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8 Black Millennial Men Reveal Heartfelt Confessions About Conquering Fatherhood

8 Black Millennial Men Reveal Heartfelt Confessions About Conquering Fatherhood

This Father’s Day we wanted to hear directly from some millennial father’s on how they prepared, adapted to, and embraced fatherhood.

RTW Photography reached out to 8 black millennial fathers to hear their thoughts on fatherhood. Balancing life can be difficult and bringing a little one into the world can be a life-changing experience. From the cradle and the bottles, to graduations and welcoming future generations, fathers play an integral role in the development and rearing of a child.    

We salute and appreciate all of the fathers and father figures around the world. In honor of this year’s Father’s Day, RTW Photography is proud to announce the extension of our Summer Sale Discount for family portrait sessions. This sale is good for bookings made prior to June 30, 2020. Click here to book your family photo shoot.

Meet the Fathers

Please note: Some of the photos in the above grid were not produced by RTW Photography.

Meet Keenan C., a 30-year-old father from Fort Myers, Florida:

Keenan, what is the hardest thing about being a father?

I co-parent and live in another state. The hardest thing to me about being a father is not being there as often as I would like to be.

Name one idea you thought would work, but did not?

One fatherly idea I assumed would work, but didn’t, is saying “no”. It may sound crazy, but it’s hard for me to say no to my daughter. She basically gets whatever she asks for.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting/new fathers?

No matter what, be there! All kids need their fathers. No matter the distance, time, or the relationship with the mother, be there. The kid is your responsibility, be responsible.

If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would do differently as a father?

I honestly would not change a thing.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about fatherhood?

In my opinion, the biggest misconception about fatherhood is that the father does not “do as much” as the mother, and that a father can’t handle the “everyday job” like a mother does. A real father does as much or even more, we just don’t get the full credit.

Meet Jason D., a 30-year-old father from Tampa, Florida:

Jason, what is the hardest thing about being a father?

I believe the toughest thing about being a father is knowing how to anticipate needs. From pregnancy to having a child, you must know how to see things before they happen and prepare in advance. This ranges from planning to buy clothes ahead of time, accommodating growth spurts, to prepping your pantry with first aid and medicines that your child may need, and starting a college fund.

Name one idea you thought would work, but did not?

I thought taking the sole friendship approach with my son was the way to go. However, you have to know where to draw the line and instill structure and discipline. I also thought I would promote breastfeeding to save money, but it was a no-go!

What’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting/new fathers?

I would say to expect the unexpected. For the first two years (minimum), think of sleep as a thing of the past. Make sure that you are looking into the mental health of your spouse and are being very supportive and providing time off. Take a hands on approach.

Learn how to do everything and how to multitask when giving child care. Invest in an Amazon Cloud Cam and Echo Show for interactive baby monitoring. Become your child’s biggest supporter and provide them with daily affirmations to instill a sense of pride in them.

Make time for the gym — pregnancy weight is a real thing. 

If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would do differently as a father?

At the baby shower I would have asked for different sizes in clothes and diapers. Within a month my child grew out of all of the clothes that were given at the baby shower. Also, instead of various birthday gifts I would just ask individuals to contribute to my child’s college fund.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about fatherhood?

I think the biggest misconception is that people feel as if gender roles determine what tasks you will do as a father/parent. I believe that fathers can be nurturing, as well as, provide emotional support for their children and let them know it’s okay to display their emotions.

As a father not only will I be teaching my son how to build and ride a bike, but I will also show my son how to be self sufficient — how to cook and clean.

   

Meet Chris A.,  a 35-year-old father from Atlanta, Georgia:

Chris, what is the hardest thing about being a father?

The hardest thing about being a father is walking the fine line between being playful and enjoying life with your child versus providing an appropriate amount of discipline when necessary.  Nobody wants to raise a spoiled or misbehaved child, so it becomes difficult yet necessary to correct negative behavior as opposed to simply laughing at potential problems and having a good time.

Name one idea you thought would work, but did not?

The idea of a “sleep schedule” always sounds good in theory, but it’s certainly more difficult to implement in practice.  This is probably an appropriate place to mention how blessed I am to have such a thoughtful and attentive wife who was willing to shoulder the burden of more than her fair share of sleep deprivation!

What’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting/new fathers?

Never miss out on an opportunity to tell your child how much you love them, while also demonstrating those same emotions in your actions.  Life is too short to do otherwise.

If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would do differently as a father?

Take more pictures and write more notes to my daughter. Still working on doing both of those things now.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about fatherhood?

“A father should take a back seat to the mother when it comes to child rearing.” — All fathers should take an active role in the raising of their children, no matter what that may entail at any given moment.  The idea that men should sit back and simply watch the mothers of their children handle all of the responsibilities related to those children is antiquated at best, negligent at worst.

