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"Mastering The Father in You"

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For a while now, my wife and I have been discussing trading places for a bit, and by trading places, I mean her going back into the workforce full time after 7 years of being a stay-at-home mom and myself becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. In a way I have kind of already been a stay-at-home dad for the last 5-6 years, thanks to the ability to work from home with some of the employers I have had during that time. However, even though I was present in the home with my wife and kids, I felt like a prisoner and my chair and desk was my ball and chain. My kids would want to spend time and play with their daddy because they knew I was home, but would not be able to until I went on lunch, or one of my fifthteen minute breaks. Sometimes they would have to wait until the end of my eight or ten hour shift.


Before we decided to transition our oldest child and son from virtual school (kindergarten) into physical school (first grade) while in a pandemic, managing three children at home everyday while preparing for a fourth one on the way was becoming very tough and stressful for my wife especially after spending countless hours during the week just taking care of kids. My wife has had part-time jobs off and on and has been able to go back to school in the last 7 years but each time she has decided to start working, surprise, we find out she is pregnant again. With the cost of childcare, we had decided when we were having our first that it did not make sense to us to have both of us working just so that one of us could pay for childcare and for someone else to raise our child. So we decided I would continue working and my wife would stay home.


I won’t lie to you, going from two incomes to one income has definitely been hard over the years, and it’s not like we were making buku money to begin with before we had kids. There have been many stressful moments of looking at the paycheck coming in and trying to figure out how you are going to use it to pay bills and provide for your family. Then think about childcare. In a 2021 article by cnbc.com on stay-at-home dads, it was reported that in at least 33 U.S. States, the cost of infant care was more than college tuition. Imagine adding the stress of also trying to figure out how we would afford the cost of childcare. Despite the challenges and stressors we have encountered, we still think it is more important for our children to always have at least one full-time parent around to feel supported and loved and we were determined to make it work.


It feels different now to wake up every morning and not have to punch in under an employer. Instead, now the time is dedicated to spending time teaching and caring for our four kids while trying to start and manage a family life educational business that focuses on being a help and resource to men and fathers of color. The question now becomes, how am I going to do this and what pitfalls will I need to look out for?


If you are a father reading this and thinking about transitioning to being a stay-at-home dad, consider a few things first. Know that being a stay-at-home dad has become more common than you may think especially in the midst of the pandemic. More fathers have been choosing to leave their jobs so that they can spend more time caring for their children and those fathers who did not choose to be at home with their kids but were either as a result of a layoff or chronic illness, decided to use the situation to their advantage. Rushing and Powell (2014) in their study on the Family Dynamics of the Stay-at-Home Father and Working Mother Relationship mentioned a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau reported that out of 24.4 million married fathers with children younger than the age of eighteen, 189,000 identified themselves as stay-at-home dads in 2012. So being a stay-at-home father is not a new concept even though we may want to think it is.


Stereotypes, Stigmas, and Lack of Support

Expect for others to disagree with your choice to be a stay-at-home dad and for attacks on your masculinity based on social norms and stereotypical perspectives. I don’t define a father or a man rather as only a provider. That is only just one facet of the male and some women are proving that they can be better providers than us men. Not only does a father provide, but he also protects and nurtures what he is the source of. A father teaches and cultivates those he is responsible for. I strive each and every day to stand true to these responsibilities and it is still my conviction to fulfill that provider role by still contributing to my family financially. However, that will not be the only way in which my family finds value in me being here.


Isolation and Depression

Though I have not experienced the isolation and depression part yet, research on this topic states it is something stay-at-home dads, or stay-at-home parents, should prepare for. I guess I’ll finally get a first hand taste of what my wife has been complaining to me about all this time. In my research I found that a lot of stay-at-home dads struggle with self-worth and this can be a heavy contributor to depression and isolation. Moms.com writer, Megan Glosson, in her article titled: How To Help A Stay-At-Home Dad Struggling With Self-Worth (2021), mentions that our society makes us all associate our self-worth as adults to our job status and salary. Furthermore, many families according to The Institute for Family Studies (2016), still equate a husband's primary duty as maintaining a breadwinner status. This mindset can push stay-at-home dads to feel worthless (Glosson, 2021), so stay-at-home dads will need support. Checking your area for local dad groups to join could be a big help with managing depression and isolation. City Dad Groups is one that I recently joined in Orlando that has been around since 2008. They have chapters all across the U.S. and in eastern Canada. There is also the National At-Home Dad Network which is a great support and resource for stay-at-home dads. The thing to remember as a stay-at-home dad or stay-at-home parent is that you are not alone.


