Did your mother clue you in to any of these smart-parent hacks?

Things I wish mum told me before I had kids

Mothers know best…don’t they?


Many of us have a love-hate relationship with our own mums. Not only do they seem to nag at us all the time, we disagree on discipline tactics, and we sometimes feel that we know better than them.

But deep down inside, we know that there’s nothing like mum’s homecooked food, we appreciate all their hard work, and we love them more than anything in the world.

And there’s no denying that they’ve got a wealth of experience, especially when it comes to parenting.

So, now that we’ve gone and had our own children, what are some things you wish your mum had told you (or advice you wish you had listened to) before you became a mum?

Some Singapore mums gave it some thought.  

1. Save money

“Those days where we could easily blow $100 a night clubbing? They are so over. Now we think about it, $100 can buy one and a half tins of milk powder!”
Serena Tan, mum to Jesslyn, 1, and Ryan, 7.

2. Think before you travel 
“I love travelling and I used to save my salary for one big vacation with my husband every year. With two kids, a trip that would cost $2,000 per adult now costs almost $10,000 for the whole family. So, fewer vacations for us now, for sure!”
Zheng Shu Ting, mum to Xavier, 2, and Clarence, 5. 

“After Gabriel arrived, I now wonder why I didn’t treasure all my free time!”

3. Kids make marriage tougher
I wish my mum told me to treasure the time we had as a couple! I love my kids a lot, but I won’t lie and say they brought me and my husband closer. We even have to sleep in separate rooms now because Daddy sleeps with the jie jie, while I bunk in with the baby who wakes up four or five times a night!”
Lynn Tay, mum to Nicholas, 3 months, and Chevelle, 5.

4. Manage your time wisely, so that you’ll have free time
"Mum used to nag at us to do our homework, divide our day using a timetable and sort out all our schedules…but her nagging usually fell on deaf years. After Gabriel arrived, I now wonder why I didn’t treasure all my free time!”
Valerie Ng, mum to Gabriel, 4.     

5. Don’t take a clean house for granted
“I assumed it was easy to housekeep because my parents’ home was always spotless. Now that I’m a stay-at-home mum with two kids, I realise how much work my mum put in to make sure the house was clean! And she had four kids!” 
Michelle Teo, mum to Yva, 1, and Joy, 5.

Things I wish mum told me before I had kids

6.Take the time to enjoy your food
“Actually, this is something my mum told me all the time but I wish I listened. I was always working through my meals, or eating in a rush, so I could do something else. Now I wish I can take my time and eat in peace!”
Arya Dharmawan, mum to Joseph, 1.

7. Kids are a lot of work and can be bratty
“They want the worst possible things at the worst possible times, and sometimes, you just have to give in to them, or World War 3 erupts.”
Evelyn Chua, mum to Evette, 2, and Hansen, 4.

8. How demanding they are
"The minute Jon wakes up, he wants milk, then it’s a diaper change, breakfast, then he wants his favourite toy, the favourite book, the TV show… the list goes on and on and on…”
Alina Heng, mum to Jonathan, 2.

“I wish I had learnt some basic cooking skills, as it would make life so much easier now.”

9.Cooking is an important life skill
“My mum never cooked because she was a career woman, and I’m horrible in the kitchen, too. The only thing I’m confident of cooking now is porridge because you just throw everything in. I wish I had learnt some basic cooking skills, as it would make life so much easier now, rather than having to eat out most of the time!”
Ong Zhen Si, mum to Diana, 3, and Daryl, 5.

10.You’ll have to learn to roll with the punches
“Every day I find something that stresses me out, or something that I never heard about in a parenting book. I wish my mum told me that this is completely natural. I don’t think I will ever be ready!”
Nadhya Murugayah, mum to Nash, 6 months.

11.Trust your instincts
“I think that mum’s instincts are really powerful. When my 4-month-old had HFMD, everyone said it was impossible because he doesn’t go to childcare and hardly ever goes out. Thankfully, I rushed him to the doctor ― he was indeed diagnosed with HFMD!” Goh Suet Lin, mum to William, 1.

12.It’s really okay to make mistakes
“My mum was pretty strict with me when I was growing up, so I learnt to be very hard on myself. So, when parenting didn’t turn out to be as easy as I hoped, I went through a bout of prenatal depression.”
Sara Gomes, mum to Lawrence, 1.

Photos: iStock

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