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Yomi Casual Reflects On His Experiences As A Father And How It Has Reshaped His Habits

Yomi Casual Reflects On His Experiences As A Father And How It Has Reshaped His Habits

Popular Nigerian fashion designer, Olorunyomi Omoniyi Makun, professionally known as Yomi Casual, speaks to PUNCH on his fatherhood journey.

According to the dad of two, his fatherhood experience has been amazing but a bit rough.

When you reflect on your experiences as a dad, what would you say fatherhood is?

The fatherhood experience has been amazing but a bit rough because it can’t be 100 per cent amazing. Fatherhood has helped me become a better person. It has made me react to situations calmly rather than quickly.

Kids make several mistakes and I understand that people make mistakes as well. For me, fatherhood is all about sacrifices. The moment you know that these kids need you and you’re all they got, just one small mistake from you may make them become something else tomorrow.

So as a father, you have to be there in their lives and in everything they do. So my definition of fatherhood is showing love and being there for your kids.

How many children do you have and what do you love most about being a father?

I have a big family of four. What I love so much about fatherhood is that it has reshaped my habits. It’s a beautiful experience. I can’t imagine myself not being a father at this point in my life. Right from when I was 25, I have been dreaming about being a dad and being married.

I got married at 33. I love the idea of fatherhood. It is a sweet thing. I like to see these little creatures come around me and encourage me. They talk to me and sometimes, they are just all I need at that time. I love having my kids around me.

Is there a difference between how you were raised and how you are raising your children now?

I don’t think there’s any difference because I’m still raising my kids in the same old style that I was raised. The only difference right now is that my kids now have access to some things like iPads, and ice cream, and they travel abroad.

However, I still use the local Nigerian parenting style for my kids. I believe that it was what they did for us and that is why we are where we are. I do see a lot of kids today who do not have manners at all. I’m not trying to say that the parents are not doing a good job but you have to be strict with your kids. If it’s time to show them love, show them love.

In their early years, you will show them love but what they need at that time is to learn their morals and those things that are very important because when you skip doing that at that stage, you start having very rude kids. A lot of kids nowadays can’t even greet you when you see them outside. So I’m still going by the old way of raising children.

What part of your parenting experience will you describe as most challenging?

The part that is most challenging for me is when my children are sick. I just can’t stand it when they are sick. I just look at them and sometimes pray to God to transfer their sickness to me because they are just young and don’t know anything. They don’t even know why they are sick so it gets to me.

How did you determine it was the right time to start a family when you did?

For me, I found a woman I loved, and letting her go was a problem for me. While we were dating, I thought that at some point, I was going to lose her. She’s a woman I wanted to be with. I was really into her and she knew.

I had to use ‘sense’ because if there were a further delay, the woman I want as my life partner may be gone. It was not really about the kids then. I had to tell myself that I had to start a family with her and here we are together; 14 years down the line.

SEE ALSO: Yomi Casual Sends Thought-provoking Message To Men, Highlights The Long-lasting Benefits Of Nurturing One’s Family

How did you feel when your wife told you she was pregnant with your first child?

I could still remember the very big shock on her face when she told me she was pregnant and she was expecting me to be scared. My wife was pregnant before we got married. So when she got pregnant, we started the wedding plans. We got married immediately.

So when she told me she was pregnant, I could remember the fear on her face because she was skeptical about how I would accept the news. When she saw me smiling and happy, I saw that she had peace of mind. I saw that smile on her face. I wanted to be with her. It was a good experience.

Can you remember how exactly you felt holding your first child in your hands?

The feeling was everything. It was amazing but scary as well because he was very fragile on my palm. I was scared if I was going to hurt him or not. It was something else. At that point, something came ringing in my head that I was now a dad and things had changed. I knew I had to start saving up for my child. The feeling was good.

Some people are particular about the gender of their first child. What was the situation for you?

I used to brag that my body was filled up with men and wasn’t sure that I was going to have a female child. I never wanted a female child. I planned to have three boys. But that was when I had the mentality that female children always brought problems and would lead to fights. That was the old me.

The current me doesn’t play with my daughter. I cherish her a lot and she knows. She is the only girl giving my wife competition at home. My daughter has the right to walk into my room and share the bed with me. Her mother would then keep a straight face and order her to leave her room.

Has becoming a father changed anything about you?

Becoming a dad has changed a lot about me. Becoming a dad has taught me to be very calm and financially prudent. I don’t want my kids to suffer or beg for food. I have good plans for them. I have a good structure for them.

