Learning to be a father and a mother at the same time

Ronald, SPIN Member

“After my wife’s fatal accident, I was left as a widower and single father of my two children. My sons, Renzo and Ronzo, were only one and four respectively when their mother passed on. I have been their sole caregiver since. I grew up with my grandmother after my own mother left the family and my father remarried, so I struggled with the fact that my children may grow up in a similar situation as me.

I had to readjust my life after my wife’s death such as rearranging my regular priorities to deal with practical concerns. I now have a helper to assist with my children and divide the chores such as cooking, cleaning and getting groceries.

One thing that could have prepared me for fatherhood is knowing how to handle kids like how mothers can. As a single father, it is a struggle to know how to be a father and mother at the same time. I still remember how Ronzo asked why his mother wasn’t with us on Mother’s Day. The loss still feels apparent especially when I think about how my wife will no longer be able to watch our sons get married.

HCSA Dayspring SPIN reached out to me when my wife’s accident came out in the news. SPIN offered me social support by matching me with a volunteer befriender. This was helpful because being a widower is often not talked about in Singapore – it’s a topic people find hard to broach. SPIN supported me in my parenting journey, even though it’s still something I struggle with at times especially when it comes to the kind of gentleness needed in handling my sons.”

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