When Three Become Four
Jen Ong is a Sydney blogger and mother to three girls, Maddison, 4, Mikayla, 3, and one-year-old Mabel. She is expecting another baby in July and is busy sizing up the family dynamics of four kids under five.
UPDATE: Jen gave birth to a little boy, Micah, in June.
You have three adorable little girls. How will life change when the new baby arrives?
To be honest, even though it was a planned pregnancy, when it actually happened (after trying for a while), I felt so happy but also overwhelmed at the same time. Raising the girls plus a fourth bub isn't going to be any more or less crazy, but I think financially it's going to be really tough. We've already had to upgrade to a people-mover and I think I will have to cut down on my social outings!
What was the reaction when you announced your pregnancy?
This is a hard one... I may be an over-thinker, but I sometimes felt judged and confused by how people reacted. Most people thought I was crazy. I think we made the decision because we're lucky to have three pretty tame girls. If they were more rebellious or crazy then we wouldn’t be having this conversation! I am an only child, so I have always wanted a big family (five kids to be honest), and I’d rather do it now while we’re still relatively young, and then focus on myself later.
How has this pregnancy been for you and what has been your approach to health and fitness?
I had never gymed or exercised properly until a month before I fell pregnant last year. I actually joined (gym chain) F45 and for that whole month, my body and lifestyle changed so much for the better. I know I am not the healthiest eater, but I try my best to exercise and walk it off as much as possible. It's great that my husband and the girls all join in the fun.
Having been through pregnancy and the newborn stage a few times now, is there anything you will do differently this time around?
I am pretty sure most mums with more than one kid can relate here; but taking care of your second and third is just so different to your first. With your firstborn, you tend to protect them on a whole different level. You are a first-time mum and your baby is your whole world and priority. But, by the time you have your second or third, your attention and focus is divided. Eventually, I’ve just learnt not to let other people's judgement or parenting style affect what you do. Everyone is going to have an opinion and you should never aim to please everyone because that’s just impossible. Just be you, the best person and mother you can be!
What advice would you share with first-time mums?
Don’t let social media, google, the internet and what people say become your decision makers as a parent. Use them as a resource but, at the end of the day, YOU will know what's right and wrong for YOUR child. What do they call it... maternal instinct? It's going to be tough the first couple of months, no lies here, but don't ever feel that you are inadequate or not a good mother when you are struggling or having a difficult time. We have all been there and you are doing an amazing job! Don't be scared to reach out for help from friends or family and, if they’re not immediately available, it’s important to know that there are so many amazing support networks out there as well.
What is your best baby-gadget discovery?
I can't think of an actual 'gadget' but the first thing that came to mind was an app called "Wonder Weeks". Seriously, if you haven't heard of it, get onto it! I believe in this app so much, it's been so accurate with all my girls.
What is your favourite item from the Bloomberri maternity activewear range?
I am in love with the Milk and Love Tank (pictured above). The tank is so comfortable, lightweight and stretchy. Another bonus is the lift-up front panel for feeding bubs, which means you can wear this top after pregnancy too.
You can follow Jen's pregnancy at @our.photo.diary