- Be A Stay-At-Home Dad For A Week
After my return from Japan last week, I took leave to be a stay-at-home Dad for one week straight. It was not an all-play-and-no-work experience.
I knew I had my work cut out for me when my domestic helper left abruptly due to her family emergency. As I was clueless about handling household chores, it became an emergency for me.
- Have To Do Housework Myself
I had to figure out how to do the housework, pick up my son Kyan (pronounced as Kee-Ann) after school and take care of him for the rest of the day. And I was determined to find time for work-outs and some serious reading and writing at home.
So I kept the morning hours mostly for my exercise and study. And I was looking forward to spend more time with the children in their after-school hours. But I was definitely not into household chores.
The last time I did my own laundry was in a dormitory in Japan, which was more than twenty years ago. As for ironing, I could not even recall the last time I did it myself. I felt despair in front of the formidable-looking ironing board.
I thought of getting a part-time helper to come in once a week to help with the ironing and house-cleaning until we found a new maid. The idea was quickly dismissed by my money-wise wife who demonstrated shrewdness by showing rare confidence in my housework competence. (laughs)
- Turn Housework Into An Educational Opportunity
I decided to convert my challenge into an opportunity. I roped in my son to help me with the housework, mainly the laundry. Kyan learnt quickly with enthusiasm.
And I was pleasantly surprised by how good and patient he was at folding clothes.
- Household Chores Burned Calories
Ironing can be an annoying chore. I decided to do it alone. It took me a number of trials and errors before I figured out how to make the working shirts and pants wrinkles-free with an iron and a spray-bottle of water. I perspired as the heat increased and my legs became heavy after standing over an hour.
I was convinced that the calories burned while doing household chores could really add up. And I felt a sense of satisfaction after completing the job!
- A Week Of Many Rewards
As a reward for his diligence, and also to save the trouble of cooking at home and having to clean up afterwards, Kyan got to choose the place he wanted for lunch or dinner. We enjoyed simple fare like the delicious porridge at the A-One restaurant, among many other places.
And I even found time to teach my boy cycling. It was particularly rewarding for me when Kyan got a better grip on the bicycle eventually.
It was a rewarding week well-spent on domestic endeavours, don’t you agree?
William W K Tan
18 March 2018
Sunday, 6.30 am