She started coming to Trehaus with her second child, Emma Grace, at the beginning of 2016 when Emma was barely 8 months old. Emma was then an infant who was unsettled and clingy, and wanted a lot of attention. Fast forward to 2017, and we see a very different child in Emma today.
Confident, sociable and settled – that’s how one would describe a very vivacious and active Emma today.
2016 has been a good year for Emma. 2016 has been a fulfilling year for her mom, Bibiana Neo, too. Bibiana has been at Trehaus since it began operations in February 2016 and has witnessed Emma’s every milestone while working in Trehaus. From crawling to walking, from weaning to being able to self-feed, from babbling to now speaking words and calling her “Mama” – Bibiana has not missed out on any of these precious moments in her parenting journey.
“My parenting journey moments were extremely precious. I’ll remember dearly those moments of watching Emma grow up,” says Bibiana. “In my previous work place, I used to bring Emma to work but it was extremely stressful because I was the only caregiver. My colleagues would have to help me take care of her if I needed to use the bathroom or have my lunch.”
“Trehaus is a perfect solution for me. I got to know about Trehaus through CRIB‘s Intagram page in November 2015, and when I saw that such a place was going to be a reality for me, I knew at that very moment this was the place I have been looking for. I get to drop off Emma and head straight to work all in the same premise, which is perfect.”
Bibiana and Emma have spent most of 2016 inseparable – coming to work with Emma daily was a routine she enjoyed. “I would wake up at 6 in the morning, send my eldest son to school, then get myself ready while Emma is still asleep and start preparing her lunch. When she wakes up, we would try to leave by 9 am for Trehaus. And then she would play at the Atelier while I work, until it’s time to go.” Bibiana is currently based in Trehaus working as a account executive for Xintesys, a progressive small-medium enterprise that provides enterprise-grade software capabilities through customised user- and job-centric interfaces.
This was the routine they both shared until in November when Emma scored a place in a childcare which Bibiana had been put on a year-long wait list for, prior to coming to Trehaus. It was then Bibiana knew she needed to go through yet another transition again.
“Trehaus was so good for her while she grew from infant to toddler. She used to be so afraid of strangers and would cry non-stop when I was not by her side. At Trehaus, she has grown into a big girl. She now takes care of the other kids, especially the babies, and plays well with them. Have you seen my Emma going around trying to feed the little babies their milk and water?” Bibiana quips. “She’s picked up so many social skills on her own and have grown to become independent!”
“But now that a space has become available (for Emma at a childcare of my choice), I am reevaluating how to better use my time with my two children. Trehaus will still be the place Emma would come to when the childcare has closure days because I really want Emma to continue playing and socialising with kids of different ages. I still come to do my work at Trehaus because I love the community and working days never seems boring here, but now I will leave early to pick my 8-year-old son, Leeor, to spend quality time with him before we pick Emma. He’s growing up very fast and I wouldn’t want to miss moments to be treasured with him too.”
This transition has only just started and Bibiana admits it’s a bit of a challenge for her – it took a bit of an adjustment from being so used to taking Emma along with her to work to being away from her and seeing her only much later after she picks Leeor.
“I miss Emma dearly and having her around. I used to be able to pop into the Atelier and spend some time with her. Or take her out for lunch in Orchard or nurse her in Trehaus’ nursing room. It’s like experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but I’m glad to have even shared good time with Emma in the first place,” she shares.
“But it is working out well now, as I remind myself to be more efficient so I can spend more time with Leeor alone, before picking up Emma.”
She also adds: “All parents need to go through transition periods as our kids grow and their needs change, and being at Trehaus was so helpful for me and my children. I always tell myself, ‘It’s ok, we will all need time to adapt to new routines.’ And before you know it, everyone will be settled and happy, just like my Emma.”
When asked how 2017 would pan out for her and her family, Bibiana is confident that it would be a good year. “My new year resolution is to take better care of myself so I can better care and love my children. There may be new transitions to come, but I am sure we’ll handle them well!”