Yo! Daddy month will feature some good interviews from dads of all walks of life. All are of Christian faith but you will hear perspectives from a new dad, full-time working dad, single father, and more. I even asked my hubby some questions. Here's what our first dad had to say:
Yo! Mama: Hey, how's it going?
Dad #1: Pretty good K-Boogie! How about yourself?
Yo! Mama: Great thanks! OK So I'm going to start out by asking some general questions and then in another segment at the end of the month, I have some questions for all the dads to see how similar or different the responses are. Here we go.
Profession: I'm an Instructor in the Music Dept at a Community College
How long have you been a father? 8 years
How many kids do you have? One
How long have you been with your wife? Approaching 9 years in July
How do you balance your involvement with the church or Christian life with the responsibilities of home and work? For me, it’s the last several years. Since I’ve had the new job, my involvement with the church has been less. When I taught high school students, Sarai was a toddler so I could bring her to church rehearsal with me. That was a healthy balance as my wife was in the choir as well. Now, one of the classes I teach conflicts with the choir rehearsal time. We still attend church regularly but my involvement is not as much as it used to be.
Have there been any situations as a man, husband, or father that may have caused your faith to waver or be tried? This current job has been challenging in my faith and moving forward. I work 45 minutes away. As a music teacher, there’s not just set classes, there are performances and rehearsals that keep me out. My wife does a lot for biblical support. She knew “a good Christian wife supports her husband” but I knew she wasn’t happy or content with how things were going, especially early on. She has her own career and felt like she was the only one parenting our child. Through communication and interpreting the subtext (paying attention to HOW she’s saying it), I’ve learned to communicate with her early on and make sure it aligns. It’s still a struggle but if I don’t have a good reason to say no, then I will say yes. She loves my kind heart but it also is a frustration.
What are some acts to keep your child satisfied/happy without spoiling them? I’ll say this out loud. Our daughter is SPOILED. We bless her as we have been blessed. However, things to keep her grounded are: NO is a full sentence. We don’t say yes to everything and we explain why. The idea is that when we explain, there’s hopefully less back talk. It’s easier with one child to take her places or run and get off early one Friday and grab a new toy from the store. We celebrate good things and reward to show how proud of her we are but there is discipline when necessary.
Do you see your wife as the Chief Operating Officer of the home? In this analogy, yes. It all operates on my wife. We try our best to not subscribe to gender roles in the traditional idea of marriage. If I need to pick Sarai up or cook, I do that. I allow myself to step away from doing hair. [laughing] I aint touching it but other things we do together and try not to have it as “you do your part, I do mine”. We look at our marriage as a unit, not a partnership. Whatever keeps the unit tight is what we do for the family. For example, if Sarai asked can I have, I say “what did your mom say?”. Things move way better if she’s (my wife) in the affirmative.
As a married couple, how do you support each other’s dreams? I don’t consider myself done with my training & development. I’m not at my career job even though I’m a salaried employee with a Master’s degree. I’ve always wanted a doctorate and it still is a goal but will consequently impact the family. Not a lot of opportunities to do so where we live for that type of degree and we would have to relocate. We have faith but looking at moving into a new chapter or a long-distance relationship is quite a fear. That next chapter with a child will challenge our marriage but God will take care. My wife has accomplished her goal but it took her a while to find the right fit for her career after getting her Master’s. When she did find it, it would’ve been selfish for me to venture off.
What are your thoughts on how a child should be disciplined? I don’t want to be like “back in my day”, but a lot of benefits are being aware of how we can manage their feelings so that they can be well-rounded adults. They need to see that just because they are sad, we may not try to make them happy. I’m not going to relent in her punishment just because she’s sad about it. ALSO, if I say something in a threat, and she does it again, then she has to deal with the consequences. For example, if she lost her folder once and did it again after I told her no TV for the night if you do it again, that is what it is. She is a blessing with her personality as she minds usually on the first reminder and doesn’t necessarily act out. God has truly blessed us with a good kid. How we are parenting has been effective.
Yo! Mama: Well thanks so much for taking time to answer these questions and hope to talk to you again soon!
OK, what do you think of Dad #1's interview? Can anyone relate?
(clipart of Oscar Proud from the Proud Family cartoon)