Unlike Mathematics, fatherhood doesn’t have any formula. This is why becoming a father opens a whole new world and changes the way most men think and act. “How am I going to be a great Tatay, Papa, Daddy to my firstborn?
Prepare for an unending duty
Fathers are considered to be the provider of the family, but being a Dad is so much more than just providing financial needs. Extending the work after an 8-hour duty to provide emotional assistance is the first step to be a great Papa.
A father of two and Creative Art Specialist of PhilRice, Carlo G. Dacumos, emphasized that you need to be on 24-hour duty to accomplish being a father and Dad.
“You know, getting married is having a family, that includes having a child, so prepare yourself for an unending responsibility,” he said.
He recalled that when he arrives home from the office, he takes care of the baby.
“We were working like owls with my wife. We stayed on guard in case our little girl wakes up. Sometimes, because of undeniable exhaustion, the bottle I’ve handed the baby had no cover. There were also times when I shook it without the cap. The milk spilled all over the bed, the room. When the baby wakes up at 3 am onwards, I have to sing her a lullaby. I haven’t even memorized a single song. So, I just have to sing her Silent Night or O Holy Night,” he narrated with chuckles.
Read, ask, apply, repeat
First-time encounters make things difficult and worrisome, yet reading and asking, help a lot, so with parenting.
Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang, deputy executive director for research, advised that reading the Bible accompanied with prayers gives information on becoming a great parent. Asking own parents, support groups, and godparents are also good ways to exchange ideas on raising a child.
Dindo King M. Donayre, PhilRice scientist and Sonny Boy B. Pangilinan PhilRice artist, also got most of their knowledge by asking their parents and older friends who had been parents for quite long. For Dacumos, Google has been a good friend.
Although they have asked and searched around, the former first dads weighed the best for their child; sometimes modifying what they have learned.
Tatays help Nanays
A child’s early years are quite demanding and critical as the baby needs 24-7 attention. For Quilang and his wife, they had shifting schedule, especially at night so they can sleep. He also helps in household chores and buying the groceries.
Donayre was in-charge on baby’s needs particularly l milk and water. He also ensured that his children eat their meals, he changed their diapers, and he prepared the clothes when they go out.
Dacumos and his wife also had their own slice when it comes to parenting and household chores.
“In the morning, particularly on weekends, we did things together. During bathing time, I hold the baby and my wife bathes her. I did most of the the chores while my wife babysat them. My kids are spoiled. I made sure that when they wake up, everything is ready for them.”
Expect the heartbreaking moments
Fatherhood inspires you to strive to provide a more comfortable life for the family. This includes sacrifices, including leaving the family behind to work.
“My wife and our child were here at Muñoz while I was studying at UPLB. After graduation, I was assigned at PhilRice Negros and spent four years there. I’m only home once a month. The begging voice and tears of our child every time I left our house for work was the most painful part for me,” Donayre recalled.
Discipline and Explain
Fathers involvement in child discipline contributes to their positive development. Psychology Today explained, “Fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children.”
Quilang is inspired by Biblical principles when it comes to disciplining his children.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24). You can use a wooden ladle for this,” he shared
“I whip the mistakes (that includes the doer) 3-5x. The next morning, I explain to my child what they did wrong, then hugs them telling, I love you, and you’re so dear to me,” Donayre said.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan disciplines his children by teaching proper behavior and being kind, obedient, respectful, and God-fearing.
Enjoy the early years
Time flies so fast. Your son/daughter is now a grown up, but the overwhelming feeling you experienced when you first held him/her was like yesterday.
As what Dacumos said, “I don’t know how we survived the struggling years, we just realized we did great as we look at them now.”
To spend time with his kids, Donayre makes and fly kites with them. He also watches with them their favorite movies and bikes with them around the village.
Quilang goes home immediately after office. He helps his children with their school requirements and spends private time with them.
Dacumos played with his children after work and always made them laugh. He also made sure that his family goes to church every Sunday. Being a dad was a 180O change of life. But they’re happy as fatherhood made them the person they never imagined themselves to be.