When June Ho met her husband, she knew right off the bat that he would make a great dad. Part of what attracted her to him was how great he was with kids. Now they have two boys of their own.
In the following interview with TNAP, June, a stay-at-home-mum, shares how her husband helps balance her kiasu-ness, the important role he plays in her motherhood journey, and why his nickname is the “alarm clock of the family.”
TNAP: How did your husband help you cope during those early days right after you and the baby came home from the hospital? What about after you gave birth to another baby?
My parents came to help me and prepare food for me during the first couple of months after my babies were born, since my husband didn’t have paternity leave at his company. When he was off from work, my husband also helped take care of the baby, like bottle-feeding and diaper changing. Every night he would rush downstairs to prepare the bottle so that I didn’t have to get out of bed.
When our second child was born, my husband always took our first son out for morning walks so that the younger one and I can sleep in. I appreciate how he was so considerate.
TNAP: How do you split or share parenting responsibilities?
I’ve never been a morning person. When the kids went to elementary school, my husband prepared breakfast for them and walked them to the school bus stop. Now the kids are older and he’s still the “alarm clock” of the family. He sets three alarms because everyone wakes up at slightly different times. We all rely on him to get things in order in the morning. And he still prepares breakfast for the kids.
I’m the one who always reminds the kids to do homework and get good grades. You could say I’m the nagging one. When the kids were small, I tutored them. Now that they are older, I still constantly remind them to do well at school but sometimes it’s beyond my ability to help them with high school math and physics; that’s when my husband steps in to teach them. When the kids and I get into arguments, my husband plays the role of mediator.
We also split weekend and weekday driving duties. For example, my husband drives the kids to their Chinese and tutoring classes on the weekends, and I drive them on the weekdays. As far as parenting responsibilities and tasks go, I feel like we make a pretty good team.
TNAP: What are the specific ways your husband has helped and supported you during your motherhood journey?
He helps our kids with the things I can’t help them with. For example, he taught them how to ride bikes and he taught our older one how to drive a car. He takes over some house chores and prepares meals for us on the weekends. There are countless ways he’s supported me. Whenever I need anything, he is there to help.
TNAP: What do you think is the bravest thing or biggest sacrifice your husband has made for the family?
He left his family—his parents and sibling—to come here and establish a family with me. I know he wants to go back to Taiwan but because of me, he has stayed here to raise our kids together. I feel safe knowing that I can count on him.
TNAP: What is something new you’ve learned about your husband since seeing him as a dad?
He is patient. He never scolds the kids for getting bad grades. Instead, he searches for things that can stimulate their interest so that they can learn at every opportunity, not in a forced setting but in natural, fun and spontaneous ways.
TNAP: Favorite memory of your husband and the kids or favorite thing to see him do with the kids?
Lots and lots of things. Everything he does for the kids is my favorite.
By Jenny Tai
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