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TikTok-famous Ong Squad on balancing internet fame and life in Vancouver

A day in the life of a Vancouver TikTok content creator and mom of five
Vancouver stay-at-home mom and TikTok influencer Ssonia Ong shares how she got her start as a content creator and favourite places and restaurants in Vancouver.

Three years ago, Ssonia Ong was a mom of four and facing a looming COVID-19 lockdown. 

With her kids learning remotely from home and her cardiac intensivist husband working in the COVID-19 unit, the Vancouverite suddenly found herself dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty. 

Around the same time, Ong was introduced to TikTok after being sent a video of someone lip-syncing and dancing to a Disney song. 

"I just thought it was so fun," she tells V.I.A. 

Three years and a fifth child later, the Ong family's lockdown pastime has turned into a full-time job and a consistently-viral account with over nine million followers. 

Going by the name Ong Squad on social media, Ong's content started with Disney-centric lip-syncing and dancing videos and evolved into relatable stay-at-home-mom content, from Costco hauls to healthy on-the-go snacks and effortless dinners. 

But it wasn't Ong's recipes or "vlogs" that gave her her viral start. It was her and her husband's love story, which she told to the beat of Jason Derulo's "Savage Love" and the rhythm of the TikTok dance that came with it. 

"I had my husband in [the video] and I said that we met when we were 21, we got married, and then we had kids," she explains. "That was our first video that went viral."

Ong's husband has been her hype man from the start and is "very supportive" of her newfound career as a content creator, she says. 

A day in the life of a Vancouver TikTok content creator 

Over the past three years ,her life has both changed and stayed the same. Ong is still a stay-at-home mom, but her day is now a balance of content creation, behind-the-scenes tasks, and being present with her family - a routine for which she's grateful. 

"I can scale up my work or scale down my work as I see fit," she explains. "Thirteen years ago when I decided to be a stay-at-home mom, I really wanted to be present when my kids were young, and I can still do that."

Ong's day typically starts around 7 a.m. when her one-year-old baby wakes up. The next two hours are spent getting her five kids ready and driving them to school. Once home again, she sets aside time for prayer and meditation– what she says are key to preventing burnout. Then, when 9 a.m. rolls around, her work begins.

The content creator makes about three videos per week. Sometimes her day also consists of meetings with her management team or brands for partnerships. This and all other behind-the-scenes and on-camera work happens up until 3 p.m. when her kids are finished the school day. Then Ong switches back to her family routine, taking her kids to after-school activities, making dinner, and putting them to bed at the end of the day. 

"From [the kids'] perspective, I don't think a lot has changed and that's been very intentional on my part," she notes. "But for me, I'm much busier during the days now."

Ong Squad's favourite places and restaurants in Vancouver

As much as Ong enjoys being present with her family, she also enjoys living in Vancouver. The family spends a lot of time biking around Pacific Spirit Park, visiting the horses in the Southlands, splashing at the Granville Island waterpark, and stopping by Lee's Donuts for dessert. 

The food scene in Vancouver, which the city has developed a high-ranking reputation for, is something that the Ong family loves most about living here.

Pizza is a family favourite and La Ruota happens to be their go-to for the Italian dish. Thai restaurant Unchai and Perchance, a small coffee shop which Ong praises for its lattes and bubble tea, are two other beloved spots around town. 

@ongsquad Replying to @Pakhtana jenay Any other questjons? #GetToKnowUs #HusbandAndWife #LoveAtFirstSight #OurStory #MarriedCouple ♬ original sound - tutordancetiktok💃🏼
@ongsquad An Ode to Moms #MomAnthem #MomsOfTikTok #TiredMoms #MomLife #mommingishard ♬ original sound - sped up songs
@ongsquad You Only Live Once! #Yolo #LearnOnTikTok #AnimalFries #ComfortFood #CookingWithKids #MomsOfTikTok ♬ original sound - Ong Squad