Family Magazine

Happiness Is... Welcoming a New Life

By A Happy Mum @A_Happy_Mum

Right from the start, I knew that the year 2021 was gonna mark a big change in my life.

Going from being a mom of three to now a mom of four, the truth is it is never as easy as it seems. The sleepless nights, the frustration, the never ending demands, the feeling of being a mother cow, the mountain of chores each day, these are the things that stress me out. Just like every mum, I have to deal with the problems, learn to take things in my stride and find solutions that will work for me.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

In short, life has totally changed since 23 February and from the looks of it, it's never gonna be the same again. While I am still learning to juggle my duties as a newly minted mom with four kids, including a newborn, two middle children and the firstborn who is in her PSLE year, my heart is full everyday and I look forward to tackling the challenges one by one with a positive spirit and unwavering determination. Yup, 我行,我能,我可以!

In this post of "Happiness is...", it's about welcoming a new life and seeing the miracle of birth, as well as learning to cope with my new life with a thankful heart.

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Happiness is... welcoming a new life

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

This was the first time I was pregnant during Chinese New Year, considering that my previous three kids were all year end babies. I was well into my third trimester at 34 weeks and spotting a big belly in all my outfits, something which I felt very happy about and would smile every time I felt a flutter. They say a pregnancy brings out the glow in you, I think that is quite true, isn't it? What I didn't know was that I would be going into early labor shortly for this baby boy wanted to celebrate CNY with us too and came out on the 12th day of the Year of the Ox. Haha. I guess life is just unpredictable and you never know what tomorrow brings.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life Despite the pandemic and all the house visiting rules, I was just grateful to be able to catch up with our family members, especially the extended ones whom we have not met in a long while. My grandma was very happy to see us and although she might not remember who we are (she even called me her daughter!), I loved to see her smiles and having the little kids in her house was one thing that would surely delight her.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

One-on-one time with this boy has become very precious because I knew it would be dramatically reduced once the baby arrived. He has been a darling and looks forward to welcoming his little baby brother. In fact, he is the one who is the sweetest, remembers to apply my stretch mark cream for me every night and never fails to sing lullabies and talk to the baby. It is so important to let them build up this bond as early as possible, right?

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

 I jolly well know that I would be unable to hit the waters for quite some time after giving birth and given how I would be the sole caretaker for the baby, it's gonna take even longer before he can join us which means I would most likely have to accompany him. The good thing about having more kids is that these three have each other for company and are never lonely, but ultimately, it's still different from when the hubby and I join in the fun and let our hair down with them. Well, I just need some time before I can join in the action, my dears, in the meantime, just keep swimming!

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

You probably know by now that I don't like to stay indoor much, no matter if I am pregnant or even if I am on confinement. Yup, maybe I'm just born with this streak and having stayed for years in Europe also made it even stronger and I know I just wanna stay active and keep moving! Anyway, I was happy that we made it to the zoo in February as it's a place that the kids will never get tired of, even if we've been here countless times. It's always nice to see our animal friends and be able to interact with them!

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

I love their CNY themed artwork done at HeART Studio, including the Chinese calligraphy, ox made of modelling clay and cherry blossoms, do you like them too? It's not gonna be easy bringing the baby out next time while these three go for their classes but the good thing is we don't have much classes, just art and Heguru. Haha. So yup, I know practice makes perfect so I'm gonna make sure I can handle bringing all four of them out so that we can continue to have our mum-and-kids outings.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life Happiness is... welcoming a new life

It was a school holiday on 大年初四 so we managed to find time to do my maternity photoshoot with Bloom Photography. Read more about our experience here. It was such a blessing that we did this just in time because I delivered Ansel a week after. I would be bummed out if I missed doing my last maternity shoot because these shots are so precious to me. Yup, I'm quite sure it's highly likely the last because hello, Mama is turning 38 soon already and having four kids is quite a handful, haha.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

For the first time, I also tried doing prenatal and postnatal massages, thanks to Post Natal Massage Singapore. Yup, I've never been good at pampering myself but given that I am much older, and hopefully wiser, now and considering that this is my last chance, I am glad I did it and will share more about the benefits and my positive experience in an upcoming post.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life Two days before I got admitted to hospital, I was still jumping on log stumps and going around Coney Island with the kids! It was definitely a contrast from my life after Ansel came, where I have to battle severe jaundice, tongue tie, poor latching, midnight feedings, nightmares and endless demands. Would I trade it for anything? Of course not! I still love the newborn phase no matter how physically exhausting it can be. I also look forward to taking him on our family hikes in parks and nature reserves and I can't wait to have more adventures as a family of six soon!

