16 June 2021, by E-van and Terry
In my opinion, though fathers and mothers hold equal responsibilities in the upbringing of their children, dads are underappreciated, so I am going to share why my husband is important and why dads should be appreciated more often.
That’s not all, in this entry, my husband will also be sharing his take on the importance of being a dad. So without further ado, let me begin…
In my perspective as a mum
1. Sharing an emotional journey right after birth
The first two weeks of having a newborn at home, made us work as a team. Even though it was stressful for both of us, the responsibilities were shared, and having a partner to help with other things besides breastfeeding helped in terms of sanity! After his two weeks of paternity leave was up, I was left alone with Raph. What kept me motivated daily was when Terry arrived home from work. He was my place of solace and comfort.
2. I get to finish my food
Mealtimes could be rushed most of the time and even while I’m eating, I eat with anxiety, swallowing my food before Raph starts to fuss and tries to escape from jail (read: highchair). And hearing those sweet words from my husband, saying “don’t worry I got this, finish your meal” makes me want to cry. Because yes! I DO want to finish my meal without feeling anxious. I DO just want a few minutes alone to really, just be alone.
3. Seeing things differently
We are wired differently. That’s why the term Venus and Mars.
But when it comes to parenthood, you’ll see why that’s actually a good thing 😂 For example when Raph is having an episode, I’d allow him to cry it out (truth be told, it’s also a moment where I’ve reached my threshold) but my husband is really good at distraction techniques. And it works most of the time!
4. Dad jokes
They are so silly it cracks me up so much. And Terry is quite a master at that. Any of his colleagues or friends can definitely attest to that. Amidst the stress of bringing up a toddler who’s learning about regulating his emotions, it definitely lightens the mood when Terry can make both me and Raph laugh out loud. And there’s also nothing like seeing Raph and his Papa bond over tickles, cuddles, and laughter.
In Terry’s perspective as a dad
Being a first-time dad is something I would say is “less-instinctive” as compared to our female counterpart. A lot of our experience is very much situational. I can definitely vouch that we can be very blurred sometimes, but jokes aside we have the best humour in the world of which can make a difficult situation look fun, that’s what dad jokes are for right? Okay, wife… don’t roll your eyes at me, because I did make you snort-laugh.
5. Adapting to change
I remember feeling helpless whenever we encounter our first experience with our child. Being a dad, sometimes I feel like we are the “backseat” driver. Sure, we have a lot of comments to make things better, but I always remind myself to get in there and be involved in it. In the role of being a dad, I haven’t quite figured that out yet, and I think it’s okay. In fact, being a parent is pretty much on-the-job training, and as our child gets older, we have to constantly change too! Oh man…
6. Simplicity is best
Speaking from a non-textbook kind of dad, I grew up in a humble family who’ll make do with anything. And I think I’m very fortunate to be part of that era. Life was so much simpler, and I hope to carry that spirit. Because it is very challenging these days, where there is an influx of information on being a good dad. That pursuit of perfection is endless and hard to keep up with, which stresses us unnecessarily.
7. Trying my best
However, I do feel stress coming from a generation where we got scolded and caned since young, some call it Asian methods of raising a child. And parenting in this modern time is pretty much heavily influenced by the west. It’s a lot of changes ever since then and being a dad has made me rethink my language and the way I handle a situation. Being a dad is not easy because I’m that group of parent who really is trying hard to transit from the past, but I think it’s important we continue to be part of the team and help the team/family grow.
8. Constant learning journey
So why are dads important? Hold that thought for a minute because I’m still trying to figure that part out. Sorry son, while you are trying to figure out your colours and alphabets, Papa is learning too okay?
To all dads, there are times you may struggle, but know that you are appreciated and loved. To all mums, remember to recognise your husband’s efforts and remind him that he is appreciated. Happy Father’s Day to all!
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