Meet Demetri M., a 30-year-old father from Chicago, Illinois: 

Demetri, what is the hardest thing about being a father?

Trying to keep a tiny human alive and figuring out how to be a good dad when the example that I grew up with is not one that I want to emulate in the least.

Name one idea you thought would work, but did not?

I thought I would be able to keep up areas of my life like being social and taking ‘me-time’ while still being a good dad and husband. It’s difficult to make everything work and be all things to all people.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting/new fathers?

Take one day at a time and be gracious with yourself. Being a father in this day and age is hard. Also – be prepared for most men’s restrooms to NOT have changing tables. It’s a shame how many floors of bathrooms (with a diaper mat) I’ve changed my baby on.

If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would do differently as a father?

Have kids earlier!

In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about fatherhood?

I don’t know if there are any misconceptions that I can think of.

Meet Ronald I., a 30-year-old father from Tampa, Florida:

Ronald, what is the hardest thing about being a father?

The hardest thing about being a father is having a kid at a young age and lacking the knowledge of adulthood. You’ve now brought a kid into this world and want to be his/her friend and his/her parents. You have to learn when to draw the line between both and have balance.

Name one idea you thought would work, but did not?

I can’t think of anything right now.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting/new fathers?

One piece of advice I would give is to enjoy your child every step of the way. Stay active in his or her life. Be a healthy parent so you can enjoy seeing them grow, and stay healthy so that you can grow with them. When they get older they will act like they don’t need you, but continue to engrave life lessons into their brains. For example, teach your child things they won’t learn in school; like how to fix a flat tire, simple car mechanics, washing and drying clothes, cooking, and how to handle themselves with people who may try to harm them.

If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would do differently as a father?

One thing I would do differently as a father is to choose the child’s mother wisely. No matter the outcome stay active in the kids life despite the relationship as parents.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about fatherhood?

The biggest misconception of fatherhood is that it will be hard. Personally it’s not hard being a father, it just takes a lot of work. Once you put in the work and try your best, it will get easier. Trial and error will be the biggest thing you can take out of fatherhood.

Meet Keenan B., a 34-year-old father from Atlanta, Georgia:

Keenan, what is the hardest thing about being a father?

Time. Having enough to go around for everything isn’t realistic. You have to know how to prioritize the right things. Letting your child learn things even if it scares you.

Name one fatherly idea you thought would work, but did not?

Nothing works lol you just go with it and learn from your child.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting/new fathers?

Be patient. Embrace the thought of fatherhood. Accept the challenge, because it will be challenging. Be ready to lead.

If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would do differently as a father?

I’m not trying to have to go back in time, so I will enjoy every moment even the hard times. My son is two so those hard moments are constant lol but he won’t be this age for long.  

In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about fatherhood?

That it’s just about providing and protecting. You have to be present and emotionally available for your child but most importantly for your child’s mother (wife).

Meet Ray O., a 30-year-old father from Atlanta, Georgia:

Ray, what is the hardest thing about being a father?

Knowing when to expose your child to new things that are essential to life and their own independence.

Name one fatherly idea you thought would work, but did not?

Not yelling at my child. I shouldn’t have to, but sometimes I have to raise my voice so she knows I’m not playing.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting/new fathers?

Be patient with your kids. They won’t grasp things as quick as you would like them to.

If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would do differently as a father?

That’s a good question. I would probably talk to some women who have daughters and inquire about  how to speak and cater to young ladies. Having a baby girl is tough. It’s not like having a boy. If you know what I mean

In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about fatherhood?

That you solely have to be a provider. You have to be much more. You have to provide, protect, listen and adjust for starters. Raising a young lady is a journey of ebbs and flows. Honestly, providing is the easy part lol

Meet Anthony R., a 30-year-old father from London, United Kingdom:

Anthony, what is the hardest thing about being a father?

Thinking that you always have the right answers. As a father you do the best you can.

Name one fatherly idea you thought would work, but did not?

Allowing my child to always make choices about what he wants to do. Needless to say, he’ll need some wisdom and discernment from his father as he grows.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting/new fathers?

Expect the unexpected. Attempting to predict what your child will do is a recipe for disaster.

If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would do differently as a father?

Nothing, I would do the same thing I’m doing now. I believe I’m doing a great job for a 1st time father

In your opinion, what’s the biggest misconception about fatherhood?

In my opinion, the biggest misconception about fatherhood is that people tend to view men who are good nurturers to their kids as “not being manly enough.” I believe that being a good nurturer to your child shows that you understand the significance of being there for your children. It lets them know that you will be there for them in both good and bad times. That speaks volumes.

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