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THE DADDY DIARIES
20th January 2014
The clock is ticking down and my wife and I are fast approaching a period filled with a number of unknown quantities that will ultimately lead us to the birth of our first child.
We are pretty certain it’s a girl but even that isn’t 100%. Different nurses and consultants thought they saw 3 lines and no dangly bits but on each scan, the baby decided to keep their private parts… well private (My kinda daughter right there!). The unknown quantities leave me wondering, how should I be preparing for all of this? What’s my role when the countdown stops? What about the what ifs, there’s so many! For instance…
· I have bath salts, candles and mood music at the ready to create a calm peaceful environment for those early labour stages but what if the sounds of a classic Beyonce single triggers the initial rage generated by Jay’s latest verse on “Drunk in Love”?
· My hospital route is planned 35 minutes on a good day 50 on a bad (I’m yet to break the speed limit though) but what if a tractor breaks down blocking a village lane (I live in the countryside this COULD HAPPEN)
· What if it’s a 48 hour labour??? How do I stop myself from unintentionally nodding off while my wife is enduring one of the most painful experiences of her life???
What do I do??? The more I analyse it the more I feel I’ll just end up working myself into some crazy kinda sweat drenched stress and panic! Not a good look! I picked my younger cousin’s brain over Christmas about their experiences when their day came a couple years back. One of them described it as the most “useless” he has ever felt as a partner when he was in that delivery room. When it comes down to it they both agreed “there really isn’t anything you can do but be there for them”.
And I guess that’s it right there. There are so many variables out of my control there is no point getting worked up about it all. Stay calm be everything they need you to be at that moment and help ensure that both mother and child come out the otherside healthy and happy. Probably gonna need to be my attitude for everything moving forward now. So it begins… Fatherhood.
20th January 2014
Being a father is a privilege, and a joy. Its demanding, engaging, stressful, yet rewarding. My daughter is now 2 years old (she will be 3 in June), full of energy, wit, and attitude. She is intelligent, and seems to get more hyper daily! Yet I often find myself wondering, “when did this kid become a teenager?” Telling me things like, “Dad, stop calling me!” or trying to talk on the phone constantly to whomever will listen. She’s become so descriptive and decisive about things she does and doesn’t want, from food to shoes, hair bows, and outfits!
My hair is gradually being sprinkled with grey strands… and I’m convinced that my daughter is stealing my energy whilst I sleep! My knees are achy, yet I gladly play and dance through the pain to see her smile. I find myself missing our daughter, Alexzandria, more quickly and easily. I crave her attention, nearly as much as she seems to crave mine. Sometimes I wonder what exactly I was doing before fatherhood! Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy I became a father in my late 20’s, rather than in my teens. I was more prepared for the sacrifices required, my wife and I were more established, and we were more financially prepared, definitely more mature and structured!
Alexzandria now knows her alphabet, is counting to 20, knows all of her colors and shapes (to include trapezoids, pentagons, and the like.) she knows all of her letter sounds, and is an excellent conversationalist. Zan is now in school, and is on a higher curriculum than the rest of her class, she seems to be excelling quickly and is rather advanced. Compared to the rest of the children, she is having difficulty with her fine motor skills such as coloring in the lines and tracing, as well as cutting with scissors. (To be quite honest, I could care less about coloring inside the lines or cutting straight. She is 2, not 6. However, I understand that this is part of her curriculum, so I do my best not to show how negatively I feel about that portion of schooling. I think I just struggle with the idea of Alexzandria losing creativity as a result of being made to color within the lines at 2, what can I say? I am an artistic soul.)
My daughter is rather social, and is well known by many people. My wife and I will go to restaurants and waitresses (whom my wife and I don’t know) know Zandri by name! We have come to the conclusion that Alexzandria is famous compared to us. After all, she does seem to have her fair share of fans.
She makes me laugh constantly. I can’t walk through the house without a shirt on, without her yelling, “HEY! Cover your boobies!” She yells “green means go Dad!” at stoplights, and just today told me “go to sleep, Daddy!” To which my response was, “Zan, I am driving…I can’t go to sleep right now.” Not long ago she cheered me on loudly in a restaurant as I came out of the restroom saying, “YAY Daddy! You PEEPEED!” To which my response was “Thank you, thank you. I’d like to thank the academy, and all of the little people I had to step on to pee here!” I’m sure the people in the restaurant thought I was crazy.
My house is looking more and more like a school daily. EVERYTHING is labelled (we are teaching her how to read) There are educational posters hanging, workbooks lying around, and Zan seems to have enough story books to start her own library. She gets read to normally 3 times daily, and we love the bonding time it creates, as well as how it creates a desire to read within Alexzandria. Alexzandria is now asking us questions as though she’s the teacher, and then responds with “very good!” when we offer her the correct responses.
Alexzandria LOVES to sing, and dance. She likes nearly all forms of music. Our daughter even leads us in family prayer, both for dinner as well as nightly prayer. Of course we follow up with prayer also, ensuring that everyone partakes in prayer. Alexzandria truly enjoys going to church, and is quickly learning scriptures.
Altogether Zan is an excellent child, she has her more temperamental days, yet overall she is very even tempered. She loves to learn, and absorbs information like a sponge. She is highly active and outgoing, loves to dress up, and is always complimenting others on their attire, hair, makeup, facial hair, even their eyebrows! I do my best to offer my child stability, balance, manners, self respect, and an overall good example to follow. I can only pray that it impacts her in the most positive of ways. My child is a miracle, and a blessing, and I refuse to take her for granted.
Lately I’ve been hearing of so many people close to me losing children to sickness, tragedy, miscarriage, even divorce. To tell the truth, it grieves me to hear of such things. Yet I am reminded to be thankful for my daughter EVERYDAY whether she is on her best behavior or not, because someone today hugged their baby for the last time. I’d gladly give up nearly everything for this opportunity of fatherhood, because being a parent is the most important and rewarding job I’ve ever had. Every moment of sleep lost, every meal I’ve had to share (or give up to my greedy child), every stressful moment, it’s all worth it. This entire entry can be summed up in one sentence: “I love being a dad.”
Thanks for reading,
1st October 2013
*For the benefit of myself and my Iranian family, I have taken out names of the people involved as well as places to protect their identities* It's taking a lot of courage and bravery from my side to talk about this issue. The issue I'm disclosing is about my Iranian father. Today I’d like to tell you his story on my own special day – my 30th birthday.
My father came to the UK in the late 1970s on a student visa to study Civil Engineering in a university in Hertfordshire. Whilst in London, he met my mother (who was a nurse at the time) and they began dating and getting to know each other. He and my mum naturally over time and through their relationship growing and blossoming - fell in love. In June 1980, they got married in a registry office and had a small intimate reception with family and friends. After being happily married for three years, my mother gave birth to me in October 1983 with my dad by her side. It seems my father got his way with giving me a full Iranian name (in Persian, Kamran means beloved and successful). Things were good. We were all in awe of each other.
However, my father's student visa eventually ran out. Still being really happy with his marriage and family and living in London, my dad tried to cling onto London life by getting work as a minicab driver to avoid being deported as he didn't want to go back to Iran. At this time, Iran was in war with Iraq. Eventually, the Iranian and British authorities caught up with him and threatened his Iranian family if he didn't cooperate and move back to Iran. My dad had no choice but to leave behind his wife and young son and go back to Iran. My mum lost the love of her life and I was her only comfort.
My dad would correspond over the years with my mum as they wrote letters to one another. As the devout Christian she was, my mum always had hope of seeing dad again. But eventually, the letters stopped. My mum wondered through all the options of why the letters stopped.
I now assume my dad realised that it was near impossible to come back out to London to live and work again especially as relations between the UK and Iran weren't at its best. So he decided to start his life again in Iran. As a Muslim, you are allowed up to four wives and with this loophole, he decided to find love again, this time with an Iranian woman.
My mum never heard from him ever again. She carried on wearing her wedding ring until in 1992; she gave up hope of him returning again and divorced him. To say she was heartbroken was an understatement. It drove her into a deadly cocktail of comfort eating, unhappiness, loss and depression that she never fully escaped from.
Although my mum was unhappy, she never let me see it. The sixteen years I was afforded with her were the best, most loving, fun and caring years of my life. No one could ever take that away from us, not even my dad.
My mum passed away at the age of 46 from on-going diabetes, depression, encephalitis (brain virus that affects speech, memory and thought) and breathing problems months before my 17th birthday.
As a young adult, I formed quite a negative view of my dad. After starting poetry (which was influenced by my mum's death and the emotions within that), I blamed my dad for a lot of things
and only gave recognition to him because his sperm helped create me. This passed on into my views of my own identity as I denounced my Iranian side and identified myself as Black instead of Mixed-Race. I even changed the pronunciation of my Iranian name to sound more British.
Years later and I still hadn't heard anything from my dad. To me, he was dead. Non-existent. I could've let this affect my life and act like a spoilt rebel who didn't have his daddy. Instead, I vowed to myself that I would be the best dad I could be - a better dad than he was to me.
The curiosity in me did look for his full name on Google, Facebook and genealogy websites, just to see if I could find anything. Nothing was found. But it wasn't until 2012 when l was asked by a friend if I had tried my hardest to find my dad that it dawned on me - I needed to do exactly that. So I did. I wanted to have enough accurate information about my dad to educate and inform my daughter. I wanted her to form her own honest opinion of him.
Over the course of a year, I searched his name on Google to see if I could find anything on him. Nothing. I tried to find records on him on various genealogy sites. Nothing.
I asked all my friends on Facebook for advice and the right way to go about this and was given some good pointers. In particular, my close friend -who is Iranian - helped me with so much information: contacts, different avenues to investigate, asking her family here and in Iran about my father and that side of the family. I applied and wrote to TV shows like ITV's Long Lost Family and BBC1's Heir Hunters to either be on their show or for advice. Nothing.
I phoned customer service numbers from the genealogy websites and from family advice centres for some leads. I called and emailed the Society of Genealogists and got the postal address of a place in Iran that holds all birth/death/military records and sent a letter to them in English and Persian. Never got a reply.
I got in touch with universities in Hertfordshire where he studied to try and get information on him, but the Data Protection Act prevented me on receiving any details on my dad. I sent emails to English-Iranian newspapers. Nothing. I got in touch with the Iranian Library in London. They couldn't help and said it's hard to find people in Iran, which I found out to be true.
I tried everything and put my hardest efforts into finding my father. I never gave up though even when things were against me.
I messaged all the people on Facebook with my surname and middle name in their name. Most people weren't interested and didn't know anything. One person in particular (even though she didn't know me or my dad) replied back to me and vowed to help me find him. Out of nowhere, she found someone with exactly my dad's name, possible occupation, and approximate age living in Iran. And from finding these details, my new friend was able to find this man's birth certificate and his phone number. With my permission, my friend called the man but got a woman answering the phone. She tried again and the man answering the phone denied any knowledge of me or my story.
Feeling disheartened, disappointed and in desperate need of assistance; my friend gave me the details of an Iranian TV channel based in London. She thought they might be interested in my story and could possibly offer help. When I approached them, they were very intrigued and wanted to make an honest documentary from it. But after my friend insisted in not being involved in case her identity was found out and sought out by this man, the documentary was scrapped for not having enough evidence.
Meanwhile, a good friend of mine told me that there was a local Iranian Community Centre in North London that would be worth contacting. So I called and talked to them about my situation. They vowed to help me. They said that they had a similar situation with someone else and the manager's cousin who lives in Iran helped to find that person’s family. I emailed them with all the information (including the phone number my friend had obtained of the man with my dad's name), documents and photos I had of my dad to help them on their search.
