10: Taking care of my boy and a newborn

Welcome to Every Mother Matters. I’m Sharon and in this episode, I will be sharing with you my experience of handling my toddler and a newborn.
Transcript for Ep10:
Welcome to Every Mother Matters.  I’m Sharon and in this episode, I will be sharing with you my experience of handling my toddler and a newborn.

I did things differently with my 2nd birth.  I engaged a confinement nanny to stay overnight with my family for 28 days.  My friend recommended her malaysia nanny but I got a Singaporean nanny because I wanted to have part time help in the second month without the nanny staying in my house.   I told the nanny that she must also take care of my boy. At the end of the one month, the nanny told me that there wasn’t a  need to do 2 months confinement.  So I got only 1.5 month help, which I knew was not enough.   One day, while I was preparing to bring my boy downstairs, I could not find my boy in the house. I asked the nanny and she said she did not know because she was busy in the kitchen.  The door was opened and the bicycle was gone.  I rushed downstairs and I saw a big trash truck behind him while he was cycling happily.  I was so scared.

After my confinement, I had a hard time coping. 

Taking care of one toddler and a newborn was overwhelming, especially when I used to bring my boy downstairs 3 times a day before the birth of my daughter.

I struggled with breastfeeding my girl who latched non-stop and she could not sleep, I could not spend time with my boy.  One day, he took his little pair of shoes to me.  He could not express it in words but I understood his gesture that he wanted me to bring him downstairs instead of staying home the whole time day after day. I told him  I could not bring him downstairs because I needed to breastfeed his little sister.After the birth of my girl, I was struggling with breastfeeding so I could not attend to my boy.  He was totally neglected. 

One day, my boy who was 2.5 years old, was making things very difficult for me.  I was depressed and out of desperation, I chased him out of the house, I locked the gate and I looked into his eyes and said to him “you go”.  The next minute, I went to the door and he was really gone. I took my baby’s milk powder and brought my girl to my neighbour and I went to look for my boy.  I was afraid that if my boy boarded the public bus then it would be hard to find him.  After an hour of search, I called my mother-in-law.  She said to go to the police station because someone might bring my boy to the police station. I also called my natural therapist-siew fan and she used the pendulum to check for an answer and she also asked me to head towards the police station.  I went to the police station to make a police report.  They came to my house to ask for my boy’s photo.

My boy witnessed my screaming and shouting.  When I was depressed and physically very weak, I simply could not take care of a toddler who needed my attention and a newborn baby.

It was so hard to get my boy to nap.  From baby time until he was a toddler, he preferred to play more than anything.  He would only sleep after he used up all his energy.  When I was pregnant, it did not cross my mind to attend a baby care course.  Feeding, burping, sleeping, bathing all seemed too simple to learn.  No one actually brought the topic up to me or warned me about how tough or painful breastfeeding could be.  I totally missed it out.  To me, postnatal was the hardest to cope with. 

My mother disliked girls.  There was no room in my mother’s heart for a daughter. I understand that not all parents love their child.  Sometimes, it is the wrong time to get pregnant or it is an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.   I believe that every child loves their parents. I longed for motherly love and protection but my voice was never being heard or respected.  I was seeking a relationship which never happened between my mother and I.  I wanted to build that relationship with my baby.

It was important that I bond with my baby and understand what my baby wanted. At least to give breastmilk to my baby even if it was not direct latching.  Due to all the stress, I had more tears than milk.  My baby was fed mainly formula.  I managed to maintain my low milk supply for more than a year with regular pumping.

That was the emotional reason why I take breastfeeding so hard.  Life would be much easier if I just gave up breastfeeding, fed my baby girl formula milk and spent time with my active boy. 

My boy thought that now mummy only loves the baby.  To have his mother back, my boy used his little sister’s hair clips on his hair.. He smiled sweetly at me. My poor boy!  For many years down the road, I explained to him that I love him more because I always wanted a boy.  That did not stop him from bullying his little sister and making things difficult for her and often made her cry.

When my postnatal masseuse came to massage me, my boy was so angry and shouted at her “dont touch my mummy”!  Then I arranged an old colleague of mine to help me take care of my boy while I was doing the massage.

It was easier when we arranged to send him to a child care centre and later we engaged a maid at home.  I was experiencing separation anxiety and I missed my boy so much when he was not at home.  His absence brought tears to my eyes.

On the first few days in the childcare centre, I had a hard time separating from my boy.  I would wait and peek outside to see if my boy was ok in the new environment.  The teachers were surprised to see that I was still around outside the gate where other parents had left already.  Boy was happy to have other playmates of his age and new toys and new things to learn.  He seemed to be having fun in the childcare whereas I was missing him so much at home.

Eventually, things got better and I also adjusted to the routine of leaving him at the childcare centre.

I knew that my boy had yin yang eyes and it is quite common in young children. When he was 5 years old, he was suddenly too frightened to go to the kindergarden.  He told me that there was a scary monster on the white board and he dared not enter his classroom. I asked him to describe the scary monster on the white board. I heard him and acknowledged his fear.  Then I thought I saw that monster in one of the story books he read.  I turned to the page and pointed it to him to confirm.  He replied and said yes.  He was so scared everyday that he dare not go inside the classroom for lessons.  I did not want to see my boy living in great fear everyday.  I brought him to my natural therapist-siew fan.  She suggested that I change school for my boy.  So I did.  I wanted to put him into a vegetarian kindergarten but he was on the waiting list. So I ended up signing up for the nearby kindergarten.  He was ok at the new kindergarten except one day he refused to go for class.  Then my husband found out and he said  boy was telling lies about the monster on the broad because he did not want to go to school. I thought my husband must hide somewhere to watch us in the morning to know that boy refused to go to school that day. I felt very stressed in the morning to make sure that my boy attended school every day.  I told my boy, if he refused to go to the new school then daddy would bring him to the monster's school again.

Key Takeaway:-

We don't have to learn through our mistakes and painful experiences. 

A new mother needs to rest so that she can recover well from childbirth.  Every woman desires to be well-supported in her journey to motherhood.

Don’t assume taking care of a little one is very easy.  Attend the antenatal course during pregnancy.  

To prevent is to prepare.  I only prepared up to the point of birth and totally neglected postnatal recovery after childbirth, which is so important in a woman’s life, because confinement determines how strong and healthy we are years down the road.  

Confinement nanny and my husband did not understand what I needed.  They tried to the best of their knowledge and understanding to help me in all possible ways.  Postnatal care is a very specialised area.  Confinement nanny’s job is mainly to cook for the new mother.  Don’t expect them to have the passion in supporting breastfeeding or good at newborn babies.  It would be awesome to have a perfect confinement nanny and expect her to be an expert in breastfeeding, newborn baby, cooking and understanding of mummy care.  


It takes a village to raise a child.  In our modern lifestyle, often a new mother is that whole village and she is missing out on the community and support.  The mother is the whole environment for her newborn.  What a new mother really need is encouraging, loving and reassuring words, understanding and physical help.  At least her food must be ready for her when she is hungry for her to take care of her newborn who requires a 24hours care.

You can connect with me through my facebook, instagram and Linkedin and my links will be in the show notes.  I look forward to seeing you in my next episode where I will be sharing with you more stories and tips.

Instant Podcast Leader Soul Rich Woman