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.
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!