Today’s Faces of Parenting: Dr. Z and Aivee Teo
When two oaths demand a great amount of commitment and dedication, how do Dr. Z and Dr. Aivee Teo balance things out?
This story first came out in Modern Parenting’s 2022 print edition.
The dynamic duo behind The Aivee Clinic knows how to toe the line between a rigorous working schedule and making time for their kids. But it isn’t easy — as doctors and business owners, there’s a lot that needs to be accounted for, often at the expense of family time. Despite this, they’ve managed to make it work, in part due to the values they hold dear.
For Dr. Aivee, a love for family is what drives her to excel and balance the work she does. She shares how it was initially a challenge for her to balance her roles as a dermatologist, wife, and mom, but eventually, she was able to find her stride. “It requires a great deal of adjustment, discipline, what to prioritize first, and finding which ones work best,” Dr. Aivee says. “Over the years, I mastered the art of time management and [managed to juggle] all [the] responsibilities on my shoulders. As much as I love to be a doctor, I love my family more…they will always be my priority.”
Accepting the reality of having a working mom
One of the things that helped her find that balance was taking her kids to work. For Dr. Aivee, it not only helped her kids understand why she had to be away often, but it also helped them learn more about the nature of her work as well. “[I want them] to experience how their mom works to enhance the holistic beauty of our patients,” she shares. “I want to instill in their minds that when you dream, you should dream big, believe in yourself, and give your best…to achieve it. And of course, I want to set an example for them[…]”
And this drive to go beyond runs in the family. As the daughter of Former Las Pinas Mayor Vergel “Nene” Aguilar, Dr. Aivee shared how, aside from being a “brilliant public servant and an outstanding father,” he taught her how not to “[compromise] your values in achieving your dreams and goals.” It’s no wonder, then, why it’s these same values she imparts to her kids. “He always sets a good example for us to follow his footsteps on being assiduous and finding our life’s purpose,” she shares. “Through these things, I always make it a point to teach my kids those values that I learned from my dad… [hopefully,] when the time comes, they will find meaning [in] the lessons I taught them in carving their name in their chosen field.”
As for Dr. Z, the values and discipline from the medical field impact his parenting style the most. After all, for him, “parents are the greatest influencers on their children.” “[That’s] the reason why parents should be great role models to their kids,” he adds.
The Dedication and Commitment To and For Life
There are two values in particular that he finds similar in his work as a doctor and his role as a father: dedication and commitment. For Dr. Z, it’s what allows him to provide excellent service to his patients. And as a parent, it’s a necessity. “When you bring another life into this world, you are both committed and dedicated to this fulfilling purpose and lifetime role because rearing a child is no easy task,” he says. “It is your responsibility to nurture and raise a child to be worthwhile in society.”
In their own ways, the two challenge the idea that being a parent and a professional are strictly separate fields. As long as you’re true to who you are and what you’re passionate about, these ideals eventually seep into every aspect of your life — be it individually or with family. In this case, Dr. Aivee and Dr. Z approach both family and work life with the same forwardthinking and fortitude that helped them tide over the pandemic.
“It is crucial to always think ahead, think out of the box, and constantly innovate to remain relevant in the industry,” Dr. Z shares, when asked about what he learned as The Aivee Clinic’s CEO over the pandemic. And in a way, it’s also true of parenting — that one constantly needs to adapt and think beyond as your kids grow older.