Sunday, October 7, 2012

Celebrate Fatherhood: She Never Forgets Her Daddy | Guestpost by Daddy Doctor of Phoenix Medical Group

Sakura Haruka is not a blog just about celebrating motherhood. It shares the joys {& frustrations!} of parenting and of families as a whole. Inspired by my hubby's thoughts on being a dad, Celebrate Fatherhood is thus a monthly series where daddies from all walks of life share insights about what fatherhood means to them, and how we can appreciate their role in a family too.

I sincerely thank all those who took the time to guest post for me. Most of those I approached were very supportive and enthusiastic about this new series, sharing my belief that being an involved dad, and getting the dads involved, is important in building a strong family. If you have a story to share, please email me at sakuraharuka {at} live {dot} com.

When Ai approached me to write about my thoughts on Fatherhood, I actually had to gather my thoughts and ponder about it for a good three weeks before I sat down to write this guest blog post which you are reading right now.

I’ve never really been the sort of person to be very fond of kids. Before my girl was born, I would never give a newborn baby, or a toddler dressed up in cute apparel a second look. Even now, I still don’t. In the course of my work, I do see paediatric patients, but I’m objective about them. They’re my patients and I do my best to help them get well, regardless of age. I’m not one of those doctors with a bottomless jar of sweets or stickers. Perhaps it’s just a guy thing, or maybe it’s just me.

It would be the sentimental and perhaps even idealistic thing to say that after that fateful day when Caileigh came into our lives, that everything changed. It didn’t, at least not everything. I’m still not the fondest of kids, and I still don’t hand out sweets and stickers freely and go, “Awwwwww….” when a baby coos. However, there is ONE important exception: My daughter. And yes, she did change our lives very much!

It may sound selfish to say it, but frankly, the only child who can make my heart reverberate with so much love and joy (and actually go, “Awwwwww…” ) is Caileigh. She didn’t come by easy either. My wife and I tried for 3 years before we were blessed with the miracle which is our little princess. So you can probably understand why I only have room in my heart for my girl where kids are concerned.

Perhaps I may be a little bit extreme. I’m sure there are plenty of fathers out there who genuinely love any and all kids. They’re on the other side of the spectrum of ‘Dad’ from me I guess. But I do know this: The one thing that unifies all Dads, regardless of where they stand on the spectrum, is that our kids will always be the apples of our eyes.

So when Ai posed the questions of whether I feel underappreciated and how I would like to feel appreciated, I honestly had to think long and hard about this. I could’ve expounded on the joys of Fatherhood and how it is such a life changing event, but I figured most of the other daddy bloggers would probably cover that aspect just fine. So I decided to give my honest opinion, with the absolute minimum of embellishment.

I don’t feel underappreciated, not at all. Not by society at large, not by my family, not by anyone. Yes, Dads in Singapore could do with a bit more paternity leave and other cash gifts or tax reliefs. I wouldn’t mind that. But I honestly don’t feel the least bit underappreciated. I think the key to my satisfaction is simple: I only need appreciation from my daughter. She’s barely 19 months old now, so she’s not really capable of saying, “I love you Daddy”, but I know she does. I can tell.

I can tell from the way she pulls my hand to sit down with her to read a book or play with her beloved Lego bricks. I can tell from the way she screams, “Daddy!!” and runs over to hug me, when she hasn’t seen me after a long day of work. And I can tell from her kisses which she plants on me. That’s all the appreciation I need.

I work really long hours and sometimes even seven days a week, so I’m really thankful for the support from my wife and my family, and also from Caileigh, who despite not seeing me that often, never fails to forget who her daddy is. That’s enough appreciation for me!

I first met the friendly Dr Daryn at the Greenwich V Experience event. He practices at Phoenix Medical Group and obtained his medical degree from the National University of Singapore in 2003. Dr Daryn spent several years in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) before leaving for private practice, aiming to provide holistic, beauty and well-being treatments for women and men alike.

I'm so happy to read Dr Daryn's story and know that dads understand the simple joys that children can give them. But also, there's a little feeling stirring inside me. Am I the one causing the boy to feel unappreciated? Like Caileigh, Lil Pumpkin is still a young child and may not be able to show and say the huge amount she loves her daddy {although we can tell}. However, I'm an adult and have full capability of showing the boy how much he means to us... am I not doing it enough, or am I showing the opposite? Certainly something for me to ponder on.




PhyPhy said...

I'm sure you are doing fine, Ai. Don't worry!

Emily said...

Nice doctor, I've seen him before for my mole removal. Keep wanting to go back for IPL, but can't find time. Hopefully when my workload eases in Nov, I can see him again.

Nice post! It's nice to read about fatherhood... :)