Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What ONLY a mother of three can tell you...

I may just be 33 years old this year, but compared to many people, I have the luxury that not many have - to experience the journey of having 3 kids. :) With that, someone asked me to share what I learnt as a mummy so far. (I mean you could have three kids, but reading for most is much easier… )

So here goes….

1) The first kid is always the hardest. 
Looking back, it was hardest for us to be parents to no1 than any of the kids. We had no idea what to expect, so many things to read (half of which I have already forgotten), everyone had their "two cents" worth (which honestly, it will be better if they had kept quiet and gave us cash) and basically, your life is turned upside down because of one small being…

And that's just ONE of the MANY tests I did...
I remembered after Audrey was born, D and I actually had a tough time appreciating each other. (I mean I even considered separation…) I had post baby blues and I hated how i looked in the mirror. When i wanted to eat, so did Audrey. Sure I read about breast-fed babies need to be fed every 2 hrs… but NOBODY said each breastfeeding session was 30-45min (especially if you are a first time mummy and your milk supply hasn't kicked in). So effectively, you are breastfeeding every 1 hr. With breastfeeding comes breast engorgement, which is damn painful. My breasts at one point were uneven since I produced more on one side… So I had one boob slightly bigger than the other. (BTW, just a tip.. cradle hold helps engorgement if the inner side is engorged, a football cradle eases the engorgement on the outer side.)
My diet, bathing styles and routine was significantly disrupted.

I thought D wasn't being supportive and D thought that when I gave birth, I lost my mind. It was horrible. At one point, I was giving him the cold shoulder… which only ended when he broke the ice and listened to what I was going through. 
(If you didn't go through this.. you automatically qualify for no 2,3 and 4.. :) and according to many of my friends the government will love you for this… but until now, I am still waiting for that commendation letter from the prime minister...)

2) If the dad had wanted a boy as a firstborn, chances are it will be a girl
I have witnessed many of our friends starting a family of their own. Many of the dads (D included) seemed very sure that they will conceive a boy. It was like a statement they tell their peers that they are able to produce an heir… and the first one is a boy. Maybe it's just something they are able to relate better to. Who knows? But from all the guy friends who thought that their wives are definitely having a boy… I look forward to seeing their look when it turns out to be a girl. :)
(Let's just say if there's a way for God to play a prank on them, this is one very successful way.)
D thought that I would be having a boy too. Even when we went for a thorough scan and after the doctor confirming that it was a girl, he wondered if there would be a mistake. (This all ended when I got upset at his behavior) When Audrey was born however, he fell in love with her instantly. Until now, she has a special footing in his heart. 
So yes, while it is true the dads had wished for a boy at first, after seeing their first born, they won't have asked for anything different. :)

3) You will truly enjoy motherhood at No 3
When you have the first kid, everyone rushes to compete with you for that baby's attention. The only time when you get the baby back is when it's time to feed in the middle of the night. Our parents would always come and comment about our style of looking after the baby and suggest a "better" way to do so, undermining what you intend to do, especially when you are a young parent. In short, you just feel lousy.

Art piece by Isaac of him and his siblings
When no 2 comes, you will suffer another set of problems, mainly parent's guilt. Suddenly your first-born is no more the baby in the family. He/she is forced to grow up. As a mum, you suddenly cannot do as many things with your no 1 as you did before because the younger one needs you. Spending too much time with the younger one, makes you feel bad that you have left your older one out. Spending too much time with the older one, makes you feel terrible because the second is neglected. If you think you will be able to spend equal amount of time with both, you might. But chances are, either the older one will demand more time from you or that would just tire you out.

In comes no 3. NO ONE tells you what to do and what not to do already (they either don't bother or they don't dare). You don't compete with the helper/parents to do everything for the baby. Things like washing the butt, making milk etc suddenly make you realize there's no value add if you personally did it. As long as it is done, it is just as well it is outsourced. 
The kids play by themselves and they don't bother you as much, leaving you some time with the baby (without guilt). You don't need to buy some welcome gift for the older siblings and say it's from the youngest, because a good part of their lives they are already used to siblings and one more won't hurt. In fact if anything, the first two are really quite excited meeting the new baby. :)

4) Love is multiplied and not divided
Love in the heart is not the same as water in a jug. It is not a fixed amount which with each cup, becomes lesser. Ironically, with another child, you will be amazed by how much more patient you become, how much more tolerant you are to mistakes, how much more you can forgive and not hold grudges, how much kinder you are to a crying kid (who's not yours) in public… (you just learnt the true meaning of 1 Corinthians 13!) But of course with each child who teach you that, you also become older, have lesser sleep and eat faster.
And yes, I do admit that I have a soft spot for Julian because he's the youngest who spends the most time with me, but each of them means a lot to me. :)

Back in 07.07.07
5) Your greatest love at ALL times has got to be your spouse
If anything, this has to be the number 1 rule of all times. With kids, love in the family is not like a food chain where Daddy loves mummy, mummy loves children… and children love their toys.
I was first a Mrs before I became the kids' mother. The kids actually appreciate this fact. They like it when we kiss each other, when we hold hands, and even feed each other! They may giggle and cover their eyes once a while (nothing graphic here…) but deep down they are really happy to know that daddy and mummy are securely one. :)
Does anyone realize that in the olden times, marriages seem to work better than the ones now? I suspect it's largely because people love the one they married and not marry the one they love. It makes a difference, because one requires commitment.

Of course, there's other things like not buying the cot and strollers before the baby comes and don't sweat about breastfeeding but those are personal preference. (A stroller is like another child, esp if you don't have a car. It becomes really annoying to fold and unfold at different parts of your journey. While the baby may end up on your bed most times rather than on the cot because of breastfeeding) Also, sometimes in life, we only learn by making that mistakes ourselves rather than listening what people say. Just like how people learn mahjong, we just learn through paying… :)

These are not big principles… in fact some are common sensical. But sometimes common sense is not so common. :)


  1. Such a great sharing and a joy to read. Thanks, Michelle! 😄

    1. Aww thanks for the encouragement and compliment. More importantly, thanks for reading :)