While many Singaporean families still honour the traditional roles of mum as the main caregiver and dad as the main breadwinner, we see more dads taking an active role in parenting and caring for their kids. They may have heavy work responsibilities during the day, but once they are home, these dads roll up their sleeves and jump right on to the parenting bandwagon willingly.
Like these families, my husband and I practice shared parenting. If I have work to do, he’s in charge of the kids. If he has to travel, I take time off work to be at home. I’m the disciplinarian in my family, while he takes his role as mediator and jester very seriously. But sometimes, our parenting methods differ.
Take last night as an example. I wanted to finish work so I could celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, so I asked him to put the kids to bed. They usually read in bed before lights are turned off, so I was expecting some peace and quiet. But within minutes, there was a ruckus of tambourine bells, peals of laughter and loud singing coming from the room.
“What was going on?” I fumed, more mad at my husband than the kids. He’s supposed to wind them down, not UP.
I opened the door, all ready to yell, but was stopped short as my two munchkins rushed towards me and words tumbling out of their mouths, gleefully invited me to join them. They had (with daddy’s help) created a new song and couldn’t wait to present it to me.
My kids exhibited such sheer delight as I watched the trio (father and children) belt out the silliest song about chicken rice being their favourite food; their gusto and laughter were infectious. It may be bedtime, but the kids were having fun with dad. My earlier grudges were replaced with gratefulness that their father could create special moments like these for the kids in spite of his busy and sometimes stressful work schedule.
And I’m not alone in my gratitude. Read what some of our readers feel about their super daddies:
Joanna Tan says: My hubby Shawn & our 25 months old Boy. Shawn is more like his friend than father. He will go down to Nigel’s level and interact with him. For example, he will play “basketball” with him. He is also the soul of Nigel’s Fave toy, Mr Monkey. So the 2 of them are Best Buddies! Always the one Nigel runs to when I scold him. Shawn will make sure he will spare time for Nigel almost everyday to have at least 1/2 hour playtime to Bond. He is the one in charge of his night feeds till now still, as Nigel still needs night feeds.
Grace Miranda says: My husband is, maybe for me, an ideal dad to my kids. My niece told me more than 18 yrs ago that when she gets married, she will look for a guy like my husband or maybe he will grab him from me. Now my daughter is saying the same thing, she will find a man who is like his dad, who can carry himself well physically, emotionally and spiritually. She said when I get angry with her she gets upset at times, BUT when dad gets disappointed she just feel like “super-guilty”. Because he will talk to her in a very soft-manner and will not tell her that she is bad or what, but will talk to her in a very positive way. He is always there for them and mostly they can see that their dad loves their mom.
Joann Hernandez says: My husband is a very patient and loving dad. He takes care of my gals when he isn’t working. Before we all go to bed he will send my kids to brush their teeth and change to pyjamas. Even in the middle of the night he will bring them to the toilet when the kids need to pee. But the most touching of all is when the kids are sick, he is the one who wakes up at night to feed their medicine.
Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies out there!