Celeb mum Yvonne Chan: My brutal schedule works for me!

The Channel NewsAsia presenter talks about looking after two toddlers and starting work at 4am daily!

Every weekday morning at 4am, Yvonne Chan, 35, pops into the Mediacorp newsroom to  get prepped so that she can bring breaking, as well as the latest lifestyle and business news, to Singapore.

Indeed, since Chan co-hosts Channel NewsAsia’s breakfast programme, First Look Asia, non-morning people will find her bubbly personality a great perk-me-up.

The multi-talented lass, who can tuck professional jazz singer under her belt, met her husband, Winston Cheng, 37, a manager with Keppel OffShore Technology Development, during one of her singing gigs.

The Chengs, who tied the knot in 2014, now have two kids, Elspeth, 2, and Ethan, 3. Chan enthuses that she loves “going on adventures with and exploring new places and doing new things” with her son.

“I think I have a knack for coming up with interesting games to play when we are stuck in traffic, or in a waiting area, so they don’t get too cranky in cramped spaces,” she chuckles.

She’s happy to let her hubby be the disciplinarian though ― “I’m probably a little too soft!” she says.


Cheng, she says, is a hands-on father, who supports her super-early working hours. Even after a long day at work, he’ll come home with big smiles, bathe Ethan, take the kids out for an evening walk or play with them, so that she can get ready for bed. “I couldn’t do what I do without him,” she smiles.

SmartParents cosied up with the chirpy TV personality to find out just how she balances mum- and work-life.

Hi Yvonne, how’s life been for you as a mother of two?
I’m loving it! It’s tiring but everything is twice the fun, twice the love. I certainly feel like I’ve grown into my role as a mother ― I’m definitely a lot more relaxed when parenting two kids. I’m still learning along the way though, how to juggle it all, working, mothering and being a good wife and daughter.

Tell us about your two little ones!
There’s Ethan, who turned 3 in April, and Elspeth ― we call her Ellie for short ― who celebrated her second birthday in July! Ethan’s got a really cheeky sense of humour ― his resemblance to my personality is startlingly uncanny. He loves to sing, he loves being the centre of attention, he loves to talk, he loves to eat…. When my friends meet him, the first thing they say is “Omg, Ethan is a mini-you!”. Ethan is also at the stage where he is testing boundaries and he is quite stubborn, so my husband and I have been setting up naughty corners and talking him through his actions.

I’m still learning along the way though, how to juggle it all, working, mothering and being a good wife and daughter.

What about Ellie?
Ellie has a very sweet disposition, as girls do. She’s super affectionate, she’s got a good pair of lungs (she is so loud when she sings) and I’m still discovering bits of her personality every day. She is also an adventurous eater ― she will try anything, even an Ayurvedic cough syrup! She’s got fire in her, too. If Ethan snatches a toy from her, she retaliates immediately ― by lunging at him and trying to bite him. I shouldn’t be laughing, but when I see her defending herself, I’m like, “You go, girl!”

Do you feel like you need to split your attention? How do you deal with that?
The kids do fight for my attention a lot, and I try to carve out individual time with each of them. I also have to make sure I make time for my number one supporter, my husband, as well as pencil out alone time for myself to recharge and refuel. #mamatimeout is so important! 

Was your second pregnancy as easy as your first?
Yes! My pregnancy with Ellie was a breeze, as was my pregnancy with Ethan. I was moving a lot more when pregnant with Ellie, as I spent a lot of time running after Ethan and taking him on excursions. I was also working full time. Delivery wise, I opted for a C-section, and it was a breeze. I had the same gynaecologist from my first pregnancy and the pain management was well under control. I was on my feet the next day after my delivery. And meeting my girl for the very first time was like falling in love all over again. I was on an emotional high ― that moment when I saw Ethan hug Ellie after laying eyes on her for the first time, would forever be etched into my memory.