In the course of a year, the contact in Iran used all of his contacts to trace my father and his family. He worked tirelessly and unselfishly to find him. It was hard work but he managed to find my uncle in northern Iran. My uncle didn't know anything about me. (He and my dad haven't spoken for a while due to a family conflict)
He didn't know his brother had created a family abroad but he did know that he did go to study in the UK. I had an Iranian relative that I knew was mine. He was alive and well - he was my uncle. I was beyond happy.
My Iranian contact kept working hard to help me find my father. He kept giving me regular updates. He gave me different avenues to go down. And he always assured me that my dad will be found.
I was just grateful to have help and support. He was a Godsend.
On Christmas Day last year out of the blue, I got a message from my contact. HE FOUND MY DAD!!! He found him in Iran living with his wife - and his two daughters. Yes I have two stepsisters!
My contact had been talking to him on the phone for months and finally met him. My dad was in shock. He never thought he would hear from me again. He was told about me, my life, my family. He was told about my mum’s death, which broke his heart.
Still, my dad expressed pride in me and my achievements. He was proud of me - wow! I never ever thought in my lifetime that this day would happen. I'm still in shock now. I have stepsisters, I have Iranian family – I’m a big brother, who would’ve thought it?
My dad does want to Skype me and talk - to tell me his side of the story. He also wants to come to London and visit me in person. But there are obvious reasons why that can’t happen at the moment.
My dad has to keep me a secret from his wife and blood relatives. In Iran, things are very traditional especially with families and marriage. If anyone finds out about me, his wife could leave him and he would be frowned upon and disowned by his family for lying and concealing such a truth and leading a double life whilst in the UK. I wouldn't want to do anything that could get him in trouble or jeopardise his life in any way. That might sound weird after how he made my mother and I feel, but my mum was never the type of person to seek revenge. Being adult and civil about things was instilled in my upbringing. At the end of the day, I'm just happy that I found my dad again when my mum couldn't and that I have my dad back in a better capacity than ever before.
I've been told by my Iranian contact that my dad is a kind-hearted, good-natured, warm, loving and caring gentleman. He is handsome, looks after himself and we have a lot of similar features. The fact that I can even talk about my dad in this manner is such an amazing God-given blessing.
I prayed so hard for this day and God granted it to me in such a beautiful profound way that it’s impossible to doubt that God exists in all we do.
I have real information to tell my daughter and wife about. That is priceless in the evolutionary history of my family - especially my Iranian roots.
I pray that this is the beginning of my father and me getting to know each other with the opportunity to bond. I still have a lot of questions to ask, but I also have a lot of questions answered. My life feels more complete. A lot of the observations I had in youth concerning my family totally make sense now. Another puzzle piece has been filled, all thanks to God. He used His vessels to help me and to assist me in the goal of finding my dad.
27th August 2013
As I sit here looking over the gorgeous water scape of Connaught Waters in nearby Essex, I'm afforded a rare luxury - a time to reflect and appreciate. And luckily, I get to do this with my daughter whilst I afford my wife her own rare luxury - time off from parenting.
You see I may joke around and act all nonchalant and cocky sometimes but deep down inside, I'm just a good guy trying to do good in everything he attempts including the matrix that is parenthood.
It has been a very long time since I wrote my last entry but I have been busy with fatherhood, marriage and work that it's very hard to find relaxation time or time to myself. Over the past couple of years, I've also been trying to find some missing pieces from my life in terms of trying to locate my father (he left the family when I was 10 months old and moved to his country, Iran). But that is a whole other DD entry which I will reveal soon.
Being a father has been intense, enjoyable, humbling and thoroughly entertaining. But most of all, it has given me hunger and desire to be the parent that my mum was to me. To be able to pass down my wisdom, knowledge and advice to Lily and allow her to find her way through life using the morals, beliefs and values I'm trying to instil in her.
As every father can testify to, there is no handbook on how to be a good father. You just do what feels right and what you feel is good and beneficial for your child. I'm just thankful that even though there have been times where I've wanted to run away, God and my wife have always brought me back to deal with the personal fatherhood issue/insecurity I may be having. I'm learning so much every day and I have a great team player in my wife to guide me and allow me to observe things from another angle. We help each other out in our parenting. We compliment each other.
As for Lily - well boy has she grown up. She's nearing 19 months old now and has changed a lot from the chubby alien-looking baby I held in my arms when she was born (yes I still look at old photos of her). She is incredibly observant and is holding onto more information now from repetition and observation. It's fascinating.
We are currently living in a bigger house with a single mum and her 13 month old child (we're all good friends from church) who Lily has been friends with for a while. Lily looks at him as a younger brother (she can tell he is younger), shares food and toys with him, plays with him and kisses him goodnight when it's his bedtime. These qualities shine out of her because she is a people person who loves company and loves to show love to others.
Lily can now say twenty to thirty words now which include amen (after saying grace), potty, poo, wee, mum, dad, duck, boo and the end (when finishing a bedtime story or book). Whilst at this lake, we were laughing for fifteen minutes after i taught her how to say "get out of town" and she kept repeating it and laughing. My daughter is a massive fan of singing and dancing. She dances to any song that has a tune to it and sings the alphabet and various nursery rhymes. Lily eats very well using her hands and cutlery but is starting to be very picky and independent about what she eats and when she eats. The spontaneous tantrums have already started too and I'm now taking on the role of disciplinarian dad in terms of telling her off and calming her down.
Lily runs up to me as soon as I come in from work to play with me or to give me a hug and kiss. We love to play a lot together and we enjoy reading bedtime stories together.
The thing is now that my daughter is older, we can both fully enjoy each other's company and I truly enjoy fatherhood. Yes it's full on and there's no real break from it but its fun, entertaining and truly a wonderful experience to be a part of. Lily is my twin as other than looking like me, we are also very similar. We love our food a lot, we love being around people (family/friends), we love to play, we emanate our love, we love to fart in public, and most of all, we both love Mummy.
I'm honoured to be Lily's dad, I love her so much and am so proud of the little mostly well-behaved girl she has grown up to be.
By: Ash Roye
So this week I saw my child for the first time. Watching him (yes I'm hoping for a boy, I'll have a daughter in a couple years time please) or her spinning around head butting my wife's womb filled me with sensations I can hardly fathom. Sensations that no facial expressions, laughter or words could ever do justice, pure joy.
137 likes later (yes my child is already popular) most of the world knows I'm to become a father. I go back a month or so when just a handful of people knew of freckle's (his/her first nickname which will stick) existence, Fathers day. A day that has found new meaning for me after loosing my father 2 years before. My wife decides to treat me to a trip to the cinema to watch "Man Of Steel". The summer blockbuster - filled will many subplots, good vs evil, the odd child out, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jonathan Kent and Kal-El. The story of two powerful father figures were all I could focus on. Their inherent desire to see their child become something greater and protect their child which ultimately led them to loosing their own lives is a desire that I already feel growing inside of me.
The film did not plant the seeds of these desires, it merely watered them. My Father planted the seed. The example he gave in raising myself and my brothers has given me a clear blueprint on what I need to do as a father for my child. I have a legacy handed down from my great grandfather Charles Roye, to my grandfather Astley Roye onto my father Errol Roye and now onto me, and I intend to honour it in the fullest.
The film reminded me that I have nothing to fear, my father already bestowed upon me the tools I need to be a great father for my child. I can think of no better way to honour his memory nor a better gift.
A Fathers day gift from my wife and unborn child.
P.S. Daughter if you're reading this I Love YOU!
By: Linwood Darkis
Title: What My 2 Year Old Taught Me
It's been a while since my last Daddy Diary entry, so it seems as though I have some catching up to do! Alexzandria (Zan) is 2 years old now, as of June 5th. She is energetic and bright, tall and slender, LOUD and fun...and developing a mind of her own, to my dismay! Zan got the opportunity to meet Lily, fellow DD baby (Kamran's beautiful mini-me), earlier this year! It was especially exciting to see the two of them interact, and as expected, I cried on more than one occasion. Although I told the group I was just sweating...from my eyes. I'm pretty certain they believed me...after all, perspiration from the eyes is totally common, right?
Zan is developing so quickly, her speech is greatly improved, and we are shocked almost daily at the things that come out of her mouth. For instance, not too long ago I was washing dishes when Zan ran up, smacked me on my butt, yelled "I love BOOTY!" and ran out of the room. She also pretends to take pictures of my butt whilst saying, "say cheese booty" to which, of course, I strike the best pose possible! (Hey, we don't pass up photo opps in this family!) She seems to have an obsession with things like that at the moment. Just 2 days ago, I stood next to our couch, rifling through a pile of clean laundry; I stood shirtless, as I aimed to find an undershirt to wear. Out of nowhere, Zan hops on the couch, stands up, and and squeezes my chest. She looked at me, straight faced, and said, "Boobs! You're a pretty girl, Daddy!" To which my response was, "Uh, thanks Zan." reluctantly, almost fearing what she may say next, "You're a pretty girl too." I figured I wouldn't bother arguing with her that I was a boy...and I contemplated quitting the push-ups I had recently added to my workout routine. I decided to take it as a compliment, that my pecs were getting bigger, and this was her way of complimenting me! That is, until she began to pinch my nipples and laugh...all semblance of compliment, gone. Needless to say, she keeps things interesting in our life, thank God I'm not easily offended or embarrassed!
Alexzandria seems to be learning very quickly, she knows the difference between "up" and "down," and is quickly picking up "left" and "right." She knows her alphabet up to the letter "J," followed by mumblings, and picks back up at "Q," normally finishing out correctly. She consistently counts to 5, and often attempts to count to ten, but bypasses 6 and 7. She loves to sing and dance, and I have learned that no matter how reserved you are, when a 2 year old asks you to dance with her, you do it! I must say, I rather enjoy the spontaneity. Zan is really teaching me more about living in the moment. I have learned that many "important things" can wait...my daughter wants to dance with me! I don't want to miss a thing, I want to enjoy every piece of her magnetic and charismatic personality, before she gets to the age of being embarrassed just for being seen with 'dear old Dad.' I'm finding that stopping to smell the roses, so to speak, has made life much richer! Alexzandria seems to notice everything, and look at 'normal' things in wonderment and amazement. She has a keen eye for detail, and often sees things in the room that we overlook. She has a great appreciation for the little things, and in a lot of ways, I want to be like her when I grow up. Alexzandria is truly teaching me the value of life, the beauty in the details, and showing me what's really important.
Lately, Ive been reflecting. Paying special attention to what matters, watching people with their children, and learning lessons from 'modern normalcy.' I've been paying special attention to what it really means to parent a child, build a family. You know what I noticed? Often, while we are parents who provide for our families and do everything we can think of to ensure their well being, we are still lacking. There have been moments where I was in the room with my daughter physically, but I was mentally still at work, or my mind was on what I needed to accomplish next. I was an "absent father" in the moment, becoming so distracted with my "importance" (which was significantly less important that I initially thought) that I was not focused on the most important thing I should've been taking part in: Daddy-daughter time. Here I was, letting myself miss the richness of my daughter in this moment, because in my mind, I was still at work. I couldn't help but think, "Is this what it feels like to be a deadbeat dad? Am I showing my daughter, my family what they really mean to me?" I've come to the conclusion that, as dads, our physical presence simply isn't enough, we MUST be actively engaged mentally. So now, when I'm home, I'm home, because I don't want to rob my daughter of her time with me. I've found that it can be so easy to get distracted, and ultimately, balance is necessary.
