Real Lessons I’ve Learnt about the First Year of Motherhood

May 6, 2019

When I scroll through the photo album on my mobile phone, sometimes I can hardly believe my eyes. Was my baby ever so tiny? Was she really so small and helpless? How could she ever have fit into those newborn diapers?

It feels like the last year has gone by in the blink of an eye. Already, my little one is pulling herself up and cruising around the house. She laughs and babbles back at us when we chat with her.

From being a baby burrito who lay there and mostly slept all day, we can see that she is developing a real little personality. Her teachers in infant care say they will miss her when she moves up to childcare – and I can see why!

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Looking back at when my baby started infant care in Singapore

I remember the first day I handed my daughter over to the infant care teachers. Like most mothers, I was hazy with lack of sleep and full of mama hormones. I constantly second-guessed my decision to enrol my baby in infant care and I felt guilty about the whole idea.

However, in the long run, I wanted to go back to work full-time. Being a stay-at-home mum was out of the question for me and I knew that I could be a good role model for my daughter by following my dream career-wise. Financially, too, it made more sense for our family, and we felt that infant care would be the best option to give our baby the best daily care and stimulation.

With that decision firmly made, it was time to look for the ideal infant care centre for our baby.

Choosing the best infant care centre in Singapore

My husband and I did more research on infant care centres than we have ever done in our lives. We gathered first-hand feedback from friends and family, visited various places, and asked a million questions. Finally, when we found the perfect place that met all our stringent requirements, we had complete peace of mind and confidence that we had chosen the right infant care and the right people to partner us in taking care of our precious bundle.

If I had had any doubts, they were erased the first day the teacher held out her arms for my baby. I could see that they were prepared to watch over her as if she were their own child. This made it so much easier for me to trust them with my child.

I am so thankful for these teachers who have been such a vital part in helping to raise my baby. Because we started our daughter at infant care right before my maternity leave ended, we have never had any problems with separation anxiety. In fact, our baby is usually quite happy to be dropped off with her favourite teachers!

The best moment for me every day is when I am greeted with a gummy smile and calls of “Mama!” when I pick baby up in the evening after work.

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Making plans for baby’s promotion to a childcare centre in Singapore

I did not think it would be possible, but choosing a childcare centre might have been even more difficult than selecting an infant care centre! The wide range of choices was mindboggling.

We wanted a place which balanced play with academic instruction and which catered closely to the needs of growing toddlers. We shortlisted our favourites and scheduled visits and open houses. This time, we brought our baby along whenever we could, so that we could include her in the selection process. It was exhausting but as before, we wanted to be absolutely sure about our choice.

In the end, based on our prior experience, we went with our gut feel and finally picked a childcare centre which aligned with everything we were looking for.

Looking forward to starting childcare

This move is a bittersweet one. Although this is a big milestone and an inevitable part of baby’s development and growth, I feel a little sad thinking about how my baby will have to say goodbye to the teachers who have cared for her so deeply and well over the past year.

Still, I know that she will be able to build new bonds with her new teachers, and that she will grow in leaps and bounds in her new school. We are so very excited to see what new things she will learn each day.

And as always, I am sure that the best part of each day for me will be the same – to be greeted at the door of her childcare centre with a giant smile and the word which is music to my ears – “Mama!”

Written by JoBeth Williams


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