Fatherhood has changed the way I see life. I don’t see life the way other people see life. Sometimes when I pay for something, I have a rethink about how I could have used that money to pay for my kids’ fees. I now plan ahead of time. Becoming a dad has helped me.

What impact has fatherhood had on your career?

Being a father is a very good title and it has impacted my career in so many ways. For example, If I’m dealing with a female client and I talk about my children, you’d just see a smile on their faces because it brings respect to me. The fact that you’re married and have children makes you look and become more responsible. Once people know you are a father, they will be calm towards you.

Were there any habits you had to drop after having kids?

I wouldn’t say I was a night crawler but having kids made me stay indoors more. Now I stay indoors a lot and I don’t stay out late, only once in a while and when it’s extremely important.

That’s one part of me that has changed because I just think that I have to be at home in case my children need me. I have to think about them. I am bothered about them. I’m always on my phone checking on the camera to see if they are fine.

ALSO SEE: Getting It Real: AY’s Brother, Yomi Casual Reveals The One Thing That Caught His Attention The First Day He Saw His Wife, Grace Onuoha

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How do you handle conflict among children so it doesn’t seem like you have a favourite among them?

I just know how to balance it. If I’m doing something for my daughter and my son is angry, I also tell him why I’m doing what I did and try to do the same for him. I have noticed that whenever I ask my daughter to spell something, as soon as she’s done spelling, my son would ask me. ‘Daddy, what about me?’ If I don’t answer him at that point, he may start feeling that I don’t love him.

I see that a lot in people’s homes whereby the mum prefers the male child and the dad prefers the female child. It’s not a good thing. They grow up knowing that their sibling is their parents’ favourite and end up feeling unloved. I don’t think that’s a very good thing. I really know how to manage it in my capacity and I feel what I’m doing is right.

Is it healthy for parents to have favourite children?

It’s very unhealthy to have a favourite. It is not a good thing. It will cause enmity between kids and at some point, they may use it to mock each other as they grow up. One may tell the other, ‘I’m daddy’s favourite. T

his is why I’m daddy’s favourite. That is why Daddy bought this for me and not you.’ Such words may even make the other child question your paternity as their father. You don’t want that to happen. I’m totally against that.

How do you create time for your kids to bond with them?

Creating time for your kids is very important. What I do is that my Saturday is for my family. My friends and everybody know that. Even my clients know that I don’t go to work on Saturday. I’m always at home and I look forward to every Saturday because I always have a routine for that day. My kids always come to my bed and ask me what games we would play that Saturday.

This is because we always create games for that day. We play fun games. We have cardboards where we create different animals and shapes; create videos; or even do hide and seek. They are the ones who always create these games and tell me how it’s played, so I can join them in the game. It’s always very fun.

Doing that is a very good way to bond with your kids because they are growing and you have to be in their lives. They have to know that their parents love them so much. You wouldn’t want them to see it outside and start wishing that their parents played with them like that. I feel that it is a very good thing for parents to bond with their kids and create time for their kids.

Parents can’t be too busy. It is easy to detect children who do not get parental love at home. They are always eager to leave their house. They do not love their house. And when they get to a particular age, they start hating their home because it wasn’t even much of a home in the first place.

After all, there’s no love and bonding time between the parents and the kids. No matter how busy you are, you must create time for your kids. I’m already discussing summer holidays and location with my kids.

I’ve already told them the country we’d be visiting and they are also very excited already as they look forward to the trip. When the time comes, we’ll travel, I’ll put down work, wear my short knickers, and we’ll play and do everything. Whenever I play with my kids, I come down to their level and make them feel so comfortable. We have funny videos of us.

What method of discipline have you adopted in correcting your children when they err?

For me, I’m not the kind of person who uses my hand or cane on a child. There are several ways to correct your child when they err. I’m very good with my words so I used my words to correct them a lot. That doesn’t mean that I don’t spank.

I spank once in a while and when it’s necessary. Whenever they are wrong, I have to show them their wrongs. I have to make them understand their wrongs. I don’t just scold them for what they have done. I have to show them how wrong it is and they have to see the wrong in what they have done.

Funnily enough, those kids know what they do. I don’t know how it is but if you say it, people will look at you like a mad person. But I feel like they know what they do because before you react or even scream at them, they are already scared. They run away, start shaking and start apologising for their wrongs. That means they knew what they did was wrong but still did them as kids.

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