any journey, you head down one path and once you’ve completed that path, you feel a sense of accomplishment. And then you’re met with a whole new set of obstacles that you must learn how to navigate.
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
Celebrating my daughter’s first birthday. It was a milestone event for both of us. Celebrating her first year made me proud of the obstacles we’ve faced and overcome. From skin issues to possible motor-development concerns and then food-related allergies— it’s been quite the year. I can’t be more proud to say that her skin has improved and she’s hit her developmental milestones on time.
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
Never let your own doubts and fears prevent you from believing in yourself and taking risks. I was very close to not applying to my graduate program because it was considered a competitive, accelerated graduate program and I thought that there was no way I would be accepted. Fortunately, I had an extra set of recommendation letters and thought to myself, “You know what? Let me just send these out— there’s no point in holding onto these and the worst that could happen is I’d get a rejection letter.” I landed an interview and then was accepted, much to my surprise. That experience was such an eye-opener to me because I realized how many countless times I’d prevented myself from potential opportunities just because I was afraid of what others may think.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Just roll with it because your kids will not be kids forever. If your kids are safe, healthy, and loved, then just focus on creating memories with them. You have to be flexible and understand that your child has his or her own personality. Don’t waste your energy feeling stressed or upset about something you might not be able to change. Sometimes strategies that have worked for other parents may not work with your child, and that’s okay. Use your parent intuition, and do what you’re comfortable with, because at the end of the day, your child just wants to feel safe and loved.
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
Checklists and calendars! I make a lot of lists, use a whiteboard calendar, and sync up my phone’s calendar with my husband’s phone. The calendar helps keep us all aware and on the same page about what’s going on. Checklists are vital because it helps remind me of what I need to get done, both in my professional career and as a parent.
What was the last book you read?
What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell.
Favorite Beauty Product:
Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF30 Day Cream
Favorite Form of Exercise:
What is on your DVR?
This is Us, World of Dance, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Shark Tank, The Profit, Fixer Upper
Favorite Kids Store: