As she prepares for #2’s arrival, Jassmin Peter-Berntzen pours her heart out to her first child in a candid letter.

Dearest Andreas,

It seems like it was only yesterday that the nurse handed you to me after what felt like a never-ending labour.

I remember gazing down at your cherubic face, marvelling at how perfect you looked and wondering what motherhood would have in store for me.

This same thought crossed my mind a few weeks back when I watched you blow out the candles on your sixth birthday cake as I felt your little sister’s sporadic kicks inside my tummy.

Needless to say, papa and I are more prepared this time round for your sibling, compared to the clueless parents who welcomed you whole-heartedly into our lives when you first arrived.

“Motherhood has been quite a ride… It has a steep learning curve and while I’m sure I’ve disappointed you along the way…you, my boy, have always been my biggest cheerleader.”

That’s not to say we haven’t enjoyed raising you. Our time together, just us three, has been nothing short of amazing. Soon, life as we know it will change drastically as we become a family of four. But before this happens, I’d like to share a few things with you…

Thank you for teaching me how to be a mum

Motherhood has been quite a ride sometimes, the experience is less than perfect, but it’s always gratifying. It has a steep learning curve and while I’m sure I’ve disappointed you along the way as I learnt the ropes, you, my boy, have always been my biggest cheerleader.

You taught me that I didn’t have to be perfect or have everything figured out, you are content just to have an accessible and happy mum. When I tell you I have to cut short playtime to organise a meal, your reply is “Let’s order pizza, so we can play more, mummy”.

Because you obviously know what your priorities are, it’s made me re-evaluate mine as well. You’ve taught me to make time for each other while we have the chance. I will remember to do more of this for both baby and you.

So, thank you for changing my life and teaching me to be present and stay in the moment. Oh, and yes, I will also remember to dance like no one is watching.


No one can replace our bond

Being a stay-at-home mum during your early years has done wonders to cement our relationship. While papa went to work, you and I found so many ways to keep ourselves busy. Remember the long walks we took to feed the ducks when we lived in Europe? And the fun toddler classes we attended when we moved back to Singapore?

We’ve taken 18-hour plane rides together, we’ve sat on the floor hugging for hours because one of us was having a bad day. We have always been each other’s constant. Even as you went to on preschool and enjoyed having your own social life, you have always updated papa and I on your playground politics and classroom antics.

Even now, you look forward to dinner time because after that, the three of us will sit together to play your favourite card game. Having to share your parents after enjoying our undivided attention for so many years is going to be a big shock to you, but I hope you’ll realise that the bond we share is unbreakable.

“I’m so proud of the attentive, thoughtful, and kind-hearted little man you’ve become. My greatest wish is for you to nurture these qualities because they will come in handy when your sister is here.”

In fact, your role in the family will become even more important once the baby arrives, which brings me to my next point…

You are going to be a great big brother

I can say this with conviction since I’ve been the lucky recipient of your warmth and support countless times. I’ve watched you grow from a helpless babe to a helpful preschooler who is always ready to lend a hand. While I was struggling with morning sickness during those first six months, you made it a point to ask me how I was feeling every day and bring me water whenever I needed some.

Now that the pregnancy aches and pains have kicked in, you never say no to my request for a quick massage and even offer to help me carry heavy bags from the car to our apartment. And on days when I’m feeling run-down, you give me space to rest by keeping yourself busy.

I’m so proud of the attentive, thoughtful, and kind-hearted little man you’ve become. My greatest wish is for you to nurture these qualities because they will come in handy when your sister is here, and in the future when you become a husband and father.

There will be tough times after the baby arrives

We’ve had long conversations about this recently, but let me do a quick recap. As papa and I try to find a rhythm for our new normal after your sibling arrives, you might feel displaced. Because babies demand plenty of attention, we may not be as responsive to you as we always have, but I hope you realise our love for you has not waned.

Once things are more settled, we promise to carve out one-on-one time with you. If you feel that we expect more from you, to help around the house or to be more independent, it’s only because we think you are ready for it.

However, if, at any point, you feel that you aren’t up for it, don’t be afraid to talk to us about it. Together, we will figure something out!

I hope this is beginning of a fruitful relationship with your sibling ― one that stays strong even after papa and I are no longer around.

Buckle up because it’s going to be quite a ride, but I know if anyone can do it, it’s you!

With much love,


Jassmin Peter-Berntzen, 39, a digital content editor, is 8 months pregnant and mum to Andreas Dhiraj, 6.

Photos: Jassmin Peter-Berntzen and Palita Photographer

Like us on Facebook and check SmartParents regularly for the latest reads!

In case you missed these stories…

10 surprising things about your second pregnancy

6 things your firstborn wants you to know before the new baby arrives

6 great ways to encourage and empower your kids