The Fragility of Life

Was at SGH to visit my close friend’s mum when I walked the wrong way and got to the maternity wards on the same floor instead. It was a joy to see newborn babies and it reminded me of our joy 2+ years ago. However, it was also a stark contrast to what I saw…

Conversation with the kid: Episode 2

At Best Denki:   2 year old Baby E walking down the aisle calling out the names of various household items “Washing Machine! Refrigerator! Vacuum Cleaner! Fan!” Me, walking behind her proudly… until… MINION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

Lessons learnt from our Taiwan trip with our toddler

In the last of this trilogy, I shall share the lessons learnt travelling with a toddler in Taiwan. As the trip was the longest we’ve ever taken with our toddler (10days), it was very eventful. Lessons that apply to Taiwan specifically: 1. They have no moneychangers! We initially thought we could find one at the…

Musings: Mummy, can you “catch” a didi? Can you “catch” a meimei?

Conversation in the lift yesterday: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Baby E, looking at a baby in the lift: “Didi!” Me: “I think it’s a meimei?” *Parents of the baby who was wearing pink clothing but looked like a boy started to leave the lift at a lower floor* Baby E, pointing at the baby: “Mummy, can you catch…

Musings: Reflection on mistakes made since the arrival of Baby E

Just a short post on some of the things that I’ve regretted since the arrival of Baby E. While I’m unable to turn back time and undo these things, I hope this post can be of some help to new parents out there. Regarding confinement  Not hiring a confinement lady: My initial thought was that…

Musings: Regarding Post Natal Depression

Lots of news these days regarding the mummy who plunged to her death clutching her 2-month-old baby and the mummy who is 6 months pregnant but got knocked down by a lorry. It seems to me that there are a lot of such tragedies these days but it might be me noticing these news more…

Conversation with the kid: Episode 1

  Me (concerned over how Baby E happily agreed when a distant neighbour said she wanted to bring her shopping): You know, when people you don’t know says they want to bring you elsewhere, you have to ask Daddy and Mummy first? Baby E: Ok   After a while, Me: Baby E, an uncle that you…

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017! After reading all the  Oscar acceptance speeches on my Facebook feed, I’m going to write my own version which would probably sound like the Grinch’s version. 2016, thank god you’re over. I shall not elaborate more because my resolution for 2017 is to see things more positively and complain less. I guess full…

On being a full time working mummy

So we never intended to have a child when we got married many years back. We worried about who was going to care for the little one, how to manage our finances and how to juggle work and family… and decided it wasn’t worth the headache. At the 3 year mark, life started to become routine and we resembled a cohabiting couple instead: Wake up, get dressed, go to work, have dinner, continue to work separately, sleep. At the 5 year mark, we started to wonder how it would be like to have a mini-us running around and how that mini-us would look like. Would he/she have his nose, my eyes, his chin…? and that was how baby E came along.

Being busy with everything else, I never had the time to read up on what it would be like so it was quite a culture shock for me when motherhood happened. These are things that I wish I had known before baby E came along:

Do not underestimate motherhood/parenthood no matter how efficient or good at multi-tasking you are.
Your career and family priorities will clash. You will have to decide which is more important and press on with no regrets.
Try to be in your job for a few years before having a child so that your colleagues know that the sleep deprived milk pumping zombie isn’t the normal you.
Aim to be in a diverse team. Being in a team with bosses and colleagues who are all single may render you an outcast.
Take a pinch of salt when seeking new employment. When keen to hire, bosses will say ‘arrangements can be made’. Do not believe them because the spotlight will be on you if colleagues are constantly working overtime and you have to leave on time, even if you are working from home. Team cultures do matter.
And if you have to depend on childcare centres,

be prepared to have to drop everything after work to pick the little one up by centre closure time (usually 7pm)
be prepared for centre closures due to HFMD outbreaks or for other purposes so do have alternative childcare arrangements ready (According to ECDA, a centre can close for 7 days a year).
Despite it all, motherhood is really rewarding! As mentioned to a friend previously, while motherhood has resulted in me walking with my head down in the office, it has also resulted in me having more purpose in my life than ever before. I’ve never regretted having baby E, only the decisions that I’ve made regarding career choices. But we all learn from our mistakes. Here’s hoping for a better 2017 ahead for all working mummies who are struggling!