The hosts of ‘How You Do Dad’ podcast share their harrowing and hilarious tales of fatherhood

Guys being dads


By Amanda Fung

The hosts of ‘How You Do Dad’ podcast share their harrowing and hilarious tales of fatherhood

“We used to pop bottles and now we pop babies,” says Jon Chua in the recent pilot episode of The Takeaway Table’s How You Do Dad podcast. As we all know, parenting is no easy feat. Between assuming a life-changing role and being present for your new family, the early days of parenthood can feel extremely lonely despite being surrounded by loved ones all the time. This is true for both mothers and fathers. 

The experience of being a parent starts even before the baby arrives and no single parenthood journey can mimic another with its unpredictability. Yet, one thing’s for certain. Having resources, information, and even public voices to lean on when you need a shoulder is invaluable. Enter Ming Han, Dennis Yin, and Jon Chua.

Detailing the good, the bad, and the funny sides of fatherhood, How You Do Dad is hosted by the three aforementioned personalities, who are all fathers to young children. The trio provide listeners with their honest takes and learnings on their journey as fathers and husbands. Though they admit to not having figured it all out yet, they aim to be a community and sounding board for dads everywhere, whether they’re new or experienced. To celebrate the launch of How You Do Dad and Father’s Day, we spoke to Ming, Dennis, and Jon, who gave us a peek into their lives as proud dads. 


Ming Han: It was a lot of shock because we weren’t planning to have a kid. My wife Su Yen suddenly felt really nauseous and tired, but she nipped it in the bud right away and got a pregnancy test. And when we found out, it was a lot of shock that turned into existential shock, which then turned to numbness before it got to the “Wow, yes!” stage. 

Nothing can really explain it other than feeling like something huge—though, I wouldn’t say impending doom—is about to happen. An impending … something. So once the numbness wore off, it was a lot of excitement!

Dennis Yin: The experience was actually very funny for me and my wife, Jazel. It started when we went to get a checkup and Jazel found out that she had endometriosis. I went to get myself checked and the doctor told me my swimmers were not of good quality. 

Jazel and I had to go on a “break” so she could balance her hormones out, but before we did that, we decided to try [for a baby] just once. Then, we went back to the doctor because Jazel wasn’t feeling too well and she told us to come back in five days. Jazel eventually did a test and it turns out she was pregnant! The feeling was crazy. She actually revealed the news to me while we were having chilli pan mee. It was really, really exciting.

Jon Chua: I think I was very stunned. My wife and I were married for about five years and we never wanted kids. I think we never planned for kids and we were very happy being DINKs (dual income, no kids). Shortly after the pandemic, my wife and I were both away on separate trips. We both got back on the same day, but I went straight to work. 

When I was in a meeting, my wife sent me a photo of a pregnancy test with no context. While someone else was talking, I was Googling what a positive pregnancy kit looked like and I told her to do another test, which she did. The results were the same. I didn’t know whether I wanted to laugh or cry. When I went home, we sat down and our first collective reaction was “Oh, f***. Now, what do we do?”. We had a long conversation, but obviously, we went through with it and my son is now one year old. That’s why I’m in this podcast, that’s why I’m here right now, and that’s why I had to wake up at five this morning. 

BURO Malaysia, How You Do Dad podcast with Ming Han, Dennis Yin, and Jon Chua, interview

MH: My role as a father is to be my daughters’ first love and I believe that very much. Yes, I support my wife in every endeavour. But I am my daughters’ first example of love from a guy and I take that very seriously. How I treat them, how I bring them up, love versus discipline—this is a very big deal for me. I ultimately see that as my main role in their lives because if I were to talk to them about being a provider and all, they wouldn’t understand anything. As a father to two girls, I think the example I set in terms of how I treat them, how I care about them, and how they see my love for their mother is the most important. 

DY: I see myself as a supportive role to my wife and daughter. I put my foot down where I should with Jade (Dennis’ daughter), whether it be when she shouldn’t be sleeping too late or should be doing something specifically. Also, I take cues from her because I can understand her better than those around her when we’re not with her mother. As her father, I can usually tell what she wants and what would make her not scream! So I really do see myself as the support.  

JC: I am my wife’s sidekick. To explain really quickly: when you date and get married, you can kind of take the lead. But when it comes to parenthood, I let my wife take the lead. If my wife says my kid has to nap for two hours and then another hour later, I’m not going to argue with her! Avoid all conflict with your partner!

BURO Malaysia, How You Do Dad podcast with Ming Han, Dennis Yin, and Jon Chua, interview
Dennis Yin

MH: Selflessness, sacrifice, and fulfilment.