A couple of months ago, my wife, Alison and I took Zan to the park. There was a little boy trying to get his dad's attention. "Look at me Dad!" He kept shouting with excitement, "Look what I can do!" The dad never once really looked at his son, occasionally he would glance his way in an effort to pacify him. The father was engaged in something on his phone. Then, the dad looked up, he didn't see his son. He started to panic. He began frantically looking for him. Finally he found him, standing in front of the slide, in the exact same area he'd been playing in. He snatched his son by his arm and lectured him about how he should have never left his sight. Had he been watching his son play, he would've noticed the boy was never missing. Now, the boy was in trouble, for the fathers negligent character. I shook my head and thought, "Lord, don't ever let me be so distracted, that I miss my kids growing up right in front of me; That I become completely disconnected with who they are, that I ignore their cry for help or attention." Twenty years from now, that man won't even remember what game he was playing, status he was reading, or conversation he was having...and sadly, he won't have a memory of time spent with his son while he was still young. The man was so plugged into his phone, that he never realized he was unplugged from what really matters.
I NEVER want to be that dad, husband, or son, because one day, when all I have left is my memories, I want to remember what matters most. My phone isn't what matters, neither is my favorite tv program. What matters is my daughter, Zandri. What matters is my family! I only wish more people truly saw what they are missing. I am so thankful that my two year old is teaching me what it means to truly live life to the fullest. Maybe she should write a book or something. It seems we could all learn something from these little people we call our children. After all, who says we have to do ALL the teaching? Food for thought. To every reader: take care, and I hope that what my 2 year old taught me, has the power to change your life, like it has changed mine.
By: Stefan Jeffrey
Title: Paradise Reclaimed
So as I’d written previously (Check trouble in Paradise below), my son has a Facebook account that at the time I wasn’t monitoring and thus decided to take a peek behind the curtain, and if you can remember that far back? I found some pretty disappointing stuff in there. Messages to girls using language reserved for animals ... and what shocked me was that these girls didn’t mind it in the slightest.
In addition to all of that, I have been in constant contact with his form tutor at school and we discuss his behaviour and academic progress on a bi-monthly basis. At the time when I wrote my last ‘Daddy Diary’ he wasn’t behaving as well as I would have liked but his grades were quite stable – this was to me, still unacceptable!
So what the hell did I do?!
I took my son to one side (being the sofa in the living room) and cussed him out until tears began rolling down his cheeks, it didn’t take very long as I seem to be good with words, especially very loud ones.
I had to ask him some very serious questions about the direction he wanted his life to be taking and how he was planning on getting there, and if his current attitude towards his teachers let alone young women; was conducive to achieving his goals as a respectable young man.
I’m trying to recall the length of our talk, but if I was guessing, I’d say we sat on that sofa for well over an hour. I made sure he knew that if he felt it right to be actively flushing his life down the toilet by moulding himself into a ‘turd’, then he wasn’t welcome in my house or my life – yes I said it – I let him know he’d be disowned, point blank, standard procedures, no mucking around and in language he might understand better, we R dun fam!
So let’s roll on a few weeks from that quiet chat [insert sarcasm] on the sofa to almost present day, and the text messages I’ve been receiving from the school about how awesome my son is and how much his work has picked up in general. The latest report card with his grades on was, EPIC! I made sure he knew I was overjoyed and happy at his efforts, because what’s the use of telling someone they need to be outstanding if you’re not going to let them know how fantastic they are?!
All is well currently, or is it? Let’s just say I’ve got another diary entry lined up and this next one is about ‘the talk’ – I know you know what I’m talking about!
5th March 2013
By Kamran Assadi & Linwood Darkis
Twitter - @Kamranassadi & @Crazylinwood
Location - Texas
Daddy diaries started a year ago for this exact purpose. Witnessing this warms my heart. Both families coming together from opposite sides of the world, Yes! This is very inspirational, there is so much more in store.
Thank you guys
5th February 2013
Location - London
Looking back on last year, I am grateful for two life-changing moments that allowed me to open up even more, talk about my feelings and emotions, be completely honest, and become the man I am today. These two moments were becoming a father and writing for Daddy Diaries.
Becoming a dad was one of the best things to have happened to me last year. I have enjoyed each bit of it, even the bits I've not enjoyed because they all brought me to this point. I've seen my daughter grow up and become a very close baby version of me, basically she's my baby twin!
I've dealt with hard and indifferent times. But Daddy Diaries has been my outlet, my support, my listener to all that I want to say. It's been my way to directly update and inspire others in equal measure. I am in awe that God gave me the chance through my daughter Lily and through Yomi, to express myself as a man and as a father to anyone who wants to hear. This wonderful blog creation has allowed me to be at ease with myself and how I am as a dad.
And just like I look at Lily with pride every day, I look at what Daddy Diaries has done since its inception. It has grown up and matured into such an open discussion forum for dads and future dads. It has achieved so much in such a short time. Lily and Daddy Diaries have given me nothing but happy memories and a sense of prideful excitement for their futures!
Happy 1st Birthday to Daddy Diaries and to my daughter Lily!
By: Stefan Jeffrey
Title: Trouble in Paradise
You'd think I'd have this all figured out by now. I'm about to turn 33 in a month and my son recently turned 13... Yep, I was an early bloomer! His mother and I aren’t together and even though I have him most weekends out of the year, I feel like it’s not enough. I'm in that category of being a 'young father' and I'd like to think that the relationship I have with my son is far from being similar to one of his friends, and not his father. That’s what I’d like to think, and although I know he understands the boundaries I’ve set, his recent actions are telling me that he’s ignoring them, and I’m taking full responsibility for that - as well as setting him back on the path to being a better man.
The other night we'd been to a parents evening at his school where he received a great academic report, but, his attitude and behaviour were questionable. It wasn't one teacher saying it, it was across the board. I myself am quite easy-going and comical at times, and I believe that somewhere along the line my son has adopted my sense of humour, but not in an ultimately pleasant or uplifting way.
He recently set up his own Facebook account, something I should have been against but I let it happen. My girlfriend persuaded me to get his password so I could monitor him properly as she was a little concerned about his recent online activity. And she was right to do so... The things I was seeing and reading were in stark contrast to the young man I thought I knew and it made me realise that giving my 13yr old that amount of trust and benefit of the doubt was (for him) a tad too early. I won’t go into terrible amounts of detail but I’ll say the language and general attitude towards women is certainly lacking! I want to totally blame myself, but I’m reading the messages going back and forth and I’m thinking “I would never say that to a woman!” and what’s worse is that these girls are texting back ‘LOL, LMAO’ etc... like they like it. One girl even went as far as to refer to herself as someone’s ‘ting’. If you don’t know what that is, then it’s best you live in ignorance because nothing about it is wholesome. It may sound like I’ve invaded his privacy and you may feel like I’m abusing my sons trust – yes I have, but I live in a city where our children show an abundant lack of respect for themselves, each other and everyone else, so... when I sit my son down later this evening and show him the screenshots I’ve taken of his unacceptable behaviour, rudeness, foul language and disregard for school work and authority, which he’s managed to hide so well for so long – I’m not going to feel conflicted or guilty about trying to raise a young man that should be the opposite of all of those negative traits I just listed.
To be continued.
By: Linwood Darkis
Fatherhood is, challenging; it tests patience, and teaches patience, everything you do will take longer. You will have to plan more, get up earlier, and lose a few hours of sleep here and there. You may even discover it gives you new gray hairs! Parenthood presents its fair share of challenges, even within your relationship, tensions build…arguments happen (and to be quite honest, some of the arguments can be quite foolish, even humorous later actually.) Parenting is expensive, and requires work, financial wisdom, and much insight. To be a dad is to be a teacher, you teach your child nearly everything, whether you try to or not. You have to be mindful of your language, your actions, even your expressions. You must be consistent, caring, nurturing, and pretty well rounded (and having a sense of humor doesn’t hurt.) Parenthood is no easy task, and should not be taken lightly.
There was a time in my life where I would have read the above paragraph and made up my mind not to have children. To be honest, I was much more selfish, and much younger then. Parenthood is one of the most self-sacrificing jobs there is. It can become easy to overlook your own health, to ensure that your child is as healthy as possible. There are points of parenting where you are so sleep deprived, it seems as though no amount of corrective beauty cream, or plastic surgery could remove the sizeable bags under your eyes! (I don’t miss those days!) When some look at fatherhood, all they see is struggle, the end of their dreams, the end of good times, etcetera. Maybe that is why so many dads can find it easy to run from such responsibility? I can only guess, as I don’t share such thoughts. There is, however, one thing that many don’t take into account: Love. Not just the word “love,” but how your heart swells with it at the sight of this beautiful person you hold in your arms! Love makes it all worth it, every struggle, every hurdle, every boundary or delay. With every milestone my child comes to, I want to burst into tears and cheer! Love makes parenthood joyous! You will catch yourself doing things that make you look like an idiot, just to see your child’s smile, or hear their infectious laughter. My heart melts when Alexzandria randomly comes up, gives me a hug or kiss, tells me, “I love you Daddy” and returns to playing. I cherish those moments, because I know one day “I love you Dad” may be a set up for “can I have…?” I have learned to relish in the things that frustrate me, and make me laugh at the same time!
THAT is what it’s like for me every day. Alexzandria is so busy and hyper, and in my opinion, she’s pretty smart! She is 18months old, and we are still working with her on potty training. She is doing pretty well with it, yet she does have her off days. I have to keep a pretty close eye on her, because she has decided that her dolls should be potty trained too, and I end up catching her dipping the dolls feet in the toilet! (Since the legs won’t bend for the doll to sit properly) That’s one other thing that changes with parenthood, Toilet Time! Toilet time is no longer a private place/moment for me, it has become time for show and tell, or conversation time! This, of course, forces me to sit with my legs closed so Zan doesn’t see my “groceries” (that’s my word for private areas by the way). If I should close the bathroom door, both she AND THE DOG stand outside the bathroom and beat on the door…so I call Zan a “toilet terrorist,” jokingly of course. My days are filled with crazy statements like, “Zan, get your toe out of your eye! You are going to go blind!” or “Don’t chew on your baby doll’s hair…she doesn’t like that and you’re going to cause her to go bald.” (with a straight face, of course). All day long, Alexzandria is bringing me random pieces of lint, strands of hair, or anything else (that’s practically invisible) that she can manage to find on the floor or in the carpet. These days, “Daddy” means “snot rag”… just this morning she wiped her nose on my pants…and then ran off. I’m not sure why she thinks that’s okay, but at least she doesn’t treat me like Grandma! Zan wipes her hands on my mom whenever they are dirty…like she’s a napkin! My mom seems to be the only one Zan doe’s that to (which is hilarious to me, and Grandpa by the way). Alexzandria keeps EVERYDAY interesting, to say the least!
She is learning quickly, every day I, my wife, and Grandma, work with Zan on counting, the alphabet, anatomy, colors, or knowing the name of random objects. She does best with anatomy, she can say and identify nearly every part of her body. Yet she seems to have a fascination with belly buttons. She never turns down the opportunity to poke someone in the belly button, or try to show them hers. That has been a battle in itself when she’s waving at people across the church and trying to lift her dress all the way up to show off her belly button. I can only imagine onlookers are thinking “worst.parents.ever.” Thankfully now, she is beginning to touch her belly button over her clothes. However, she just recently pointed to my wife’s chest, and proclaimed, “big boobs!” again…worst.parents.ever! You kind of learn to have a sense of humor about these things and just pray she doesn’t do it to someone else!
