Conceiving twins in her first pregnancy meant double the joy but also double the responsibilities for Ms Gerianne Tan and her husband.
But it was not an easy journey. Looking back on the first year of being a mum, she thinks that it was one of the toughest phases of her life that she has been through.
“Being a first-time mother to twins was not easy. It was an emotional first year as I was quick to doubt and blame myself for not being able to provide enough for either child,” says Gerianne who had her twins when she was 29.
Her innate maternal instinct to constantly be by her children’s side to provide the best for them was taking a toll on her both mentally and physically.
“Whether it was showering attention, dividing my time or breastfeeding, it was tough juggling both babies at the same time,” says the 31-year old.
As a full-time working professional, it was not easy for her to continue breastfeeding after she returned to the office.
“Even though my company supported work-life balance, my working hours were often not fixed due to my work,” she adds.
At home, her husband is the rock of support for Gerianne and a loving and active father to their children. An ever-present source of support, his constant care and love helped her persevere through the difficult early months, she says.
They also share their parenting responsibilities— both help to discipline, care for and attend to the children’s daily needs.
“My husband is always the last to bed because he will always ensure that the children have had their last feed for the day and clean diapers to last them through the night,” she adds.
Aside from financial sacrifices that naturally occur as a result of providing for her twins, putting the interests of her children ahead of her own is another of the sacrifices she has had to make thus far.
For example, travelling anywhere these days means making a thorough check to see if the place is “toddler-friendly”. From the journey there, to the accommodation and the food available, any destination that doesn’t meet the “toddler-friendly” pre-requisites gets crossed out.
There is also having to deal with angry and crying toddlers, an exercise which stretches her patience thin.
But as soon as it is over, and the twins start smiling again, the frustration quickly dissipates. And when both twins laugh and squeal with happiness, the joy is also doubled, Gerianne says with a smile.
In fact, after a long day at work, one of the things that she looks forward to is seeing her twins lovingly say goodnight to each other in a tight embrace.
“When both siblings hug each other and say ‘Goodnight, I love you gor gor’ and ‘Goodnight, I love you mei mei’, it makes everything much more worth it.”