Conclusion

I enjoy being home with my children, I really do. So far I have been able to keep the house in order and having a daily routine is very helpful in keeping that order. I have alarms set on my iPhone to let me know when it’s snack time, lunch, dinner, bath time, story time, and bedtime. When you’re juggling four kids, believe me, these alarms come in handy to help keep you on track. When it comes to education at home, I use ABCMouse.com for my 5 and 3 year-old. It’s interactive and it keeps their attention. To get more information about, check out the blog I wrote on it by clicking here. I’ve also been able to get some cool arts and crafts items for them to do through Discount School Supply. Anything you need for at-home education, they pretty much have from education furniture for your home to family engagement kits, and they also provide free resources such as free STEM and creative activities. I’m excited to go on this journey. The focus is seeing my family grow and be successful.


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I don't know about you, but I am sure we can all agree that this global pandemic caused major changes regarding how we do life, right!? All of a sudden, we found ourselves quarantined in our homes 24/7 with those who we loved and possibly those who we could not stand. For many, this was certainly an adjustment. For my kids, my 7, 5, and 3 year old, the hardest thing was not being able to go to the park to play with friends. As much as we wanted to minimize the screen time for the kids, when you have one parent working from home and the other parent juggling 4 kids, the result is inevitable. So if they're going to have screen time more than usual, I would much rather it be on something they could benefit from.


ABCmouse.com is an early learning program for children ages 2-8 that can be accessed via smartphone or tablet by downloading the app on the App store or Google Play store for Android, or online via desktop/laptop computer. My kids mainly use it on their tablets but I also keep the app on my iPhone as well for just in case moments. What's great about the ABCMouse platform is the amount of learning material it offers to children from toddler age to 2nd grade. There are 7 key sections in the app: Learning Path, Classroom, About Me, Reading Games, Math Games, What's New, and Things to Do.


  • “Learning Path” - provides your child with a list of activities picked out by the program based on the child's age. Depending on the age these activities could be tracing, puzzles, coloring, reading, or math-related activities.

  • Classroom - this is a digital classroom that replicates a real-looking classroom with an interactive teacher. All of the items presented in the classroom are clickable and are links to actual activities. Within this classroom, kids have access to reading, math, art, songs, puzzles, games, and many more like interactive books that they can read or that will read to them. So if your children can't read yet, this feature is helpful.

  • About Me - this section takes kids to their avatar where they can change what the Avatar looks like by using the tickets they earn for completing tasks. My kids can spend countless hours here buying clothes, shoes, and other accessories to create their avatar to look as close to them as possible and they enjoy dressing it up with the many different outfits the platform has.

  • Reading Games and Math Games - these areas on the platform provide games to help your children practice reading, writing, and math skills. (Please note that these features are not accessible under the toddler grade level)

  • What’s New - is an area that lets the newest games and activities that ABCMouse.com has recently rolled out with for your kids to play.

  • Things to Do - is an area that reroutes kids back to some of the other activities that they can find in the previous areas.


The platform also has access to printouts for those moments when you want to get your kids off of the screens and working on their writing abilities. For me and my family, ABCmouse.com has proven to be an asset for us. When it comes to early learning, it takes the pressure off of having to find resources to help teach my kids the fundamentals that they need prior to starting school. If you are looking for an interactive resource to help with early learning for your children, ABCMouse.com is it! Try it out free for 30 days by clicking on the following link below or by clicking here and see for yourself if ABCMouse.com is right for you and your kids!


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Updated: 2 days ago



Fatherhood Principles

What does it mean these days in our society to be a father? Certainly, things have changed tremendously in the last 100 years concerning what defines a father. TIME Magazine did an interesting article on the history of fathers that you can check out at this link:http://amp.timeinc.net/time/5312912/history-american-fathers According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.7 million children, more than 1 in 4, live without a father in the home. We are living in a society that experiences the absence of fathers like an epidemic. Society must understand why fathers are a necessity and why God placed the responsibility of being a father on the male.

In the book titled, The Fatherhood Principle: Priority, Position, and the Role of the Male written by best-selling author Dr. Myles Munroe, Dr. Munroe explains that the word father is more than just a name. Instead, 'father' is a title relating to function. In relation to God, the book states that He is our Father in two main ways: through creation, because He is Source of all that is, and through redemption, because of His coming to Earth in the form of a man, to be crucified on a cross as a sinless sacrifice to put mankind back into right relationship; right standing with God like it was originally before mankind declared independence from God.

