Name: James Yancy Merchant, Jr. | City: Queens, NY | IG:@DaddyNewFace
What does being a father mean to you?
Being a father means taking care of your responsibility once you made the decision to bring a life into this world . Being a father means providing for someone who can’t not provide for themself. Being a father means being strong all the time because there is always someone watching you for inspiration. Being a father is the greatest feeling in the world.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
Growing up my biological father wasn’t around at all but I had my father there who provided for me and my family regardless of us being blood. He didn’t say much but always made sure we were good . My grandfather was always there to make sure I learned the life lessons I needed to be a man. He taught me about women and how to cook . My uncles were there to make sure I knew about brotherhood and kept me and my cousins close.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
I realize that kids watch your every move . I do and say things my father did growing up and didn’t even realize it until people pointed it out. I make sure I’m more vocal and present so the kids will know I support them no matter what . I also teach them things I was taught and wasn’t taught because I know how important that was to me.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
The number one obstacle I had in my fatherhood journey is dealing with seeing two of my 5 children half the time due as they were born to my first wife. I try my best to be there for them as much as I can but seeing them and having them half the time is definitely hard to deal with. I just try my best to make sure they know how much I love them and I would do anything they need.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
I would tell a new father to reach out to me. I have been through and seen a lot . I would also give them a copy of my new book, “Men get Pregnant, Too: Pregnancy from the Life of the Sperm” as a guide so they will know they aren’t alone and there are men out there who have experienced what they will be experiencing
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
My letter would be quick
Dear father, you missed out.
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