A Discussion With Doting Dads

To celebrate the fathers of the world, My Muslim Family has dedicated the rest of the month to them. We spoke to a few dads about their experiences through their journeys as fathers, with some very insightful responses as a result. Enjoy!

Fathers of the world, rejoice! Sunday was the one and only day (apart from your birthday) where you were entitled to be spoilt and to lap up all the praise and attention that comes with being a dad!

Father’s Day is a celebration that honours the role of fathers and forefathers. It is a modern holiday, though the ancient Romans did have a tradition of honouring fathers, every February, but only those who had deceased.

Around the world, Father’s Day is celebrated on different dates. The most popular date for Father’s Day is the third Sunday in June. This date was first observed in the USA and has since been adopted by many countries, including the UK.

To celebrate the fathers of the world, My Muslim Family has dedicated the rest of the month to them. We spoke to a few dads about their experiences through their journeys as fathers, with some very insightful responses as a result. Enjoy!

What’s been your most memorable experience since becoming a father?

The answers were a mixture of experiencing memorable first moments…

“The little one, for the first time, running into my arms happy to see me”
“My first moment holding my own child”
“Listening to my daughter laugh for the first time.”
“When my son received his first letter in the post (from the GP)”

…and others that were remembering and reflecting on their day-to-day experiences…

“Being proud of my child when they go through and overcome adversity”
“His laughter and smile”
“Sleeping besides my baby”

What’s been the hardest part of being a dad?

A lot of the answers focused on the struggle to balance the various commitments in their lives and on how it all feels like an all-encompassing role with sleep and time alone/with their significant other being the main things that have been sacrificed. Some even mentioned the difficulty in managing the needs of 2+ kids!

“Balancing the needs of two young children”
“The dependency and 24 hour commitment you need to be uphold”
“Lost sleep” – (Never a truer word was spoken…)

“Trying to juggle all of the commitments; being a father, being a husband, being an employee/employer, your own fitness, social circles, religious work”
“Not being to have alone time when you want it- for yourself or as a couple.”

Others focused on the difficulties when witnessing their child experiencing health issues or displaying signs of off-track behaviour…

“Feeling helpless when your child is ill.”
“Dealing with tantrums and leaving the house”

What’s been the best part of being a dad?

Reading these brought a huge smile to my face as I could relate to and picture all of these scenarios! A lot of love, hugs, smiles were included in the answers, which was very heart-warming!

“The love shown by your children to you”
“The hugs and messing around”
“Their smiles”
“Giggling, not laughing but giggling…”

Other answers went deeper and really connected with my sentiments…

“Having Mum and baby rely on me so much, gives me a sense of belonging.” 
“It adds an additional significant level to get closer to Allah (swt) that is truly, truly unique.” 

That sense of belonging and purpose provides the fuel to drive us as fathers on so that we can provide the best possible environment for the family to thrive in, so that we can all attain a closer relationship with Allah, our Creator insha’Allah.

What do you worry about the most for your kid(s), as a father?

What was intriguing about the responses, and was ultimately one of the main reasons why My Muslim Family was born (excuse the pun), was the concerns surrounding societal pressures and raising our children in an environment that increasingly challenges our beliefs and faith at its very core. Hopefully our project will help ease some of these worries and provide some useful information to equip Muslim parents to deal with the challenges!

“Growing up in this society and the societal pressures in the future”
“Falling into the trap of losing Islamic values for the sake of worldly gain”
“Bringing him up in the best manner with good manners and morals”

Other answers were centred around the relationship with their children and worrying about preparing them and raising them in the right way.

“Being able to be self-sufficient, wondering what they would do if I wasn’t around.”

“Answering my daughter’s questions when she grows up.”
“That I am not good enough for my daughter”

In response to that last answer, the fact that you’re worried about not being good enough already shows that you care a lot about your child, which is more than good enough! Keep on striving hard, you’re doing brilliantly!

One thing you wish you knew before entering the world of fatherhood?

The common theme in the answers was how disruptive this new chapter is to our lives and how a lot of factors are out of our hands. Accepting that we have to make a lot of sacrifices so that our families can benefit, makes it all worth it insha’Allah!

“The amount of sacrifice you and your partner have to make in raising your children well”
“The cost” (Amen brother!)
“The worry- I already have grey hairs coming out!”
“Prepare for your routine to be turned upside down, and to completely de-prioritise your basic needs for a good period of time before you start to build them up. Your needs are secondary to your family, and soon you’ll realise that your needs are your family’s needs being met.”

There was an also an appreciation of how tough it is for our significant others, and of how import it is to support the mothers. (yes, that rhymed.)

“What it is like for the mother and how to better support her”
“How difficult breastfeeding is for Mum (and baby?!)”

This answer capped it of beautifully:

“Things will go exactly as they are planned.. it just will not be your plan.”

Subhanallah!

What one piece of advice would you give to dads-to-be?

These responses were so inspirational that I had to include all of them! I learnt a lot from reading them so I hope you all do too!

“Don’t be afraid of instilling religion into your child from a young age.”
“There’s only so much you as a father can do so help out wherever you can!”
“Don’t worry too much, it’s hard as so many things are, but enjoy and spend time with your kids- they remember it.”
“Ensure you and your wife can communicate on absolutely anything. Both active & empathetic listeners, and clear & concise speakers, with full unrelenting trust.”

“It may seem overwhelming at first but it’s one of the single most rewarding things in your life.”
“Have healthy conversation with your wife and role play different scenarios.”
“Surrender. Your child will teach you more that you will ever be able to teach them. Make sure you are open to learn the lessons.”

Subhanallah! It truly is incredible how much we can all learn from each other and benefit from our different perspectives!

To all the fathers out their, keep striving! You’re all doing an excellent job. May Allah give you more opportunities to guide your child towards seeking closeness to their Creator!

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