Malaysian dads share their experiences on becoming fathers

SYAHIRAH MOKHTAZAR
SYAHIRAH MOKHTAZAR
19 Jun 2022 08:15am
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Having children is a big life-changing moment. Parenting is an extremely rewarding yet incredibly tough thing to do. In conjunction with Father’s Day, Sinar Daily spoke to young dads who shared about the days they became a father and the lessons they’ve learned as they adjust to fatherhood. These are their stories.

SYED JAMALUDDIN WAHID ALJEFFRI, 33

Syed Jamaluddin Wahid Aljeffri with his wife Siti Khairina Khalid and their son Syed Jan Khaled Aljeffri
Syed Jamaluddin Wahid Aljeffri with his wife Siti Khairina Khalid and their son Syed Jan Khaled Aljeffri



Jamaluddin and his wife, Siti Khairina were over the moon when they learnt that they were expecting as they knew their chances of conceiving were slim. He recalls the precious moments of welcoming his firstborn, six weeks before the actual due date as his wife had to be scheduled for a c-section at 34 weeks urgently, due to an irregularity in the baby’s growth.

“The doctor allowed me to be in the Operating Theatre, and that was special because we were in the middle of the pandemic. I too, like the doctors, were in scrubs but I was the only one in the room who didn’t know what he was doing.

“There was nothing much I can do but be there and support my wife. I’m sure the delivery team had everything under control but it just felt like manic while I was in there.

“Blood was everywhere on gloves and knives (or so they call it a scalpel), I didn’t know what to expect!

“And then amidst all the chaos, I hear the gentlest of cries and it grew louder and louder. And that was when all my senses zeroed in on the cries, and I couldn’t hear anything else, see anything, because it was those cries that brought the most joy and relief to me.

“Those cries led me to know that everything was okay. Then a stream of tears started to flow down my cheeks as was the relief off my shoulders and I was privileged to hold my son.

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“It was the single proudest moment of my life - “I’m the daddy, I’m the father”.

Their son, Syed Jan Khaled Aljeffri, will soon turn 2 this year.

Fatherhood has taught Jamaluddin many things but if there’s one that he could emphasise, it would be patience.

“Remember, it was your choice to have and raise a kid, and it was because of that choice you have to embrace all the hardships that comes with it. Be patient, protect and never neglect.

If there was anything he wishes he knew before becoming a father though, is: “To master the art of sleeping efficiently, because I think everyone knows you will be sleep deprived during the early stages!

BOBBY SIVA, 38

Bobby Siva, his wife Doreen Mary and their daughter Sophea Neha
Bobby Siva, his wife Doreen Mary and their daughter Sophea Neha



The story of how Bobby’s daughter came into the world ironically began on Mother’s day. His wife had apparently experienced cramps all day but was still adamant to have dinner outside with the family. After dinner, was when the birth episode unfolded.

“It was midnight and the first try was for a natural birth but my daughter decided she didn't want to squeeze her way to the world, she wanted a grand entrance so the doctor decided we had to go for an emergency c-section.

“At 8.06am my daughter was out in this world. Seeing my wife go through what she did and seeing my baby cry out loud for the first time, it got me choked on mixed emotions and being the tough guy, I didn't expect myself to be overwhelmed with such mixed emotions.

“I kissed my wife for I was a damn proud husband. I knew life has changed for the better at that moment.

“I couldn't wait to hold my daughter in my arms and let her know that 'I got her back' whenever and wherever she needs me. I felt grateful for everything that has happened in my life and everyone involved along the way that has brought me to this exact moment. No regrets!

“She was just a newborn but she already made me feel better as a person. When we took her back home three days later, I left the hospital with a full heart and a skinnier wife!

Seeing the world through his child’s eyes and appreciating the little things is what he learned most about fatherhood.

“It’s also knowing I can make the tough decisions when needed and to follow through. It’s taking responsibility that this little person wants to hold my hand all the way and it's up to me when to let go.

“It’s also the greatest pleasure to see how motherhood makes my wife the happiest woman alive. Also, I learned how my parents must have felt raising me before I starting hitting puberty, haha!” said Bobby.

MUHAMMAD SHAFIQ MOHD KHAIRUDDIN, 32

Muhammad Shafiq Mohd Khairuddin with his wife Aina Amira Amiruddin and their son Aqif Maliq Muhammad Shafiq
Muhammad Shafiq Mohd Khairuddin with his wife Aina Amira Amiruddin and their son Aqif Maliq Muhammad Shafiq



Moments after becoming a father, Muhammad Shafiq was overwhelmed with a mix of emotions.

“The joy you felt on the very first moment you see your kid was the best! But right after that I had mixed feelings of everything. I started to feel anxious like am I going to be a good dad, am I going to have time with my wife since we have additional member in the family, and things like that.

