Karin Chew 28, had her first child when she was 25. She’s a mum to Yu Ren, three, and twins Yan Jia and Yi Jia, one.

CLEO (Singapore) - - BEAUTY -

My first preg­nancy wasn’t planned. I had missed my pe­riod, and when I ex­pressed my wor­ries to my then­boyfriend, he was pretty chill, and that was when I knew he was open to set­tling down. I was happy to start a fam­ily with him, so we got mar­ried and had a baby. It helped that my fam­ily and friends were very sup­port­ive.

Much as it was the life I chose, I can’t deny there were mo­ments when I felt like I was miss­ing out on my 20s. That took a while to ad­just to.

My hus­band and I didn’t plan for a sec­ond child but we were OK if one more came along. But, of course, when we found out we were hav­ing twins, we were shocked. I was very wor­ried about how I’d go about tak­ing care of two ba­bies and a tod­dler.

I still don’t have the free­dom to travel or meet my friends as and when I want, as I’m still breast­feed­ing the twins. Since they’re still very young, I can’t bear to leave them in the hands of any­one else.

I raise my kids dif­fer­ently from how I was brought up. I was raised by a helper be­cause both my par­ents worked, but since my hus­band is able to sup­port us, I stay at home and look af­ter the kids my­self. I feel very priv­i­leged to be able to spend so much time with them. Not all par­ents have this op­tion.

How­ever, we haven’t had a date night since the twins were born. Although our par­ents help us out a lot, they can’t ex­actly han­dle three young and ac­tive kids. We do not en­gage out­side help as we don’t trust any­one else out­side of the fam­ily. We feel that the first five years of a child’s life is what lays the foun­da­tion of their char­ac­ter, so we want to be around them all the time to guide and nur­ture them.

While it was nor­mal to have a kid in your mid-20s dur­ing our par­ents’ gen­er­a­tion, it’s less com­mon these days. So what is it like to be a young mum in this day and age?

My hus­band does help out when­ever he can, so from time to time, I get to take a breather. Hav­ing din­ner alone or read­ing a book is a lux­ury.

Next year, we’ll be send­ing the twins to the same child­care cen­tre my el­dest son is cur­rently in, and I in­tend to go back to work. I’m ex­cited about con­nect­ing with new peo­ple and hav­ing more fi­nan­cial free­dom. Nat­u­rally, I won­der what it will be like go­ing back to hav­ing a job, but I be­lieve I’ll be able to adapt.

While we en­joy de­cent fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity now, it comes at a price. My hus­band works a lot and of­ten only gets an hour or so with them each day. Some­times, by the time he’s back, the kids are al­ready asleep.

We also hope to switch roles when the kids are older. Hope­fully, I’ll be able to bring home the ba­con when I go back to the prop­erty in­dus­try while he stays at home. I think it’ll be great as he’ll then get to make up for lost time. He’ll also be able to im­part dif­fer­ent skills to them.

My ad­vice to new mums? Don’t be too hard on your­self. Also, don’t com­pare your­self to oth­ers.

It’s also great that, as mil­len­ni­als, we can eas­ily turn to the In­ter­net for ad­vice. When I had my first child, I would join on­line par­ent­ing fo­rums. The other mums were re­ally help­ful and I learnt a lot. So­cial me­dia plat­forms also al­low me to keep in touch with my friends. Many of them are also start­ing to set­tle down, so they don’t meet up as of­ten as they used to. But I be­lieve true friend­ships don’t need much main­te­nance.

Be­ing a par­ent is men­tally tir­ing and you have to be pre­pared that your life will never be the same again. But when your kids hug, kiss or smile at you, it’s all worth it. Be­ing a mum is re­ally ful­fill­ing.

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