Name: Mike Pilgrim | City: Cincinnati, Ohio| IG: @mrmikepilgrim
What does being a father mean to you?
Being a father is the greatest gift and responsibility bestowed on me. It’s a remarkable challenge of really growing and maturing through the act of unconditional and unwavering love for your children. Striving to be the best protector and provider possible.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
My father embodies all that I could ever strive to be as a father. He was strict yet loving and caring and still to this day always teaching. Strong Spiritual leader who was active from day 1 with everything I was involved in, he’s my own personal life guide in all aspects of my life.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
I think the one thing that I experienced more than anything growing up with my father as well as my mother was unconditional support. There was nothing me and my siblings did in life that we weren’t supported in. I learned very early how important support is to kids , just knowing that your father was always there for you gave us a sense of security and comfort within ourselves that I strive today to give my son and my daughter from birth to our forevers.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
I don’t think there has ever been a time where I haven’t had some sort of obstacle in my fatherhood journey. But I can say the one that stands out to me the most is forcing myself to be ok with becoming a distant father, meaning a Summertime dad. At one point me and my children’s mother had separated for good when my son was 2 years of age. A year after we separated she had decided to move with my son clear across the country to California where it made it difficult for me to see my son on a daily/ weekly basis. Since birth I was always there for my son to see anytime all the time, and in a instance he was gone. That was a very difficult time for me, losing that daily connection with my son, it definitely took a piece of me and created a little distance in me and my sons relationship as we basically Skyped and were reduced to phone calls and 3 month summertime visits. I never knew a life ever without my father being there for me on a daily basis. So to have to live that new reality with my own never ever was right for me. But thank God I left it all in his hands and surrendered to his will and just supported him through it all and kept a open line of positive communication with his mom to fast forward 4 years later and he was back in Ohio and kicking it with dad daily/weekly all over again, and we have been glued to each other ever since.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
To new fathers I would say don’t ever take your role in your child’s like for granted ever. It’s never a day you don’t learn something new about your child, so be attentive and pay attention to your child always. Allow yourself to grow with your child and strive to always be the best version of yourself for your child to have the best example possible for when they grow up which will allow them and give them permission to be the best version of themselves always. “Your child is your Legacy” and your legacy should always be pushed forward past where you left off and be greater than what you left it.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Dear Father, You have been the greatest earthly father that my Heavenly Father could ever bless me and my siblings with. You raised your kids to push forward you and our mother’s legacy and to manifest greater things in us so we can manifest even greater things in our families next generation. Dad I thank you for being a great teacher, provider, protector, spiritual advisor, friend , Godly counselor, and a caring and unconditionally loving father.