Name: Jonathan Ballard City: Waldorf, MD | Instagram: @jonboy_dds
What does being a father mean to you?
Being a father is the most noble pursuit i have taken on yet in my life. To me it means setting the proper example, teaching my kids the necessary tools and tactics necessary to be fully functional members of society, but it’s also my desire to work toward setting them up to be financially, spiritually, mentally and physically prepared to take life head on.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
My father was the ultimate provider. He was a man of very few words but his actions spoke volumes. A great judge of character, an amazing husband and the best father. He made sure that all our families needs were met and he did that off the strength of his determination to provide for the family he created. His influence in my life has molded me into the man that i am. His grind, his determination, and his reliability are all traits that i have adopted and have helped me be the husband and father that i am.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
Patience, communication, fun, and community. These are the things that my childhood afforded me and that i strive to bring into my children’s lives.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
There are always obstacles. I am the step father of one and the biological father of 2, the aspects of a blended family always present challenges; whether it be the relationship between the step parent and step child or the journey to healthy co-parenting. In either case i think the focus should be on the healthy development of the child and open communication between parents and children.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
Be involved! A lot of times fathers get so wrapped up in working to provide that they don’t always take the time to join in and enjoy the simple pleasures of the family dynamic. My advice is to get involved. Bake the cookies, make the snowmen, watch the cartoons over and over, cuddle, wrestle, take the pictures, be IN the pictures. One day the memories will be all there is left, act accordingly.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Thank for everything Big Dog! Your example has taught me soooo much and the memories that we shared and things that we did have come full circle in my life as a father. I appreciate you so much, love you so much, and wish that you were still here to see and interact with your grandchildren.
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