Di Cong: Happiness comes in 5
Mr On Teck Chon, better known as DJ Di Cong from Capital 95.8FM, never fails to surprise people when he tells them that he is a proud father of five. This puts Di Cong way ahead of the pack, bearing in mind Singapore’s national fertility rate of 1.2 (2011 statistics).
Like most other married couples, the 42-year-old DJ and his childhood sweetheart Gui Feng, 39, decided they would have just one child when they tied the knot 17 years ago. However, when their only daughter, at age seven, said that she was lonely as an only child; they relented and had number two, when she was nine.
The age gap between the two children prompted them to have number three so that the younger one could enjoy a playmate in her growing years. Thereafter, they decided to have number four because of concerns that the three may not get along well enough.
“Number five was a pleasant surprise, who brought us much joy as well!” Di Cong quips.
A Simple Life
The On household is dual income, stays in a HDB flat like 80% of Singaporeans, has a domestic helper and drives a Toyota Wish. Make no mistake about it, they are our typical middle class household. Given the high cost of living in this city state, how does our DJ cope?
“The only way is to work doubly hard and to maintain a simple lifestyle.” Di Cong shares. He reaches his office at seven in the morning after sending the kids to school, and arrives home to put the children to bed. His day is a long one, of on-air program production, planning, meetings and keeping tabs on international media cable programs.
He sleeps only five-and-a-half hours each night.
Di Cong and his wife hardly go on dates anymore, so that they can spend that money on necessities like groceries. In the bid to save money, the family also does not travel by air for their holidays.
Despite the limited spending power, the intangible rewards of parenthood is what keeps Di Cong going. The voices of his many children calling him “Daddy, please eat” before every meal, bring unspeakable joy to his heart and makes it worthwhile.
The On children are trained, from the age of 2, to be self-reliant and independent, washing up after themselves and their own dishes after meals.
To Di Cong, the greatest reward of parenthood is in teaching his children to be self-reliant, to love others and to discover their personal missions in life.
For this DJ, being there for them and preparing them to face the uphill challenges in their lives; is the most meaningful thing a father can do for his children.
The joy and well being so evident in this household is a testament to Di Cong’s wisdom as a father, and his love for his wife and children.
About the Author: The Dads for Life Resource Team comprises local content writers and experts, including psychologists, counsellors, educators and social service professionals, dedicated to developing useful resources for dads.
First published on 23-01-2013
Categories: Dads' Stories