My name is Kelly and I became a father at the age of 34 several months after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in 2020. My journey to becoming a father is fraught with so many emotions, feelings, and thoughts.
My wife and I experienced two losses prior to the arrival of my son, and a traumatic third loss sometime within the past year. All things considered, not a single thing compares to the joy of fathering a child or the agony of losing one (or several).
Not having had my father as an active part in the formative years of my life left me to figure out how to fill in the blank spaces alone. I never envied other kids whose father was in their lives because I didn’t know the significance of it—in some regards, I still don’t fully know it experientially.
I figured at an early age that whatever I felt I was lacking from my father not being present, I’d be sure to be that once I became a father—whatever “that” was.
And though I had no idea how much of a challenge that would have been, I am forever thankful for the positive father figures I’ve met along the way to help me sort out the kind of father I strive to be now that I am in that position.
Since becoming a father, I am in a state of perpetual reflection on my experience in a way that helps me be even more present with my son. I not only love watching him grow into his own persona, but his arrival has unlocked potential I had hidden in me that I never knew I had.
I love the freedom of unapologetically loving another who is both himself and a piece of me at the same time. Fatherhood has gifted me more than a child & title. It’s added unending depth and meaning to my life.
My name is Andrew, I’m the Operations manager at BCOMS which is an organisation which has been set up to increase the level of diversity in the Sports Media industry. Prior to that I worked in Sports and Education for Chelsea, Charlton, Brighton and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation.
Fatherhood has been rough from the get go. My twins who are 7 now were born 3 months premature and spent 3 months in the NICU unit at Lewisham hospital. Very scary time for both myself and my wife as they were our first children. We had to adapt very quickly to cope with going in every day and seeing them on tubes. I also had to change jobs from working in the city to a part time role to be there to support my wife Kelly.
They are fine now but it definitely made you understand why people say I’m good with whatever as long as they come out fit and healthy.
I think in terms of challenges it’s hard to balance what my younger daughter wants with what the 2 twin boys want. They are all so different, which is amazing but so hard. Rio is shy and kind, Paris is intelligent and bossy and my youngest Boston is a ball of energy. Honestly trying to get them to agree on anything is painful!
The reason they are named Paris and Rio is because we booked our honeymoon to go to the Rio World Cup in 2014. Then Kelly fell pregnant so we ended up getting married early and going to Paris before they were born. Then it didn’t feel right to name Boston something like Bob or Fred 😂
I love being able to support my children and see them develop. When they get a football skill or smash a game on the playstation it’s amazing. For me my life is now all about them having everything they need to be successful.
I love tucking them into bed, checking on them again before I go to bed. Singing silly songs from Encanto at breakfast 😂.
Blink and all this fun time will be gone, so I try to enjoy it with my rapidly turning grey hair 👴🏾
“My fatherhood experience has been a real rollercoaster, I struggled to bond with both children in the first year of their lives (which I’m told is very common for dads) and experiences depression after Reggie was born.
These difficult times meant I had to work even harder on creating that bond between myself and my children.
A few years on our bond is super strong, the challenges we’ve faced as a family has brought us closer together.
I truly believe my struggles with depression have mate be a better, kinder and more compassionate person and dad.
I wouldn’t change a thing about my fatherhood journey as it’s made the fun loving dad I am today.”
“I’m Gareth, I’m a 42 year old dad of 3 who loves sport, music and spending as much time as I can with my family. I’m a Risk Manager for a leading funeral provider and enjoy continuing to learn.
I absolutely love watching my kids grow up and grow into their personalities. Seeing them do well at school and in their extra-curricular activities makes me so proud and shows that the struggles of being a parent are more than worth it to see them smile.
Another interesting fact about me is that I am severely sight impaired (or legally blind).
One of the biggest challenges I face as a dad is being honest about my emotional ups and downs of dealing with my condition. Also, trying to come to terms with the fact I could potentially pass my condition on to my children.
With the help of my kids (who are amazing guides), I still get to do a lot of the things I did before.”