Anyone can be a father, but it takes true courage to be a dad. Our dads make countless sacrifices that often go unspoken. This past week, we interviewed 5 of our Kaodim vendors and asked them about their thoughts on fatherhood and the things they quietly do for their kids. We got a glimpse into their hearts and what we discovered was simply too beautiful to be ignored.
Naranesh (left) and kids
Naranesh of Login Transportation
“I’m blessed with very obedient children,” Naranesh told us. His daughters are aged 15 and 11, while his son is 8 years old. “They’re very loving kids.”
He doesn’t say this to them, but he tries to be a better father by also being their friend; he listens to their stories and tells them about his day and even goes to the extent of sharing his financial situation with them.
“As a father, it’s really important that I share my situation with my kids to help them understand better. If they want something really expensive and I can’t afford it, I’ll explain the situation to them instead of just dismissing the conversation with a big fat NO. I want my kids to understand me better,” he said.
Naranesh never really got to experience a friendly father-child relationship with his own father, who passed away when Naranesh was only 10 years old.
“I never got to chit-chat with my dad for an hour, the way I do with my children,” he said quietly. “So if you asked me what kind of father I’d like to be, I want to be a friend to my kids. I want to be someone they can talk to about anything and everything, anytime of the day.”
Jeff (second from left) and family
Jeff of Boston Door
Life as a child was hard for Jeff. His family was poor and he had to work extremely hard to earn a living for himself. He moved to KL on his own, shared a tiny room with a friend and worked most of his youth away just to survive in a frantic city like KL. He doesn’t share intricate details of this hardship with his kids because he doesn’t want to sound like a whiner.
“Because I came from a poor family, I want to make sure that my kids don’t have to suffer the way I did,” he said. “I want to be a good and responsible father. I want to be a father who provides for them so they don’t have to go through the difficulties that I have gone through, and I hope that I’ll still be able to give them more.”
“Both of them are good children,” Jeff said of his sons, aged 21 and 17. Being a father has certainly changed his perspective toward things. Raising 2 boys hasn’t been easy, but Jeff said it’s a rewarding challenge.
Wong (left) and family
Wong Tuck Wah of TH Wong Electrical Service
As a father, Wong has always been concerned over his kids’ welfare, who are now 20, 18, 14 and 12 years old. His wife told us that back in the day when their kids were really young, Wong used to sacrifice his lunches just so he could have more in his pocket to feed his kids and care for their necessities. His kids never knew this.
He still works extra hard until this day because he wants the best for his family. He loves his kids very much and will try to buy them whatever he can afford. He doubles up his hours at work, including working on weekends, just so his kids can have a better life. He considers these sacrifices to be common obligations as a father. There’s no need to state the obvious, to tell his kids what he goes through everyday.
“I want the best for my kids, and I want them to be better than me. The sacrifices that I’ve made will all be worth it, because I want them to receive the best.” Wong explained.
Hambali (left) and family
Hambali Mukhlas of Balisya Trading
Fatherhood has taught Hambali many things. A proud father of children aged 21, 19 and 12, Hambali has learned that the title “father” comes with a respect that has to be gained, not forced.
He believes that fathers are here to guide and lead their children, but the kids should be allowed to explore their own journey. His own father used to dictate what was good and bad to him. Hambali wants to provide his kids with a sense of freedom by taking a small step back, and letting them make their own choices. But he also wants to mentor them through their decisions.
Communication is a big challenge, because kids need to understand our words,” Hambali said. His kids don’t realise how hard he finds communicating to them is sometimes, or that he really believes in letting them make their own choices. “I hope to tell my kids that I believe communication is very important. I want my kids to be able to communicate well with their own kids in the future.”
Leslie (back) and family
Leslie of My Pest Rangers
Leslie understands the challenges of balancing work life and family time for his children, and his kids are too young to realise how much he really cares about spending time with them. He has a 7-month-old son and 2 daughters aged 5 and 13.
“I need to work hard, but I still need to spend time with my kids. It’s difficult sometimes to find a balance between working and caring for them, so these days I try to go home a little earlier,” he said. His kids might not understand that Leslie makes these sacrifices just so he can squeeze in more time with them every day.
“I try to be a friend to my kids by sharing my thoughts and stories with them. I’ll Whatsapp them to ask what they’re doing,” he told us.
There are many things embedded in a father’s heart, and just because he he doesn’t voice them out, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
So this Father’s Day, be sure to take some time to show your father how much you appreciate him and all that he’s done for you. He might be a man of very few words, but take the time to really think about the quiet sacrifices he’s made for you all of these years. if you can, tell him how grateful you are, or if that’s too hard, just spend some quiet time with him.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers out there!
written by Carissa Gan