We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.
Titus Low and Cheryl Chin may be a lot more mature than you give them credit for.
We’re sitting at the lobby of their confinement centre in Sentosa (kindly sponsored for them), and the influencers are five-day-old parents at that point in time.
In June last year, the two had gotten engaged after a hurricane romance of about six hours, whereupon they received much pontification from the masses.
And within the month of meeting each other, they were married.
Shortly after in September 2022, Cheryl announced that she was three months pregnant (it was not a shotgun marriage, Titus clarified).
Baby daddy, literally
Other than the rather hurried timeline, another point that drew consternation was their relatively young age — Cheryl turns 22 this year, while Titus will be 24.
But no matter. The baby is out, well, and named Elleria (Cheryl created it at 16, inspired by “Cinderella”).
Also, neither Cheryl nor Titus are too perturbed by the online comments, although they acknowledge that there are both upsides and downsides to being young parents.
For one, Titus points out, they will only be about 40 years old when their child turns 20, indicating his favour for a relatively small gap between generations.
“I’m gonna treat her like a friend,” he says of his parenting philosophy, to the chagrin of his wife.
“Treat her like a friend,” he repeats.
“You mean friend as in, you will be more communicative with her,” Cheryl eventually interprets Titus, and correctly so.
“[….] I think the biggest thing I want for her is just to have a lot of wisdom. A friend once told me… like my parents also tell me that if somebody has wisdom, a lot of wisdom, they technically have everything.”
As for its challenges, Titus points out the financial aspect of things — planning ahead and making sound decisions, now that they have another living, breathing thing to care for.
It’s a concept that some fail to grasp even when they’re old enough to withdraw their CPF, but something that Titus and Cheryl have to grapple with now, in their early 20s.
Cheryl tells Babelfish,
“Honestly, I get that every day. Like, every day, someone will just say, ‘Don’t you think you’re a bit too young? How old are you?’ […] Honestly, people’s opinions online don’t really bother me, I think it’s more of, you know, my loved ones that [have] to answer to this kind of questions.”
The newly minted mum takes the comments like water off a duck’s back, because she “always [feels that] children are a blessing”.
Elleria, unplanned and unexpected, presents herself as a steep learning curve for her parents, but she has also brought them closer.
“I think our relationship as well, I really got to really, really learn very in depth, because you spend every day together. And pregnancy is not an easy thing. […] So it really tested a lot of things in the relationship as well.
But honestly, the moment I saw my baby, I just felt like everything’s worth it. It really didn’t matter.”
But as Cheryl says, pregnancy is not an easy thing, both mentally and physically.
The influencer has friends who were insecure about their own pregnant bodies, but Cheryl accepts her transformation with a little more ease.
“When I look in the mirror, actually, even when I had my bump, I felt happy. Even with stretch marks.”
She publicly shares the process of her metamorphosis to normalise it, to undo the impression that pregnancy looks perfect, contrary to what her younger self had believed from social media.
“But while your body changes, you feel big. You know, your boobs sag a bit, your stomach gets bigger, your stretch marks up here, you will feel so hard on yourself.
But there are days where I wake up and I just look in the mirror I’m like, ‘Yeah,’ but I remind myself, you’re carrying a child.”
We briefly touch on the cliche of how social media perpetuates certain ideals, with Cheryl echoing the sentiment from many others that it can be “very draining”.
“I’m very grateful lah, throughout my pregnancy, although most of the time right, all I had was him (Titus) and a few close friends. I never really allowed my mental state to compare myself to people online.
I always told myself that somebody else is wanting the life that I have. So I need to be grateful, even if it’s not, you know, a perfect life.”
That switch in mindset was one of the biggest changes she underwent during pregnancy, Cheryl says.
But post-childbirth, a bigger change awaits.
After a labour that she describes as “fun” (you heard that right), the influencer has found a new love, and a new sense of purpose that even an endless cycle of pumping and feeding cannot detract from.
“During my pregnancy there [were] a lot of things I do, I still film, I still work, […] we still go out and do all our usual things,” she explains.
Titus cuts in, “But now she doesn’t go out anymore. She has like, zero social life now.”
Cheryl clarifies that that is not true, thank you very much, as she still talks to her friends online and they visit her.
Life is good, she continues, especially with the amount of help she’s been getting.
“So I learned a lot of things. When I learned a lot of things, I also feel like, ‘Eh, it’s really not that sad as people say. People say like you sit in your room and you cry. But I did cry, out of nowhere. I finally understand.”
Recalling the recent day she was discharged from the hospital, the 21-year-old found herself wanting to move around even when it hurt (no thanks to the caesarean delivery).
“[…] At the end of the day, I don’t know, I just- I feel busier and more purposeful.”
Top photo by Titus Low and Cheryl Chin
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