“Eventually the anxiety faded and I'm enjoying the journey as we go along,” he said.

True to what he said, the greatest lesson fatherhood has taught him is to enjoy the process one step at a time.

“I'm the type of person that needs to prepare everything beforehand. I've learned that as much as you've prepared, most of it can be an oversight sometimes.

“When you are put in such situation, you may feel down and blame yourself for not preparing enough for both the mother and kid. Hence, I feel that taking one step at a time is crucial. It is also to keep your mental level at par, without thinking too much of what's coming next,” he said.

If there was one thing he knew about raising a kid is that it’s not a race.

“Partly I would blame myself for looking at social media and compare with my peers. I realised that once you start comparing, your mind is also taking the hit. Then it gets prolonged to a period where you'll be stressed out if your kid not able to perform as their peers.

“Luckily I have a partner that understands and addresses the situation. We both had the same thinking, but we address and communicate about it to remind us both that comparing is not healthy.

“To keep in check and to avoid comparing, just be aware of the child's development and keep track of what they have achieved.

“When you go for check-ups with the doctor (another important aspect), share the story and get their opinion. You never know, your baby might be progressing better than their peers, you just don't realise it,” he said.

HAFIZ MOHD NOR, 31

Hafiz Mohd Nor with his wife Nur Hanis Athira Zaini and their two children, Zehra Aisyaa and Seth Ismael
Hafiz Mohd Nor with his wife Nur Hanis Athira Zaini and their two children, Zehra Aisyaa and Seth Ismael



Hafiz is a young dad who embarked on fatherhood just a few weeks shy from turning 25. He shares how he felt holding his daughter for the first time.

“It was a nervous feeling really throughout the pregnancy, because I didn’t really know what to feel or expect at the time.

“But once i held my daughter for the first time, that nervous feeling quickly turned to some wholesome feeling of love and happiness.

Since becoming a father, it has changed Hafiz for the better. There are many lesson he has learned since becoming a dad (now father of two), but the most valuable lesson of all is mastering the art of patience.

“Taking care and raising children brings the best out of me personally and watching them grow has been a great lesson to me as well.

“I still remember vividly holding my first child six years ago and no witnessing how fast she has grown.

“I wish I could be spoiled with more time to be with them as they grow older day by day. I think it’s important for us to put our utmost effort into raising our kids,” he said.

FARIS ZULKIFLI, 31

Faris Zulkifli with his wife, Nadia Wahid and son, Yusuf Faiyaz
Faris Zulkifli with his wife, Nadia Wahid and son, Yusuf Faiyaz



Happy, nervous – it was a rollercoaster of emotions for Faris when he welcomed his son three years ago.

“I still couldn’t believe that I became a father and that I need to take care of a human being!

Some of the greatest lessons of fatherhood he has learned is to lead by example.

“It’s important for me to set a good example to my boy as he follows my footsteps,” said Faris.

ABDULLAH SUFIYAN MOHAMED AMIR ABAS, 32

Abdullah Sufyian Mohamed Amir Abas with his wife  Sara Irina Mohamed Al-amin and their son Daniel Iskandar Abdullah Sufiyan.
Abdullah Sufyian Mohamed Amir Abas with his wife Sara Irina Mohamed Al-amin and their son Daniel Iskandar Abdullah Sufiyan.



Sufiyan remembered feeling a wave of emotions, mostly worried for his wife as they waited patiently in the labour room to welcome their son.

“Everyone said it would be okay but being in the labour room with her and seeing the struggle just made me fear the worst.

“I can’t even remember how long we were in there but I remembered just constantly praying for her health, my son’s health and that everything will be ok.

“Our doctor was very calm and he made us feel alright. And after everything was done, when I first saw my baby boy, it maybe took half a second before he started crying but that half a second felt like an hour to me!

“Suddenly my life immediately became more significant. My whole world went mute. Then I came back to my senses, and saw that he was good and that my wife was in good condition too.

“It was just a huge relief. I couldn’t stop smiling,” he said,

His son will be turning three this year. “What I’ve learned throughout this journey is that it’s okay to not know everything.

“Even after reading parenting books and researching everything you can online, it might not work cause every baby is different. It’s a good guide, but they have their own personalities.

“You’ll learn about the different ways of parenting along the way. You just need the patience,” he said.

While Sufiyan said he and his wife were blessed to have both sides of the parents share nuggets of wisdom and guidance through parenthood, there are a few things he wishes he had known more before becoming a parent himself.

“I wish I knew things like having to wake up in the middle of the night when the baby cries and that your life is completely revolved around the baby . That means making plans is highly dependent on the baby’s mood.

“Taking care of your wife’s exhaustion is also number one on the priority list,” he said.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads and father figures!