The New Paper
Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016
First-time mum Christine Fan loves her twin boys and is not afraid to show them off on social media.
The 39-year-old Taiwanese singer-actress gave birth to River and Ryan a year ago and has been posting photos of them on her Instagram and Weibo accounts since.
But the frequent postings have drawn flak from Chinese netizens, some of whom think it is unnecessary and excessive.
In particular, she came under fire when she uploaded photos of her babies on her Weibo account, which has 47.7 million followers, on the day of the Paris terror attacks in November. Netizens commented that she "only cared about flaunting her kids and nothing else".
Two months earlier, she was criticised for being disrespectful for posting on the day of China's annual victory parade celebrations. She subsequently apologised and deleted the post.
But Fan is trying not to let online detractors affect her decisions too much.
She said yesterday over the phone from Taiwan, where she is promoting her new album, FanFan's Time To Give Thanks: "I will still post what I want, as I want to live happily with my kids and be myself. If I care so much about the netizens' comments and live under their glare, then I will be very unhappy."
Her previous album was Together in 2012.
Fan, who married to 38-year-old Taiwanese actor and host Blackie Chen in 2011, added: "Ultimately, we are the world's most normal parents and we just want to post everything about our babies, just like other parents. Sometimes, I stop to think if it is excessive or negative, but I try not to let it affect me."
Being a first-time mother, especially to twins, has not been easy.
Said Fan in Mandarin: "Every day is challenging for me. When one of them falls asleep, the other is awake. It's tiring. These days, I sleep at 11pm and wake up at about 5am. I sleep fewer hours, but I think my quality of sleep is better."
Fan, who will go on an indefinite hiatus after FanFan's Time To Give Thanks to focus on motherhood, said it's all about achieving a good work-life balance.
"I am looking forward to this next journey of my life, to fulfil my new role well," she said. "I don't know when I will make my comeback, but I am not retiring from showbiz, I'm just taking a break."
She had re-recorded two songs from her latest album after giving birth. One song was the track My Thanksgiving.
Fan said: "After becoming a mother, I feel that I have more strength in my vocals. My experience gives the song a different meaning, so I decided to record it again."
Even though she loves motherhood, Fan does not plan to have another child.
She and Chen pursued both in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and normal conception on their doctor's advice.
She shared her struggles in her 2015 book The Pandas Are Here, where she revealed that she had to take ovulation induction injections for 10 consecutive days to begin the process. As a result, she suffered side effects such as bruises, weight gain and mood swings.
She said with a laugh: "There are people who have been telling me, 'Work harder for one more.' Just thinking about it makes my legs wobbly. I think I am good for now."
With Chinese New Year round the corner, Fan has only one wish: "In the past, I always hoped for the new year to be better than the previous one. Now, I really just want my baby boys to be healthy."
This article was first published on January 19, 2016.
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