Zan’s toy of choice at the moment seems to be a shoe box. Not that she doesn’t have toys, but she is more imaginative, and has more fun with the shoe box! It has been treated like a helmet, a race car, a horse, a bassinet for her baby dolls… the list goes on and on. She keeps herself entertained pretty well, and absolutely love educational programs like Leapfrog, or Sesame Street. She has learned to cover her mouth when she coughs, and says “EXCUSE ME!” loudly if she hears anyone belch. Alexzandria says “please,” and “thank you” also, which I absolutely love. We do our best to ensure that she’s manner able and respectful (though we are still trying to get her to stop wiping her hands on Grandma.) I would say the most overused word in my house is “YAY!” Everything is a celebration in our house! That being said, I would have to say that parenthood teaches you to celebrate every little victory! You seem to take notice of every little change in your child, every possible sign of growth. They grow so quickly, that sometimes it seems almost as though you miss yesterday, just because they change so much in such short time! Cherish every moment, even the stressful ones, you’ll find you’ll wish for the stress you USED to have sometimes! Fatherhood is mentally, physically, emotionally, and many times financially exhausting. Fatherhood automatically comes with a few reality checks. Yet fatherhood is a teacher of many life lessons, it’s one of the most important jobs you’ll ever have. The experiences of fatherhood will make you laugh, make you cry, even make you angry. Yet, fatherhood can also loosen you up, prepare you, or improve your time management skills. Seize every possible opportunity you get to teach your child, teach them what it took you years to learn. Be a model of the man you want your son to become, and the type of man you want your daughter to marry. Learn to be light hearted, and laugh off the little things. Never have I been so exhausted, so sleep deprived, or on such an emotional rollercoaster…and you know what? This is the BEST experience of my life. I’ll always cherish being “Daddy.”
By: Kamran Assadi
Wow! I can’t believe my last Daddy Diaries entry was in July. How bad of me! *smacks his own wrist* I’ve been massively busy working a 24 hour lifetime job of being a father to my daughter Lily, who is now nearly 9 months old! This job has been the best and worst, stressful and enjoyable, funny and emotional, yet sublime and rewarding rollercoaster of my life and I’m only 9 months into it! I haven’t even got to the teenage years yet. Being a father has tested my patience and frustration levels, given more plenty more grey hairs to contend with, constantly battle my wife on things we don’t agree with (two different opinions/mindsets don’t always agree as parents), and has really shown a mirror to my good and bad qualities in equal measure.
Now to the outsider, this might sound like a disaster or regret but it definitely isn’t. I’m just being honest as an observant good man and father. I simply enjoy this ultimate blessing of being bestowed the wonderful responsibility of being a father to my own child and being able to jointly look after her with the woman I still am very much in love with. God has blessed me and my family and for that, I’m eternally grateful. I truly love being a father to my active, observant, alert, cheeky, funny, mischievous, food-loving daughter.
In terms of updating you all on Lily’s progress, Lily is teething hard and has four teeth (two on the top and two at the bottom) with two more trying to come through the gums on the top. She is eating more food (baby food, finger food she can pick up and eat, and now more of our food especially at dinner) and drinking less breast milk from Mum, she can crawl fully now really quickly, and can stand up supported and for a short time unsupported, and can walk forward if we hold her by the hands to encourage her. To tell the truth, I can’t turn away from her without seeing her eating paper, playing with noisey toys/baby wipes/plastic bags, or basically anything she can get to and get her hands and mouth on. She babbles a lot and makes so much noise, sticks her tongue out, and has now said Da-Da and Daaaaaaad often enough for me to know that she’s trying to get my attention. At the moment I am writing this entry as she is sleeping in her cot! She’s a real people person, has made her own friends (her age and much older) at various playgroups, loves all the people at our local church, and loves being at home with her two gorgeous loving parents! I think watching older children has helped Lily to develop much more quickly than usual. Lily loves being tickled by me, loves singing and when people sing songs to her, and is a fanatic for CBeebies (British children’s TV channel for the overseas people who don’t know) and their shows especially number and alphabet shows. Because of Lily being able to get around the house so much, we’ve already put in gates to ward her away from dangerous environments (kitchen, stairs etc). Lily even got to meet her great-grandfather a few weeks ago and that just brought tears to my eyes because of the whole generations coming together thing, even though Lily will never meet my own mother who passed away 12 years ago.
In short, I’m really enjoying watching my daughter grow up so quickly and be more independent in exploring new things. I love being a father to her even though it has opened up my emotions so much and I know cry more often at films or when I look at Lily!
I didn’t know being a father could change you up so much. I suppose you don’t know what’s capable until you go through it! God is good and I am happy to be on this unique journey! My daughter is crying now, so gotta go and tend to her needs especially as she’s at the clingy stage! :)
By: Kamran Assadi
I feel like the prodigal son that has come back to his home from a long voyage of discovery. This voyage encompasses fatherhood and self-discovery too! I’m glad to be writing for Daddy Diaries again, I’ve missed it so much and it is one of the places where I feel truly home!
So this journey has been amazing and eventful. Thanks to Yomi and Gabrielle Smith, I was asked to do a mini-speech representing Daddy Diaries and how it has helped me as a dad and a person, at the More Than XY gallery exhibition launch in June. The exhibition showcased some wonderful beautiful and inspiring art, highlighting positive black fathers and male role models.
It was a real privilege to be a part of the launch with other inspiring talented performers like poet/writer/playwright Inua Ellams, storyteller/poet Nick Makoha and singer/songwriter Dionne Reid amongst others. I was inspired watching them talk to other positive fathers, and networking with other like-minded people! It was made even easier because I had my daughter Lily and my wife Mary there too and they’re both very beautiful, so people gravitate towards their positive spirits. And I finally met some of my Twitter buddies face to face!
Before my speech, we were shown a homemade video by fellow dad Linwood Darkis from Daddy Diaries (He couldn’t make it as he lives in Texas) and that was so positive, funny and it brought to me the importance of being a dad and that we shouldn’t take this responsibility lightly. The video brought me to uncontrollable tears. My speech was well-received and I really enjoyed giving it and opening up my emotions and feelings to the welcoming audience. It did become a battle of holding back more tears though but I did well. I was just so thankful for the opportunity really. And Yomi’s introduction for me was truly breath-taking and so complimentary, and when I get compliments face to face, I get very quiet and shy but I was so appreciative of it!
Now back to my shining glory aka my daughter Lily! This little lady is growing up so quickly on a daily basis, I’m starting to see her stubborn, active, funny, happy personality coming through! She’s always laughing and smiling at the most random things, especially if the same thing is repeated again and again – babies love repetition! Ha ha! I am so proud of her and what she’s becoming! She’s just over 5 months old now (23 weeks), is well into her teething stage (been there for over a month now), and has just recently started eating her first tastes of pureed food! At the moment because her taste buds haven’t developed yet, she is all about the sweet fruity foods. She gobbles them up a lot! Her teething stage is mostly going ok but the pain does get to her a lot recently as that first tooth wants to come out, sometimes the teethers can’t help her with that intense pain but she’s chewing on hands, chew toys, water teethers, the lot and she’s mostly doing very well. She’s a strong one! It’s hard to see your child crying in so much pain but sometimes nothing can be done, we’re coping well though.
Lily is really getting to grips with gripping and holding various objects (and usually putting them in her mouth) and playing around with her toys and on her playmats. She’s discovering new things, textures, sounds, and is learning how to push herself up and sit up by herself for longer. She also started to babble yesterday and made her first “Da-da” sound, which was a beautiful moment as she mostly says it when looking at me. She’s developing incredibly well. I am beyond proud of her and I can’t wait to see the rest of her journey!
By: Joseph Baruwa
I am a writer of short stories and poetry and I would like to share with you a couple of pieces I wrote about being a father, and special pieces I wrote for my son.
I, my son and his mother are inseparable to an extent, we are a family in the sense that his interests are our most important focus in life. Myself and my sons mother are no longer together, and haven't been since 2010. In 2010 she made a difficult decision to move from north west where we met and where together, for eight years, had our son. We bought our first house just after he was born and had his christening and first birthday there.
Being originally from south east London they moved in with her mother near the Bromley area, I had a good job as a building surveyor in north west and was also paying the mortgage on my first house so I couldn't move with them initially. I understood her needs to move and I have never been angry about that decision, though she made further decisions I didn't like, we continue to be best friends and partners in raising our son.
It took me a year and one month to change my circumstances, it was very difficult and at many times, I was not sure how much involvement in my sons life I would have, and I knew if i didn't move to south east, I would not be the father I truly intended to be.
I have now lived in the South East, living in my own place since march 2012 and have no intentions of leaving his side. I am still a surveyor, I still own a house in north west, and I live and work for my son, cherishing the example I set for him, and loving every minute we spend together.
Below is one of many poems I wrote for my son.
A message to my son
There isn’t a minute
That goes by
That I don't miss being with you
There's one thousand
Four hundred and forty minutes
In 24hours and,
Many nights I don't sleep
As I count the seconds
Within those minutes
Eighty six thousand
Four hundred times
My heart beats
In a three dimensional time zone
When you’re not with me and,
We are together
My heart is compelled
To reset and synchronise itself
To the soliloquy of your voice and,
The beauty within your eyes opens the windows within my soul and,
I swear you can see right through me
I can only aim to convince you
That my temporary absence and regular visits
Are vital to your growth and,
That your growth is vital to my truth and inspiration
I still have plenty to teach you my son
So I hope you don’t see my times of absence as a weakness or
A punishment for something
This is not one of those cliché family break ups
Where hearts are departed at the seam
Mother, father and child is still the holy trinity, and
No matter the vicinity
We will continue to communicate and
Aim for serenity
Nurturing the beauty within you
Your name is Jericho for a reason, and
Not because of the reasons I chose it I believe
Your name was already written in my stars
With a hidden message that no walls must keep us apart
And with the help of God my voice combine with your mothers
Will imitate the trumpets as we circle our lives around your existence
Presently you are our little prince and
You will grow to become the king of all hearts
Moving one square at a time
Though in this chess game your mother is the queen so listen carefully
Because in this monarchy we obey the rules of the queen
I will always be here to guide you
Know that there is nothing you will encounter that I haven’t encountered first, so ask
No matter the question
An answer will surely follow
And very likely raise
So ask all and everything
For you are
You are the
Ventricles to my heart
The pupil within my iris
And though I can’t physically see you right now
We are forever connected through nerve endings and DNA
So if you hurt yourself
Daddy feels your pain too
And when you laugh daddy is laughing with you
So no matter where I am
It has been a little while since my last entry, and MUCH has changed! It is simply amazing to me how much kids grow, and how quickly they progress and change! It seems as not long ago, Zan was nearly incapable of doing so much, and now she is so much more active and busy. Alexzandria is now walking (and running, jumping, climbing, and dancing). Everyone is always taking the time to warn me saying, "NOW, the headache begins!" but to be honest, Alexzandria hasn't been much of an issue at all. She has her stubborn moments/ days, but she truly minds very well for a person of her age.
For some reason, right now she is fascinated with eyes; she can be dangerous though, because she attempts to poke you in the eye while saying "eye!" (lol Thank God I wear glasses!) She can also pronounce and identify "knees," "nose," and "teeth," she hasn't quite gotten "ears" yet though, she keeps calling her ears "eyes!" Alexzandria is blowing kisses, waving goodbye, and has added the word "no" to her vocabulary (thankfully she hasn't begun abusing the word yet... I don't know if I'm ready for that!) She is also beginning to mimic our actions more, lol my wife had in hair extensions and was patting her head because her head was itching, ever since, Zan has begun popping herself in the head! So, I guess we'll have to be much more conscious of our body language lol.
Zan is so fun loving, and she loves wild stuff like, being spun, thrown in the air, or being startled (crazy right? who likes being startled?) She absolutely loves music, and will usually stop doing whatever she is doing when music comes on, just to break out into a dance. I have been ignored MANY times because a commercial with a musical jingle came on!
We are currently in the process of potty training her; which,I think, she is picking up quite well. We began potty training as soon as she started walking. It started by us just placing her on the toilet first thing in the morning, and immediately after eating, within 2 to 3 days she caught on to why exactly she was on there. I am super excited about that progress. She doesn't take a bottle anymore, she has graduated to sippy cups and more solid foods. Which, to me that's fantastic because her appetite is steady building and baby food isn't getting any cheaper!
