While I still can

Posted by ~Summer~ on March 26, 2019
in ,

I'll say it. I love to carry my kids. I love to hug them, kiss them and hold their hands. I love to keep them close to me in every way I can.

Now that my youngest has turned three and is growing up fast, I get comments from others when they see me carrying him. "So big already, still want Mama to carry ah?", "Ah boy, come down and walk yourself.", "Shame shame, so big still behave like a baby", "You cannot spoil your child. Let him stand up and walk." and the list goes on. Yup, we get plenty of unsolicited advice when we go out on the streets and that's how it has been since my first child.

I usually return with a smile though, because I know they are all concerned for us and doing it out of good will. Friends, family, strangers - they comment because they care and because they genuinely mean good for us. That's what I believe in.

We used the baby carrier a lot for each of the three kids, especially when we went on holidays, when we went to places which were not pram-friendly, when the baby needed to have a good nap but we were out, and when I just wanted to be hands-free so that I could multi-task - that's what all mums do - with a baby on my chest. I don't use our carrier - a Tula toddler carrier - so much nowadays but I vividly remember I still did it often when the boy was past two. Even though he weighed only 10kg then - less than half of the maximum weight of 22kg - there would be people who would ask how old he was and why he was still being carried around. Well, I have two other kids to handle and you have no idea how having one snug in the carrier did wonders for me.

Maybe you just saw the tired side of him. Or of me. He needed a nap, and I needed a break from the crying.

Maybe he is just easily scared - of loud noises, new activities, crowds or commotion. I chose to pick him up to comfort him instead of blatantly forcing him to face his fears.

Maybe you don't know us and have no idea how he is a free-spirited boy and loves to run around, jump all over the place and play so much till it depletes his energy.

Maybe you are not me and you don't know how I feel as I witness my children's milestones passing by faster than I can stop to truly cherish them.

Yup, I think it's the last one that really makes me hold onto these kids tighter. Once gone, never return. You know what I mean?

Being a mum of three has taught me many things.

For one, I know now that carrying my child doesn't spoil her. On the contrary, it makes her feel happy, thankful and most importantly, loved.

I also know fully well this won't last too long before I run out of strength to throw him up into the air, play a game of Super Baby or let him fly around like an aeroplane. Even carrying him around for more than five minutes would be a feat.

I see my two elder ones and realise that even though we still hug and kiss every day, it's no longer the same as before. It reluctantly but almost inevitably gets less as time passes. Also, carrying them is not really an option now so our cuddles have to be mostly done in bed or on the sofa.

Friends have told us that their kids stopped wanting to hug them, give them goodbye kisses or even hold their hands in public when they go out. Yup, they get self-conscious in front of peers and start to shy away from mushy stuff, which is just a part of growing up that you and I can understand too. But, as a mum now, the difference is I hear these stories with a tinge of sadness and wonder when my time will come.

All I can do now is cherish, isn't it?


Dear Asher, 

I always call you my little 'koala' because you stick to me so much and won't let me out of your sight. You insist that Mama carries you, you tell me that I need to wait outside of school for you and not step away, and you follow me wherever I go. Yup, I do mean everywhere.

You are an affectionate boy who showers me with love in the sweetest way. You use your hands to cup my face every now and then, looking into my eyes so tenderly, and then plant the sweetest kisses with the sweetest words "I love you, Mama". You push away Papa when he gets close to me because you say that I am yours. Whenever we go out, you will reach out your hands when you are tired and say "妈妈,抱!" (Mama, carry). And you know, I don't really care about what others say, I do it because it makes you, and me, happy.

One day, you might not need or want me as much as you do now. One day, your heart might not belong to me only but to another girl. One day, you will be busy running away from me, not to me. One day, you might just stop wanting to have all these tender moments with Mama because you will be a big boy - and maybe not Mama's boy - already. 

That's when I hope that you will remember how we used to be so close, how Mama held you close to me every day, how we were always there for each other, how you were mine and I was yours, how we would do nothing but snuggled and yet felt like the happiest people in the world, how we shared a bond so deep and so strong that no one could ever tear us apart.

You might be three now but before I know it, you will be 13 and then 30. We have to make each day count because life is just too precious to be wasted, you know that? I love the newborn, baby you but I also love the toddler and now pre-schooler you. Seeing how you've grown through the years makes me lament the passing of time but also makes me look forward to seeing how you will develop further and become a fine young chap. 

For now, I will treasure every time I get to hold you near, carry you and whisper the words "I love you, baby" into your ear.

While I still can.



  1. Name: Lim Sock Hoon, Kelly
    Email: lsh.kelly@gmail.com
    IG: enzolui1706

    Thank you !

  2. Joanne Tan Ting YuanApril 5, 2019 at 6:12 AM

    Every mum will be a happy mum when they see their kids all healthy and happy!

    IG: @cherraexoxo
    Name: Joanne Tan


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