The traditional Little India (mostly shophouses) where a modern Indian Heritage Centre stands. I took this photo as a juxtaposition to Little India’s development in recent times.
Good morning Singapore!
6 years ago, we made the vow to start this journey together.
Before we have Elliott, we thought our life are tough. Weekdays are all about hectic work schedule- meetings and deadlines. Weekends are worse, weekends are spent checking out various parks with Moon, rushing for the latest movie premiere and making trips all over the island to satisfy our latest food craving.
But after Elliott, the life gets a little bit more … complicated. Weekdays are still weekdays – Weekdays are the days we can breath a bit more and relax a bit more as compared to weekends. Almost every weekend, we are up at the crack of dawn and spend every waking moment taking care of everyone but ourselves.
Then: We sleep as late as you want
Now: “Sleeping in” don’t exist
We vaguely recall the concept, but details are fuzzy. All we know is that our day starts around 6 am – 7 am. We also gets upset when restaurants don’t open early for our breakfast. Who eats breakfast at 11 am?
Then: We accomplish one thing a weekend…if only if we feel like it
Bring Moon to the dog run – tick and done for weekend.
Now: We do more in one morning than what we do the entire weekend.
We walk and feed Moon, make/eat breakfast for everyone, do grocery shopping, go for class, watch Chugginton on TV for half an hour, read a few storybooks, change the diapers, shower Elliott, put the clothes to wash and picking up toys. If we dig deep, we might still have the energy to cook lunch by 12 pm. Oh, did we forget to feed Elliott?
Then: Sleeping before 12 midnight is a rare event
Now: Bedtime is 9 pm
We worked all week and then spent the weekends doing every kid-friendly activity imaginable. We will go to bed at 7:30 everyday if it were socially acceptable.
Then: Knows all the latest chart topping hits
Now: Knows all the nursery rythms
We never thought this is ever possible – we even have to sing during swimming class!
We used to roll our eyes when friends give us this piece of advice, but now we humbly repeat the same advice to any to-be parents. “Relish every last second of your time while you can, watch as many movies as you can, your time will never be yours anymore (for a long time at least).”
Sometimes when we get the tiny sliver of free time, we will reminisce our past life,or the fact that we used to have a life.
So yes, life after having a baby are a total departure from what they used to be. But ask us anytime, we will tell you the same thing – It’s totally worth it.
What is marriage and parenthood all about?
All of your hopes and dreams and desires and wants all get swallowed up in the needs and wants of your spouse, child and (even) your pet?
And I do it willingly, because I want them to be happy and safe and successful. More importantly, because I love them.
Not because I need to live up to societal expectation, not because I am scare of being perceived is bad and irresponsible.
But is it enough just to be responsible? To be a husband and father in Singapore, one need to live up to societal expectation and do what is the society expect from you – as a loving husband and a great father.
So what do you need to do?
1. You need to buy and give big bouquet of flowers on special occasion and post it up on Facebook and Instagram.
2. You need to go to fancy restaurants and post it up on Facebook and Instagram.
3. You need to buy fancy presents and get your wife to post the posts up on Facebook and Instagram.
4. You need to look happy doing activities with your child and post it up on Facebook and Instagram.
By doing so, you will be a good husband and a responsible father.
I came across this article which I thought was extremely sartorial and witty. Even though I am not from the media industry, I can understand the writer’s frustration dealing with the PR folks that the corporate machinery churns out daily.
1 Why are you here? “Here” can mean any or all of following: (a) In this room, during my interview with your client, interrupting at critical junctures with unimportant comments.
(b) In this room, during my interview with your client, completely silent while scrolling through Facebook on your phone and “liking” food photos. (Yes, I can see from over here.)
(c) On the phone, listening in on an interview and turning a simple one-on-one conversation into a static-filled, poor-voice-quality multiple-party conference call. Do you know that there has not been a single conference call in the history of mankind that has been intelligible to any of its participants?
(d) Existentially. On this planet. Why?
2 Why do you ask reporters if a story is out in the paper today? Do you get a copy of the paper that’s different from the one we put out? Is yours the Hogwarts edition with enchanted disappearing columns and the invisible Page Nine-and-Three-Quarters?
3 As a follow-up to point #2, why do you ask us for a copy of the published story to show your client? Do you not, in the course of business, subscribe to the newspaper which – pardon the attempt at poetry – is the Canvas upon which your Life’s Work is wrought? Or do you wander the streets of Shenton Way waiting for a particularly gusty day, so that when a stray page from the paper flutters your way, you can make grabbing motions at it in the hope that it’s the page on which the story appears?
4 It is impossible to tell you the “angle” of the story before we’ve met your CEO for the interview. At that stage, our story is so angle-less that if it were a shape, it would be a circle. It is so lacking in angles that if the story were a famous person, it’d be Kim Kardashian’s bottom, which is a celebrity in its own luscious right. OK? OK.
5 Getting a list of questions for your client beforehand does not pre-empt tough questions in the actual interview. It just makes us annoyed, because now we have to think up decoy questions on top of the actual questions. “Yes! Tell us about your company’s pillars of excellence! What about your core values?! Don’t leave out your mission statement. What? You want to deliver value? Get. Out.”
6 If your client says nothing, then “nothing” will appear in the paper the next day.
7 Why do you say “sorry about the confusion” after making a mistake? It’s as though this “confusion” is some supernatural force beyond the bounds of your influence instead of the result of your playing with your hair during the interview.
How about, the next time we make a mistake about your client, we publish a correction that reads: “In our previous story, we said that profit was down when it was up, we got the name of the company wrong and used a photo of a sleeping puppy just because. Sorry about the confusion.”
8 How come your idea of an “exclusive” interview is one that you have pitched to five different newspapers and three television channels? Are you using the F&B industry’s definition of “exclusive”? Like, is your client a VIP room at a nightclub? Do only supermodels and heirs to dubiously acquired wealth get to interview your CEO? Seriously.
9 No, we will not arrive 15 minutes before an interview is supposed to start. What do you plan to accomplish in that quarter of an hour? Is that the time in which I’m supposed to brush my hair and straighten my skirt? No, I always look like I’ve been dragged backwards through a hedge. There’s no fixing that.
10 Why do you flag your press releases as “important”, making little red exclamation marks appear next to your e-mails in the Lotus Notes system – the ones that look like mini heart attacks? Do you honestly believe that your event, which I see you have billed as the “Oscars of back-end network enterprise systems”, calls for immediate scrutiny? Do you know why I haven’t replied? Because I am afraid of what I might say.
Again, why are you here?
PS: We know you have 10 questions to ask reporters too. Our answer to all of them: We decline to comment, and please don’t say we declined to comment.
- This piece originally appeared on Miss Ann Thrope, a blog on The Business Times website. For more, visit btd.sg/missannthrope