Mama wins today.

“Mama wins today,” I smugly said to my husband over dinner tonight.

He smirked at the conviction with which I made that statement.

“Mama wins today,” I repeated, as I proudly looked at the settled, alertly awake newborn in my arms, the happy, albeit exhausted, toddler on his lap eating a nutritious meal I had prepared, made from scratch with fresh, wholesome, food-blog-worthy ingredients, which involved oranges, greens, purples and pinks.

Are you a brand new mother, mama? Or have you been a mama for a little while now, but have no idea how to handle the stage your child is currently going through? Or are you, like me, trying to navigate the treacherous new path of being a mother of one more than you previously had? Or are you a veteran mama that is just going through a more trying time than usual?

If so, then maybe you’ll understand my sentiments.

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This Too Shall Pass.

Last night, as I lay in bed eating gummi bears while watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, exhausted beyond belief and wondering when Tiny Boss #2 would wake up next for a feed, I had to remind myself: this, too, shall pass.

There are a lot of things I forgot about having a newborn.

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Those first few weeks can truly be the most exhausting, the most challenging, the most painful and the most terrifying as you think to yourself how your world has been turned on its head and will never be the same again.

Repeat after me, mama: this, too, shall pass.

Last night, I spent two hours solely dedicated to trying to settle my fussy 20-day-old, while her father got her almost two-year-old sister ready for bed. I envied his task a little; its predictability, its dependable routine, its lack of screams and cries, and lack of moments of self-doubt and desperation. Those moments of “what do you want me to do?!” as you try and figure out what this little person needs from you. Continue reading

I’m a mother of two, and I get it now.

I get it now.

A week after giving birth to my second child, I get it now.

They said I would be overwhelmed with a combination of emotions I couldn’t comprehend – I get it now.

That I will feel immense love beyond anything I could ever have imagined, but at the same time feel fear that maybe I’m not going to be able to ever handle both kids on my own.

That I can look at my toddler and marvel at how she seems to have grown up overnight,  but at the same time feel like she’s my little baby who still needs so much from me and worry about whether I am going to be enough for her now that my attention is divided.

That I can look at my newborn and almost literally feel my heart explode with a love so mind-blowingly powerful that it totally consumes me, and also feel guilt in knowing that there are some things I was able to do for her older sister which I can’t do for her.

I get it now.

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How to spot a veteran preggers from miles away

Pregnant mothers of more than one: you know how when you get the rare chance to go somewhere sans your offspring outside the womb, you get all those sweet, knowing looks from people who think this is your first pregnancy? I’ve been getting those a lot lately. It’s almost a look of reverence. Of respect. But not without a hint of “oh…sweetie. She has no idea what’s coming!” But we know, sunshine. Boy, do we know.

The sharper belly observers will very quickly realise that this ain’t my first rodeo. Here are five surefire ways to know, without a quiver of doubt in your heart, that this mama has done it before.

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So just because you have kids, you get rights?

I experienced two incidents over the past week which have made me really think about this question.

Gather round, my friends, and let me tell you a little story about an exhausted pregnant woman with an overtired toddler who just wanted to get the hell out of the supermarket.

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You’ve been there, right? You’d rather be doing a billion other unpleasant things than stand there any longer while your kid screams at you for more sushi (which you’ve had the audacity to open before paying), you’re carrying a basket which was only meant to contain a couple of lightweight items but now makes it look like you’re stockpiling for Y2K all over again, and your womb-mate is creating all kinds of crazy havoc up in your pelvic floor muscles.

Get me out of here. Please. 

I frantically scan the checkout aisles for the one that, in my estimation, will end this torture the quickest. Ah! There it is, almost too bright for me to look at directly due to what I perceive as a glow of hope surrounding it. A moderately empty, moving checkout line. I hauled the stroller with its yelling, hungry occupant and my gigantic belly over to that blessed lane as quickly as possible. Continue reading

Social Graces for Babies, Toddlers and Parents: The Dos and Don’ts of Play Dates in Singapore

Hi readers! I wrote this article for the lovely team at Sassy Mama Singapore on play date “etiquette”. Thanks for sharing the love, you sassy ladies!

When that precious little bundle of joy arrives into your life, the social building block known as “The Play Date” will become a regular feature on your agenda, mama. These little meet-and-greets of tiny humans and their respective caregivers tend to start happening once the shell-shock of your tiny human’s birth has worn off, and the first few weeks of what I like to call The Newborn Blur have…well…not passed, but have become an acceptable part of your outlook on the world.

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Your first play date will be many things: a little weird, a little new, a little “What exactly are we going to do?”, and more often than not, a little bit thrilling as you realise that this is one of the key ways you are going to survive this thing called parenthood.

In order to adequately equip you for your very first play date, or if, perhaps, you’re like me and are a play date veteran but need the occasional refresher as to what is and is not okay, I’ve put together a handy little guide of dos and don’ts to keep you and your kid from being the ones that don’t get invited the second time around (just kidding, people are usually quite forgiving; but really though, read carefully). Continue reading

Is being a stay-at-home-mom enough?

I’ve traded in my black business suits for shorts and maxi dresses.

My shiny patent high heels for flip flops and mama Crocs.

My chic over-the-shoulder handbag for a very practical, industrially-designed khaki backpack.

My sleek updo for whatever hair arrangement is quickest to achieve, all the while accompanied by a halo of frizz framing my usually flustered face.

I’ve traded in 10.30am cappuccino breaks with intellectual colleagues for a cracker and watermelon food fight with an energetic and gleefully squealing toddler.

My 20-minute, quick-fix, power lunches for lengthy negotiations with a curly-haired little girl as to which non-carbohydrate items on her plate she will begrudgingly consume.

My after-work conversations with my husband about current events and challenges I’m facing in the office for a rambling update as to how long the baby napped that day, the contents of her diapers, how tired I am, how sore my back is and seeking his take on whether oven pizzas would be okay for dinner.

My billable-hour targets for hopes as to how many hours straight my child will sleep through the night.

My evolution into a stay-at-home-mom was not an evolution at all. It was an abrupt shift from one life to another. There was no lead-in, no transition; it was like suddenly a part of me that I had known so well, for so long, had disappeared. Instead, here I was, cradling a newborn in my arms on a Tuesday morning, wondering where on earth I was supposed to start. Continue reading