Second kid is much easier

They always say the first is the toughest and most difficult for everything. The first love, the first kiss, the first pregnancy, the first labor, the first child.

I dismissed it previously as a ploy to get me to give birth to more babies.

Why Cord blood banking is unnecessary

This is not such a hot topic because only 1 out of my many friends went for it. Most would-be parents would see the sales promoters in clinics or being shoved a brochure on this issue. Let us find out in depth what cord blood bank really is and you can decide if you really need it for your child.

The biggest regret for most people

Work takes up a huge part of the conversations nowadays because the other half is about family. But with single friends, it is all about work and career. Most are particularly interested in my start up business and with good reason, I am the first to venture on my own.

Many thought that venturing on our own is to want to make it big, do IPO and create a disruptive technology.

How to regain your pre-pregnancy weight

3 out of 4 mothers gained weight after a year of giving birth.

There are several factors contributing to weight gain but the main thing is a lifestyle change. During pregnancy, we are used to having several snacks as we get hungry often. We can't work out much so we are used to these few months of sedentary lifestyle and higher consumption. Not just that, with a baby coming along and having to breastfeed, it's not easy to find time to keep fit. Coupled with stress and lack of sleep, no wonder mothers are gaining weight after pregnancy!

Well, we do really need to change that if you care about your figure and looks.

It's not just for superficial reasons. You also feel good and confident if you are in control of your weight. You can even go back to wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes and that is definitely a morale booster. Your partner will be very happy too.

Do you really need baby or maternity insurance?

From my parenting talk with DBS NAV, this was the question that was asked several times and I don't think I had enough time for an elaborate answer. I thought it through and feel it would benefit more people if I explain why I did not buy maternity insurance here.

I am going to use PRUfirst gift as an example so that I can explain in details, not that I recommend Prudential over other insurance companies but because I have a close Prudential friend to clarify all the information.

Women cannot afford to be lazy

Some say each pregnancy made a woman aged by 10 years and that's very true. The lack of  rest, high stress and pain endured followed by our physical body changes means we need to put in more effort to look normal. Especially if you look at mothers during confinement, you would have guessed I am my husband's mother, particularly infuriating when he has such a baby face.

That is why we women cannot afford to be lazy.

Private vs Government hospitals for delivery

Most people are confused over going to private or government gynaecologists and hospitals for delivery and I hope this post will clear all your confusion. It is just nice that my friend happens to go through the subsidized route so I can take a look at her bill.

The shocking thing is the difference in price.

My 2 bedder experience at Mount Alvernia Hospital

This time round, I decided to stay at 2 bedders in Mount Alvernia because my husband will not be staying with me overnight. That was the main reason why I took up a 1 bedder ward. Now. he has to take care of my toddler daughter so I am all alone in the hospital. To have someone's company seems acceptable to me and I can save some money in the meantime.

My second labour pains and delivery story

As your pregnancy approaches week 37 and above, your tummy is getting exponentially bigger and heavier. Getting out of bed is tougher still, and the pressure pressing on the pelvic serves to remind you on the big baby bump.

It's the waiting game.

I kept telling myself the longer it is, the better it is for my baby, as her body will be more developed. I need to remind myself that this physical torture is only temporary. 9 months out of my whole life is nothing, let alone another few more weeks. However, the sleepless nights and constant strain on my back and body is quite a torture.

My first labour was induced as my gynaecologist was going overseas but not my second time round. This time I waited it out, when baby is ready she will come out.

Happy 4th birthday - 5 things I realise at my 30s

Now that I am a mum of 2, I realised a big difference between my 20s and 30s. 20s is a time where I keep travelling and climbing up the corporate ladder, trying to impress customers and bosses, learning about the world and building up my network. It has been fun learning about other cultures and also myself and my working style. I worked hard to get higher salary to pay for a wedding, house and honeymoon.

I like having to travel for free and eating good food at the expense of the companies because 20s was a period of 'No Money'. 

30s is a phase of life where I am not afraid to try a new career path. I found out that I do not need so much money but I wanted more time after being a mum. Many people think it's risky to set up my business at this juncture but the flexibility of working is the best thing for a new mum. It's time to test my business skills and take one step closer to the lifestyle that I yearn.

