Single mum raises three children from three fathers, says they are her 'biggest blessings', Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Single mum raises three children from three fathers, says they are her 'biggest blessings'

When 18-year-old Joyce was pregnant with her first child, she was riddled with uncertainty and questions. 

How could I afford milk powder and school fees? How could I party like normal 18-year-olds do? What would people think? 

A polytechnic student at the time, Joyce realised she was still a child herself.

Today, at age 30, she is a single mother of three children – all from different fathers. But as hard as being a single parent has been, Joyce says her kids have taught her to have confidence, and to strive to constantly improve herself. 

She no longer cares what others may think. There’s no time for that. She's too busy being a “superwoman” to her three little humans. 

Speaking to, Joyce recalled the first time she heard her eldest son Caden’s heartbeat through an ultrasound. 

She said: “I knew (then) abortion was not an option. Not even when I texted my ex-boyfriend (Caden’s father) to say “hey I’m pregnant” and he replied: ’My mum asks you (to) abort’.

“As a first-time teen mum, I was clueless how to calm (the baby). I had no husband for support, so my mum (helped take care of the child).

“I had constant dilemmas. I thought: If I go to work now, will I have enough time for my kids? If I have enough time, will I have enough money? If I go out now, will I be able to send them to school on time tomorrow?

"During gatherings with friends, I also felt like a burden when I had to ask, ‘Are you guys okay to come over instead?’”

Single teen mums are often made to believe they’re ‘unwanted’ by men, said Joyce. So when she met her first ex-husband a few years after Caden’s birth, she was easily “swayed by his sweet tongue”.

He soon turned physically abusive and dabbled in illegal matters. In a desperate attempt to salvage the marriage, Joyce had her second child – Caius – with him.

“I was so blinded by love that I thought a child could ‘save’ him. But months later, I called it quits when he tried to take money from the baby’s hong bao to pay off his debt, and used weapons to threaten us.”

Years later, she met her current husband and had her third child Alessa. 

“(My current husband) is a simple man; he’s more mature, he jokes, he loves me. I told myself every marriage is different and I can’t pit one relationship against another.”

Her eldest son Caden, who is now 10, didn’t meet his father until years later. 

“I felt uncomfortable to have him ‘claim’ Caden, so he was respectful enough to address himself as an ‘uncle’s friend,’” said Joyce. 

“When it’s time for me to explain to my kids about their fathers, I hope we’ll be ready. When my kids grow up, I want them to know there were some mistakes we adults made in our relationships, but they are not the product of these mistakes. In fact, they are my biggest blessings.”

Through the years, Joyce has realised that, in motherhood, you can’t please everyone.

“Whether it is to breastfeed or send your kid to a nursery, there are naysayers who would criticise your decisions. So you have to learn to trust your instincts… instead of listening to every piece of advice.

“I used to be afraid of what others might think, but being a mother has helped me grow physically, morally, and emotionally.

“These little human beings taught me to love myself; to have confidence; to want to improve myself. No matter how disastrous my day is, my heart melts every time my kids go ‘mummyyy’.

“If someone asks me if these are my three kids, I’ll hold my head up high and proudly say they’re mine.”

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