Zan is a ton of fun, and she keeps a smile on my face. She is such a happy child, people always jokingly ask me, "can we just trade kids?" I must say, she is a pretty cool sidekick! Alexzandria is a year old now (her birthday was June 5th) and it's hard to believe! It's difficult to believe that just a year ago, I was unsure if I was ready for all this, I was overwhelmed at the thought of this moment! I was slightly intimidated, thinking, "what if I'm not good enough? What if I really suck at this? Oh God what if I drop her or something?!" lol thankfully that never happened. Truth is, I was kind of afraid of the unknown, and I didn't want to be a worrying parent, calling the doctor for EVERYTHING, annoying all the other adults in the room... yes I was somewhat unsure of myself. I couldn't really imagine myself as a dad, and NOW, I simply can't imagine my life without my daughter. What a precious gift it is to be a daddy, money can't buy this, nothing else could supply this type of feeling. Sure, now I get a little less sleep, but I have a lot more to dream about, who wouldn't enjoy that? God blessed me to be a dad, and for that, I am SO grateful.
By: Tshaka Campbell
Old English 800
Now and laters
3 times dope
10 cent Loosie
8 ball jackets
captured on maxell
With red rec and
And rappers delight
And scot-la roc .......
I tell her tales
of my youth
real to her
and World wars
is remnants of
and a slip tongue
will she know
was a dream
It to Narnia
Nor fairy tales
Or peppa pigs
their own brand
If the white house
Is simply a
I leave for her
Will she know
I cry in my sleep
at nightmares that
at dreams of
being a good father
I try to write
as nothing is
loans to repay
So I need to
I can't pronounce
and sit downs
Trying to find
A way to predict
I can't keep up
to email and leave
sit atop her
Pulling at fissures
that society is
sure to open
to glue them
To know which
Will be the
paint to cover
What piece of
myself do I leave
she should never
from nursery rhymes
to gently mimic
hurt that may
I'm just plain
And and few
Bitten into blank
The legacy she needs
I wonder if
the DNA alone
Do I smile
Enough for her
To know she
my face happier
enough to Seesaw
and a sense
With the right
I can be
But I hope
I don't leave
to scar her
But just enough
any little fuker
with a spiders
I know we have
before I need
all these questions
But I need it
because as you
Your daddy loves
look in the mirror
"Daddy, I have a boyfriend"
By Taner Fikret
Twitter - @Bigdaddymunch
Leyla comes in from the garden last week claiming the “kiddy” next door said he was her “boyfriend.”
Leyla (my 3 year old daughter) has been spending a lot more time in the garden due to the good weather in the last week or so. I arrive home from work, my partner tells me to ask Leyla about who she’s been playing with outside, I ask her, she replies “my boyfriend.” As you can imagine, I was not impressed.
I discuss it with my partner for ages as it did not sit right with me. Leyla tells me it’s her boyfriend, I tell it’s not, she tells me “it is,” I tell her “it is not.” My partner tells me “leave her it’s just harmless” I reply “no, it is not.”
So I spend 20 minutes trying to explain to Leyla that he was just her friend, over protective dad mode right now. My argument is enough, it’s understandable, just harmless and she doesn’t know what a boyfriend is, but there is nothing wrong in explaining what a friend actually is to her. i.e. someone you play with in the garden etc.
Anyways, I eventually forgot about this incident and did not mention it, then today, the kid is out playing in the garden, again. My initial reaction is *shit* she can’t go out. No way.
Leyla spots him playing out this evening and asks if she could play out. She then tells me she wants to go tell him that they were just friends. As soon as I heard that I thought *result she listened to what I had said*. When she got ready to go out I told her to just go and play and not to worry about telling him, as long as she knew they were just friends. Leyla says ok. She then goes out and talks to this little “kiddy” over the fence. First thing she says, “hi we are just friends ok”.
I love this kid so much. Makes me proud. But also, made me realise that being a dad of two beautiful girls, is not going to be easy.
Just a little something I wanted to share lol
2 months after the birth
By Kamran Assadi
Now I know it's been a minute since I last submitted a blog entry for Daddy Diaries, but as a first-time dad I underestimated how busy and full on fatherhood would be for me. Looking after a newborn is tiring, demanding, exhausting, constant, but ultimately rewarding.
At times, I've felt like giving up and have been a bit disappointed in the mistakes I've made, but hey, I'm a new dad, what did this perfectionist expect? Ha! But I'm learning more about my duties and my daughter daily. My main aim is to be a good dad to my girl and to always be around as long as God wants me to be, and when things get tough, its that aim that keeps me going - it keeps me around.
But in saying this, the last two months have been a massive blessing. My wife is an awesome mum and an even greater partner/support for me and our Lily. I'm always offering my help to change nappies, help out with bathing Lily with my wife, sterilising bottles, holding her, easing her to sleep, playing with her as well as household chores and little errands outside too. I never stop! I don't want to be some dad who looks on and makes my wife do everything, that's not my style. I can't help but want to do something. I get excited every time I see Lily even if I'm really tired! I love holding her, holding her hand and having her lay/sleep on me! These moments are priceless to me as I'm still in shock that I've started my own family and that God bestowed the blessing of our own child on my wife and I.
Lily is growing up so fast as she approaches 9 weeks old. She is a great attention-seeker who loves to cry when she don't get her own way. She's so expressive, aware and alert. She's already rolling from her side to her back, and her back to her side. She smiles at us. She has incredible leg strength and can lift her head up so well. She's simply adorable and looking more like me but as a female baby! Haha!
All I feel is pride right about now! I am a dad, MADNESS! It ain't for the fainthearted but it's so worth it! I'm Lily's father, Can't wait for the next two months! I cherish every moment!
Twitter - @CrazyLinwood
Life is always interesting with Alexzandria, everyday tasks have become regular opportunities to stop and educate her. I do my best to explain everything to her, I don't know how much sticks, but she appears to be attentive. She has recently learned the word "dog," and now, everytime she sees the family dog she is yelling "DOG! DOG! DOG!" at the top of her lungs. A couple weeks ago, we were in the store and Zandri called our cashier a dog. The cashier simply laughed as I calmly said, "no Zan, there are no dogs here."
Alexzandria is so active, and it's becoming more obvious to most people that we have a hyper child. She loves to drag us along on her little adventures, especially since she is fearful about walking more than a few steps on her own. She is extremely talkative, and just today she actually talked to me on the phone, usually she will just listen to the phone and smile. She has two teeth now, and I must admit that I'm so used to seeing her smile, 'all gums,' that it's a little weird to see her with teeth!
My days are filled with crazy statements like, "Zan, stop pinching my nipples!" or "don't bite the couch!" She even pulled my wife's dress down the other day, I chuckle to even think of it, thankfully we weren't in public! Alison (my wife) and I have even decided that we have to say so many things to Zandri that don't seem normal, that we are going to make a youtube video dedicated to these statements.
It seems like everyday Alexzandria is doing something new; I've noticed that, here lately, she has been acting more shy. She is becoming more selective about who she will go to, and how long she will allow them to hold her before she wants Mommy, Daddy, or Grandma back. Alexzandria is becoming more selective about her food also. She doesn't want most of the baby food with chunks in it, however, she wants EVERYTHING she sees on my plate! She is so interested in my plate that I can get her to stop ignoring me and come directly to me simply by saying, "you want some?" She is becoming more inquisitive, touching things, examining them, and exploring more.
I never realized how much Zan would keep me entertained. To be quite honest, I thought that, as a parent it was MY job to keep HER entertained! I love to see how amused she gets by simple things like a rubber duck or a bouncing ball. I gladly take these moments in with a smile, because one day I'm sure I'll wish she had such inexpensive taste again! I hope that she never loses a love for the simpler things in life, the things many of us overlook and take for granted. I hope that she keeps her spirit that she has now, always exploring, wanting to know more, and always bearing a smile.
What is strange to me though, is that it still hasn't fully set in that this wonderful child is mine. Some days I just think to myself, "WOW, you are some one's dad!" It seems so surreal; I thought maybe I wouldn't be so silly as a parent, that parenthood would bring forward an overwhelming maturity and cause me to be overly serious. I'm so glad that it didn't. I want to be able to say that I changed someone's idea of fatherhood, not that fatherhood COMPLETELY changed me. My expectation is to go on, enjoying being "Daddy," one moment at a time, I certainly don't want to take it for granted. I am far from perfect, but I strive to be a good man...yet my hope, my hope is to be an excellent father, and husband.
By Fatai Nola
Twitter - @Olanola123
As a typical guy, being a father is something I have always wanted but, I thought I would never be ready to be a daddy.
The day my daughter was born was not only the best day of my life, it was also the day I realised my job for life was to always protect her. She was always mummy lil girl in the early stages, crying every time I went near her which had me worried but the missus was confident she would get use to me and yes, she did.
I spent most of my free time just watching and talking to her, imagining what she will be when she grows up, a Doctor? or a Lawyer? Maybe, even a Footballer. Thinking myself into the ground, I always end up thinking I am just happy she’s in my life. Her first word was "dada" which was incredible.
From there it was me and Elise vs the world.
What I enjoy the most about being a dad is the pleasure of being there for someone so small and innocent, we always spend some quiet time together in the living room, watching Barney And Friend which is annoying at first but after 2 weeks with nothing else to watch, I learned to love it lol. Not to mention that she will cry if I ever changed the channel.
Her first day at school, wow! she was so happy until we got there, then she started crying! lol, I had to go and watch her through the window, she cried so much. I nearly went back in, thought about home schooling but after 2 weeks of crying everyday, she made some new friends and enjoys going back, one of them is a boy which I did not appreciate but, anything to get her to stop crying for now, is good.
She has completely changed my life for the better and I am so proud of her.
By Anthony Williams
Twitter - @Blakes_Daddy
So, with no Mummy, myself and Blake used the time wisely! We had a lay in, both woke up at 9am, looked at each other and smiled. Blake decided he wanted to tackle the stairs himself today but as he has his mums balance I decided to pick, Him, up.
So we made our way downstairs for breakfast, Blake hates eating straight away but for me its a must. I pour cereal with him in my arms as he says "Daddy" and points to the fridge with the biggest grin on his face. We go to the fridge and all he wants me to do is open it so he can close it (he also grabs lemons and walks around the house). We go into the front room and begin to eat. For some reason, he wants to eat from my bowl, its my way to get him eating. Cereal finished, we take it in turns to drink the left over milk and done.
Blake then decided he wanted grapes, so he tells me, his exact words were "urrrhh". As he grabbed my hand and escorted me back to the fridge, he picks his Thomas DVD, then hands it to me, I'm sure we all know what that means. So after watching Thomas for the unteanth time, we played "tickle monster" and read a book! Before preparing lunch, which was the hardest task to date as Blake (16 mths) must have woke thinking "today I become a man" he would not let me feed him and with the occasional stare off, he won the battle to get on with it.
Fast forward a few dirty nappies and the weather leaving us home bound! Blake is now lying beside me, sleeping!
I never ever thought a little person "my little person" could bring so much joy, he can wake me up at 3am and all it takes is a smile for me to forgive him. Watching him develop over the past 16 months has been incredible, he now has his own little personality and traits of both myself and his mother throughout. "My life means nothing without them both"
Now that I have given you a little insight into my life I must rewind to something that happened to me last month. I was at a bar in the city celebrating a friends birthday. As I left, a man came over to me and casually asked me to punch him in the face! Alarmed, I simply said "WHAT?" he repeated!
I said "why would I do that?" He replied "please just do it," I refused and again asked why.
He told me that he had just lost his baby! My heart sunk as tears fell from his eyes. Immediately I asked where his wife was and when was the baby due, his wife was at home and his baby was due the following week.
I didn't know what to say, the thoughts started flowing I thought this guy will go home and be reminded constantly, by now he would have had everything set up and hospital bag packed! I said "I'm sorry but I still don't know why I'm supposed to punch you," he replied "I need to feel more pain I hate myself."
