Kate Pang On Why Having Kids With Andie Chen Almost Tore Their Marriage Apart
“[Andie] was unhappy for a very long time and I didn’t even realise it.”
From the outside, celeb couple Kate Pang and Andie Chen look like they have it all. Fame, a happy family (they have a three-year-old son Aden and 15-month-old daughter Avery) and a popular YouTube channel Kandie Family. They even have Rui En as a stalker godma to their kids.
Alas, Kate’s recent IG post on she and Andie's fourth wedding anniversary has (kinda) burst that bubble. The actress wrote: “In the past, we could be inseparable. [Even if] we spent the whole day together, we wouldn’t feel bored. [But] after having kids, most of our time is spent on our kids and work. And at one point, we lost the spark in our relationship. We went through many hardships before finding a balance in loving our kids, and to let our other half feel loved too.” We rang Kate up to find out why their relationship hasn’t always been sweet like Kandie.
8 DAYS: You shared on a recent IG post that for the first time in four years, you celebrated your wedding anniversary with Andie.
KATE PANG: We always forgot about it (laughs). We either recall it only on the day itself or two, three days later. Then we’d just laugh it off. (Laughs)
So what’s special about this year?
For the past few years, we’ve been busy with the kids and work. And sometimes, Andie felt like I neglected him. And a while back, I also told him that we didn’t have the feeling of being in love [anymore]. (Laughs) ’Cos of that, he meticulously planned something [on our anniversary] — he booked a hotel room for one night, and we went shopping the next day. If not, he wouldn’t give me any presents even if it’s my birthday. (Laughs)
You wrote that having kids took a toll on your marriage.
We got into big fights over the kids. For a period of time, I was too focused on taking care of them and neglected him. When the kids went to bed, I also went to bed or did my own stuff, without thinking about him. I also hardly spoke to him. That went on for quite a while. So he was unhappy for a very long time and I didn’t even realise it. Or maybe I felt a bit like he was behaving strangely but I [didn’t ask him about it]. We were having problems communicating even when Aden turned one plus. [Ed: Aden is now three] It was only in the recent one, two years that we started to communicate more. Things are better between us now. Before this year, it wasn’t [good].
Are you one of those parents who love your kids more than your hubby?
(Laughs nervously) Someone [referring to Andie] is looking at me. (Laughs) What a scary look in his eyes! No, I love both my hubby and kids equally. (Clears throat) I don’t think I… Okay, I admit that I used to neglect my hubby lah. (Laughs) But you can’t say that it’s ’cos I don’t love him. You can’t compare [kids and husband]. Andie is an adult who obviously can take care of himself. So, of course, my priority is taking care of the kids. But as for the extent of my love [for my husband and kids], actually, there’s not much difference. Without my hubby, I also wouldn’t have my kids.
How do you ensure that your marriage doesn’t take a turn for the bad again?
This year, we laid down a rule that we must set aside one day a week to go on a date — watch a movie, sing karaoke, anything. We just felt like we needed couple time. With the kids around, it’s very hard for us to do things that makes us have the feeling of being in love. So we had to force ourselves to be away from the kids temporarily.
Who takes care of the kids then?
We have two helpers at home now. And during the day, Aden will be in school. So sometimes, we’d go for our date until 4pm, then go fetch him home.
You both decided not to renew your contracts with Mediacorp this year to focus on your YouTube channel Kandie Family. Was it a joint decision?
Actually, work-wise, we’re quite independent. So [our decisions not to renew our contracts] are not directly related. It’s just that I felt that it was very hard to juggle both Kandie Family and Mediacorp projects.
How’s it like working with your husband?
We get into arguments very easily ’cos there are many things we need to discuss. And sometimes he behaves like a boss, so I’d be very unhappy. I’m quite stubborn. If I believe in something, I won’t give in, which upsets him (laughs). Both of us insist on having our way. I’m the scriptwriter, and Andie will also give his input. But both of us will think our way is better. Then I’ll [lose my cool] and say, “Okay, then shoot it your way.” (Laughs) But Andie always gives in to me ’cos he knows he cannot win me in an argument.
You mentioned in your IG post that you both have bad tempers. Whose is worse?
I think Andie’s more cultivated than I am, so no matter how angry he is, he’ll keep his cool and reason things out. Sometimes, when I’m unhappy, I’ll say, “Whatever lah! I don’t want to talk about it!” And I’d just ignore him. (Laughs)
Now that you both have more flexible schedules, are you planning for a third kid?
No, ’cos it wasn’t easy for us to find a balance between our life and two kids. So there’s not going to be any “third party” for the moment. But I’ve always loved kids a lot so I won’t rule it out.
PHOTO CREDIT: KANDIE FAMILY