Sunday, March 2, 2014

Celebrate Fatherhood: Appreciating Fatherhood | Guestpost by Darren, Daddy Owner of PriviKids

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.

While the immense joy of parenthood usually overshadows the various challenges that come with it, some will say that you cannot say the same about fatherhood. Us poor fathers, especially in a stressful place like Singapore very often feel unappreciated. Why is that so?

1 ) Because The Gahmen Says So

Everybody hates the Gahmen. I checked this fact with several taxi drivers, beer drinking uncles in kopitiams and residents in Hougang, Aljunied and Punggol East. Unlike the Terminator who is so cool when he said, “I’ll be back”, the Gahmen triggers boos when they say, “You can’t have your CPF money back”.

Unfortunately, like the Gahmen, fathers very often have to play the role of the higher authority, the Court of Appeal, the one who says so. No kid likes us when we say, “This is your final warning. Listen to your mother and put the toys back”.

2 ) Playmates Not Soulmates 

There’s a good reason why books like “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” are best sellers. Fathers are just different from mothers, and children don’t have to read the book to know this.

Aiden insists on having me play with him when it comes to things like toy cars, physical activities and Lego. On the other hand, he is just not interested to have me read storybooks to him. I am also not welcomed on his bed to talk to him until he falls asleep. Those are strictly Mummy Cher territories.

Fathers are often used and abused, whereas mothers are usually the ones who are kissed and missed!

3) The Money Never Sleeps

I think that the traditional mindset that fathers are the ones that should bring home the bacon contributes the most to fathers feeling unappreciated.

As important as money is in our society, it is the fulfillment of emotional needs and the spending of quantity/quality time that will create deep, lasting bonds between parent and child. Money, and the rest that matters are often mutually exclusive. The more we chase money, the lesser we matter!

Recently, Aiden would tell us that he wants me to go to work, and Mummy Cher to stay at home. He already knows that us going to work means less time for him and it’s clear who is his favourite parent!

Despite all these, I don’t feel unappreciated.

That is because I appreciate the joys of moulding and correcting the character and behavior of my children, so that they will grow up to be fine adults with the right values.

That is because I appreciate being chosen by my children to play with them instead of someone else (it’s a bit like children taking turns to pick team mates for football/catching at the playground – it feels quite good to be called first!).

That is because I appreciate being able to put the proverbial food on the table for my family (in Singapore’s context, this also includes paying for tuition classes, enrichment classes, iPhones and the downpayment for their HDB apartment).

We all have different roles in play in parenthood, and as a father, I’m determined to play mine with a smile!

Daddy Darren is the lesser half of Mummy Cher. Together, they blog at incy wincy spider about the joys and challenges of raising their two children in stressful Singapore. They are also the owners of PriviKids, an online store where you can buy unique, stylish, affordable and quality apparel for one to eight year olds.

I think we, as mums, have an important part in shaping how our kids perceive the dads and relate to them too. I know I sometimes will tell Lil Pumpkin, "if you don't listen to me I'm going to tell daddy" which in a way leads her to think of the boy as the "bad cop" and enforcer of rules even though sometimes, I can be harsher than him :P I have to remember that even the slightest things we do or say can have an impact on her, with sometimes unintentional results.


1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

This day in age, so many dads are not involved in their kids lives, which is sad. I always find it impressive when a dad really gets active and participates in raising the kids as much as mom.