1 year on from quitting my full time job, I have no regrets. Indeed, 30s was a period of 'No Time'.

I have reached the stage where my business is sustainable and I can receive a salary that is manageable to offset my expenses. To all those who are worried for me, thank you for your support! I know there are a few of you who contributed to SnackFirst and I am grateful for it.

For my 4th year writing as a blogger, these are the 5 differences I realised at my 30s:

1) Celebrating birthday for myself instead for others
I used to think that having birthday parties are great. You get to receive lots of presents and you are at the centre of attention with your own party. So many friends and so much fun! I feel loved when more people remember and come to celebrate my birthday.

Not anymore.

Parties are exhausting and you don't get to truly enjoy at the party. Everyone else seems to be having a great time eating while you have to go around and tire yourself. Truly, what's the point? Those who remember your birthday will not need a party to celebrate with you and why do you need to hold a celebration with those who will not remember your party? Unnecessary headaches and exhaustion. Birthdays should be spent with people I love and things I like to do. A hearty meal to treasure the times with your family and if I want to sleep, go ahead! Just a day to recollect my thoughts, be thankful of reaching another birthday, that's enough for me.

2) Not caring about being well-liked
I used to like being popular and have everyone think well of me. I like to have more new friends and know more people. I try not to do anything unpleasant or hurt people deliberately. I try not to offend my customers and give in to their requests if my company allows it.

Not anymore.

I don't need to have many friends, I just need a handful who knows me well. I don't need to be surrounded by acquaintances or have many likes on my Facebook posts. I don't need to be popular anymore and gain acceptance. What I do need is only the views of my close friends and family and I am confident enough to stand strong with my actions to quit my previous job.

3) Keeping my expenses low saved me
I used to like going cafes and restaurants every other week to chill and enjoy. When you meet up with your friends, it is likely you will meet up at a shopping mall to have meals there. I looked forward to a day where people serve me food and drinks after a long and tiring day at work. It's even better to have some place quiet and with romantic ambience and I don't mind paying for it. 

Not anymore.

To be honest, Singapore's food is really cheap. A plate of vegetable rice cost around $3. There are delicious food at low price and I come to love eating hawker food. I can't get the same value out of restaurants anymore. Not just that, I love to eat steaks but I would rather buy them raw and grill them myself because eating at restaurants is just too over priced. I find brunch at cafes expensive when they are so easy to cook at home.

Keeping my expenses low is the best practice even when I was in my 20s. I had a steady job but I invested and saved, which is why I could start my business and be prepared to go a few years without pay. Now that I started taking a small amount for salary, thankfully my lifestyle is able to sustain even with the meagre pay!

4) Work is no longer so dreadful
When customers ask me for discounts or sales policies, my boss would answer them or I would get my boss to give me an answer. After some time, I realised I am just a messenger bird to pass the information here and there. I don't have any control over prices and direction, I can't get to make any decisions at all.

Not anymore.

Nowadays I love interacting with my customers. I am the boss now so I can give discounts and freebies to those that are more polite. There are very rude people which made dealing with them very unpleasant and I don't give any discounts at all as I don't mind not doing business with them. This is because they give me more headaches than the satisfaction of a job well done. The autonomy and decision-making is really liberating and I don't find working so dreary. I no longer have Monday blues anymore.

5) I love being a mother
I used to think that having children is going to tie me down, I can't travel for long, I can't stay out late and have to fulfil my responsibilities as a mother. I can't sleep through the night and I can't eat in peace most times. It's difficult to leave the house on time and it's a major nightmare when they fall sick.

All these are true but I go through these hardships willingly. It's a pain, it's a torture to wake up every 2 to 3 hours at night but every morning, the smiles I got from my babies is worth going through the sufferings all over again. I think I have travelled enough for now and am not envious of my friends' jet-setting pictures at all. I like being home and at the end of the day, I love being a mother. I look forward to travelling as a family instead of on my own in time to come.

I anticipate 40s to be a period of 'No Energy'. 

Now that I can function with little sleep and yet still have the drive to work even in zombie mode, I shall work hard in building my career. I know it will get better in time to come, when my business stabilises and my kids grow more independent.

I know everything will be better in time to come, I am sure of it.

Like me on Facebook to follow me on my entrepreneurial journey.