Couplehood

Articles

By Judith Alagirisamy
 

As busy working adults, we are always trying to multi-task and squeeze more quality time into our relationships. A date with your other half that also includes an info-packed talk and panel chat session on personal resilience, relationships and family has got to be a great time investment right? Nearly 150 couples certainly thought so!

 

 

In the midst of the usual bustling Orchard Road crowd this past weekend, this group, ranging from dating and newly-weds to expectant couples and those with children, gathered at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard for a truly unique event, Maybe Baby Hot Date @ The Movies.

This unique and meaningful event started off with a talk by Mr. David Lock on ‘Living Flourishing Lives’. An engaging speaker with over a decade of training and consultancy experience in work-life integration for individuals and corporations, he shared expert advice and insights on how starting a family can be a fulfilling journey of self-discovery, fulfilment and greater joy.

 

Parenthood Helps Us Flourish

 

To be a parent is to experience a personal renaissance. David shared that “Parenthood gives us the opportunity to be much more than we are”. He then elaborated that parenting is one aspect of life that differentiates and distinguishes us. This was certainly food for thought for all of us in the audience – as busy working adults we often define ourselves by our qualifications, skills and competence in the workplace. It required a shift in mindset to realise that we need to take a more holistic view of ourselves, and realise that parenting could be a factor that enables us to have more holistic and balanced lives!

 

Taking a Temperature Check – What’s our Mental State?

 

David issued this question to the audience for personal reflection – what is our current mental state? Indeed in the fast-paced and hectic lifestyle that most of us lead, we don’t usually take time for such introspection, and this was timely. David shared about three key mental states – ‘Surviving’; where we are just barely making ends meet in every area of life, ‘Languishing’, where we are simply reactive and moved or influenced by factors around us and finally, ‘Flourishing’ which is an ideal state where we are intentional, measured and proactive in our thoughts and actions.

 

Sadly, most of us fall into the trap of either survival mode or languishing, and it takes courage and confidence to take charge of our own lives, and to flourish.

 

 

‘Soul Proprietorship’

 

We were introduced to the idea of ‘soul proprietorship’. A playful pun on ‘sole proprietorship’, this term refers to the importance of taking charge of one’s own life, in order to experience it to the fullest. The speaker shared a powerful analogy of a diamond, which struck a chord with us all.


Some common reasons we give for not starting a family include: wanting to establish a career first, accumulate financial savings and other material wealth for a comfortable lifestyle. Typically, most couples feel that all these factors need to be in place before starting a family.

However, David debunked this myth as he likened our lives to diamonds; in order for a diamond to sparkle, every side of the stone needs to shine.

 

In the same way, we need to tend to every facet of our lives, in order for us to have a full and enriched life. If we place our entire focus on our careers, a few decades from now, that will cease to be relevant, and the other areas of our lives such as family will be neglected. He shared a great tip; we should focus on a new facet of life in each decade of our lives, which will give us a truly ‘shining’ life once we reach the greying years.

 

Resilience and Intentional Living

 

The reality, as any parent will acknowledge, is that parenting is not always easy, and does require sacrifice. However, its rewards are plenty and outweigh the costs in the long run. The speaker drove home this point as he shared that when we are resilient and make the decision to start a family, we are in fact, living more intentionally and being proactive in our life choices – rather than simply languishing or being in survival mode. This is indeed a long-term investment to a fuller and richer life! Over time, as we undergo parenthood, we become better versions of ourselves, and are equipped with the skills and experience we need to care for our families.

 

Sharing Experiences

 

The talk was followed by a lively panel chat, helmed by media personality and Maybe Baby blogger, Petrina Kow. She was joined by speaker Mr. David Lock and married couple Darius Chua and Linda Tan who are parents to a 4 year-old boy and 1 year-old girl. Their candid and honest sharing was certainly a highlight of the event.

 

When asked by a participant, ‘How old is too old to have a child?” Darius and Linda cautioned against waiting too long to start a family as fertility issues are likely to crop up. Petrina too shared that having a child early in life worked out well for her as she had the energy to play and care for them then.

 

Darius reminded the audience not to have “analysis paralysis” when weighing up the costs and benefits of having a child. In his experience, over-rationalising the decision can end up hampering the decision-making process. Ultimately, we need to take that bold step and decide to start a family.

 

Many of the enthusiastic participants took the next step to sign the parenthood pledge, committing themselves to starting and growing their families!

 

Then, armed with their popcorn and drink, there was a happy buzz in the air as everyone settled in to watch the latest blockbuster hit, ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’. Now, that’s what I call a great way to spend the weekend!

 


3 Tips for Living a Flourishing Life by David Lock

 

1. Keep Life Simple.
 
Make a conscious choice to live a simpler lifestyle, investing your time, money and efforts into living a life that is rich in     experiences rather than material wealth.
 
2. Be Aware of Milestones.
 
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you must achieve your entire career and financial goals before you have a child. The reality is that you will reach some of these milestones only a few decades later in life, and should not miss out on starting a family while you still can.
 
3. Think “Community”.
It takes a village to raise a child. Parenting does not have to be a daunting and tiring role, if you rope in family and friends to help you in the journey. Be it lending emotional support or practical help in babysitting, you can rely on them to help.

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