Fatherhood

Being a father has also given me a greater sense of responsibility and purpose. It’s not just about bringing home the bacon or living a good example for them to follow. I’m even more careful nowadays when I drive or cross the road, because I know that two young lives depend on me.

It’s Father’s Day today–my third as a father. My daughter is two-and-a-half and my son is approaching his 11th month.

My two kids have brought Elena and me so much more joy than we ever imagined. Neither of us were the “I adore kids” types before we had our own brood. In fact, we waited five years after getting married before having children. Fortunately we were in our mid-twenties when we tied the knot, so we had a bit of time to spare on our biological clocks to enjoy being dinks (double income, no kids).

Now that we have our own two kids, I can’t imagine life without them. Nothing beats coming home from a hard day of work and having my girl run up to me and exclaim, “Daddy, 回来了!” (Daddy’s home) and giving me a big hug; or picking up my son and looking into his bright eyes, full of excitement and promise.

A walk along the beach

Being a father has also given me a greater sense of responsibility and purpose. It’s not just about bringing home the bacon or living a good example for them to follow. I’m even more careful nowadays when I drive or cross the road, because I know that two young lives depend on me. Elena has made her sacrifices for our family as well, most notably resigning from her job as a senior accountant to be a stay-at-home mum to raise our two children.

Now that I’m a parliamentarian, the next five years are likely to be the busiest of my life, particularly because I have to juggle my salaried job with my legislative and political work. These five years also coincide with what I believe is the most important period for parents to spend time with their children.

By God’s grace, I’m determined to perform all three roles–father, worker, politician–well. If anything, it will help me better appreciate the challenges and struggles many Singaporean families go through to hold on to their jobs and raise their children in this very competitive society. I also hope that my work in Parliament will in some small way help bring about a better Singapore that all Singaporeans and their children can benefit from.

A very Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, or dads-to-be, out there!

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam was a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) from 2011-2015. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

30 thoughts on “Fatherhood”

  1. Gerald, I am at least one generation older than you…good luck to your new status and the growing responsibilities you have to shoulder.

    Remember the so many Fathers and Mothers that could not afford basic medical care (like NKF) and died needlessly without ever making any news (at that time) and till today it still cost hundreds of dollars to get dialysis…Why must a Rich Country like singapore put the poor so harshly?

    Will you and your party FIGHT for the poor and destitute and for all Singaporeans especially those elderly ones to enjoy in the sunset of the lives a dignified existence and not ending dying needlessly because they cannot afford medical care?

  2. @Bobby yes I agree. It’s such a tragedy that so many of the people who built Singapore are now left to fend for themselves. Healthcare costs are a big concern, which we will speak up on.

  3. If I may paraphrase the HSBC CEO; he said something liked many of us took for granted many things, however, there are many Singaporeans without proper place and equipment to study at home.
    The CEO affirmed that it is a fact that MANY need the help and donation from goodwill to just have a proper place to study at home.

    Can’t help feeling hurt.

  4. Being a young dad, I think you must have thought about what stiff challenges your two young kids would face in life when they grow up. Please work hard. Work hard to study well and deep on the root causes of the unique Singapore affliction. For it will serve you well and good in fighting for your own young ones and the people you serve.

    Please keep up the good work!

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