Written by 8:02 am Parenting

Real Motherhood in Singapore

Mothers in Singapore – local and foreign – share their experiences of living here and being a mum in Singapore.

Tan Su-Lynn

Tan Su-Lynn, 39, ex-Senior Marketing Executive, now a SAHM. Mum to a 7 year old girl and a 9 year old boy.

Best thing about being a mother in Singapore: Nurturing the children and spending time with them. Laughing with them and listening to their stories make my day.

Worst thing about being a mother in Singapore: Having to deal with exam stress and societal pressure.

Easiest thing about being a mother in Singapore: Generally, Singapore is a safe place to live in so that’s good.

Hardest thing about being a mother in Singapore: Trying to balance their childhood with non-academic play/learning and academic learning.

Motherhood in Singapore rating: 8.5. I am very fortunate and blessed to be a stay-home mum. I get to spend a lot of precious, quality time with my children.

Favourite mum-and-kid hangout: Polliwogs, a play area where the children can play and mums can catch up at the cafe.

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Sandra Nelson, 47, Teacher. Mum to four girls aged 18, 16, 12 and 6.

Best thing about being a mother in Singapore: Everything is available for children here, compared to the so many places I’ve been to. I brought up all my children without childcare. But (for those who need childcare) there are so many options available, it’s so convenient.

Worst thing about being a mother in Singapore: The education system.

Most memorable mothering experience in Singapore: When my child called me “mother”. When she read to me. I read to them every day, and then one day the child would take the book from me and read it back to me. I cannot describe the feeling. It is so wonderful when they suddenly make the connection in their brains. Now they are all very good speakers. They speak well and write well. I’m so happy because as a teacher, literacy is very important to me.

Motherhood in Singapore rating: 7 to 8. Singapore has a healthy environment. Everything is so organised, so orderly. And there are superb medical services.

Favourite mum-and-kid hangout: Bishan Park. With my older girls, we used to like to spend time at the library on Takashimaya top floor when it was still there.

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desi

Dasa Meiningsih, 37, housewife. The Indonesian mother, who moved to Singapore in 2002 when her husband was relocated here for work, has two children, Jessie, 7, and Sammy, 4.

Best thing about being a mother in Singapore: I can take care my kids on my own without worrying about their safety, their health, and their education.

Worst thing about being a mother in Singapore: How the environment can affect the family. In Singapore where there is so much freedom, and a very modern lifestyle. Many adults and children have forgotten manners and virtues because they think such things are old-fashioned.

Easiest thing about being a mother in Singapore: There many facilities, which are very easy to find anywhere.

Hardest thing about being a mother in Singapore: The cost of living is not low.

Most memorable mothering experience in Singapore: I was at the wet market with my baby, who was about eight months old then, and my little girl who was four. The baby was in the stroller while I held my little girl with my hand. While I was busy shopping, I realised my girl had disappeared. I panicked and screamed her name, not caring how people stared, and wanted to call police. Before I did, an elderly man approached me and pointed to a shop. There was a little girl inside, who was calling “mama mama”. This is the most unforgettable experience for me as a mother.

Motherhood in Singapore rating: 7. It is not easy to be a mother in Singapore with today’s lifestyle. However, the support from the goverment and the facilities in Singapore help.

Favourite mum-and-kid hangout: The playground. It’s free and the children can play while mothers chit-chat.

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Sandhya Srinivasan, late 30s, SAHM. The Indian mother, who moved to Singapore in 2000, used to work in events management. Her twins turn 10 this year.

Best thing about being a mother in Singapore: The feeling of safety! I have a young daughter and when I read the horrible reports of rape and other brutalities against women and girls, I feel really safe to be here.

Worst thing about being a mother in Singapore: The pressurising lifestyle, especially for primary school-going children.

Easiest thing about being a mother in Singapore: Nothing, actually. You have to struggle for each and every thing, right from space for infant care, to primary school.

Hardest thing about being a mother in Singapore: Exams. We are so conditioned to do super well that I feel that children here no longer enjoy a childhood.

Most memorable mothering experience in Singapore: When my children were small, being with them and looking at the world through their eyes, was very memorable. This need not be a Singapore experience, but can happen anywhere!

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pey ling

Lim Pey Ling, 35, Stay-at-home-mum. Previously in the banking and finance industry, Pey Ling is mum to Kenoa, 7, and 5.5 year old twins Mathew and Adriel.

I am a Singaporean and I grew up here. Nurturing my kids here seem so natural. Even though my husband is not in Singapore most of the time, I am blessed with a supportive extended family that renders love and time to my family, especially my children.

Best thing about being a mother in Singapore: Safety and security. Singapore has quality air and many small pockets of greenery even though there are no natural scenic views. It’s thumbs up for our healthcare services too. My kids are quite sickly and I am glad that this is readily available.

Worst thing about being a mother in Singapore: No distinct seasonal changes and lack of space in this rather populated country. The academic chase that our kids have to go through. To be fair, this is also common other parts of Asia.

Easiest thing about being a mother in Singapore: Singapore is well-planned. Facilities and amenities are so easily accessible.

Hardest thing about being a mother in Singapore: Our kids are so busy every day. We don’t have enough time to stay bored, to idle and daydream the days and weeks away. Increasing cost is also a factor.

Most memorable mothering experience in Singapore: Pregnancy. Today, whenever my children drive me up the wall, I remind myself that children are a gift from God and give thanks that they are with me.

Motherhood in Singapore rating: 9/10. My children are still young and easily entertained. Give them a small field and they will be running around happily. Pass them a slab of Blue Tac and they will be kneading away.

Favourite mum-and-kid hangout: I meet some of my mummy friends at each others’ homes. We also meet at the pool and let the kids play together. We, the mummies can delude ourselves that we are ‘exercising’.

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Anne Lai, in her 30s, manager. The Taiwanese mother of two boys aged 3 and 5 moved to Singapore when she was 10.

Best thing about being a mother in Singapore: Help is readily available in the form of affordable domestic help and reliable childcare facilities. For those who have a close relative who is willing to lend a hand, Singapore being a tiny island means that travelling between your home and theirs is not much of a chore. This gives many women the choice to be either a stay-at-home-mum or a working mother.

Worst thing about being a mother in Singapore: Crowded public transport which is really not condusive for travelling with young children. Taxis are never available when you desperately need to bring cranky little ones home.

Most memorable mothering experience in Singapore: I love the maternity ward in Mt Alvernia Hospital. Both my boys were born there. During my stay, when in doubt, a nurse would always appear to assure me that I was doing fine.

Favourite mum-and-kid hangout: Any indoor playground with a cafe attached. They run, we watch and chat. This is ultimate multi-tasking!

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