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Being an expat mum in Singapore: Caroline’s story, plus her tips

By: Amy Brook-Partridge; photography by Michael Bernabe

Shortly after Caroline Moore was born in Cairo, her British parents moved the family to Singapore. Here she talks about life as an expat child and now as a mother to 11-month-old Charles.

Caroline and Charles 

How did Singapore become your home?
Both my parents left the UK for Australia in their late teens, and they met and married in Sydney. My dad was working for Jones Lang Wootton (now Jones Lang LaSalle) and my parents moved to Cairo in 1975; I was born there in 1977. Then an opportunity to move to Singapore became available, so we relocated in 1978.

We moved into a lovely little black-and-white bungalow on Coronation Road, our home for 27 years, and my brother was born in Gleneagles Hospital 18 months later. The house was bare and basic but with a lovely garden, and we soon put a pool in. I have happy memories of riding my bike to buy ice-lollies from the local shop, which was a family-run kampong hut with live chickens and wild dogs. My brother and I used to play in the huge storm drains catching fish, until the day we saw a snake and never returned!

Where else have you lived?
I went to boarding school in the UK for the year of my GCSEs. Going from Tanglin Trust School and United World College to an all-girls Catholic convent in Surrey was a huge culture shock.

My husband Paul and I met in Barbados on holiday and have been together for 12 years now. I lived and worked in London in fashion PR, and then as an executive assistant in the media and television industry before I told Paul that I really wanted to go back to Asia. We looked at Sydney, Hong Kong and Mumbai; but coincidentally, Paul’s company in London was making Singapore its main APAC hub, and he was offered a job here.

You had your first child, Charles, on 2 April last year. How was the pregnancy?
I suffer from endometriosis, and we had been trying for a number of years to get pregnant. We were about to start going down the IUI route, but managed to conceive naturally. I had weekly progesterone injections to help me keep the baby, and the rest of my pregnancy went pretty smoothly until the 38th week, when Charlie turned breech. I waited a few days and tried “moxibustion”, a traditional Chinese medicine method of trying to turn the baby; it’s linked to acupuncture pressure points stimulating blood-flow to the uterus. After three days he had turned, but four days later he turned back again. I opted for an elective C-section at NUH a week before my due date, which ultimately I was happy with as the whole experience was very calm and peaceful.

Do you enjoy being a full-time working mum?
There was never any question of me not going back to work. I had four months’ maternity leave and then went back full-time to Diageo; it’s a really great place to work, though being in the office can be hard. Charlie and I  started swimming lessons together and we’re looking at preschools for when he’s 18 months old, so at least I know that while I’m working he’ll be having fun with other children.

Our favourite things

  • Charlie adores our dogs, boxer Cooper and retriever Nala; he squeals in delight when he seems them.
  • We love Koh Sushi Bar and Grill in Food Republic at Wisma Atria – the Koh Maki is a standout.
  • We love to travel; any chance we get, we steal a weekend away. Most recently we went to Hanoi and loved it.
  • We enjoy spending time with my family at the weekends by the pool at The Tanglin Club.

 

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