Dad's turn to stay home

Dad's turn to stay home

When real estate agency owner Christopher Pang's wife, Julie, went for a holiday in Vietnam recently, he looked after their three young sons on his own.

It was for a TV show, Mom's Time Out, to see how Asian fathers cope with the kids on their own. The Pangs were chosen from a casting call to be in the new Lifetime Asia reality show, which debuts on Thursday on Lifetime channel (StarHub TV Channel 514) at 9pm.

Over five days, Mr Pang and two other men - one in Malaysia and another in the Philippines - shoulder the responsibility of looking after the young ones with no contact allowed with their wives.

The show documents his solo parenting efforts with his sons Marcus, 12, Michael, eight, and Matthew, four, and how he gets used to being their sole source of emotional support.

Mr Pang, who is in his 40s, says that the parenting responsibilities are mostly "balanced" and shared "50-50" with his wife, who also owns a real estate agency.

"But when Julie went away, the responsibilities became 100 per cent mine," he says.

Naturally, Mrs Pang was the most enthusiastic member of the family about doing the show.

"It's hard to find peace and quiet by myself with three boys running around, so it was a break for me," she says.

It was not difficult to get the children's agreement. "I just wanted to see myself on TV," says Marcus.

But it took a bigger bargain to convince Mr Pang, who said being filmed for television was "not everyone's cup of tea, to be wired and have people following you with a camera".

Mrs Pang's promise to let him go on two fishing trips and buy him a beach buggy sealed the deal.

Having three sons requires extra stamina to keep up with their endless energy, both parents say.

Mrs Pang adds: "Sometimes the boys would take their toys and throw them around."

Mr Pang chimes in: "They can also take up to three hours to finish their dinner."

He would like to see the situation being reversed in a sequel with a Dad's Time Out version, a challenge which Mrs Pang breezily accepts.

"No problem," she says. "Women are great at multi-tasking."

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