32 year old Patrick Waweru Karubiu, is married to Susan Njeri and a father of 3.
I am a businessman and have three children; a daughter( Princess Gathoni) and two sons (Prince Klein Karubiu and Persley Keith Kuria). They are aged 5 years, 2 years and 9 months respectively.
My firstborn was born on 18th July 2010; a baby girl, Princess. This was a whole changeover in my life that came with a lifetime commitment to my family.
At first it was full of excitement and confusion but later on I realized that I had a duty to play and act on.
My daughter was diagonised with jaundice 4 days after birth and so my fatherhood was put to test as I felt like I didn’t know much about childcare.
Later, at 2months the news of her deafness through an auditory test were relayed. Again the awful news got to me and worse ahead was a cerebral palsy confirmation.
This experience taught me to be patient and loving and how to stay calm as care is essential and family life is a commitment. It also brought me to a point of understanding matters and psychology of kids. I love being a father and I wouldn’t wish otherwise!
It has not been easy but I have learnt that parenting usually depends on the setup you lay on the table as your own dream and wishes. Love and care is all that counts and the closeness to kids creates bonding which eventually builds trust and security in kids.
My transition period to fatherhood was just like any other change of style; quiet enjoyable but at the same time imbalance might set in at first. That moment when I wanted to stay out for longer, then it hits me that my child and wife need me back at home.
I also learnt discipline in terms of being there for my wife. I was there during the crucial moments of pregnancy, delivery and post delivery. I never missed out.
Many are those times that we walked into pre-natal clinics with my wife. I was there during delivery though outside delivery room during the birth of my first born. And she also enjoyed my full support after delivery. I was the one running errands and doing house chores. For the other two kids, I was the one staying up with the other kid(s) as she was going for clinics and delivery.
As I stated earlier, my first born has special needs; with cerebral palsy and profound hearing loss. So I am also a special dad.
Challenges have been there; being a man, being a father and a husband, all these duties are upon me and need balancing. Being the sole breadwinner in my home; as my wife is a stay at home mum, financial constraints are in order without choice; catering for my child’s therapy and all bills around me.
At times am held up in the house to help out yet am supposed to be outside earning a living or doing my charity work. I hate being absent from my children because I don’t want to miss any of their milestones.
I would like to urge fellow fathers whether to special kids or not, own up and get responsible regardless of your social or financial status or your relationship with their mother(s).
Fatherhood is possible if you have faith in God, who enables us to do all things.
Trust in God for greater results.
Unconditional and intrusive love for our children makes parenthood easy and bearable, and this way the children will bond easily and will be open up to you as a father and they will be very free to express their worries and you will know how to solve them and how to make them understand life.
Show your children the right path because they come to you empty and rely on you to show them how to behave. Be a good example by leading them to the paths of Godliness.
In this day and age of social media, it is inevitable that one will use it in our current society. Through it children can grab positive or negative influence. It is hard to restrict totally especially if they don’t access it in your presence. Teach your children the moral standards and they will follow the steps despite what they see in the media.
After all it is on the same platform that as a father I run to when faced with hard decisions or solutions on fatherhood. When I feel am stuck about a certain situation, I find it easy to reach for google and the like.
First time for some lifetime experience always gets one with surprises. Fatherhood was not pre exposed to me. More being a special father with no medical knowhow, I didn’t know the challenges of raising a special kid. This caught me unprepared and before I knew my way out, I had suffered psychologically. I learnt it the hard way! Naivity and paranoia was the order of the day and I didn’t want to talk about it but later on I accepted and talked it out and it is then that I was able to ease up. I wish I did it before!
Amazing experience: My second born; Prince, was born at home and this brought me to amazement of my life.
As a special Father, I can relate with all the challenges of bringing up a child with special needs, and the experience of each caregiver. As regard to special care giving, my wife and I started an organization for caregivers. Kenya Special Caregivers Space (KSCS) is a platform for all caregivers, i.e. parents, siblings, relatives, househelps, neighbors and friends of kids with special needs and adults living with disabilities. As an organization, we try to bring on board the caregivers to share experiences and socialize with each other as well as encourage and learn from each other. We also have diaper drives for the special kids and adults who MUST use them. We have future plans of a daycare for these children so that the parents can go off their special parenting duties and run their errands without a worry.
Just be a ‘Present ‘ dad.
Fatherhood254 would love to hear from you about your Fatherhood experiences. Feel free to share or ask questions or nominate a ‘Present Father’. Remember we are not here to break but build a Fatherhood community as we support each other.