Becoming a mother had not been part of Amanda Chaang’s plan for herself—at least not this soon. But the TV personality and presenter, with her husband, musician Jonathan Chua, is making the leap into new parenthood with an open mind and the best intentions, and learning and evolving along the way too. Going from trepidation to determination, Chaang is stepping up to the plate, making the best of what life hands her, and approaching it all with balanced optimism.
Chaang is clear about the weight of her imminent responsibility. “Parenthood is being responsible for a life, a soul, and a heart for the rest of our lives,” the 32-year-old says. “When [Jonathan and I] were deciding on bringing this child into this world, we wanted to have the right intentions.” Almost due to give birth to their first child, Chaang reflects on her hopes for the person he’ll become, the home she and Chua aspire to build, and the joys and sacrifices of the journey.
“One of the biggest sacrifices I think a parent has to make—and it’s not easy—is prioritising your child before you,” she says. “And you have to do it willingly: it’s such a selfless act, and not something that you do to expect something back.” Chaang has gradually overhauled her lifestyle and shifted her mindset in preparation, from travelling and dining as she liked, to putting her child first. “It’s something that I’m still preparing myself for, on a daily basis,” she shares. “I talk to my child, try to psych myself up, and always remind myself that this is something that I’m intentionally doing now, and I want to do it to the best of my ability.”
By drawing on her own upbringing, Chaang is crafting her version of parenthood, one that she believes combines the best of the traditions she was raised with and what is needed to thrive in a complex and at times uncertain world, from making her son feel special on birthdays and turning dinner with family into a daily ritual, to raising him to express gratitude and savour small moments and victories.
“I think that’s something that our generation especially is learning to grasp the importance of,” she elaborates. “I get why the older generations do not place as much [emphasis] on these kinds of values, because back then, they were more preoccupied with making sure we had food on the table and a stable upbringing. And we’re so very fortunate to have grown up with that, but as generations evolve, our priorities change as well.”
Chaang has bold dreams for her son. “I hope he becomes a kind person—I think in this world that’s kind of lacking right now,” she says. “As scary as it is, I hope to allow my child to explore the world… and to make the mistakes he needs to, to become the person he’s meant to be.”
“This world is often uncertain and a lot of times unforgiving, but I always want him to remember to lead with his heart, because if he can stay true to who he really is, he’ll be all right.”
Photography Gan Kah Ying
Styling Gregory Woo
Hair and Makeup Sha Shamsi using KMS Hair and Dior Beauty
Floral Arrangement Bliss Flower Boutique