I told him "what you need to do is go home and be with your wife".
He then shook my hand and left.
Now I know this is about celebrating our experiences but the above experience allowed me to cherish mine even more. It also got me thinking what if he approached a gang of youths? and how important it is that we lead our kids (the future) down the right paths and be there no matter what!
Anyway that's it from me for now...
Dads are often at the brunt of negative views when it comes to parenting but we can make a huge difference, please continue to be the great Dads we are portraying, love to you all!
TBC (to be continued)
Twitter - @CrazyLinwood
Typically, when I hear people speak about their children, they say things like, "when you have children, EVERYTHING in your life changes." To me, this statement was a grand understatement of what truly happened.
I've never cried so much, prayed so much. Doctors had told us we wouldn't be able to have children, and Alison (my wife) was, pregnant!
Alison was sick everyday during the pregnancy, all day long. Instead of gaining weight, Alison lost nearly 30 pounds. I was seeing my wife go from a picture of health and youth, to getting weaker everyday. She became so dehydrated, her lips were chapped and bloody, her posture curved, hunched like an elderly woman. I became fearful of losing my wife and child. Thankfully, despite Alison's worsening conditioning, Alexzandria, our daughter continued to grow normally and remain consistently active. Alison was in labor for 49 hours, finally, the doctors did a c-section. It was then that we found out the umbilical was wrapped tightly around Alexzandria's throat, she had a bowel movement and had been sitting in it for countless hours. Alexzandria was instantly rushed to an intensive care unit.
That was 9 months ago, and now, our daughter is healthy, happy, and HYPER. My life did change, mostly because my perceptions changed. I value my wife so much more now, knowing how much she went through, and how I could have lost her. I never imagined that I would get so much enjoyment out of picking out which outfit my daughter would wear for the day. I never imagined I would feel so special, like Alexzandria makes me feel when she gets so excited as I return home from a days work. I was unprepared for how much my heart would warm at the sight of her smile; I never imagined how her laugh would make me smile from ear to ear. Who knew I would be so amused by her various facial expressions, by the simplicity of her ways? Who knew such big personalities could come in such small packages? How could any man turn his back on such a gift? How could any man willingly be an absentee father? It seems impossible to think of tearing myself from her.
Alexzandria is a joy, she is a blessing, she is always happy, even when she's sick (which baffles me). I simply adore her. Of everything I am, I'm richer because I bear the title, "Daddy."
TBC (to be continued)
2-3 weeks after the birth
By Kamran Assadi
Twitter - @kamranAssadi
Before I start, I just want to express my gratitude to everyone who has given support to #DaddyDiaries by reading and/or commenting on our posts (and via Facebook), tweeting/retweeting any links we put up and spreading the word about this brilliant notion. We can't thank you enough! And obviously we thank G.R.E.Ed.S for coming up with the idea and for giving us the online vehicle to have our voices heard! #Grateful
Now back to Daddy Kam! Lol!
So my baby daughter Lily has been in this world for nearly 3 weeks now, and these weeks have been a test of my patience and calm resolve, but have also brought unadulterated joy and a new found love for my wife and child.
Our new family is so blessed! We've been inundated with visiting requests and gifts from friends and family. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support, well-wishes and congratulations that I received from people when telling everyone about the birth! I've had question upon question on a daily basis asking about how Lily/mother/father are doing/developing at this special time! The amount of times I've had to repeat myself to different people is unreal, and I haven't even mentioned the Skype calls! LOL! It's been crazy! Must be even worse for celebrities I suppose haha! I suppose I have to get used to it eh! ;-)
To tell the truth, Lily has had all her check-ups so far and passed them with flying colours and like the cute stunner she is, she has made everyone who has seen her fall in love with her! I like to think she got that from me because my cute dimples won over my wife on our first meeting! *winks* So technically, we're doing exceptionally well as first-time parents and we're both incredibly proud of ourselves.
Every time I look at her, I see love in her eyes and love in how she was made. God has blessed us. She's so active and has already started cooing, rolling on her side, and knows how to use those arms and legs to push away me when crying! Simply hilarious and impressive!
However, it has forced me into a massive change in overhauling my own flaws (or at least they're being really magnified). I've had to become more patient, calmer, less frustrated, more supportive and less short-tempered/snappy! Oh and all this while being woken up sometimes at night/early in the morning before work. Has this worked though? At times, yes! Sometimes, no! Being ratty sometimes doesn't help! I've snapped at my mom in law, my wife and my child. Does this make me a bad person? NO! It makes me a stressed, 24-hr 7 days a week, frustrated, under-pressure, brain always working on something, trying to please everyone kind of father. Arguments seem to be bigger than ever because we have a baby, when baby cries and it's something we don't know how to deal with AND we're tired - it seems like we're failures! But guess what! We won't know it all! When the going gets tough, you can't run away! I feel too many dads are doing that after the baby is born! Too much hard work!
Like any other human being, when I'm on the ball - I'm great! When I'm not, I get disappointed in myself. But I'm not perfect and as a first-time parent, this and several other experiences will be new and I'm bound to make mistakes! I'm currently trying to make my mind accept that now!
But would I change this for the world? NO! Of course I wouldn't! I've always wanted to be a dad and to have the blessing that is Lily being the pinnacle of this new family that my wife and I are building can't be explained in words. It's truly amazing! God has our backs and He's moulding me into the best father I can be!
Here's a toast to Lily, my wife, my mom in law, the Assadi family and God - we're doing so well! Let's keep it up and give Lily the best start in life!
By Nathan Briggs
Twitter - @NathanDrizzy
Ok so, I turn up at my missus house and my daughter is well happy to see me, so I say hello to her, give her all the cuddles, even brought her a ripple chocolate that melted in my inside pocket but yeah lol.
So I have a chat with the missus as I don't live with her yet, asking the usual "how was your day, how has Tianna-Leigh been"? and got answers.
As I'm doing all of this, Tianna is asking me to come with her, but at the time I was talking to her mum. Anyway, I finally finished the *daddy as soon as u get there chores* --_____-- (Peeling potatoes) *sigh* etc etc... and decide to follow my daughter.
She brings me into the front room and say "bell daddy, bell daddy" in her terms she means "Tinkerbell". Only because you love em lol, I swear I can't count how many times I've watched this film, that and Iggle 'bloody' piggle, Mr Tumble I'm sure you're aware of him. Anyway, I decide to put the film on, she runs and gets her iggle piggle teddy and begins to watch it. Believe me, when she sits to watch a film, she doesn't move or speak, there is an unbelievable communication breakdown.
I'm in my element, hard day at work, how nice is it to come see your missus and chill watching a little cartoon with your child. All of a sudden, after approx 20 mins she gets up and just walks off *shrugs* no bye, no come on daddy, nothing, LOL. I was quiet upset tbh(to be honest) lol but you know, #DaddyDiaries ay.
TBC (to be continued)
By Daniel Walters
Twitter - @Ytgo123
I have a story to tell but from a completely different angle to the rest of you and it may not be received quite as well as some of yours. I hope it can be understood though.
My name is Daniel, and I consider myself a very proud father of two. I have two beautiful little girls named Ocean who’s nearly 7 and Paige who’s nearly 5. They, along with my girlfriend Shakira are my entire world. They support me in everything I do and I try to be the best man I can be for them.
As a younger man I prided myself on being a hard worker. I trained very hard as a Taekwondo athlete and focused on very little else. I was strong minded meaning nothing and no one could sway my focus. I was determined to be ‘THE MAN’! and was willing to work hard to achieve it. Looking back now I remember my focus being important to me. I was hungry for more but it’s only now that I realise the true value and reasoning behind my hard work.
I came from what can only be described as an unusual home. My family were very different to others. My upbringing wasn’t bad (in my opinion) but I think the only way to describe it is to say that I don’t know many others who shared similar childhood experiences. I do now realise that much of my drive as a young man was channeled through not wanting to repeat certain aspects of my upbringing. It’s funny to look back and see this as a man now because other young men are not usually focused on very much at all, especially when they don’t have to be.
It is in the present day that I see true purpose in having pushed myself so hard for the past 26 years. Never allowing anything to keep me down. I needed to become the best man I could possibly be for the woman I’d like to marry and my children.
I work hard for my family. I have a full-time job I go to in the mornings and teach Taekwondo in the evenings every evening. I train and compete at a high level and maintain focus on targets and goals at all time. My family are driven by my drive and I try to support them to strive to be the best at everything they do. Shakira has gone back to uni and is studying hard in midwifery whilst my little girls are getting smarter and smarter in school. They both read with me every day. They love doing their homework with me and we all go to Taekwondo training together as it has become our family business. Ocean has started competing at the lightest weight category there is (Peewee -20kg) and has won a silver and bronze medal so far. I’m so proud that I have tears in my eyes as I’m writing this.
Shakira and I put them into every activity they want (sometimes even when it’s too expensive to afford, as parents, we find a way). At 6 and 4 years old they’ve done (and still do some) taekwondo, swimming, gymnastics, ballet, horse riding, Spanish, French, Korean, piano, guitar, violin, and now both want to do some drama which we’re checking out. They love to learn new things and take in everything so well. The teachers and their teachers at school say nothing but good things about them and it makes me so proud to be their dad. All the other parents at the clubs and the schools say ‘good morning Ocean and Paige’s dad’. And I say ‘hi, good morning’. Every day I feel like the proudest man alive. I’m their dad, and I’m there with them every minute of every day trying to give them everything this world can offer.
But then Thursday comes back around!
Thursday evenings I teach my adults class and the girls must stay home. Shakira trains too so they need looking after and since he requests to see them I feel obliged to let him. I don’t want them to blame me one day for never knowing who he was. It would rip me apart if they ever hated me! So when Shakira asks I agree ‘fine by me, their dad can come and put them to bed on Thursday’.
I agree knowing he’ll break their hearts again one of these Thursdays. He’ll disappear for months on end again and then pop back up at a time more convenient to him, but I can’t stop him from hurting my angels. If I do then they’ll blame me. He has no real interest in them. He’s quite content seeing them once a week for three hours when two of those hours they’re asleep and he’s babysitting until we get back. He has no issues with missing birthdays or Christmas when it suits him. Yet he has the right to see them and the right to the most honorable title a man could achieve ‘Dad’. I’ve been a real dad to my girls since they were 3 and 1 years old and because we can’t afford to get married I’m stuck with not yet even being ‘Step-Dad’ I’m just ‘Shakira’s Boyfriend, Daniel’
TBC (to be continued)
By Alejandro 'Alex' Reyes
I'm going to start by being selfish and talking about myself and my relationship with my dad before I talk about my relationship with my daughters. They kind of go hand in hand and I don’t think anybody can understand my relationship with my daughter until they understand the former first. My only wish is that my dad could read this. I know it will never happen though.
I’m approaching my 25th birthday. A big milestone for most people but more so for me. It’s not a well hidden fact that I used to be a gang member. My tattoos cover my face, ears, neck, chest, stomach, back, legs, feet, hands. I’ve been shot at more times than I can remember. My teachers never thought I would make it to 16, and I believed them. When I was 14 my goal was to reach 16. When I was 16, my goal was to reach 18, when I was 18 my goal was to reach 21. When I turned 21 my goal was to reach 25. I’m almost there and the problem is now I don’t know what to aim for anymore.
I’ve had some amazing opportunities in my life, but in the background there has always been the opportunities I have missed. The happiest thing I can say about my childhood is that I survived it. I recently got in contact with my sister again and she thinks I should speak to our dad. Personally I don’t see the point. I haven’t seen the man in almost 14 years now and I am not a kid, I don’t have anything to say to him anymore. I taught myself everything, how to fight, how to be a man and most importantly how to pick myself up when nobody else would.
