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Thursday January 24th 2019

Stay at home Dads

Singapore Expats Forum -> Parenting, Family & Schools

I’m a stay-at-home dad for my daughter who is now 5 1/2.

She’s in school from 8:30 until 3:00 each day, so I do get some time to myself, and am with her the rest of the time.

Not sure about your quesitons, so I’ll give you some general observations, and then fire away if you would like more info. . .

We’re from the US, been here nearly 2 years, I’ve been with her since birth as a stay-at-home. I love her and usually enjoy our time together, but it’s not without some regrets. My career skills have slipped and I will be less employable when I’m ready to return to work. Still it’s a great life experience, with an enrichment that I could have never otherwise enjoyed.

On to the Singapore Stay-at-Home Dad Experience:

Some of the negative stuff:

You’re really on an island here, literally and figuratively. Most of the kids who I know in our area are tended to by their nannies/maids. And while the nannies & maids are usually very sweet and charming, it’s tough to come up with much in common to talk about. There are some options on taking your kids places, the Zoo, Bird Park, or some indoor playgrounds (e.g. Gogo Bambini, etc.), but still, you’re not often going to find many kids with dads, and often the moms are in their own circle of friends. I think that’s harder to break through than I experienced in the US.

As long as we have been here, I still can’t quite accept how stinking hot it is in Singapore. Any outdoor activity with kids, on the playground, riding bikes, walking to the store. . .they’re all pretty uncomfortable. And my daughter is very fair in complexion, so I’m constantly worried about sunscreen, etc.

There aren’t many big, traditional playgrounds here with slides and swings and frisbee games, etc. Or if they are, I just haven’t seen them.

I’m over generalizing here, but it’s my experience that Singaporean kids are so busy doing schoolwork and school-related activities that you’ll often find friends in other expats for playdays and the like. Local kids are often too busy. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it does seem segregated.

Beer is absurdly expensive. After playing with my kid all day, getting her fed, bathed and sleeping at the end of the day deserves a reward that shouldn’t require a 2nd mortgage.

Here’s some of the positives:

Singapore is a breeze to find things that you want.

I love and admire the maid population that I have come to know. They work tirelessly and provide safety and attention to kids who play in their groups.

You can find swimming and tennis instructors who will come to your home. Ballet classes, music lessons, martial arts, visual arts, cooking for kids, etc. There are industries built around kids’ “enrichment” that go beyond classroom learning.

If your husband can handle being the lone wolf, whose role seems mystifying to taxi-drivers and security guards, it’s a terrific place to raise young kids.

Best wishes!

JimH5

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2 Responses to “Stay at home Dads”

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  2. Dave T says:

    Jim, I will be joining you shortly. I am from Colorado, have a lovely almost 3 yr old daughter, and my wife is an ER physician in TTSH in Singapore. I lived there for 3.5 years, and tried to get my wife to come out to the US but she can’t get a US Residency so I am moving back to the Pore to be a stay at home daddy for my daughter. :) I empathize/identify fully with your plight. “Stinking hot” (and humid!!! ) IS Singapore. Maybe we can take our daughters to the Zoo together when I return (August I think) from the cool, crisp, dry air of Colorado to the Pore? :) Write me and we’ll organize.
    Best Regards
    Dave T. (dterner@ternerlaw.com is easy)

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