Father's Day...365.

While this blog is mainly directed towards women and mothers, I thought it was time to switch gears and hear from a few young dads. I feel that too often we focus on what young mothers went through/go through and tend to forget about the fathers except for on Father's Day, so I politely asked a few great dads the following questions:

- How old were you when you first became a father and what was your initial reaction?
- What is it like to be a father/ What does it mean to be a father?
- Are you learning along the way or do you have a role model in mind?
- What are your hopes for your child(ren)?
- What are your fears?
- Best memory so far?
- What's your favorite activity to do with your little one(s)?
- What advice do you have for other young dads out there?

And here is what they had to say! :)

Dayvon E.

I was 19 going on 20 when I first became a father. My initial reaction was like wow! It was sort of unreal...I couldn't believe it. I was happy, scared, and excited at the same time. Being a father is the best thing ever! Anytime I think about making any kind of big decisions in life I always tell myself I'm a father first. Pretty much anything you do will affect your kids in some kind of way. Being a father means the world to me. It's everything! Raising a family is tough but it's helped me become a man. I'm still learning and trying to be the best dad I can be. My role model is my mom because she raised me and my siblings on her own. She was strong and did a great job so I'm just picking up where she left off by being a great dad. I just had my 2nd and last child lol. I have 2 boys, a 6 yr old and 3 month old baby boy. My hopes for them are to learn as much as they can and no matter what they choose to pursue in life, get a college education. My fears would have to be having their own children too soon. I want them to grow up first and enjoy being young. My best memory would have to be their birthdays. Just holding them for the first time is the best feeling ever! To all the young dads in the world out there love your kids to death! Be there for them every step of the way because they need you and do whatever you can to help them be successful in life.

Jimmy P.

I was 21 when my little princess entered my life. My initial reaction was fear. Of course, as to be expected. But ready to face the obstacles of fatherhood. But being a father is amazing. Something that I wouldn't trade for the world. Watching my little girl grow is honestly for me what seeing Super Mario for the first time is like for a little boy. Being a father means becoming not about yourself, but supporting a little life that you've brought into this world and making sure they're well taken care of, always having a roof over their head, food in their tummy and smiles on their face. I'm definitely learning as I go. My father wasn't much more than a sperm donor and I try my best to be nothing like him. There are times when my daughter drives me absolutely crazy, but she comes first. Period. My hope is that my daughter will keep her big heart that I already see from her at only 2 (almost) years old as she grows up. To be kind and to always treat others the way she wants to be treated. My fears I suppose are the normal fears, hanging with the bad crowd one day, teen pregnancy and even us not being close as she grows. I hope to always maintain a close relationship with my little girl. I want her to always feel she can confide in her daddy. My best memory so far is going to the zoo with her and visiting the dolphins and the monkeys, seeing her eyes light up when she saw them and a giant smile come across her face. My absolute favorite activity to do with my princess is sing to her. She loves when daddy sings. Ever since she was born I've loved singing to her. My advice for other young dads? Don't make yourself available to spend time with your kids when it's convenient for you. You're always a father even if you and the mother split up. So when it's your time together take full advantage and BE THERE.

Jim B.

I became a father at the age of 21. Being a father is the best thing I've done with my life so far and it means so much because I didn't grow up with my father so that pushes me even more to be the greatest dad I can be for my son. I've pretty much known what to do with kids because I have 6 little brothers and sisters but at the same time my grandfather was my role model because he helped raise me. My hopes for my son are to be the best he can be, to learn from my mistakes, to get a great education, and just be happy with life. My fear for him is the society we live in but other than that I have none, because I raise him with morals and respect and I know he's gonna do great. Best memory so far is the first time he said daddy it's just awesome to have someone love you so much and look up to you. Favorite activity of course is basketball he loves the gym as much as I do and that's awesome. My advice to young dads is please be there for your kids no matter the relationship with the mother, our kids need us more than you know... we have to raise the next generation to be better than we were..

Jack P.

I had Jordan when I was 19, at first I was scared not gonna lie, but also excited at the same time. When he was born I was pretty scared to hold him because he was so small I didn’t want to drop him. Being a dad is fun at times and hard at times. The hard part is not wanting to disappoint him, as a dad I try to give Jordan everything. The best part about being a dad is being called “dad”. As time goes on I learn new things about being a parent, things I need to do when Jordan needs help, things I need to say when he has a wild question about something. As he gets older I’ll learn more new things. Its kinda like we are both learning things as we get older. I don’t have a specific role model for Jordan, but I want him to grow up and be happy and successful in the things he does. My fear for Jordan is that I don’t want him to lose confident in himself, he tends to be too shy, but once you get to know him he will talk your ears off. Our favorite things to do when we hangout is bowling, basketball and for some odd reason he picked up golfing too. The best memory I have of Jordan is when he was learning how to walk. Once he figured out how to walk, man that boy was getting into everything and running everywhere!! My advice for young dads is that be the best father you can be. It’s gonna be hard, but it’s the best feeling ever watching your child grow and learn new things.

Thank You- Dayvon, Jimmy, Jim & Jack! You guys are amazing, respectable fathers and deserve to be recognized as such. Keep doing what you're doing, so proud of you all! 

Thanks for reading!

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