Jason and Leishia Kalaichelvam with their daughters Arianna and Olivia. -- AZMAN GHANI / The Star
New reality programme Mom’s Time Out shows viewers what happens when mum’s away and daddy’s left ‘in charge’.
Does dad get a say, when mum is away? The answer is pretty obvious because, when kids get their way, it certainly is no child’s play.
This is the premise of Mom’s Time Out, a family-focused reality show which is Lifetime Channel’s very first Asian production.
Of the 15 families shortlisted for the show, only three families were chosen to participate in the social experiment: Singapore’s Christopher and Julie Pang, who have three sons (Marcus, 12, Michael, eight, and Matthew, four), Malaysia’s Jason and Leisha Kalaichelvam, who have two daughters (Arianna, four, and Olivia, two), and Philippines’ Kenneth and Emerald Bailey who have one daughter named Briah, aged two.
To show how the fathers cope when left to deal with their children by themselves, Lifetime Channel sent the three mothers off on a five-day, all-expenses-paid holiday to a beachfront resort in Vietnam.
The Malaysian family shared their experiences of participating in the programme in a recent press conference held in Petaling Jaya.
Homemaker Leisha, who is also a freelance writer, revealed it did not take much to convince her to join the show. “For me, it was the fact that mothers get to go on a holiday,” said Leisha, who shared that her two girls did not even realise she was away because they were so distracted by camera crew.
Although Jason is a good father to their daughters, Leisha admitted that she had some concerns about leaving her husband to helm the home because she knew he was not accustomed to performing daily household chores like cooking and cleaning.
Echoing his wife’s concerns, Jason, who is a motivational speaker and company trainer, confessed that his biggest challenge was indeed cooking a meal for their kids. He eventually had to turn to YouTube for tutorials when he tried to whip up an omelette for the girls!
Recalling how he used to get home from work every day wondering why his wife Leisha would look so frazzled instead of enjoying the time she spent with their kids, Jason said that participating in the show made him appreciate what his wife and other stay-at-home mothers had to go through daily.
“I realise that it’s not easy to be a mum. There’s so much responsibility and so many sacrifices that are required,” said Jason, who was left “in a state of shock” on the first day as it dawned on him that he “did not know how to handle the kids”.
After filming the show, Jason said he learned one very important thing: “I cannot live without my wife. I need her even more now.”
His tips for fathers out there? “I think it’s good for dads to experience it for themselves, to understand what the womenfolk have to go through. They have to spend all day with the kids, I think that is not easy. In fact, it’s very tough,” urged Jason, who stressed that fathers need to learn that parenting is a team effort.
As for Leisha, the sweet memories remain of her vacation in Vietnam made her want to extend the experience: “I’m looking forward to Mom’s Time Out – The Reunion!”
For those who are also interested in jetting off to a holiday in a beach resort, here is some good news. Up for grabs is a three days, two nights stay for two at Angsana Lang Co in Vietnam for viewers who use the ScanAd app to participate in the weekly discussions of Mom’s Time Out. For details, visit www.LifetimeAsia.com/MomsTimeOut.
Mom’s Time Out airs on Lifetime (Astro Ch 709) every Thursday at 9pm, with repeats on Sunday at 7.30pm.