Name: Christopher Barnes-Baxter | City: Glendora, CA | IG: @bbaxter586
What does being a father mean to you?
To me, being a father means being a protector, a teacher, a provider, a comforter, and a guide in this crazy thing we call life. It’s my job to instill honor, grace, elegance, and intelligence in their beautiful little heads.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
I didn’t meet my biological father until I was about nine years old. My relationship with him during most of my teen and adult life has been getting to know him as a man/individual and learning how he fathers his other children. It’s funny because if you were to ask me this question before I had children, I’d tell you that he helped me figure out what I DIDN’T want to be as a father. But as I’ve grown and really started to establish a relationship with him, I can definitely say he has taught me somethings about fatherhood, faith, and responsibility that I definitely want to echo and impart on my girls.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
I’ve always had father figures in my life but none of those father figures really embodied the full style of fathering I’ve always wanted or strived to be like. I’ve constantly had examples of what I didn’t want be like as a husband and father to my children. It wasn’t until I met my wife’s parents that I truly met my “ideal” father figure. Her dad has always welcomed me with open arms and has modeled what being a loving, kind, thoughtful, and dependable father is like. Fathering children is hard and no joke, but a true father is there for their family no matter what. In the good times and in the bad, they are going be there to help guide you away from the wrong path, or be your biggest cheerleader/support system when you accomplish your goals.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
The advice I’d give to new fathers is to try to be as consistent and as present as you can be. These little people need as much love and care as possible from both parents. Their mothers can only do so much and it’s not fair for us as men to put the the majority of the burden (and joy) of raising children on the woman. We are just as responsible for our children as their mothers.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Although I didn’t get to experience the joy of having you present and active in my life from the start, I’m grateful and blessed to have you now. I’ve been able to see and experience your love through the bond and relationship you’ve established with my babies. I couldn’t be more thankful and appreciative of how you’ve showered them (and us) in your love. I thank God for giving me such an amazing, caring, and God loving father.
I love you dad.
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