Fatherhood is an honour. Really.
I know I know, it sounds too cliché, right? Truth is, I never started out thinking this way.
We were happy, just my wife and I, in those initial years of marriage. Kids were never factored into the equation. We even left Singapore for a couple of years to do voluntary work, seemingly without a second thought, thinking that our hearts laid elsewhere.
In 2004, after four years of marriage, we finally came around to the idea that maybe the time was right to start a family. But what followed were five years of unexpected anguish and heartache as our desire for a child went unmet, for reasons beyond us. We were unable to make sense of why – often feeling like it’s never ever going to happen for us. Those were some of our darkest and most difficult years.
Fast forward to 2020 and our sons, now 11 and nine have been our shining knights, rescuing us from those lonely years, and filling our hearts and our home with new and life-giving experiences. We couldn’t have been more grateful that those years of wait weren’t for nothing.
Don’t get me wrong. Of course, the challenges of raising kids, especially during the first few years, were very real. And yes, I have even caught myself wondering at times whether all those sleepless nights and temper tantrums (ours, not the kids!) were worth it at all.
Back then, I often remarked to my wife that I felt like someone with a split personality: one moment I’ll be shouting at one boy and his mischief at the top of my lungs. The next, I’ll be coo-ing and tickling his brother just to get him to laugh!
After all this time, it still surprises me how quickly I forget the difficult moments. Somehow, memories of tough times nursing a fever or coaxing a reluctant toddler to go to school seemed to all-too-easily fade away. What stayed were the warm memories of hugs and kisses and sweet moments of fun and play, as we watched them grow up day after day.
Each time now as I look at my boys, I know the decision not to quit but to keep on trying for a child was the best my wife and I made.
As I celebrate yet another Father’s Day this year, I find it unthinkable for us to imagine our lives without our boys.
So if you ask me now, I would say this: Even though I never started out this way, I believe today with my whole heart that parenting is truly the most rewarding thing in this whole world.
And fatherhood is indeed an honour, one that I proudly wear like a badge everywhere I go, to hopefully inspire other dads too!
⇒ Related Read: 10 Effective Ways To Juggle Fatherhood And Husbandhood
By Kelvin Seah, read more about his story here.
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