Juggling Fatherhood and Being a Paediatrician
By Dr Leo Hamilon
Being a father is supposed to be what I do for a living. It should be easy. It’s not, at least with our daughter. She is my only child and partly due to being a paediatrician, I can safely say in my professional experience, she was also the worst baby ever…sort of.
When you have a two-year-old who has never slept through the night and gets most of her nutrition from chocolate milk, salmon sushi, and noodles with canned tomato sauce, you realize fatherhood may not be that easy after all. It’s not just my opinion. A very experienced and talented paediatrician I worked with years ago back in Maine actually admitted that, yes, she is the pickiest eater he had ever seen. And yes, chocolate milk is not on any “healthy foods” list. It was organic and in a glass bottle from a local dairy, so I could at least try to pretend it was healthy!
She somehow survived and is off to college next March. So my overall philosophy is to just relax. You only have so much control, and it got less and less as she got older. There always can be problems, and as a cancer doctor, I have seen more than my fair share which is why all you need to do is try your very best.
The best choice I like to believe I made was making it a point to take time away from work and travel with my family. The experiences and time we had together matter so much more than my career or bank account balance. Nothing makes up more than just being together.
There are so many things I remember, and just like everyone else, it’s good, bad, fun, stressful and almost every other feeling. I guess as Father’s Day arrives, I am just happy to have her and look forward to seeing her continue to grow up. And maybe someday I will understand how she decided she wants to be a lawyer.
Dr Leo Hamilton, is the resident paediatrician at Kids Clinic @ Novena and is a US board-certified Paediatrician since 2003. Dr Leo relocated to Singapore in 2011, caring for expat and Singaporean children from newborns at delivery to teenagers. Beyond his background in Hematology/Oncology, he has an interest in asthma, behavioural issues (primarily ADHD), teen health, and modern management of routine childhood illnesses such as ear infections, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia.