Anyway, so one of the very interesting topic that came up was - "What's your priorities as a new daddy(for your child)". From the moment you found out that you guys have a baby coming along, what did you do? What was the first thing that you did? What are the other things that you have been doing over the months to get ready and welcome your baby?
Now take a few seconds and think about it. Got your answer? I'm going to share this answer in the order from the most common to the least mentioned one and see how close you got with this group of new daddies who is aged 28 - 33.
SHOW ME THE MONEY! It's no surprise that money came up as the top priorities to most of these new dads. The logic is quite straight forward isn't it? An extra mouth at home, buying of food, things to wear, and everything else. Money has to be the key, especially when you are in Singapore. So it is either you start changing your spending pattern and save or you should do more and earn more.
The longest debate of which is more important between wealth and health. Would you rather stay alive poor or die rich? Truth is if you are rich, you can stay healthy a lot longer. Better food, better medical, better living environment and what not. So I guess health can be considered an extension of good wealth and thus coming in 2nd. Still nothing surprising so far.
Every school is the same, says our minister. But we all know where to find our ministers' kids when it comes to schooling in Singapore. Just that handful of ivy league schools of course. And even enrichment schools are priced differently based on location despite being the same brand and teaching the same curriculum. You may or may not know that but it is true that a school's fee in Bukit Timah will cost more than the same school in Ang Mo Kio. Your debate is because the rental is different? Think again. So getting good education, extra courses, learning more even before compulsory school starts requires money. And thus, education also became another extension of MONEY!
Anyway, I digress. Every parent wants their kid to become somebody some day and in Singapore, we believe that education plays a very big part. I'm pretty sure we are all familiar with the saying "you don't study you go sweep the floor" from our parents.
So that sums up the top 3 priorities amongst the new dad for getting a baby ready. And they are Money, Money and Money.
|Any skill is a skill.|
This is the one thing I brought onto the table and everyone gave me weird stares. In fact this is my top priority over money or education. Not because I am rich and do not need to worry about money at all but I really feel the importance of being a role model to your kids.
Growing up, my dad is quite a mysterious figure even until today. He never talks about his hobbies or what his childhood or life was like. All I know was he had a job, he goes to work, and he plays mahjong after office hours. On the other hand, I picked up hobbies such as comics reading, playing basketball, music, my favourite band, my favourite type of tv shows, and even the course i selected when I was in polytechnic was strongly influenced by my brother.
He was the role model in my life and I was very proud of him growing up. I wanted to be like him and I pick up things that he likes so I could be like him. That happened because he spent so much time with me telling me things, showing me things and he was like the greatest man in my life.
The importance of influence at home is really something many doesn't pay much attention to. Kids growing up with their grandparents picked up broken English or worst, only dialect. I grew up in a cantonese speaking family and I only picked up Chinese and English at a age of 5 at school and I had to play catch up. Not only must I learn English the way the school was teaching me, I had to unlearn the broken English I was taught at home.
So with this at the back of my mind, I feel that we need to polish ourselves a lot more to ensure that our kids have good people to look up upon. My English as you guys can see needs major help. And what about good eating habits? Health? Knowing more about current affairs? History? More interesting hobbies?
To me, personal development is really just as important or in fact more important than the rest of the things. Being rich is not just about your bank account.
This is one funny thing that nobody brought up. This is one of those things that I thought about when i got home. Did no one brought it up because it was a given or is it something that no one thought it was important or thought that it is one of the top priorities?
How much time should a dad spent with his kids? I did put on the table about person development which means taking away family time from their kids. And what about daddies who spent time with voluntary work? Grassroot work? Do they give up on their commitment or contribution to the community to spend time with their kids?
How much is enough? We always talk about how things can wait but once your kids grow up, there is no way you can go back to their childhood. So how does one balance this or is this really something not as important as it seems?
So what is YOUR priorities when it comes to being a new father or when you were a new father? Is it about being a better person? Earning more money to fulfill his basic needs but meaning spend less time with him? Getting the help and does research to ensure he grows up well? Or simply getting him enough insurance or health care needs to make sure he grows up in one piece? Of course I am sure that you will tell me things like "balance" is important and a bit of everything but the truth is we know getting balance in life ain't exactly the easiest thing to do.