The past week has been a rough one, both physically and emotionally. Being in Singapore, it’s pretty guessable that work is one of the reasons why.

Running your own startup has its own pros and cons. One of the cons is that it’s just naturally harder to separate between work stress and personal stress. And personal stress has its way of getting into family matters. You get tired, you get cranky, you start losing focus and you just snap at home.

In Singapore, working adults pride ourselves on being able to work hard and to be productive for our company. Whether it’s to impress our boss, co-workers or just our family and friends, being able to achieve in the workplace is seen as a major sign of success in life – somewhat similar to getting good grades for exams.

What happen though to spending time at home, raising your kids and being there for them when they need you? Is being a successful dad less important? Surely not.

Are We Killing Ourselves For A Company Who Will Just Replace Us Within A Day If We Are Gone? 

People leave companies all the time. Whether it’s due to poor performance, a working relationship with the boss go wrong, career advancement or retirement, every company would deal with losing with good talent. A company doesn’t just decide to stop functioning because it loses a good employee or even it’s CEO.

In fact, they try to replace you (and I) with someone better. And very often, they succeed in doing so, regardless of how important you and I think we are to the company.

Our Kids Can’t Replace Us…Even If They Want To

While many of us dad may pride ourselves on being able to bring home the dough, we need to ask ourselves one additional question. How “successful” are we faring in our role as a dad today?

We spend 9, 10 maybe even 12 hours a day in the office. But even as the CEO, I am under no delusion that my company will continue to function well if I am no longer around to work with them tomorrow, for whatever reasons.

You know who is going to really miss me though? My family.

My parents will be devastated. At their senior age today, the realisation that they will spend their golden years without one of their son beside them is going to heartbreaking. They will need to move on and continuing living their lives well, knowing that they still have children and grandchildren who are in their lives.

My wife will need to move on. Unfortunately, there is no option to opt out of lives whenever bad things happen and the responsibilities of the kids will fall upon her. It will be tough but she will need to do her best for the decades to come. The next 20 years (at least) will be very difficult.

For for my girls, 2 year 9 months and 10 months respectively, they are going to grow up without a dad. At the start, they may not notice it. After a while when they are older, they will start to realise it. They may think it’s okay because they will never really know what it’s like to have a dad who loves them, because they never experienced it in the first place, and that’s the sad, painful part.

IfSib, I love you. Always remember that 🙂

Money, talent, skills, opportunities or even good health is something that we can’t always promise we can give to our kids. One thing can definitely give them, if we want to, is our love. For many of us, spending time with our girls, loving them and just being with them is something that is within our control.

Come home early whenever you can. Spend time with them. Read and laugh with them. Pray with them. Because our kids can’t replace us.


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