Ching & Cally
Meet Ching and Cally, a dynamic duo and passionate LGBTQ advocates who redefine the meaning of family. Breaking away from traditional norms, Ching and Cally embarked on a journey to parenthood, demonstrating that love knows no boundaries.
Dive into their world to discover the wild ride of love, sacrifices, and the adorable chaos that comes with raising their little bundle of joy.
Could you start by telling us a bit about yourselves?
Cally and I are both community advocates working with the queer community in Singapore. We are both from a LGBTQ community group called Prout. I was previously in academia, and now in real estate, so that pays the bills, while Cally was in academia and is currently taking a short break to focus on motherhood. We are new parents to a lovely daughter who is currently 5 months old.
Can you share a bit about your journey towards parenthood? How has life changed since your daughter came into the picture?
Being a non-traditional family, we naturally had to take an atypical route to become parents. That involved a year-long process of fertility treatment, working on ourselves to not just be financially ready to start a family, but also focusing on our emotional readiness and resilience to bring up a child. We want to be the best version of ourselves for our child that we have made a conscious choice to bring to this world.
Parenthood is tiring, but I do not think we would trade it for anything else. I used to think that it is a cliche for parents to say that, but I can now understand why. It is a job but it is also a joy. Being able to watch our daughter grow into herself, becoming her own little person, and hit milestones along the way, has been an incredible experience for us.
How has becoming parents strengthened your relationship and shaped your perspectives on love and family?
Becoming new parents means we really have to work as a team: it has to be us versus the problem, instead of working against each other. It takes a village to raise a child, but we have chosen to mostly lean on each other instead to raise our daughter on our terms and values.
We believe that love is a choice, and it is important to wake up everyday to not just to love each other as life partners, but also to always be there for our daughter, so that she can trust us to be her safety net and safe space in a world that may not always be kind to her. We have also been very fortunate to have not just our biological family dote on her, but also our chosen family love her wholeheartedly - demonstrating that love is truly what makes a family.
Can you share a memorable "first" moment with your baby girl that melted your hearts?
Every moment is an awwww moment, but the most recent one happened on New Year's Eve. Our little one is starting to be a lot more interactive, and we played with her by “walking” her back and forth across the playmat. Our little one could not stop squealing and laughing as we walked her to and fro between Cally and I, and it was just such a beautiful moment that I would always want to capture and have it imprinted in my head: that how lucky we are to have created our own little family after everything we went through.
How do you navigate and overcome any prejudices or misconceptions that may arise due to your non-traditional family structure?
Many people do not associate LGBTQ+ people with being family-oriented, often viewing our community as being at odds with “family” and “children”, but that cannot be further from the truth. The reality is people, regardless of their sexual orientation, may or may not have aspirations to get married, start a family, and have children. Our family may look a little different from other “traditional families” out there, but there are actually many other types of family structures out there, with children raised by grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbours and so on. We may not be legally recognised as a family, but we love the same.
What's the most fun or unexpected thing you've discovered about each other as you've embraced the adventure of parenthood together?
I have discovered that I am now a morning person and can thrive on minimal sleep and still always wake up for our daughter, while our little one has definitely melted Cally, otherwise known as the ice queen. We have also learnt that we deal with most problems by laughing together, it is a great technique to ensure that we always have laughter and love in the house, especially when are cleaning poop.
In a nutshell, how would you describe YeoMama Batik in just one lively sentence?
Unorthodox, unconventional and non-traditional, just the way we like it and just the way we are!