Celeb dad Shaun Chen: It’s OK if my kids aren’t good in their studies!

The actor shares the challenges of life with another newborn. Plus, he reveals when we can expect baby no. 3…

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You could say that Mediacorp actor Shaun Chen is a shining example of how, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. 

When the Malaysian actor was retrenched in 2005 following the merger between Singapore Press Holdings’ MediaWorks and Mediacorp, Shaun didn’t shy away from returning to his old job in Malaysia ― he sold spectacles to optical stores ― even though he was already a familiar face.

Needless to say, he not only struggled financially, he even went without meals at times because he simply could not afford it. As a father now, he hopes to pass his gumption and never-say-die spirit to his two daughters — Neia, 2½ months, and Nellie, almost 2.

“Now, I’ll need to provide for the family and provide for our kids’ future like their education and even insurance. So, there’s definitely quite a bit of stuff I’ll need to look into.” 

Indeed, the 38-year-old artiste says while he understands the importance of studies, he’s mindful about not forcing his kids to meet his expectations of them.

“If they can study, that’s good. If they aren’t good in their studies, that’s okay, too. Because I believe that there’s always a way for them to forge their own paths to success in any industry they choose.”

Shaun adds, “I always believe our kid’s generation will always be better and stronger than ours. So, we don’t have to worry too much about them — about how good their qualifications are.”

The Channel 8 actor and his wife, beautician Celine Chin, 28, welcomed daughter, Neia, on 25 July. Shaun, who is currently on leave to help with the kids, states that he’s definitely starting to feel the pressures of fatherhood and raising a family.

“Now, I’ll need to provide for the family and provide for our kids’ future like their education and even insurance. So, there’s definitely quite a bit of stuff I’ll need to look into.”

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SmartParents catches up with the doting dad for the lowdown on he’s handling life with a newborn and a toddler…

Congrats on Neia’s birth! What was the pregnancy like for Celine?

We found it easier to handle this time around. I think it’s because it’s our second time as parents. We’re also well prepared in terms of all the equipment and baby care necessities, we needed. It’s just easier to handle.

How about caring for little Neia — did you face any problems?

We didn’t really face any major problems especially since she’s still a newborn, so she spends the majority of the time sleeping. Perhaps the most challenging part is having to wake up in the middle of the night to feed Neia, so sleepless nights can be quite challenging. She needs to be fed every two to three hours. Sometimes, after just over an hour and she’s back for another feed. She’s got quite an appetite! (Laughs)

So, when it comes to feeding duties, we do take turns. Sometimes, I’ll feed her, other times, Celine will wake up and feed her. On the whole, I think it’s more tiring for Celine because she has to pump every three hours.