Name: Willie Fuller | City: Hollywood, FL | IG: @H.e.f.e
What does being a father mean to you?
Being a father to me means being a leader to your son/daughter. A provider emotionally. Someone that molds you into who you are today.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
I didn’t grow up living with my dad. He and my mom didn’t get along at all. They showed dis likeness towards each other all of my childhood and it was very toxic to see and experience. I promised myself I would never be like that towards my child’s mother if we were in a co-parenting state. It is not fair for the child to be put in a situation like that.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
No matter what, always be there for your child. Do what’s in best interest for the child. Have a close bond and relationship and figure out what makes the child happy. Don’t assume/make them do things that you want them to do (sports, activities) because they may not have an interest in doing it. Support them of their decisions and things that they may grow to like to do.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
When my daughters mom got pregnant while we were In graduate school, she was starting to fall behind on her school work trying to balance a new born, work, and school. I had a talk with her and told her I wanted her to stop working and just focus on graduating again. I wanted the responsibility of keeping the bills paid in the house. I was working full time overnight at a pharmaceutical plant as well as working part time during the day at a juvenile detention center. Sometimes when I would come home at 6am from work, I would get out crying daughter out of the crib just so her mom can rest and I would be in the living room putting our daughter to sleep/being up with her until she would go to sleep. That was the toughest period by far in my life.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
BE A MAN. No matter the circumstances, handle your business and make sure you are there for your kid(s) 100% physically, mentally and emotionally. The rest will fall into place.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Dear Father, I know we weren’t the closest as I was growing up. But, I want you to know I appreciate you nonetheless for being present throughout my life. As I transitioned from teen to young adult, you opened up and started talking to me about life and the do’s and don’t’s. Everybody has a different relationship with their father. Some good, some bad. I wouldn’t trade my experience with anyone for a better situation because ours has made me who i am today.
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