The Baby Bag Diary of Haeyoung Jung
Welcome to the Baby Bag Diaries. A series where we share real stories from real mums exploring the transformational journey into motherhood, shining a spotlight on their favourite products and the pieces of advice they wish they had before having a baby.
Gamer turned mum, Haeyoung chats to us about having her little one. She shares the importance of looking after yourself in this transition and reminds us to be kinder to ourselves. She also lets us know all the must have items she uses and why she’s a Ben & Ellie Baby customer.
Tell us about yourself? When did you become a mama, how many babies do you have?
I am 33 years old and a first time mum living in Newcastle. I had my daughter last October. I am on Mat leave until she turns 1 years old, so not long to go. I am looking after her full time while my husband works and we share the workload once he comes home. We are currently looking at day care centres.
Who were you before you became a mum?
I am a registered nurse who used to just work, work, work and on my days off I am busy recovering from the work mentally and physically. I mainly catch up on sleep as I am not a morning person. On my days off my husband and I used to play an online game called League of Legends, which we used to play before we met each other. My husband loves fishing and used to own a boat, so we used to be in the lake or at the break wall for fishing.
Are you still that person? How has motherhood inspired or changed you? Any light bulb moments?
I am now forced to become a morning person, thanks to my daughter! I tend to get housework done while my little one is asleep so that my husband can spend more time with her when he comes home rather than focusing on the chores. Of course, we still do house work together once our daughter goes to bed. We rarely play games together, instead we watch pro-gamers play. I lost my interest in gaming now but my husband is still very much into gaming. We are waiting for our baby to grow a bit older to take her fishing.
Tell us what you thought motherhood would be like before you became a mother?
I thought motherhood meant being very focused on giving and sacrificing for the family, as that is what I saw from my mum. However, once I became a mum, I saw that was not all of it. I figured out it is important for a mum to be happy, so that little one is influenced by that as well. I try to look out for myself physically and emotionally so that I can spend better quality time with my little one.
What’s in your baby bag right now?
Designated baby bag or your handbag with baby things packed in it. What’s your style?
Let’s talk looking effortlessly chic even after having a baby. We know this is an area that many women including ourselves find challenging, dressing our new postpartum bodies and reconciling our personal style with motherhood. Do you have any advice for new mums?
I still continued to wear maternity pants after giving birth, mainly because I could not fit into my jeans. My weight loss has been very depressing but I just focus on producing milk for my daughter, so I try not to mind about the numbers. I just wear something comfy and practical. I just embraced myself, that I am a mother with a young child that depends on me. Once she is able to walk around, I will continue to wear something comfortable.
Baby shower, gender reveal or baby blessing? Did you have either one of these? Tell us about it!
We skipped having a baby shower because of COVID. From my work, we had a zoom opening presents by my colleagues, so that we knew what else we needed to buy. We also kept things pretty COVID safe and only one or two people were introduced to our daughter. Once she became 100 days old, we had a party, as Koreans celebrate 100 days as one of the big milestones. We had the party at our place with our families and friends.
We’re always on the lookout for interesting baby shower gift ideas. What were some of the best baby gifts you received?
We got a car seat from my husband’s grandparents. It is a Britax Safe’N’Sound, I like that the most because it relieved our financial burden. It is also bamboo fabric to keep my little one cool during summer time.
What is your go-to baby gift that you give to others?
Dreambaby Strollerbuddy Ezy-Fit Clip-On Fan which I enjoy when I go for a walk.
What baby products could you not live without?
I’d say Sudocrem for my precious baby’s bottom. She previously had a really bad rash that looked like raw meat at one point! Now I religiously put it on her bottom.
Also, I use Haenim UV steriliser all the time with all her items, including cups and utensils.
Sometimes as mums we come across the trifecta of baby products – items that are gorgeous, functional and make your life easier! What are some of your “best kept secret” baby products you’ve discovered?
One of them is a teething rusk holder. I cannot remember the brand of mine but it is designed to keep rusk clean and less messy while little one is eating.
B box connect a cup is one other thing that I like as it has a safety feature where it snaps if it is pulled hard. My daughter loves chewing on it and I connect this one to the car/ car seat so that she is entertained and getting relief from teething as well. If I am going on a long drive, I put a B Box sippy cup in so that she can help herself when she is thirsty.
Lastly I would like to say Cubo AI, which I convinced a friend to buy and she bought two of them! It is expensive, but I love the functions like built in white noise, looks adorable, and it detects movements and analyses baby’s sleep.
What advice would you give to a first-time mum shopping for all the baby stuff? How do you wade through all the noise and know what you truly need? (eg just buy everything, have a baby shower, make a list, ask your mum etc)
I think it is best to get suggestions from other mother’s groups, as people have different preferences. I tend to buy multiple, similar products to see what works the best and buy multiple of them to use in different areas. Which can end up as a waste sometimes.
Hospital bag saviours – was there something that you wish you didn’t pack but wish you had?
Nope I don’t think so, I was pretty prepared and did not end up using most of the things that were recommended to bring!
If you could go back to a pregnant you and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t eat too much after morning sickness has passed.
What kind of mum are you now – can you describe your parenting style in three words?
I think this is the hardest question of all, but this is what I do all the time now so… Searching on Google!
What is the best lesson motherhood has taught you?
Time flies and children grow so quickly, even if you think you have not done much. So I think we need to spend quality time with them and watch them grow beautifully.
Any final advice or words of wisdom for pregnant or new mums reading this?
I was scared in general and had PTSD before I was pregnant. With COVID and not much family support, I managed pretty well with the support of professional help. I think it is very important to look after yourself and get the partner to be involved as much as they can in raising the little one. This allows you to manage your emotions and gets your partner to bond with the baby and feel loved and cared.