Today we will learn from Sheldon Barrocks, a father that talks about imperfect, but intentional fatherhood. Emphasis on intentional specially when besides working full time, kickstarting his own business and writing for his own The Amateur Dad blog he raises his family with four kids.
Coming from an early age Sheldon had the dream of raising a family and we can certainly tell that from the way he writes and speaks and from the amazing nuggets of wisdom we get from him in today’s episode. Having three kids at the time and from his dream to be a writer The Amateur Dad blog was created as a way of inspiring other men, specially black men, showing that they can also be great fathers and raise great families.
“It was intriguing for me to talk about being a young black father that loves being a dad and that loves spending time with his kids and talking about the challenges of having different kids.”
Sheldon shares a bit of his experience juggling all the responsibilities and worries that come from work and family together with having his own blog. We will learn how he manages to find the time and energy to not only keep everything together but also help other young people around him to get motivated and excited not only about their own lives but also about the fact that there are people around them that truly cares about them.
“I stayed up late and I just have a passion for writing and that is what I did. I stayed up late, sometimes 2 am, putting on a blog post for the next day. I enjoyed it so much that it was easy for me to stay up in the wee hours of the morning to get it done.”
“I think it is important for us father and even us that are just older, more mature, men to really take time and really show these younger people that we do care about them. We care about where they are going to be, we care about where they are at. It is not just a blood thing, it is a human thing, and I think that when they see more of that they are going to want to be that. I know when I was growing up, when I saw leaders at my church and of course my ultimate leader, my dad, I wanted to be that. I wanted to be a father like my father. I wanted to be like these leaders I saw growing up when I was going on mission trips and whatnot. So when you see leaders care about you it makes you want to be like them.”
If we can take one huge lesson from the Diversity Dad Podcast is that it is very important to spend time and quality time with our children. And today Sheldon will share some very nice tips and tricks to keep at it, from being spontaneous and intentional with a few unconventional little gifts (we are talking about food!) at unconventional situations to simply smiling when at home even though things might not be so happy in other areas of the family, personal and professional life.
“Do surprise them. I was coming late home and I ordered a pizza ahead of time and I paid for it online and I sent it to my family and they were so happy when I got home, that was the greatest for me to send food and not be home and they had pizza. Stuff like that makes a huge difference.”
“Always let your kids see you smile. Always be that joyful person within the household that brings joy, brings happiness despite what you are going through. It is not always easy but I think that for our kids’ sake it is good for them. They feel safety in that. When kids see their dads smiling, when kids see their dad willing to get on the floor and roll on the floor with them, to get silly with them, to listen to the things they are working on, it is a big deal for dads to disconnect from their interests, our responsibilities and just for a moment spend time with them. To let them know that you are there any time they need.”
We hope you finish this episode as inspired as we were, ready to catch all the opportunities to be intentional and surprising in all the little (and the big ones too) things related to the family life. Maybe not only your own family but also the other families around you.
“More than anything else, seeing my father raise me and my other three siblings, I wanted to be a father, a husband, and I couldn’t wait to do that. I got made fun of at school for it. When people asked me what I wanted to do and I were “Yeah, I want to write and stuff, but I want to be a father, I want to get married, have kids, grow a family.”
“It was always important to me to be a father, to be a strong black father role model for my own kids and also for other young men that want to have families and let them know that despite what they have been through and despite what they have seen, there are many black fathers like myself that are passionate about being a father.”
“Whenever you come across kids it is important to show them that love, that motivation. We were at a party and my niece was talking to me about things she wanted to do. She has a great father, she has an awesome father, my brother in law is an awesome father and she has an awesome mother but it takes a village and with me raising my own kids and looking at her I just encouraged her, I said “go for your goals, if you want to do this, you know, you want to be a doctor, go do it, you want to be a lawyer, go ahead and do it. Don’t let anyone stop you.””
“It’s all about just having young people in your life that look like you. And the joy of you knowing that as we get older we are going to have these kids get older and when we are on an old age we are going to have these people on our life that we can love that will love us back and that will be parents themselves.”
“My parents have four kids and they have 11 grand kids. They are so happy. They have their simple house and their simple lives but when they have this big family around them they can be happier. To me, I am excited about what the future holds.”
“I think the biggest thing is finding that unique time to really get them one on one and really hear their heart. I try my best to do, I am not the best at it but I try to take my daughter for breakfast and just talk to her. I try to take my son on walks Saturday morning and just hear his heart, it gives me a chance to kinda of impart some wisdom into him. My 4 years old, I have taken him for breakfast too one time and just let him know that in the midst of a big family I still love him and he is still special. He might get lost in the mix with so many people in the house.”
“That is what I think is the biggest challenge. Just finding authentic, unique time to really get deep with your kids. I think it is very important. Because I think it is better to talk and address some things now before it gets too late. Because you don’t want to turn around and find out when they have become 14, 15, 16 years old and they are getting their information from their friends or from other people and making decisions based on that. Instead of hearing your voice which they remember from when they were 8,9, 10 years old.”
“Our jobs as parents is to prepare our kids for the future and at some point we have to let them go and let them be, but for now at this age where my kids are, it is important that me and my wife take time and we really have those one on one’s.”
“I have to really get into their world. My son is doing all sorts of things, he is a nick nack kind of guy. He is learning how to put things together, how chemical reactions work, he is breaking down these big electronical parts and putting them back together, so I got to get into his world and he is telling me things “men I didn’t even know this” it is kind of crazy.”
AMATEUR DAD BLOG
TWITTER – Sheldon Barrocks@theamateurdad
“Let’s learn together. Let’s grow together. Let’s be dads together. Peace.”