We have often heard from mothers on how they cope with motherhood, but what about fathers? We hear from Mr Gabriel Chen, 29, who has just become a first time father.

Gabriel Chen and his familyMr Gabriel Chen, father of one son, Issac

I never thought one could be so in love with a little being until my beloved wife delivered Isaac almost three months ago. Seeing him for the very first time, it was a feeling of pure joy! Before Isaac arrived, the mere thought of carrying a newborn would make me a little nervous. Because they seem so brittle! More often than not, I would pass on the opportunity to cradle these little ones. But when Isaac arrived, everything happened so naturally! I could not resist but pick up this little baby immediately and cradle him in my arms.

Every morning, I love waking up to his soft cooing sounds, seeing his little face next to mine and witnessing his growth as he grows to look more and more like me. It’s funny how his hair really stands right up like mine! Even at a nursery, you would have no trouble telling which kid is mine. Nowadays when I return home from work, even though I can be extremely exhausted and stressed from a full day of meetings, opening the door to Isaac’s smiles would wash all the tiredness away! The joys are endless!

That said, having a little kiddo doesn’t come without challenges. From the lack of sleep, as I have to wake up to help my wife with Isaac in the middle of the night, decipher his cries, sooth him, change his diapers and help with some chores at home, add that all on top of the work I have in the day and it has been physically demanding to say the least.

But I’m thankful for a supportive wife and also the wonderful opportunity we had to watch my two nephews (8 and 4 years old this year) and niece (3 this year) grow-up. I am not one who learns by reading books, so the opportunity to babysit my niece and nephews and take them out for little excursions gave my wife and I a really good idea of what it is like to be parents and have little ones looking up to you for their whims and fancies.

first time father Gabriel ChenIn this new season, the top three traits I found out about my wife:

  • A sometimes exhausted wife – A hungry man who is an angry man would look happy standing beside an exhausted wife. She has been really tired managing her new role and caring for Isaac!
  • A wife who’s addicted to buying baby stuff online – She tells me how nice this bag or how our baby carrier is getting old and flimsy and next thing I know, I find new parcels either in my house or in the letterbox; I am trying to manage her new hobby but understand that the purchases are sometimes needful!
  • A wife who is even more of a neat freak than I am – Even when she is totally drained, she would rather magic clean the whole house than to take a power nap. She has an amazing strength and capability to manage the household and Isaac!

If I have to give top three advices to fathers-to-be who are expecting their firstborns soon, they would be

  1. Sleep! You’ll need lots of it, 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep will become a thing of the past
  2. Have a beer just before the delivery (I did!) it’ll calm you down, soon you will have 2 people screaming at you, one big one (your wife) and one small one (your newborn).
  3. Don’t work so hard (I hope my bosses aren’t reading this). ENJOY every moment of fatherhood, these precious moments will soon pass you by and you will NEVER get them back again!

By Yvonne Chee

Do you have any fatherhood tips to share with first time fathers? Share them with us in the comment box below!