Mention having anything more than three kids in Singapore and it’s sure to get conversations going. Since telling people that I’m expecting my fourth child, I’ve heard things like, “Wow, four! Good luck!” or “Oh, was it an accident?”
Changing my mind from two to more
To be honest, I never thought of having more than two children. I’d grown up with one sibling, so two felt right initially.
However, my perspective on keeping my family to two children changed when I had multiple miscarriages over the years. Each subsequent loss chipped away at my belief that having two children was enough, and I became more certain that every healthy child was a gift and no accident.
So when I first found out about baby number four (which was right at the start of the Circuit Breaker period), I was initially too overwhelmed for the news to sink in as I was knee-deep in the reality of having three homebound kids. When it finally hit me a few days later, I felt a mixture of excitement and anxiety - but all that has since settled, along with the nausea and the other pains of the first trimester.
A richer family life with every child
What I especially like about having a bigger family is that each new addition adds a different dimension to our family life. Each older sibling has had to slowly learn to love and care for their younger siblings, find out for themselves the consequences of leaving their school work strewn carelessly around and realise that sometimes their needs have to come behind their siblings’ more immediate ones.
Everyone likes different things - my eldest loves trains and cars, my middle child is obsessed with planets and math, and my youngest is princess and sea creature mad. Consequently, everyone ends up learning about and exploring each other’s interests and the topics of conversation at home have become increasingly varied with even the youngest babbling on about her beloved seals to anyone who would listen.
Keeping things real when finances are limited
The family finances are something that we definitely have to give extra thought to. Our purse strings needed to be tighter, ever since I made the switch from a regular job to become a freelancer back when my eldest was born. From the start, we knew we would need to make tough decisions and some sacrifices.
Eating out on weekends has to be budgeted for, on top of weekly groceries, monthly school fees and enrichment fees. If we want to take a family holiday, we would need to plan and save months in advance.
Counting our blessings
All that being said, we have plenty to be grateful for. My husband is a teacher and he loves being one.
We have managed to employ good help who helps me care for the kids when I have to work. My parents help whenever they can, whether for a couple of hours on a weekend or if I need an urgent hand in picking my older children up from school.
The days may feel so long and exhausting with never-ending school runs but I see my older kids and it hits me in the gut that the years are indeed short. I’ve resolved to take each child as he or she comes... so bring on number four!
Kelly is a mom of three kids, aged seven, five and two, with baby number four due in December. When she’s not in her car driving a child to and from school, she’s either writing, reading or drinking coffee - always surrounded by the kids, of course.