Michael Adeyemi, Chief Press Secretary to the former Bauchi State Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, between 2011 and 2015, has shared with PUNCH his experience as a father and loving husband.
Read Excerpts Below…
How would you describe fatherhood?
Fatherhood is a process which gets mature with age; it is much more than being a father. It is about taking up the responsibilities associated with that position. It involves being there always for the children and meeting their basic needs until they become independent.
Fatherhood means being able to play the role of man of the home to everyone there, being a shield for them, providing security and as a Christian, being the priest of the home. It is about always ensuring that the family’s altar light does not begin to dim or burn out. In summary, fatherhood is representing God in the home as a role model to members of the home.
At what age did you become a father?
I got married in 1998, and I was 32 years old then. I was considered a bit mature and ready to build a home considering the African culture where questions are raised if at such an age, a man is not married and has a steady job which is bringing food to the table.
Do you think it happened at the right time?
I will say yes emphatically. It was the right time for me to get married considering the fact that I was gainfully employed, and emotionally, psychologically and physically mature and ready to have a home.
What fears did you nurse before becoming a father?
I will not say I had fears really but I might have been anxious. In fact, I looked forward to becoming a father in order to understand what it meant to be a father.
While growing up, our father was a friend to us all, so I always looked forward to being like him some day and glory be to God, I have been able to get there. I relate with my children as friends. In fact, someone visiting our home for the first time will not know the difference between us; we are friends and playmates.
So, how has fatherhood changed you?
Not much, but I had to change some of my lifestyles before they (family) came, knowing that I would be having some people that would be looking up to me for guidance, advice, positive leadership, care, concern, protection, support and most importantly, good moral upbringing and direction in the way of God.
How are you able to achieve a balance between your duties on the job and obligations as a father?
It has not been easy at all because most times when I plan to be with my family for a weekend, something will come up and I will have to shelve the plan and attend to duty. Gradually they have come to understand the situation and have continued to give me the needed support and cooperation.
Did you have a preferred gender or sex before the birth of your first child?
Yes, I wanted a girl first because I love girl children but God decided to give me a boy first before the girl followed.
Were you in the labour room with your wife during the birth of any of your children?
Yes, I was in the labour room during the birth of our second child at the then Specialist Hospital, now Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi. It was a sweet experience; I really felt for her as she held my hands while pushing. I shed tears because of the pains I saw her passing through.
How did that change you?
It changed me positively and taught me how to handle women, particularly mothers. The pain can best be imagined. I respect mothers for going through such pains just to have a child.
READ ALSO: TV Presenter And Actor, Yemi Shodimu Gets Candid About The Lessons, Gains & Challenges Of Fatherhood
What values did you learn from your father that has helped to shape you?
My father was a strict disciplinarian; he did not spare the rod anytime it was necessary to discipline us. He brought us up in way of the Lord; no wonder all of us are doing exploits for God in our various ways. We have pastors and deacons among us.
One thing that shaped me to become what I am today is something my father used to say. He would say, ‘Always remember the son of whom you are.’ This has gone a long way to shape my life because each time I need to do something; I remember where I am coming from and where I am going.
I say the same thing to my children now. If you ask any of them, they will tell you that my popular song is: ‘Remember the son of whom you are.’ Yes, I am doing exactly the same thing my father taught me and my children know that about me.
How do you discipline any of your children when they misbehave?
I don’t spare the rod when I need to discipline them but I also use the ‘carrot and stick’ approach. They know that I don’t tolerate nonsense.
SEE ALSO: ”Fathers if your kids hide from you… you need to adjust”- Actor Yomi Fash Opens up on Fatherhood
How do you assist your wife at home?
It may interest you to know that I am a good cook, so, when I’m home, particularly on weekends or Sundays, I take over the affairs in the kitchen. My children always look forward to eating my food. I also wash my clothes at times. I do minor chores and sit with her in the shop when I’m free.
I say ‘thank you’ to my wife for taking care of us. When I have enough money, I surprise her by buying her the things I know she loves. We are happy together always.
What has been your most challenging period as a father?
Any time I am unable to meet their demands immediately, I feel bad as if I have failed them, but they do understand and console me by saying that they know that if I have it, I will not deny them.
When you have a disagreement with your wife, how do you resolve it?
After all the nerves are calmed down, I will point out her mistakes to her and I will let her know my own faults. We will apologise to each other and move on. We don’t allow our children to know when we are having issues unless any of them happens to know mistakenly.
What advice do you have for youths who intend to go into marriage?
I will advise youths aspiring to get married to look forward to having a home and not a house. They must be ready for any uneventful happenings. They must take charge of the home, and the man must stamp his authority as the man of the home. He must be responsible for everything, even when not at fault. Above all, they must be God-fearing and not be too much religious. A sweet home is worth having.
Tags: Fatherhood experience, Micheal Adeyemi
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