by Linus Ng
A lot of people always congratulate my brave act in having my second child, even though my wife and I may not earn a lot. Yes, it was a brave decision and we managed with whatever we had for our savings, spending, housing and car as well as my education during that period of time. It was very tough. We could not go on holidays or buy new things.
Some people may simply call us misers, but this did not defeat us. We know that this is something we want – to start a family of our own. As a family, we have to be mindful when spending and we are learning to discern what is important to spend on and what is not. We do not need to have a bigger car, a bigger house or fancy things. What is important is to fulfil our basic needs. This, in my opinion, is the correct way to set-up and guide my family.
Today, my wife and I still do not have a lot. But we make up for material wealth with the love and understanding that we share as a family. And because of that, I believe we are ready for our third child.
Being a parent has little to do with money. It is really more about how you re-structure your life to stay happy. I think that is the challenge for many of us.
A Daughter’s First Love
by David Sim
I still remember the feeling when I first became a Dad.
Unlike most new parents, my wife and I didn’t have the luxury of bringing our first born home after nine months of anticipation. Ashley and her twin brother, Joash, were delivered 25 weeks early. In fact, Joash died in-utero, while the team of fine surgeons at KKH tried their best to save Ashley from premature birth in vain.
As Ashley’s tiny frame lay in the incubator, I called out to her – like how I did when she was still in Mommy’s womb. And her finger moved! She responded! It was at that moment I knew – I was a Dad! I was that special to a tiny life we chose to bring to this world to love, care for, and share a special connection with. Someone I could call my own; someone I would give my best to; someone who acknowledges me as her Daddy.
Although Ashley lived for less than 24 hours in the NICU, I’ll always remember and cherish that special and precious moment she gave me.
On a brighter note, we were blessed with Dana a year later. I remembered what Ashley had taught me – Dana is a special gift and it is against all odds that she’s here. Like all dads, I took on parental duties. I also paused to reflect: How am I a Daddy to my daughter?
Dads build resilience in their children – both outer and inner strength. Whether it is cycling or swimming, I taught her that there would be challenging tasks that require perseverance and courage. But most importantly, I want her to know that she would never be alone. Daddy would always be by her side.
Building your child’s inner strength is not easy. Not only does it involve teaching certain values, it also requires us parents to live them out daily. We all know how fast children learn from adults. As Dana grows older, we have to be conscious about teaching her well.
Relationships are what hold us together. We all need them. As a Daddy and a husband, it’s important to love my wife. The relationship between a Daddy and Mummy is the most fundamental to a child. I have learnt the important of setting aside time for my wife to rekindle our romance.
They say: a Daddy is a daughter’s first love. Who could be more suited to teach my daughter about boy-girl relationships? Dads should show how a man should treat a young lady. Dads can make or break a daughter’s self-esteem. I have always shown Dana how special, well-loved and precious she is in my eyes.
Her other significant relationships with family – grandparents and relatives – as well as friendships with her classmates, neighbours, teachers and others, will teach her to appreciate people and build up her social skills for life.
“So how do you prepare your child for a future that is unknown even to you?”
Well, my answer for parents, Dads especially, is to take the lead in loving and living life. Only then will our children be prepared for whatever life may throw at them. Dads have to lead and leave a legacy for our children.
Indeed, a Daddy has great influence in shaping his children’s character and helping them make that special connection with the world because truly, Dad’s the Difference.
By Jeremy Ratnam
“Really? You’re gonna be a househusband? Are you sure?”
Well, many people found it amusing (or even shocking!) when I first announced I was going to quit my job as a radio DJ and take some time off. I made the decision to be a househusband in May 2013. And I’m proud to say that it was one of the best decisions in my life.
Almost every parent would love to experience a child’s firsts – be it the first smile, first step, or even the first “da-da”. Truth is, with the growing demands of work, being there for these milestones has become an uphill task. Besides, we all know that time and tide waits for no man, let alone a child. Coupled with the fact that I grew up with a workaholic dad, I really wanted to make sure that I spent lots of time with my own children in their early years of childhood. As such, it was with gladness that I chose to stay at home with them. Of course, some planning was needed, and my wife and I made a conscious effort to save up before I left my job. It was all worth it.
The best part about being a househusband is that you get to spend lots of quality time together as a family. Simple things like sitting on the couch with couch with my wife and four kids watching TV brought so much joy. I was really happy to be there for my eldest daughter’s first spelling test. Also, my third son is a very chatty boy, and it was enjoyable talking to him as it brings so much laughter and fulfilment teaching him and having him teach me in return.
On top of the children benefitting from having the full attention of their Daddy, my wife too, was happy to have me at home. I was able to help out with the chores so that she got to rest and spend time with our kids too. This shared experience also brought my wife and I closer. Sometimes, we would reminisce about the good old times we had when we were still dating. Now, we’re still dating each other, except with kids.
Time we spend at work can never be returned to our growing kids. All we can do is to learn and cherish whatever time we have. It’s so important to make time to love and grow with them.
As I slowly ease back into the workforce, I do so with a heart filled with joy. I’m glad to have experienced being a stay-at-home Dad. It’s been a fruitful year and I have no regrets at all. Now, the important thing is to maintain a good work-life balance and to continue loving and growing with my family.
Stories are extracted from the book “You’ve Got To Be Kidding”.