DY: Excitement, patience, and provider.

JC: Warmth, tenacity, and self-discipline. 

BURO Malaysia, How You Do Dad podcast with Ming Han, Dennis Yin, and Jon Chua, interview
Jon Chua

MH: My kids have taught me that, at a certain stage or during the first part of their lives, babies or children would never cry or have bad intentions without a reason. It’s a big lesson for adults, especially, who like to say “you’re a bad kid” or whatnot because that’s simply not true. Kids are a mirror of yourself. That’s the biggest thing new babies can teach you. How you tend to perceive things will be how you perceive your baby. 

DY: My daughter taught me that your capacity to love someone can be more than what you think it is. When I was growing up and I watched rom-coms, I had this fantasy of what my relationships, wife, and future kids would be like. However, when my daughter came along, all of that changed. I used to be able to travel and make the most out of delayed flights. Now, if my flights get delayed even by two hours, I get angry because that’s two more hours away from my daughter. I would even come back for a day or six hours and then fly to another country just because I want to see my daughter. This is how I really learned about my capacity to love. 

JC: Of the three of us, I’m the only one with a boy. So my word of advice is to keep your mouth closed whenever you’re changing your son’s diaper. That’s my lesson that I’ve learned. Oh, and you really have to control your usage of the f-bomb. I’m around adults all the time and my baby is the only kid that I hang around with, so I have to learn to not just throw it out there.


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A post shared by Dennis Yin (@dennisyin)


MH: I am surprised at how willing I am to drop everything for my family. If any issue or anything at all has to do with my kids, wife, or family in general, everything else is negotiable. It was shocking to me because I also have staff to take care of in the team that I built—those are my responsibilities too. But, for example, when my second daughter was admitted to the hospital, I was shocked by how fast I could orient everything around their priorities.  

DY: I’m shocked at how much this one little human that I have can push me to do things to an extent that I don’t think I’d be able to reach if I didn’t have my family. I wouldn’t push myself so hard every single day. There would be no reason for me to be so stressed and I could be living an extremely comfortable life, but right now I’m pushing myself even harder for her. Now, with my daughter, I’ve shown myself the volume that I can handle and what I can do simply because there’s this one life looking at me and calling me dad.

JC: Just how expensive fatherhood is, especially in this generation of both parents working to be present in their kids’ lives. Back then, in our parents’ or grandparents’ generations, gender roles were a lot more defined with the man being the provider and the woman being the homemaker. In this day and age, there is a lot more equity within the family itself with both parents playing both roles and creating that balance can be a difficult task. The expenses go beyond the so-called “starter kit” of having a child. As parents, we want the best for our kids and we live in a very materialistic, social media-driven world. It’s just expensive! 


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A post shared by Jonny X (@jonchuajx)


MH: The most practical advice I can think of is learn how to massage your wife. When you get good at massaging your wife when she’s pregnant, there’s always something for her to look forward to with you. That will be the binding agent of your days. No matter how upset she is or uncomfortable, there will be something within her that craves a massage. That’s where you come in and everything is stable for a while. So get on YouTube and start learning.  

DY: Good luck, be there for your wife, and shut your mouth, whether it be during the pregnancy throughout the trimesters or during the birth. Different women have different experiences during different stages of their pregnancies, so be there for them. Also, know that it doesn’t end even after the baby arrives! After the pregnancy is over, double up on your efforts for your wife. There’s a lot of postpartum effects and your wife will feel very vulnerable after your child’s birth. You need to pull them out of the darkness. Be aware of what you say and be smart!

JC: I would also give some practical advice here. We—more so my wife—went through hypnobirthing courses and I would really recommend it. The classes are long and can take up to 30 or 40 hours of your time in total, but leading all the way up to the birth, my wife could sort of “breathe” the baby out. In Hollywood shows and on TV in general, the birth process is always very scary. But my son’s birth was what I think was the calmest process I’ve seen in my entire life. 


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A post shared by Ming H. (@dmingthing)


MH: Nobody actually knows what they’re doing as a dad, so now we know together. 

DY: The phrase “how you do dad” itself is basically us asking you about fatherhood and you asking us—it’s a safe space. 

JC: Building an open community for fathers who want to find open dialogue—it’s straight up therapy for us. 


To learn more about ‘How You Do Dad’, click here. Visit The Takeaway Table’s YouTube channel for full episodes of the podcast and follow its Instagram for updates. 



For more Father’s Day reads, click here.

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