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

Happiness is... welcoming a new lifeWe were interviewed by Lianhe Zaobao and it was for a topic close to my heart - how to get kids to help out with household chores from a young age and the importance of letting them learn through mistakes. The kids were asked to demonstrate what they usually do at home, so the big sister did the laundry, the small sister helped to chop up ingredients while the boy cleaned the floor. While it all looks like they are always eager to help, trust me when I say that is not the case and there are days when they refuse to step up or procrastinate - which is very normal because even adults like me do too. So I really do nag every single day - until 我都觉得自己很啰嗦 - but I concluded it's necessary in order to instill values in them and nagging is better than scolding or losing my cool, right?

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

How do they look in their navy uniforms? We took this photo for keepsake and I wanted it to be a tribute to the navy hubby who did his best to juggle both home and work right after I gave birth. I was hospitalised for four nights (partly due to the baby being premature and the need to do phototherapy for his jaundice) and it wasn't easy handling these three on his own! In fact, he was utterly exhausted, found it hard not to lose his temper and concluded that looking after kids is more tiring than working. Haha, now you know, dear. Still, he did a good job holding everything together and even after I returned, he continued to cook for the kids (I had my own confinement meals delivered to me every day) so that I could take a break from the kitchen a little longer. That, I deeply appreciate. Hopefully, I will be able to handle and hold the fort once more when life resumes and he goes back to sailing and working full time.

Last but not least, the biggest change in February was, of course, the arrival of our baby prince Ansel! Yup, I always call Asher my little prince so this one has to settle for baby instead. Haha. I still find it hard to believe that I am now a mom of four and have two boys and two girls to love, to guide and to care for (and also to drive me up the wall).

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

I've written in detail about my birth process here and I think I would love to read it again years down the road when the kids are much bigger. It might bring a tear or two to my eyes, wouldn't it? I also did a short video to remember that day and those precious moments of meeting my baby for the first time (you can watch it here) and the surprisingly thing is some of you DM me to say that my video made you cry! Awwww. Glad to know it struck a chord and this just shows how we are all in this motherhood journey together and we are never alone.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

Happiness is... welcoming a new life

Happiness is... welcoming a new life This boy is definitely my little gem and despite being born at 35 weeks, I am glad to see that he is a strong and healthy little one! It always amazes me to think about how these babies emerged from our womb and it's the miracle of all miracles in the world. 太神奇了. It is also a testimony of what our bodies and minds can achieve and I really think mums can accomplish anything when we put in our hearts and souls, and not give up no matter what.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life
Happiness is... welcoming a new life

So our house is even messier now, I hear the baby crying every couple of hours and it gets worst in the middle of the night, I have to bathe, clean, feed and coax this little one around the clock, I have to think for the other three kids too and make sure they don't feel neglected (that is seriously a challenge), I find it a challenge to keep up with the chores and I am still learning, failing, and trying harder again every single day now that life has become very different for all of us.

Happiness is... welcoming a new life


The question is: Am I happy? Well, without a doubt. I might be sleep deprived, my hair is oily and yucky, I sweat buckets a day, I have lots of loose skin, my wound hurts from time to time, BUT.... I am blessed beyond words to be where I am and every time I feel dejected and beaten, all I have to do is think about the kids and that is where I find my motivation to go on.

So, to my new life, I fully embrace you and I welcome you with all your ups and downs, trials and tribulations, joy and tears. The way I see it, life is truly beautiful and each day is full of hope.


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