What have you found the best and hardest parts of fatherhood to be?
The hardest part of fatherhood would definitely be trying to strike a balance. Society had made us believe that it is the woman’s/mothers place to look after the child/children whilst the man /father spends all his time working to provide. Interestingly enough, I come from a background that totally and utterly believes in this but I have always felt it is not right ,as I strongly believe that a child needs both parents.
For example, a father gets 2 weeks of paternity leave. Can someone tell me how this is enough with regards to bonding with your new born? I have taken active steps the second time round to ensure that I am fully involved and our parenting is most definitely 50/50, but don’t get me started on the comments and reactions I got when I stated this to my work place. They thought I was mad, which eventually led to my job change .
What inspired you to join the #instadad community?
I wouldn’t necessarily coin it as joining the #instadad community, all I know is the fact that I was tired of the lack of representation in terms of black fathers, (the US is way ahead of the UK, when it comes to this), I took it upon my self to show that we (black fathers) are most definitely present and thriving.
What have you gained most from this experience?
Apart from new relationships with like minded fathers, I would say I am not the one who as gained, it is society that has gained from this as they are able to see that black fathers are indeed present.
What in your view is the key to successful marriage/happy family life?
Empathy, and the importance of getting of ones high horse to see it from the others perspective. No one is wrong and no one is right, we all just have different points of view. Also, the ability to respect this is ultimately one of the keys to a successful marriage/ happy family life, in my opinion.
What is your favourite fatherhood memory?
The moment Esme showed that she has a mind of her own, (RJ has started to show signs of this too). I believe as a parent, it is not my job to force my point of view on my children. It is however my job to help mould said attributes.
Esme is very opinionated and I absolutely love this as I believe it will help her navigate this world that is designed to keep women (most expecially black women) down.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge so far would be finding time for my ‘me time’, I’m getting better, but it still requires a lot of work, as I believe this is important and also possible .