Jason Chui’s story of leaving his financial services job and becoming a full time dad with the added complexity of moving to a new country with his family.
When my family and I moved to Zurich from Singapore, for a great employment opportunity for my wife, I resigned from my job in financial services and became the primary caregiver and Stay-at-Home Dad for my children.
I had thought myself as a pretty devoted father and all my friends told me that they would have loved to be given an opportunity to be a full time Stay-at-Home parent.
Moving countries with a young family is challenging for everyone involved. Moving to a country where English is not the primary language, and where your children need to learn to settle into a very different environment to what they were used to was certainly a big change for them. For me, moving from a professional job in financial services to becoming a Stay-at-Home Dad was certainly an eye-opening experience. It meant ensuring everything at home was running smoothly, the family happily fed and everyone had fresh, clean clothes to wear every day. I immersed myself in the waters where generations of women and mothers had gone before me. What I was doing was nothing new, but as someone who was a finance professional, this was a big change for me. As a male, it brought me perspective, especially to the life my mother led, when I was growing up in Australia, as well as a new personal lens for Stay at Home Mums. The time with my children has definitely brought me closer to them and them to me. But my wife still doesn’t like the way I hang the clothes up after the washing is done… I guess we all have things to improve in our work – lol.
After 20 months as a SAHD, I returned to Part Time work, which presented new challenges to me and my family. I am still the Primary Caregiver, but my wife and I do a lot more juggling together. I used to be part of the Male Allies for the Women’s Network in Singapore. Having experienced the other side of the equation, and going back to work, if we want to encourage more capable women to re-enter and stay in the workforce with meaningful jobs, there must be more support, financially and culturally, for women, and for men to be the Primary Caregivers without any cultural belittlement of that status.
Author: Jason Chui
Photo Credit: Jason Chui
Papa Penguin will be working with Jason closely in the future. More articles to follow from Jason!