Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pat Daddy's back a few more times ok?

Here's my belated response to Winston Tay(The Blogfather of Singapore)'s post on What are Fathers Good for? He has another very powerful post on the increasingly unfair social perception of us fathers these days, which is what I had wanted to blog about for a long while now, but can't find the right words or approach to tackle this sensitive issue. I guess he has made it easy for me to write a response to his article and not rack my brains to write one on my own, so thank you Mr Blogfather!

Take nothing away from mothers. I am more than willing to shy away from the spotlight and let them have all the credit. Just take a look at cute little Noah, it was Li Li who went through the 9 long months of pregnancy (which involved an unbelievably torturous first trimester and an equally draining C-section at the end), and till now, almost 10 months of 24-hour care to get him to where he is now. In terms of direct contribution to Noah's well-being, I guess I can't hold a candle, but at the end of the day, I feel that there are more and more daddies (like me, hopefully), who are overturning previous stereotypes and doing our best to contribute to the family.

The non-stereotype Dad?

Personally, I have had numerous conversations with people marveling at the good job my wife has done taking care of Noah without any relatives to support her in Bangkok, which naturally leaves me brimming with pride. However, too many of these correspondences have included lines like, "What do you know? You only go out to work and go back home in the evening to play with the child while your wife has done all the hard work." or "You need to help your wife more, she is busy and completely occupied the moment Noah wakes up."

Erh, hello, do you think I don't know or do you think I am a "stereotype Dad", who washes his hands off anything associated with my son and has never changed a diaper or done a household chore in my life? I cry with my son when he has constipation ok?

To be honest, there are more than a few things that I am not good at, and here are a some of them:

  1. I always forget to turn off the lights after I use the toilet, no matter how frequently I remind myself and others to do so.
  2. I don't do a good chinese stirfry of green leafy vegetables, neither can I ever master the technique of preventing fine vermicelli from sticking to the bottom of the pan when I char bee hoon.
  3. I fall asleep too early and wake up too late.
  4. I procrastinate too much. A promise of a clean toilet tomorrow would probably end up dirty for the next week.
  5. My shirts stay relatively crumpled even after I iron them.
  6. I can clean up the house, but some corners and hard-to-reach areas will surely be left out accidentally.
  7. I get irritated when the music is turned on but I can hardly hear it, and even more disturbed when a good song is interrupted halfway.
  8. I come back home from work completely mentally fatigued a wee bit too often.

Fortunately, I redeem myself with a few positive traits:
  1. Aside of clipping nails and (due to my obvious physical constraints) breastfeeding, I do everything associated with Noah Yii. You name it, I do it.
  2. I cook relatively well. In addition to that, I love cooking, which results in me happily cooking for the adults at home 80% if the time, frequently 3 meals a day, regardless of whether I get to eat the meals myself or not.
  3. I am the Yii family's social butterfly. I plan and execute most of the family's social networking and family leisure activities.
  4. My favourite TV programmes are either travel, music, comedy, food or sports-related. There is absolutely no way to be healthier than that.
  5. I have a pretty decent singing voice, which means "London Bridge is Falling Down", "Mary had a Little Lamb" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" will be accurately taught to Noah, who will hopefully sing them properly in the future.
  6. I do all the "marketing" at home, aka buy groceries and everything else. I return home so many times with hands fully hung with heavy plastic bags that the aunties camping at my lobby now call me "Phor Baan" (Father House), whatever that means.

Last but definitely not least, I am a loving husband and dedicated father. They are the sole reason why I still push myself to work harder everyday.

I understand that no matter how much we do, we will never be able to replace the mother's importance in the family, neither are we eager to steal their limelight, but perhaps, just perhaps, we deserve a few more pats on our backs than most people think we do.


  1. Yeah definitely! A daddy's role is not easy too, juggling between work and family and I agree daddies' effort often gets undermined. Great job u are doing there!

    Fang Ting

    1. Thanks FT, your support is very encouraging, and make sure u give lots of them to your Shuhong in time to come!


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