My sister thinks I should be the one to make the first move because he is too proud. But for every day, week, month or year that passes, the less sympathy I have for that bullshit. It would break my heart to have a kid who didn’t speak to me for 14 years. Even more embarrassing though would be to not have the balls to say sorry. My dad beat the shit out of me for years and I doubt he will ever admit it. I ran away when I was 11 and I’m finally in a position where I am taller, faster, stronger and to be honest I don’t even need to hit him back anymore.
At 24 I have a good career. A good salary and better education, but most importantly, I have some beautiful daughters. Little brown skinned mixed up Latinas, with dreadlocks. The kind that are so pretty I’m just working which shotgun I want to buy. And contrary to popular belief, I’ve done it on my own. For all the women out there that think they are alone, there are men who are young and who raise their kids proudly and who never get recognised or even noticed. It might be rare but it does happen.
I’m proud my daughters live with me and only me. I don’t want nobody else making decisions about their life but me. I haven’t seen their mum in over 2 ½ years and neither have they. My daughters are my world and I’ve struggled but it’s taught me a lot. I get to experience everything right now. From the stupid arse teacher’s I have to deal with, to the stupid arse people who try to tell me I shouldn’t lock my daughters hair because it should be their choice or better still their mums. People who have never taken time to know my situation, I’ve had to give up everything for my daughters and it hurt. I’ve had to teach myself to like sitting at a table to eat food and read children’s books to set them to sleep. I play them classical music to help them get to sleep, sat, drawn, read, draw, read some more with them and I’ve still got so much more I want to do with them. In truth I’m still learning, trying to make myself better.
So to the dads that aren’t, I only hope you learn to recognise how blessed you are to have kids before it’s too late. Today I went to a school that I work in with a picture my eldest daughter drew for me tucked in my pocket the whole day. I don’t know what my kids are going to be like when they grow up. But I know I want to be there and watch them, and I want to do it on my own. I don’t want them to ever feel the same way about me that I feel about mine. I hope one day I can stare my own dad in the eyes and watch him recognise what he missed out on.
TBC (to be continued)
Finding my role
By John Berkavitch
Twitter - @Berkavitch
So four weeks ago our son was born.
He was 10 days over due so by the time he finally decided he was ready to enter the world our overnight bag had been packed, unpacked and repacked at least a dozen time. We felt like we were as ready as we could be.
Instead of a hospital birth, my partner and I had decided that when the big day finally came we would travel roughly 25 miles to a midwife run birthing centre that we had visited a few weeks previous.
For us one of the biggest attractions of the centre was the availability of multiple birthing pools and a postnatal ward complete with a full staff of midwifes close at hand to offer assistance with breast-feeding.
On the Wednesday evening as my girlfriend headed up to bed she mentioned that she felt like something might be starting to happen. I suggested that she got some sleep, as this might be the last opportunity she had for a few months.
By the morning something was definitely happening. No broken waters but definite sporadic contractions. By 10 o’clock we’d decided to go in.
At this point I knew my job drive to the birthing centre whilst doing my best to comfort my girlfriend.
There is something about seeing the woman you love in pain and knowing that there is nothing directly you can do to ease her suffering that really makes you feel useless.
45 minutes later we were checking into the birthing centre for the first time.
Within 15 minutes the first midwife had examined my girlfriend and told us to come back later. The midwife explained that in order to actually be admitted to the centre my partner would need to be in “active labor” (at least 6 cm dilated). We went back home and for the next few hours I sat by my girlfriend’s side feeling useless as she lay on the sofa making deep pain-ridden wailing noises.
The midwife at the centre had also explained that we should wait as long as possible before coming back as they operated a 3 strikes policy. Meaning that if my partner wasn’t in labor the by our third visit then we’d have to go to the hospital instead.
By 4 o’clock we’d decided that we were going to try for our second attempt and following another 45 minutes drive we were back at the centre. This time after a further examination by a second midwife my partner was confirmed as 7cm dilated and the midwife started filling the pool.
At this point my job was to get the iPod connected to our portable speakers and start the Labor playlist going. Then once my girlfriend was in the pool I began to feel a bit useless again.
It’s a strange feeling. All I could do was to sit by the edge of the water trying to comfort my girlfriend while continually reassuring her that the enormous amount of pain she was in was not going to last for ever. After a few hours something came out. Not the baby but something else, a little bit of poo. Now it might seem a little bit disgusting but I was actually glad of it. It gave me a purpose. My job from that point on was to keep the poo away from my partner’s semi-submerged face. At last I felt useful.
Finally after three hours of poolside poo duty we reached the final stages. A third midwife and myself took our positions on either side of my partner and prepared for the delivery.
I watched the head crown via a mirror on the end of a stick that the midwife held. I’ll tell you something; nothing changes your relationship with a vagina like watching a smaller version of your own face being pushed out of one. Again I felt powerless.
My partner’s waters still hadn’t broken and our son was born inside the membrane, (something the midwife assured me was a sign of good luck).
Once the head was clear the midwife told me to reach into the water and she delivered our son into my hands. I lifted him from the water and held him in my arms as he took his first breaths. Then having passed him into his mother’s arms I was instructed on how to cut the cord.
As we enjoyed the first moments of our son’s life my partner thanked me and assured me that she couldn’t have done it without me. It felt good to hear her say that but at the same time I’m pretty sure she could have. She just might have had to do it with a bit of poo on her face.
Omi Aquila Craven-Griffiths
Weighed 9lbs 1oz and was born at 10pm on the 26th Jan 2012
Best day of my life.
TBC (to be continued)
By Nathan Briggs
Hi peeps, just joined #TeamDaddyDiaries today but you guys have all made me feel more than at home
Let me start off by introducing myself, my name is Nathan, I'm from east dulwich, I work full time for royal mail and have all kinds of hobbies when I find the time to.
I have 2 kids. I'll admit though that I sometimes say 1 child and that is my daughter, Tianna-Leigh.
The reason why I sometimes say I have one child is a long story which I hope to try and get daddy diaries to understand and maybe give me a little guidance and advice in order to help find direction on where to go next with the situation.
Before my daughter Tianna, I had a relationship with a previous girlfriend (lets call her x). I was seeing x roughly for a year, maybe just under and she fell pregnant. At the time I was quite young minded, I'd say I was about 17-18 maybe, anyway so she told me she was pregnant. My immediate reaction out of shock was "take a test let me see" but I didn't say it in disrespect, that was the first time anything like that had been said to me so I guess I jus wanted to see if it were true. I knew I was gonna be there If she was pregnant, I was working full time do financially, I could also support.
As soon as I said that, the trouble started. She saying I was disrespecting her and that I was wrong to ask her to do that. So over a period of time we did not speak, I did have it in the back of my mind she was pregnant but I needed it in my face. About 6 months down the line, she calls me and says she needs to see me because she's got something to show me. She comes round and her stomach is massive, then I knew my life just got REAL!
Its like ever since she saw my happy reaction she knew she had something that could really hurt me.
The disagreements got worse to a point I had to tell her "I'm gonna put money aside everyweek and buy stuff". All I asked was for her to keep me posted for when she is near to labour so I can be there to see my son being born.
I decided to take that approach because the disagreement then turned into games, mind games like you wouldn't believe and I was young so I didn't really know how to deal with them problems.
So one day I'm sitting at a table having dinner with my family (knowing that i have yet to tell them x is pregnant). I was nervous like hell to tell them, I then get a phonecall and its her sister telling me my son has been born he weighs 7.5 and he's healthy. When I heard that I was happy but more than anything very very angry because I did not get the chance to watch my first born child be born. I told my parents the next day, they were very shocked, whereas me and her was In disagreement over this situation with me not being able to watch him being born. Even though I am not proud to say, I didn't see my son until 5 weeks after he was born because I felt so disrespected and I felt like she didn't care. It was the worst 5 weeks of my life, I did not have a picture or anything, all I had was phonecalls and I could hear him crying in the background.
So we arranged to meet up and I was jus speechless, tears everything, best day of my life, we had a chat and decided to put everything behind us and do what's best for j'vonne.
Months went by, but as they did I started to realise she continuously used my son as a weapon, like every time we argued or she didn't get what she wanted, I didn't come down or something its "well your not seeing your son then". So it got too much and I went to my dad, he told me "nathan if your not on the birth certificate, you have no legs to stand. You need to get your name on the birth certificate". That was another thing his name was picked and everything I had no say what so ever. I highlighted what my dad told me to her and she went irate.
I remember her saying " why the hell would you want your name on his birth certificate if the government are going to take £150 a week out of your wages"
Me being an idiot believed her and I wasn't really bothered about the birth certificate because all I wanted was to see my son.
I didn't know what to do, and I was being brainwashed by her and her family to a point I turned on my own family it got ridiculous!
Then came a day I was suppose to go to her house and I felt really sick after work but I had said to her I was going to come round. I phoned to her and said I'm feeling really under the weather, I will stay at home, get rid of the illness and then I'll be down the next day or the day after.
She wasn't having it, saying "that's it ur not seeing him ever again." I didn't take her seriously, I just thought she was pissed off and because she sed it all the time I didn't believe her".
Even as I write this now, it still doesn't feel like that day she meant what she said. My son is now 4 years old going 5 on 21st of august and I haven't seen him.
I tried going court and but all they did was take long, so I left it, plus it was all too much at the time with all this was going on. I'm so cut up over the whole situation but I don't have the strength in me to go back into all of that.
Since then I have had my little girl Tianna-Leigh, I am so grateful that I got a chance to do all the things I never had the chance to do with my son. I kinda see it like its a second chance, although I never for one second forgot about J'vonne, I kinda do feel selfish not pursuing trying to see my son again.
But I refuse to look and get him back into Tianna's life for his mum to take him away from his sister when she pleases and upset Tianna. The day will come when I will tackle the situation, I'm jus afraid its too late.
Thanks for reading and listening #DaddyDiares, your questions & opinion are welcomed.
I forgot to also say that now she has moved address and I dont have a clue where she is.
I have attached the one and only picture I have and cherished of my son J'vone
she took all the pictures I had.
TBC (to be continued)
Thursday 9 February
Week 39 - The Birth
By Kamran Assadi
Twitter - @Kamranassadi
So after all my hopes, wishes and thoughts about how this pregnancy would be, today ended up being the day!
My wife and I had spent the last month planning for this day. Our hospital bags were ready, I felt ready! And even better news was that my mom in law came over from Houston, Texas to stay with us for a month (to help us out with baby and all that).
Of course, this pregnancy threw an unexpected spanner in the works. The day before (and going all the way through to the early morning), my wife started to experience strong yet sporadic contractions. Nearer to 2am, the contractions were still strong and came every 6-7 mins. We weren't sure if this was labour or not. To get reassurance, we called the hospital to determine whether we needed to get ready and come in. They asked us to come in so that she could be examined and assessed.
So after being woken up from my deep sleep (I had only been in bed for 1 hour), we called a cab, took our bags and got to the hospital just after 3am. I was helping my wife breathe and cope with the contractions. We were seen very quickly but the results of the assessment told us that labour hadn't started and that the neck of the womb was closed so they sent us home with the assurance that labour could start "in a few hours or a few days". We got back home after 4am and we went to bed. I had to wake up at 7.30am for work.
The next morning (Thursday 9th) I was woken up by my frightened panting wife who was suffering more contractions. I supported her again through this. I was very worried at this point. Even though I was in two minds to stay or not, I was persuaded to go to work after being given the whole "we need the money as we have another person to feed" sermon from my wife.
I arrived at work and then 30mins later, I received a text from my wife to say she was in labour. I called her to make sure and she couldn't even speak - I just heard screaming and panting. The labour happened so quick as her waters broke whilst at home. She was so far gone that an ambulance had to pick her up and bring her straight to the hospital.
