Our 450th Dad in the Limelight is Young Lee. I want to thank Young for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is Young Lee and I’m a DJ, music consultant and producer. I’m also a freelance writer. For the last 4 years I’ve been the full time carer for my two children, Rose 4 and Theo 2.
I’ve never considered myself as being in the limelight, but since 2001 I’ve been a professional DJ, performing throughout London. My gigs range from regular local clubs for 2 or 3 hundred people to international gigs for crowds of over 2000.
The majority of my gigs are normal club / bar stuff, but I regularly played all over Europe and beyond. Places such as Miami, New York, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Malawi, Switzerland. It’s been a fun journey!
2) Tell me about your family
As mentioned I look after my two young children from Monday to Friday. Their mother works extremely hard in the city of London. Often leaving the house before 6am and not returning until after 9pm. She gives the kids plenty of love and attention during the weekend.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Every day is a challenge. Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be in this position. I’m truly blessed and very lucky, but at times I have to remind myself of this. Those late afternoon toddler tantrums can test the most patient parent. And looking after a 4yr old and a 2yr old can be double the trouble (but also double the love)! I’ve still a lot to learn.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Learn to be patient. Give your children as much time as you can. Enrich their minds and souls. Teach them to be kind and that goodness is more important than money.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
It’s a constant struggle. When I’ve been taking care of the kids all week then have a DJ gig on Thursday night, I might not get to bed until 4am then it’s a 6am start on Friday. I might have a gig on Friday night, not getting to bed until about 5.30am. Saturday is the same, late night gig. Come Sunday and I’m beat!
So to answer your question, I’m still trying to find that balance.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Surprisingly where I use to live in London meeting other stay at home dads was a rare event. I’ve learnt that the majority of them don’t fancy the idea of looking after their kid’s full time. It’s still not seen as something men do and even people within our family find it strange that I do the caring, people often have a very rigid view of what roles males and females play in society and within the family. It’s still a woman’s world out there regarding childcare (pls check this post for a personal example http://dadwithtwokids.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/sexism-today/).
I was so happy to find people such as you online. Finally I wasn’t alone!
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
It’s truly an amazing thing. Fatherhood is ying and yang, a complete balance of water, fire, hardship, and happiness. It makes me complete but the journey is a long one and there is still a long road ahead.
And a quick tip, don’t let you babies put coins in their mouths; our daughter once swallowed a small coin. We rushed her to the hospital, after X-Raying her, the doctor informed us that she’d have to be operated on, major surgery the whole nine yards. As parents we were in complete meltdown. As we were waiting for them to take her up to the operating table, she fell asleep, as when she woke she seemed completely calm. She must’ve relaxed and the coin had slid straight down. Thankfully she passed it out naturally and no operation was needed. I can’t express my relief!
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
For Rose it was her birth and for Theo it was seeing his Buddha like personality develop (I pray he keeps it, he’s like an angel!)
Rose also once ate a spider.
If you have any questions for Young, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!