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Relocating with Three Kids

I’ve casually mentioned our upcoming relocation a couple of times, but figured I should write a proper post to document the process, like how I freaked out the last time I heard we were moving to Australia for a few months, and how I calmed down considerably after getting more details about that move. This time round, we’ll be relocating with three kids instead of one, so logistics wise, it’s really very different!

Why are we relocating? C has taken on a new role in his company, and is currently based in Jakarta. He’s been shuttling between Jakarta and Singapore since the first quarter of this year, because my gynae didn’t approve of our original plan of me being in Jakarta for my second trimester. It’s been really tough on C, as he has had to fly there every Monday morning, and return on Thursday or Friday night, just so he can spend weekends with us.

What bugs me the most is that he doesn’t get to see the kids much, and each time he comes home, he remarks that the twins have changed quite a bit. N misses his Daddy very much on weekdays, and Monday mornings are always the toughest, because he wakes up and doesn’t see Daddy on the bed. Even though C tells him the night before that he will be going to Jakarta again, N will still ask me, “Where’s Daddy?” and gives me a sad face when I tell him that C has left for Jakarta already.

I am fully aware that it is going to be a HUGE challenge, moving to a different country with three kids in tow, especially when two of them are barely three months old, but it is simply impossible for me to handle all three kids on my own in Singapore. Thankfully, I’ve had help in the form of two different confinement ladies (the first one could only stay for two months), but it is VERY EXPENSIVE, and simply not feasible for more than three months. There was a gap of four days between the two confinement ladies, and I think I was pretty much a zombie during those days, even with the help of my mum.

How long will we be there? We aren’t sure yet, but most likely for a couple of years. If all goes well, N will most probably do at least a year of primary school in an international school in Jakarta. We haven’t found a school for him yet, and will only bring him for trial classes when we get to Jakarta.

When are we leaving? If everything goes well, we’ll be leaving in the first week of November, ie in about two weeks’ time. Surprisingly, I’m not really freaking out YET, perhaps because I’ve known for a long time that we will be moving. Honestly, Jakarta isn’t all that far away from Singapore, and we plan to fly back to Singapore regularly, so maybe that’s also part of the reason why I’m not going bonkers. I haven’t really started packing yet, apart from a suitcase of baby-related items which C just brought to Jakarta on Monday. I know that I can buy most things there, but I don’t want to spend our first two days there rushing around trying to find the right products for the babies. These should last us for a while, and allow me to have some time to find out where to buy what.

Half a suitcase filled with Pigeon products for the babies!


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We’ve split our packing into three batches: ‘things to send first, ie things we don’t really need now, but will definitely need once we arrive’, ‘things to bring along, ie things we need now and when we get there’, and ‘things to ship over, ie things we will need, but not urgently’. Since C has to fly there every week, we thought it might be a good idea for him to bring some items over first, so that we won’t have to lug that many things with us when we fly. It’s going to be tough enough traveling with three kids, even with my mum coming along on the flight, so we’re hoping that this will make things a bit easier. My challenge now is trying to figure out which books and toys go into which category, because N is super concerned about bringing ALL his books and toys along, and says we need to pack them all to bring along when we fly there.

Trying to decide which books to bring along


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The relocation specialist that C’s company works with came over to survey how much packing needs to be done, and we’ve set a date for them to come and pack for us. Yay! I still need to get things sorted out, so that they know what to pack that day, but at least I don’t have to be the one physically trying to fit everything into boxes. We’re mainly bringing clothes, books, and toys, so it shouldn’t take more than 3 or 4 hours for the packing to be completed I think.

The babies have gotten their passports, and N will be getting his new one really soon too. There are a couple of administrative tasks that need to be completed before we can leave, so hopefully, everything will go smoothly, and we can book our air tickets very soon.

C took photos for the babies’ passports


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Babies with their passports


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Passport photos


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N also got his photo taken for his new passport


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The babies still haven’t been vaccinated yet, but hopefully, that will be settled next week. I’ve gotten some meds for general ailments for C, and will be getting some for the babies from our PD. We will also be flying back regularly so that the babies can get vaccinated here in Singapore, as we both prefer to have our PD doing the injections, as well as monitoring their growth and development.

Stocked up on some meds for C


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N is preparing for his school’s year-end concert, and I plan to bring some mini fruit tarts from my fav Bee’s Cake on his last day of school, so that he can have a farewell of sorts with his friends. We won’t be able to stay till the official end of his school term, so I’m hoping that this will help him feel a bit better about leaving school earlier. He has asked me if he will go to a new school in Jakarta, and if he will have friends, which broke my heart a little because I know he will miss his friends a lot. I’m thankful that N is generally very sociable, so he should be able to make new friends quickly once he settles into his new school.

C is in the process of finalising the rental agreement of our new place, and I’m trying to find a helper and a nanny through the expat network. I managed to connect with a large group of Singaporean and Malaysian ladies who have relocated to Jakarta (there are about 100 of us in the Whatsapp group chat!) so hopefully, we’ll be able to find good and reliable help soon. Our apartment comes fully furnished, but we will still need to buy all the baby furniture as well as N’s mattress when we get there, otherwise we will end up having to share our bed with all three kids. Eeks.

Do keep us in prayer as we prepare for this big move. It’s not going to be easy, but we pray that God will continue to watch over us, and protect us as we relocate to a new country. I’ll still be blogging when we are in Jakarta, so do stick around to read about our adventures in Jakarta!

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