Now I had to make my way from Moorgate to Whipps Cross (near Leytonstone) to be there in time to be by her side. It was a race against time and I felt like I was in an episode of "24". My wife had made it to the hospital and on a bed by 11.50am. Exactly 16mins later at 12.06pm, my wife gave birth to our baby daughter Lily Sylvia Assadi. At 12.10pm I arrived at the hospital and thanks to my wife and mom in law - they held off and waited for me to cut the cord! RESULT!
Although I was a tad disappointed of missing the actual birth, I was just happy and relieved that my wife got through it so easily thanks to God, my mom in law, the ambulance and the midwifery team. A healthy baby girl who weighed 6lbs 1oz! God is good!
I'm just grateful for the blessing and chance of being able to raise and start my own family with my soulmate. I aim to be a role model and a constant presence for my daughter.
#TeamAssadi has a new member! Welcome to Lily Sylvia Assadi! Most importantly, I am a DAD!
Lily is beautiful!
TBC (to be continued)
February 4th 2012
Pregnancy number 2 [CNT]
By Taner Fikret
Twitter - @Bigdaddymunch
When my partner told me I was going to be a dad again, I was really shocked as one, we wasn’t trying, and two, because it brought back everything that happened first time around.
Such a difficult time, I remember those two months I spent working all day then spending all evening sat up in the hospital. It was such a scary and emotional experience with such a reward at the end. It took me the first 3 months to take in I was going to be a dad again. In my eyes I had so much fun with my daughter, could anything ever have that same affect on me? Could I love anything as much as I loved my daughter? I eventually started to except I was going to be a dad, again, but in all honesty until today, I still had those questions in my head.
07:15 This morning my mother in law to be came to collect my partner and left for the hospital, We decided this time around that I would take my daughter to school at 09:00 then make my way straight to the hospital, Oh! I also forgot to mention why she went to the hospital today. This pregnancy seemed to be so much smoother then the first. My partner still had the diabetes that she developed through the first pregnancy and she still has medication for this plus the high blood pressure. The diabetes medication was instantly changed to insulin injections 3 times a day. My partner had to attend hospitals appointments almost every week for check ups and she had almost treble the amount of scans somebody would have in a normal pregnancy, However, even with all these appointments, and all the medication, the pregnancy seemed so much more controlled and my partner was well looked after.
Most mothers with diabetes usually have big babies and we were told that the baby would be big and that it was breach (Meaning the baby was not head down ready to come out head first). It was then agreed and planned that my partner would not go full term (40 weeks) and that she would go 38 weeks roughly and be booked in for a caesarean like last time. Although last time was a difficult experience, I was slightly relieved we had to book one as it made life so much easier knowing we would not go through hours of labour, and we got a date in advance so I could arrange holiday and paternity leave.
Ok back today my partner, left with her mum for the hospital. I woke up and got my 3 year old daughter ready for school. This morning I was feeling extremely nervous and excited. I was slightly fearful of what the day had in store for us but was extremely excited to know I was going to meet my little girl and really wanted to know what she was going to look like. So I’m getting me and my daughter ready and I get a text at 08:03 am. ‘I’m first in a 9.00’. My heart started racing, Oh sugar it was happening oh sugar I need to get there, Then to make things a bit more difficult, my 3 year old daughter has a snotty nose and her school asks that the children don’t come in if they have snotty noses. I now needed a baby sitter quick. I eventually got hold of my partner’s sister who says I can drop my daughter there. I do this then shoot over to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital at 09:20 but when I got to the ward I was told my partner was already in theatre but as soon as the surgery was done I would be invited into the recovery area. That wait was the longest wait ever and the feeling I had in my stomach was unreal. I was worried, nervous, and absolutely shitting myself. The next time I saw my partner I would be a dad again. The hardest part of sitting there was just not knowing. It was so much easier the first time around as I was in theatre and knew what was happening however right then for that moment I had no idea what was going on. After a very long nervous wait that only turned out to be approximately 20 minutes, a mid wife wearing her surgery room gown and surgery hat came to where I was asking. She asked if I was dad. I just said yes and she said "good, quick lets go, your partner is expecting you". I was then taking to a small room. I was then joined by my partners mum and in her arms there she was my new baby girl. She gave her straight to me. I was speechless for a few minutes. I then asked about my partner and was informed she was being stitched back up. All I could think was that she looked so much like my first daughter did. I had to pinch myself as I thought I was dreaming and was back in that room 3 years ago. That worry I had about whether my feelings today could ever compare to that day last time with my daughter. It was just then that I realised it did. That feeling you get when you see your child for the first time is always there whether it is your first or second. Many of times of seen the argument is there such thing as love at first sight, well when you’re talking about your children it does as you love them instantly. She was everything I expected and more. Then my partner came out of the theatre and I just gave her the look as she came out. She was obviously feeling so rough after surgery but that smile she gave me when she saw me holding my little girl. Not only did this woman give me my beautiful daughter but then she gave me another. She had made me the happiest man alive. For that moment I could not think of anything else other then my family. Both mum and baby were healthy. Baby’s blood sugar levels were a bit low as mum had not eaten since the night before so she needed milk as soon as possible. But before this, the baby was weighed. 9lbs 5.
This day had been another perfect day and there was nothing that could top it until….
My 3 year old daughter came to visit. This then become the best moment in my life when my eldest daughter met my youngest. The only way to describe this moment was priceless. My eldest wanted to help her mum with feeding, with changing the baby and she constantly wanted to hold her too. So caring and so loving. The two most beautiful girls in the world together for the very first time. I owe my partner big time and can never give her what she has given me with my girls, actually I have her girls. Good luck to anyone having children and remember it’s not an easy task yet it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, so give thanks and cherish the moments you share.
TBC (to be continued)
Date of Entry - Feb 05th 2012
End of Week 38/Start of Week 39
By Kamran Assadi
Twitter - @kamranAssadi
So a lot has changed since my first well-received #DaddyDiaries entry earlier this week as we near Week 39 of the proposed 40 weeks.
No matter what anyone says, I'm getting nearer and nearer to that special Birth Day, and I can't stop that.
I have welcomed my mother in law into my house for a month to help out with baby prep and looking after the baby (Big weight off my shoulders). This woman (along with my wife) over the past 4 years has melted my heart by taking me into her family with her welcoming, encouraging, loving, caring, and inspiring spirit. I truly admire her. She celebrated her birthday with us this week and her compliments towards me turned me into an emotional wreck.
To tell the truth, I have received many gifts for baby, compliments, well-wishes, pride and positivity from a lot of my friends and family, to keep me pushing forward. This has allowed me to be encouraged and more confident in my abilities as this week I have been up and down with worry, anxiety and fear of being a good father. I feel like my wife's hormones are rubbing off on me.
One of the most amazing things that I experience daily in this pregnancy is waking up next to my wife, seeing her smile, giving her my trademark hugs, telling her how much I love her, and THEN talking to my baby and singing it randomly made up songs. These things make me so happy.
Our baby prep is mostly done and if the baby came now, we would be ok. We're just playing the waiting game now. I've had predictions about everything from baby names, baby's sex and when the baby will actually come. All I care for is a healthy baby from a good birth. I pray that I'll be a good dad.
I'm still in awe of what my wife and I have created. I am so grateful for this miraculous blessing which is totally going to change my life and mindset in more ways than one!
#TeamAssadi is ready! And I think finally, so am I!
TBC (to be continued)
Date: February 3rd
Expected arrival of 2nd child
By Taner Fikret
Well Mr Greeds kind of caught me this morning as I was on a huge buzz as it was the day that I had both been dreading and looking forward to for 9 months. I tweeted about it being the day my 2nd daughter was joining us and then Yomes asked me about jumping on this #DaddyDiaries thing. As soon as he mentioned it and I established he was being serious I thought it was a good idea as you rarely hear about the daddies or when you do it’s usually negative. I am going to be very honest with you all, it's 22:30 and I am so tired, I’m going to keep this as short and sweet as I can as I really want to do this but don’t want to do it on another day as I know I won’t express as much tomorrow as I would today.
I’ll give those that don’t know me a brief background before I share my experience of today. I am 26 years old and already a dad to a 3 year old daughter, my partner is also 26 years old. During the last pregnancy there were some complications. My partner has high blood pressure and then also developed diabetes through the pregnancy, then to make things even worse my partner got pre-eclampsia. Apologies that I can’t explain what this is but it’s such a hard thing to explain even now I know what it is, but its something that makes pregnancy very dangerous for both mother and baby. During the pregnancy my partner spent almost two months in St Thomas Hospital during the pregnancy and then when we moved to Hastings. 27 hours after being induced my partner had to have an emergency caesarean as they believed the baby was in distress. Although she had such a difficult pregnancy, my 1st daughter was healthy and the only issue was that her blood sugar levels were low and the midwifes had to make sure she ate (drank) as quick as possible to bring her sugar levels up. The whole pregnancy was a very difficult experience however, I remember this day as the greatest day of my life. This little human being was mine and my responsibility. It was a life changing day and nothing I mean nothing could ever top this, until today.
Pregnancy number 2.
When my partner told me I was going to be a dad again, I was really shocked, as one, we wasn’t trying, and two, because it brought back everything that happened first time. Such a difficult time, I remember those two months I spent working all day then spending all evening up in the hospital. It was such a scary and emotional experience with such a reward at the end. It took me the first 3 months to take in that I was going to be a dad again. In my eyes I had so much fun with my daughter, could anything ever have that same affect on me again? Could I love anything as much as I loved my daughter? I eventually started to except I was going to be a dad again but in all honesty until today I still had those questions in my head. Could the feeling of being a dad again be anything like the first time around? I’m sure many people who read this may be thinking what a prick, but it’s the truth I really did question until today whether I would feel the same with baby number 2 what I did with my first.
TBC (to be continued)
January 31st 2012
By Kamran Assadi
Twitter - @kamranAssadi
So my wife is at the 38 week stage of her first pregnancy and I'm about to fulfil one of my personal dreams - I'm going to start up my own family and be a father. And I can't wait! This baby can come anytime between now and February 13th. *bites fingernails in anticipation*
Over 30 weeks ago, I found out that my wife was pregnant. To tell the truth, I have no shame in saying that I didn't have that cliché feeling of being happy and over the moon. I was scared, anxious and full of panic wondering if my wife actually was pregnant (it was a surprise as we weren't intentionally trying) and if I was personally ready for all this responsibility. I definitely didn't feel ready. But after a few weeks, I came round to the reality of this little miracle and decided that I have to be ready. It's what I've always wanted.
Fast forward to the past week and "Daddy Kam" has been proactive in getting together as much free baby gifts and clothes as possible (with wonderful results), putting up the new cot (with my wife's help) and buggy, looking after my heavily pregnant wife, and getting the birthing plan/hospital bag packed and finalised.
I have even got together a small solid support team of friends and family called #TeamAssadi who will be the first to see the baby when it arrives in this world. They have been prepped with the codeword of when my wife goes into labour as well as where the hospital is too.
Nearly 12 years ago, my mother passed away and although she won't be here to see her grandchild, I know she would have been proud and happy for me.
A lot of my personal childhood memories and things are kept at my aunt's house (who took me in at age 16 when Mum passed away) and yesterday I went to clear them out, sorting out what to keep/throw away. Going through these things brought up some beautiful memories. I found cards/drawings to my mum from me, her wedding photos, my school reports, my childhood books and teddy bears as well as cards/love letters/photos received from some of my past dalliances. I had a laugh but I also had an internal cry - this process proved very therapeutic for me.
It made me realise that I will be part of creating these sorts of memories for my child, I'm so grateful for that chance. I thought a lot about my mum yesterday and how much I truly miss her. If I can be half the parent that was, then I should do well.
At the moment, I'm keeping my head focused on myself and on my wife in terms of being the best birthing partner that I can be to her as well as helping her cope with the mammoth task of giving birth and coming to terms with everything that's involved within that!
Wish me luck!