MUM SAYS Baby Bonus is really useful

Working mum of two Long Li Yann says the government’s cash gift and co-savings scheme has been a great help.

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“I don’t know about you but the arrival of my first child was a huge shock to my system.

After a long struggle with infertility, after the many treatments and procedures, we were all ready for our baby boy to join us. Well, we were as ready as we could be ― after all, I don’t really think that anyone can say that they are well and truly prepared to be parents.

But then came the shock. There was resentment, sadness, stress, frustration. There were many, many moments when I burst into tears and sank to the floor of my baby’s room.

Part of it was the lack of sleep, for sure. Exclusively breastfeeding my child meant that I had to sleep in snatches of three hours ― my entire life was broken down into three-hourly chunks. Also, anxiety over being a first-time mother ― am I producing milk? Is he latching properly? Did he drink enough? Are there enough wet diapers? ― made me sleep poorly. Nap when baby naps? Hah ― he didn’t nap much!

Anxiety over being a first-time mother ― am I producing milk? Is he latching properly? Did he drink enough? Are there enough wet diapers? ― made me sleep poorly.

Then, there was the sudden realisation that this mewling, helpless, tiny being was entirely dependent on me for survival. What if I didn’t know what I was doing? If he wasn’t sleeping (my first-born hated sleep with a vengeance ― even as a newborn!), was his development ruined? Why was he crying? How can I make him stop?

In the days and the months of his life early on, it was just me and him alone in the house. I had no help, my mother was preoccupied with my nephew and we hadn’t had a helper yet. And so, I had to take on the roles of mother and wife and housekeeper all by myself.

That made me miserable. I was struggling to get used to caring for an infant and trying to get everything else done at the same time. Perhaps it was postpartum depression, I wouldn’t know. I had no idea, nobody ever told me that I would feel this way. I had assumed that once the baby was here, I would be glowing with maternal love and motherhood would come naturally to me.

It took me more than 10 weeks before I cleared away the cobwebs.

Keep clicking to find out how Li Yann resolved her childcare issues…