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#AskMummy with Emily Ng

With two children, Nathaniel and Zachary, Emily’s home is naturally busy and sometimes chaotic. Especially in the evenings when both boys are home, it takes a whole village to shower, feed and entertain them at the same time. Fortunately for Emily, the family is able to get help from many avenues: family, domestic help and Aunty. 

How has Aunty helped you in the past year? 

Although we use Aunty as more of a back up, they were very helpful to us when we needed the extra help. The sitters we get from Aunty were varied of course, with younger sitters who read or play with the kids. There was one more experienced one who would bring arts and crafts, and could plan activities for the sit. There’s definitely quality so far, and they provide the care and attention needed. 

A normal day in her life looks like this: breakfast with the boys, and then sending Nathaniel for school around 9 while Zachary goes for a walk with a helper. They have lunch together at home before Emily goes to work. Days without work are spent with the children; Emily and her husband make sure to have a routine and share the week’s schedule with their kids so they know what to expect, such as marketing on Tuesdays and having extracurricular activities on Friday. 

How do you manage work and parenting? 

I have pockets of time throughout the day, usually I do my own crafts and my husband exercises. It’s a lot better now that I have more help, when we have our own time it allows us to go out and take a breather. Being around just the kids is not so healthy after all, and it’s always nice to be able to take a break. The hardest aspect of motherhood for me would be the relentless nature of it honestly. Every day you have to get them up and every night you put them to bed. It’s not bad, but definitely at least draining. Not having friends in the same phase of life can make it feel lonely especially if you’re always at home or work. But we’re really lucky in not having to worry about things like household chores and having the amount of help that we do. Not everyone has that. 

What is your favourite thing about having kids? 

My favourite part is seeing them develop and grow. It’s not so much of big events, but small moments on the daily that keep you going. For example, the kids being very happy when they see you in the morning, or when you pick them up after school. Or if they get scolded for something and they say, “Mama, can you please talk to me nicely next time”. When they share genuine words, like ‘I love you’ or ‘I appreciate you’ and ‘Thank you’, it’s also very encouraging because we try to model good behaviour for them rather than making them say it out of habit. It feels very genuine from them. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to new mummies? 

We try to do respectful parenting for our kids, which means they understand what is being said to them, and talking to them the same way we would do with our friends and family. We tell them what’s going to happen and it helps reduce their anxiety about the schedule and people around them. 

It’s easy to lash out in frustration, which is fine, because there’s no perfect solution to this. Just do better next time, and apologise to your kids when that happens. Let them experience their emotions, like crying it out now rather than letting it bottle up and continue to bother them the next time something happens. Of course, this is a tiring style of parenting because it doesn’t have immediate results, but we hope that in the long run they’ll come out the best versions of themselves.