A Father’s Unconditional Love
Our fellow working fathers in GJC were interviewed to find out their perspective of a father’s unconditional love.
1. Do you feel the workplace is supportive of working fathers? If yes, what makes it supportive, and how does it affect how you work?
Gabriel Chua: Our workplace culture is very supportive of its working parents. When I became a father in 2020, there were many firsts for me when caring for a newborn, and it’s honestly more stressful than work itself. But I was greatly encouraged by the advice and encouragement I received from my boss, who’s also a fellow working parent.
In the last two years, my son had to be hospitalised three times for health reasons, and each time he had to be admitted to the hospital for a week. However, my boss allowed me to work remotely to be close to my son while he was recovering. Juggling between work and having a newborn was a real challenge, and I wouldn’t have been able to do so without the strong support from the people I work for and with.
2. How do you separate between work and family time? What are some of your changes or sacrifices after becoming a father?
Gabriel Chua: I admit I’m quite the workaholic, having invested countless hours throughout my career. And when I newly became a father, I remember only reaching home after eight in the evening when my son was already asleep.
I knew I had to make significant changes in my work schedule to be a part of my son’s life. Hence, I made it a point to reach home earlier just so I could spend some quality time with him and my wife, and I find that this greatly motivates me to want to do better in all aspects of my life.
3. What does your family do to make you feel loved and appreciated? What does the company you’re in do to make you feel valued?
Ray Loh: My love languages are quality time and words of encouragement, and I feel most loved when my family and I spend quality time together. Their words greatly encourage and support me when they show genuine interest in my well-being and accomplishments.
At work, my colleagues don’t withhold constructive feedback and always take the time to acknowledge my efforts. My company has a culture of building and exchanging trust. It openly offers opportunities for growth and development and does an excellent job of involving me in specific decision-making processes.
4. How do you prioritise self-care and well-being while managing work and family commitments?
Ray Loh: There are three things I consider when I take time for myself and set aside time for work and family commitments:
I like to plan and schedule my time, allocating specific slots for work, family, and personal activities. Setting healthy boundaries in these aspects has allowed me to avoid work-related tasks during designated family moments and protect my time for self-care activities.
Lastly, open and honest communication with my work and family is vital. By expressing my needs and concerns, I can work with my colleagues and loved ones to find solutions that accommodate each without compromising other commitments.
5. Have you had any discussions with your employer or colleagues about fatherhood-related challenges or encouragement? How have those conversations gone?
Jason Goh: Yes, I’ve had plenty of conversations with them. As a single father, I take on the roles of both a father and mother, from managing my children’s studies, their welfare, and even planning their holidays. On top of that, I must make sure my work isn’t delayed.
I have great conversations with my colleagues, especially those with kids. We share and exchange our experiences, provide suggestions for better care, listen better, and support our children. For my single or soon-to-be-married colleagues, I’d share with them the expectations of setting up a family and having children.
6. Was there a time when you encountered stereotypes or biases about being a working father? How have you addressed them?
Jason Goh: Fortunately, I’ve never encountered such situations before. I love sharing about my children with the people around me and even on my social media. My friends and colleagues support and encourage my efforts as a single father, and in return, it reminds me that I’m doing a great job as a parent.
Here is our article to find out a mother’s love version.
This interview was edited and rewritten for clarity by Destiny Goh, Marketing Communications Executive.