Raising Babies & Toddlers
Jessica Tan Gan: Two Under Two
With two toddlers (and another on the way), Jessica Tan Gan is taking each day as an opportunity to teach her young ones to live life free of fear.
Raising two young kids in a pandemic is no joke. Just ask Jessica Tan Gan. She’s gone through all the stages—the newborn stage all the way through toddlerhood. On top of that, she also started a new business, Morsels Healthy Snacks. All these she juggles by creating a balance between work, family life, home management, and self-care. Admittedly, Jessica is still a work in progress but hers is a journey that truly inspires.
No Compromises with Her Kids
Jessica makes no compromises when it comes to being present with her kids. As she engages in everyday activities like baking, reading books, painting, or drawing, she sees to it that each child gets her undivided attention. It wasn’t always this smooth-sailing in her home. Even before the lockdowns, Jessica Tan Gan had already been bound to her residence. She was sitting the month, following the Chinese tradition of staying in confinement post-birth or ge-lai. Jessica was also breastfeeding and adjusting to parenthood. She confides, “It took me about a year to manage. Just like most people, I was worried about our health, family, finances, and just surviving,” she says.
Life in Lockdown
By the time her children hit the toddler years, they were still on lockdown. And as a parent, it pained her to see them cooped up indoors during their formative years. “My daughter loves to paint and draw, and take her scooter out. My son loves his bikes and toy cars and is into make-believe. He’s always telling stories. Now that it’s raining, I take them out in their rain gear so they can jump in puddles and enjoy the rain!”
Jessica Tan Gan on the Importance of Social Interaction
She acknowledges the importance of space and social interaction, taking good precautions to give them some sense of normalcy. “We allow the kids to take daily walks and bike rides. We have great neighbor friends that come by for visits, too.” While staying locked up indoors is the general safety regulation, Jessica is keen on creating a balanced and normal life for her children. “It’s a risk, but I need life to be balanced for them. I don’t want them to live in constant fear.”
There are things from the pre-COVID life that Jessica Tan Gan admits to missing. Among them, the freedom to step out without worrying about safety. The idea of a pandemic-free world for her kids to grow up in brings her nostalgia. Her eldest was only three months old when the pandemic struck. “I would love to do simple things like go to the Sunday market or grocery with the kids and do normal everyday things with them. And start school! Take the kids to an amusement park! The list can go on.”
Tuning Inwards and Slowing Down
Jessica still heads out sometimes, but mostly for work. There is more time these days to tune inwards and find clarity. Jessica Tan Gan ends, “I remember life before the pandemic being extremely overwhelming—too much, too fast, and too fake. I feel the slow down was somewhat needed.”