These mums are fostering bonds, growing their families amid Covid-19
Kids a blessing, even in trying times
Some parents might think having more kids to handle during the Covid-19 pandemic would be a nightmare.
But mothers like Ms Iva Aminuddin and Ms Kelly Ang chose instead to take the opportunity to foster stronger family bonds in these difficult times.
Ms Iva, 41, deputy director of the Institute of Public Sector Leadership, has four children - two sets of twin boys aged nine and three - with her husband, a stay-home dad.
During the circuit breaker, the family of six were stuck in their four-room Housing Board flat, a far from ideal or conducive work environment. They had to deal with the challenges of disruptions to their daily routines and sleep schedules.
Ms Iva said her younger twins even threw tantrums that resulted in the police checking on the family three times, when their neighbour reported the non-stop crying.
She eventually stumbled upon Families For Life (FFL), a community of like-minded parents who share advice and resources and provide support for one another.
Through this, she found crafts and activities to help occupy the kids and bond as a family.
She told The New Paper: "The learning curve is shorter because you know that someone else has tried it and it was helpful. I really encourage parents (to look to FFL) when they are in a bind."
She draws strength from her brood to keep going, and can see the upside of having more kids now that they have come through the most trying period.
"Having had two children at once - twice - it's almost like my heart expanded doubly at the same time," she said. "It's amazing how much you can grow as a person. I now know that humans have a huge capacity for loving and caring for others."
She still toys with the idea of having a fifth child as she wonders "what it would be like to have a girl".
Meanwhile, Ms Kelly Ang, who has three children aged seven, five and two, is expecting her fourth child next month.
The 33-year-old freelance writer, whose husband is a teacher, was naturally anxious about being pregnant during the pandemic.
But she was relieved that the circuit breaker came around during her first trimester, as it meant she didn't have to spend hours on the road driving her husband and kids to and from schools and could instead stay home to rest and spend quality time with them.
Ms Ang said she never planned to have more than two children, but as she had suffered miscarriages in the past, she realises every healthy foetus is a gift.
A big takeaway from the pandemic is that they make her feel fully present when she is with them, as she used to throw herself into her work.
But now, she is convinced she does not want to commit her younger ones to full-time childcare and wants to spend more time with them.
She said: "Every day may feel like an eternity, but when you look back on the years, you realise they are actually very short."