Dads Deserve Respect Too
One working dad trumps negative fatherhood stereotypes as part of the Care.com Interview Series.
Growing up without a father figure, Frederick Goodall hopes to serve as a role model to fathers everywhere through his blog, Mocha Dad, where he shares his stories of being a prominent figure in his kids' lives.
Goodall proves that not all fathers are "bumbling idiots" and that supporting your wife during the first six months goes a long way. See how this dad blogger is standing up for black fathers and fathers everywhere, one blog post at a time.
Tell us about your family.
I have three children ages 11, 8, and 4. My oldest daughter is an introvert - quiet and reserved (like me). But she is exceptionally smart, witty, and a great writer. My middle son is full of charisma and loves people. Nothing makes him happier than to hang out with a house full of friends and family members. He also enjoys exploring (like me). My youngest son is a little rascal. He likes to play jokes and create mischief. He is also a great athlete.
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I started blogging in 2006 to share my travel adventures with my family. In 2008, I started Mocha Dad to share my adventures as a father. I wanted to show that fathers matter and that black fathers in particular are fully invested in their children's lives. Now I focus on using my experiences to help all fathers to become better men.
What role do you think Dads can play in the blogosphere?
Dad blogs can bring a different perspective on parenting. Most of my readers are women and they often tell me that they enjoy reading a different point of view.
Tell me about what you didn't know about fatherhood. What's surprised you? What were you expecting?
I wasn't expecting anything because I didn't know anything. I knew that I would be winging it from the start because I didn't have any role models. Fatherhood is a journey that each man must discover on his own.
The first few months of parenthood are trying - What did mom need the most in your experience?
The most important thing I did was show her support during the difficult times. I helped with the feedings, the late nights, and the diaper changes. My wife also appreciated it when I came home from work and gave her a couple of hours of relief from her mom duties.
What is the one piece of advice you wish you had before becoming a father?
Keep the bond strong between you and your wife and don't allow the baby to cause a rift in your relationship.
How do you stay out of mommy's doghouse? What advice would you give to all the new dads out there?
There is no mommy's doghouse in our house. We are partners who equally contribute to raising our family. I would advise all couples to take the same approach.
How do you balance your work and life at home?
I wake up at 5:00 am to go to work and I spend 10-12 hours there. I travel a lot for work, so I also get much of my blogging done in airports, on airplanes, and in hotels.
When I get home, I have dinner with the family and spend a couple of hours with the kids before bedtime. Keep in mind that throughout the week, the kids have music and sports practices, church activities, and scouts. I get the kids ready for bed and read them a book if I have time. [Then], I spend about an hour working on my blog and social networking. I try to spend some time with my wife before heading to bed.
There never seems to be enough time in the day.
What is the hardest part about being a dad?
The hardest part about being a dad is not getting the proper respect. Society places mothers on a pedestal and rightfully so. However, dads are portrayed to be bumbling idiots who are incapable of taking care of a family. A father's role is important and I wish people would treat it as such.
The best part of being a dad is...
...Sharing my life with three incredible kids.
Tell us about the best Father's Day you've ever had!
The first Father's Day is always the most special. Since that first time, I have taken a photograph with my kids holding a handmade sign marking the year. It's great to look through all of those photos and walk down memory lane.
Kids want to know: What does Dad want MOST for Father's Day?
Most dads probably want some technology or some time for an activity (golf, hunting, hanging out with his friends, etc). All I really want is a nap.
What are the three best tips you can give a new Dad?
- Make your relationship with your wife the most important thing. Kids feel more secure when they know that their parents' love each other.
- Be patient with your children.
- Time is the most important gift you can give to your family.
Get more laughs and tips in the rest of our Care.com Interview Series: Daddy Survival 101 »
Frederick Goodall started Mocha Dad in 2008 to chronicle his life as a father and to counter the negative stereotypes regarding black fatherhood. Goodall uses his blog to capture his experiences as a father, and to help motivate other fathers to be more actively engaged and involved with their children. He graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. He currently resides in Houston, Texas with his wife and three children. Follow on Twitter and Facebook.
Image used with permission from Frederick Goodall.