Parenting »

5 Lessons Our Kids Can Learn From Mountain Climbing

14 January 2018 – 9:17 pm | One Comment

Someone asked our 6.5yo Brie about her recent Mount Lawu hike:
‘So did you enjoy it?’
And … Brie shook her head.
‘Oops!’, the man smiled and looked at Wilson. ☺️

To us, it is okay if our kids …

Read the full story »

From the ups and downs of parenthood, to practical tips on enjoying and managing life with children.


Where inspiring thoughts and treasured life lessons are learned and shared.

Places to Visit

From Hong Kong to Bali, from Universal Studios Singapore to farmstays and beaches in Perth, we share photos, info and tips with you!

Crafts & Activity Ideas for Kids

How many different things can we do with our little ones at home and outside? Too many.


Where precious daily moments are captured and seen through the lens. Sharing with you tips, iphone apps, and ideas too.

Home » Marriage & Relationships, Parenting

‘First-time Mom’ – Backseat Dads

7 May 20085 Comments

As a follow-up on my post last Saturday, here’s one topic from Dr Kevin Leman’s book “First-time Mom” that I’d like to share with you today.

It’s on the role of daddies in the family and how moms often complain about their husbands having little interest in helping out with the kids.

The book recommends this :

Avoid actions that scare husbands away

One of the reasons why many men take a ‘backseat’ when it comes to parenting is : they feel the wives are so competent that they are just not needed.

Another reason: they eventually feel reluctant to help out because they are often instructed by the wives on ‘HOW’ they ‘SHOULD HAVE’ done things.

Like when a dad tries to put on a diaper and the wife laughs and says : ‘Don’t you know how to put on a diaper? You’ve got it backwards!’. Then the wife continues to share his ‘amusing’ diaper episode with her friends.

Some husbands are completely okay with such comments and reactions from the wives, but some may not like them.

They feel the wives are too quick to ridicule, judge and ‘correct’ their way of doing things when it comes to caring for the kids. And as the result, the dads feel discouraged and simply are not interested in helping much anymore.

So. How should the wife approach all this?

Learn to appreciate the husband’s unique role and approach in the child’s life.

Dads may not be as gentle as moms, but that’s okay. In fact, that’s the way it should be.

Babies don’t need daddies to act like mommies or mommies who try to act like daddies. Kids are more ‘durable’ than we often realise.

This, I admit, was one of the things that lead to arguments between Wilson and I, especially in Anya’s earlier years.

I have my own routine and ways of doing things when it comes to caring for the kids. And Wilson naturally has his ways too. And when I insist on how certain things ‘need to be done’, I’m making him feel incompetent. It’s as if ‘my way’ is the ‘only right way’ of accomplishing certain things.

By now, we’ve understood each others’ roles better. We’ve synchronised quite a few parenting approaches too.

And despite Wilson’s long working hours, when he’s with the kids, he helps out and spends lots of time with them (like, getting them ready for bed, washing them up, brushing their teeth, putting on diapers, changing into their pyjamas, reading them books and saying their bedtime prayer together)

Over time, I’ve also learned to just ‘close one eye’ and avoid being too particular over things that are not that critical (which frankly was tougher to do during my earlier years of being a Mom).

And when we disagree about a particular parenting approach, we’d share it with each other and talk about it.

We realise that no parent is perfect, and that we both need to complement each other, and continually grow and be reminded of the many things that need to be changed and improved.

Parenting sure is a continual learning journey for us.


  • Leonny says:


    With such thoughts even before you become one, you’ll do great as a dad I think 🙂

  • julian says:

    Thanks for the info – I’ll try to remember when the time comes round 🙂

  • Leonny says:

    Hi Ai-Ling,

    Yes I agree with you, words of appreciation – even for the simplest things – are often not enough said, especially when the husband&wife are just so ‘used to’ being together. I need to remind myself too on this one! 🙂


    Hi Julian!

    Thanks for leaving a comment!

    Yes it’s great if the dad can be involved from the start, so it’s a new beginning for both parents when the baby arrives.

    And actually, to me, there’re a lot that a daddy can do to little babies 🙂 eg. help soothe a crying baby, rock a baby to sleep, push the pram, help change diapers and put on clothes, warm up expressed milk and feed from the bottle (like you mentioned). Though the mommy naturally will be the primary caregiver, the daddy can still do these things when he’s around.

    The challenge for every family I feel is, whether the daddy ‘wants’ to be involved and supportive, and whether the mommy makes a conscious effort to involve and encourage the daddy.


  • julian says:

    Hiya, some interesting thoughts there. I am not a father yet, but from what I’ve seen a lot of fathers get left out – especially in the earlier stages – because the mother is the primary carer (mainly because of breast feeding). So, the guy feels ‘What’s there for me to do anyway?’ Also, as you imply perhaps, the mother is so attentive to the baby, and wants to be with it, that she unconsciously prefers it if the father keeps his distance.

    The problem comes when she wants a break, and the guy doesn’t know what to do…

    I think that the father needs to be involved as soon as possible, even with the feeding (e.g. expressing milk and using a bottle). This would make him feel part of the process, rather than an onlooker… just MHO 🙂

  • Ai-Ling says:

    “…Over time, I’ve also learned to just ‘close one eye’ and avoid being too particular over things that are not that critical (which frankly was tougher to do during my earlier years of being a Mom)…” –> very true indeed. i’ve learnt that ‘art’ as well. also, don’t forget to compliment the little things that men do to help around the house as a sign of appreciation 🙂

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

CommentLuv badge