Dr. Munroe provides some words that express the basic concepts of a father. These words denote father as Source, Nourisher, Sustainer, Supporter, Founder, Protector, Author, Teacher, and Creator. The word father is translated in the Old Testament Hebrew language as ab or Abba (meaning “Daddy”), and in the New Testament Greek, it is pater. Both terms are defined as source. Therefore, God is Father because He is the Source and Sustainer of all things. Dr. Munroe defines a father as, “the source that sustains, protects, nourishes, and provides identity for that which he produces.”

From the book, there are 7 principles of Fatherhood I would like to reference. These seven principles distinguish men in their role of father in the following ways:


  1. The male is the source of seed.

  2. The male is the nourisher of fruit.

  3. The male is the source of the female.

  4. The male is designed to protect his fruit.

  5. The male determines the type of offspring and influences its quality.

  6. The male maintains his offspring.

  7. The male teaches his seed.


The male is the source of seed because he is the source of human life. This is possible simply because the male is the host of the sperm. The male is the nourisher of fruit. When a man and woman conceive and give birth to a baby, the father is responsible for providing all the love and support that the mother and the baby need. In a marriage, the husband is responsible for cultivating his wife with the goal of making her better and more complete than she already is.

The male is the source of the female. Again, the man is responsible for the woman. Since woman came from man (see Genesis 2:21-23, 1 Corinthians 11:8), men are responsible for women and how they treat them. The male is designed to protect his fruit. I like what Dr. Munroe says in the book concerning this, that the reason for a man's strength is to protect. As fathers and husbands, we must make sure that we are not using our strength to abuse what we should be protecting. I agree with Dr. Munroe's statement:

“Such ignorant men are dangerous because where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable.” - Pg 39, The Fatherhood Principle

So many of us men have it wrong when it comes to women. We think we know and understand their purpose. This must change with education and training. Hosea 4:6 says, my people perish for a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is man's biggest enemy. We cannot create solutions if we are not clear on the problem.

The Male determines the type of the offspring and influences the quality. Dr. Munroe in his book states, that because we as men carry the seed within us, we determine the type of person our offspring will become, and that we also have the power to influence the eventual quality of that person by our character. Behaviors are passed on through observation and exposure. However, I'd like to believe they can be hereditary as well. If you have issues handling anger and you are unable to get it under control, that is something that can be passed down to your offspring. If you are a perpetual liar and cheater or struggle with substance abuse, whether it be alcohol or drugs, and you do not change, that poor character can be passed over to your next generation. It is important to have character, not only for your sake but for your children's sake.

“Whatever you receive, you will produce. Whatever you sow, you will reap. (See Galatians 6:7). - Page 39, The Fatherhood Principle

The male maintains his offspring. From the book, Dr. Munroe states, “The male is responsible for the security, sustenance, and development of his seed.” The fatherhood principle here is to maintain. As fathers, we are responsible for the maintenance of everything under our care. The male teaches his seed. In our society today, it seems like more and more children are missing out on the opportunity to be taught by fathers. This happens either because the father is absent in the home or life of the child, or if he is present, he lacks the knowledge on how or what he should be teaching. Dr. Munroe has some key things to say about this:

The male is a godly father when he takes responsibility for his seed and gives his seed knowledge. The source must train and instruct the resource… Most women are doing the teaching and training, but God says that fathers are to do the primary spiritual teaching and training in the home.” - Pg 40, The Fatherhood Principle

If you were raised in a single-family home and had an absentee father, you can relate perfectly with what Dr. Munroe has stated above. Some men cannot teach their families to go in a positive direction if they are not headed in that direction themselves. But as fathers, as the male, we are responsible for training and teaching our families to walk in the ways of the Lord.

When we begin to follow these seven primary principles of Fatherhood, it places us in a position that is pleasing to the Creator because we are fulfilling the purpose He planned for us as men, and it propels us in the direction to become the fathers He created us to be. If we become the fathers God originally intended for us to be, we would shake the very foundations of the systems put in place to hurt us rather than to help us. After reading this, it is my hope that the next time you think of fatherhood or hear or see the word father, that you would understand that it is more than just a title, it is the Creator's design and destiny of the male.

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