In this 3-part series of Real Moms Share, Maybe Baby asks 3 moms to share about the importance of their husband’s support and involvement in their parenthood journey.
Vanessa Ng is a lawyer with an 18-month old son. Her husband was extremely happy when he became a new father and relishes his role very much, despite having to juggle a busy work schedule.
Before the Bump:
1. How did you and your husband come to an agreement on when to start trying for a baby? Did you have extensive discussions about the timing? Or was it more of a spontaneous “let’s see how it goes” kind of thing?
There wasn’t really any formal agreement or extensive discussions about when to start trying for a child. We were together for about seven years before getting married. During this time, we did a lot of things that we wanted to do as young and carefree adults, mainly travelling and spending a lot of time together as a couple. So by the time we got married, it just seemed natural to try for children, especially since we knew that we always wanted to start a family of our own when the time was right.
2. How did your husband’s attitude towards starting a family affect you? Was he hesitant to start a family due to career goals, fear of change/responsibility? Or was he enthusiastic and raring to go, while you were more uncertain about it?
My husband was always more open and vocal about wanting to start a family. I did as well, but I suppose it was never really something that I thought deeply about or vocalised very often. But I always knew that I had wanted children “some day”.
I wouldn’t say that he was hesitant about starting a family. In fact, he was very enthusiastic about creating a family of our own. What was key to him was to do it at the right time. He loves children and when we had our son, he was at a stage in his career that he could afford the time to focus on starting a family.
On hindsight, I think that worked out well for me too because I had the time to do all the things that I wanted to do, before having children and going into a different phase of my life.
The Nine Months:
3. What did your husband do during your pregnancy to support you (either emotionally or practically)?
Fortunately for my husband, I had a rather uneventful, or should I say “peaceful” pregnancy. Life went about as per normal, just like before I became pregnant. I didn’t have any sudden or strange cravings or any complications.
As for the pre-natal check-ups, my husband accompanied me for all of them. He was excited to see pictures of the baby and how it was developing over the months. During the pregnancy, my husband was, of course, extra mindful about my well-being, such as ensuring that I had bird’s nest every other day. It was after all our first baby!
4. What did you wish he could have done more of?
I hate to sound boring but nothing much really! I like to think I was rather “low-maintenance” while pregnant and didn’t experience any hormonal mood swings. We didn’t even have a nursery, and I didn’t even read much on parenting! So I think things really went quite smoothly.
First Months of Parenthood:
5. How hands-on was your husband during the first few months of baby’s arrival? Did he offer to change diapers/bathe baby/help with night feeds?
My husband tried very hard to be hands-on but I think taking care of baby isn’t really up his alley! So instead, he tries to help me while I change the diapers or bathe the baby, by just being there in case I needed help with anything.
I think by just being present during these moments, it’s important enough and it shows that he is really making an effort. As for night feeds, I didn’t bother him since I was breastfeeding and there’s really no need to wake two people up. Just knowing that he’s there and ready and willing to help (even though he’s dead asleep haha!) in case I need a helping hand is good enough. He needs his rest as he’s quite stressed at work.
6. Did you feel his support was sufficient, during those crucial first few months? Or did you have lots of additional help/family support such that your husband’s role was not as critical?
Yes, I felt that he gave me the support that I needed. My husband felt that helping out with our son was important in forging a close bond with him. This gave him a lot of incentive to put in the extra effort. Moreover, my mother lives with us and we have a domestic helper. So in terms of support, the ratio is 4 adults to 1 baby. More than enough!
Partners in Parenthood:
7. Does your husband enjoy his role as a father? How does his attitude towards his responsibilities affect you as a mother?
Yes, he enjoys fatherhood very much! He always says that if he had known it was going to be so joyful, he would have done this (have a child) earlier. He would always tell people around him that it is a joy to have children and that he would want as many as possible. His positive attitude towards children greatly influences and motivates me to also want to be a great mom and to have more children!
8. Does your husband still help out with childcare/proactively take time to bond with your child(ren)? Does this encourage you to consider having more children?
Yes, he does all the time. If he comes back early from work, he would always play with the baby and help me bathe him. On weekends, he would make sure that he spends as much time as he can with the baby. We would make it a point to visit different places as a family or to attend kids’ activity classes together, no matter how tired we may feel. Having more children is definitely on the cards for us!
9. Can you share an example of something your husband did that really stood out and made you appreciate him as your partner in this journey of parenthood?
I think it would be his effort to squeeze in quality time with the family and helping me look after the baby, notwithstanding his busy career and the fact that he has to lead an organization. Over and above all these, I’m amazed at how he can actually find the time every day for his gym sessions or long training runs (he is training for the marathon), which makes the efforts he puts into the family even more outstanding. It goes to show that with proper prioritizing and management of time you can really have it all and be happy!
I Love Children would like to thank Vanessa for sharing about her parenthood journey, and wish her and her family all the best!
Look out for the other 2 articles in this 3-part series on “Real Moms Share About Their Parenthood Journey”:
Part 1 – PARTNERS IN PARENTHOOD: Suzy
Part 2 – PARTNERS IN PARENTHOOD: Vanessa
Part 3 – PARTNERS IN PARENTHOOD: Mrs Tan
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