Fatherhood: Let’s hear from the Dads!
When it came down to writing something for Father’s day, I kept coming up short. As a woman and a mom, it has always been difficult for me to view things from my husband’s perspective. We are new to this parenthood journey and while I feel like our days are flying by and full of laundry, dirty diapers, and all the messiness that comes with a toddler. My husband, most likely, views his ‘job’ as a dad differently than my job as a mom. We have different roles, different responsibilities, so to speak. So instead of me trying to figure out what goes on in his head (haha!) I figured I would ask him, and a few other dads at Cornerstone, their perspective on Fatherhood, how it has changed over time and any advice that they have for other dads, experienced or new!
So without further ado, let’s hear from Robbie Proctor (father of a wild 1 year old boy), Jorge Vallejo (father of 4, 10 and under), Burke Allen (Father of 3, 16 and up), and Chris Estes (father of 3, 5 and under)
Initially when you found out you were going to be a dad, what was your first thought?
Robbie: Excitement and hope, I have thought about the moment I would find out several times before it actually happened. I thought I would be nervous or scared; however, the moment I realized I was going to be a dad, I was overcome with nothing but excitement and hope for the future. I was actually surprised at how calm my thoughts were after I found out rather than what I was imagining it in my head.
Jorge: Oh no! Kind of… I was just really excited, it felt unreal. We were in Colombia visiting my parents and Britt kept feeling sick and going to pee every second. I told her, ”you are pregnant, girl”. We arrived back in the USA and got a test and it was positive.
Burke: For our first, it was just awe and amazement with joy, and a whole lot of fear about what kind of parent am I going to actually be? but overwhelmingly joyful.
Chris: How much is this going to cost me? Just kidding. I was so excited. I had always wanted to be a dad so I couldn’t wait. My first thought was, I really hope it’s not a girl because I don’t want to have to watch her date boys in high school.
Have those initial thoughts proved to be correct or have they been proven wrong?
Robbie: The excitement and hopefulness have never left; however there have been moments that I became nervous or scared in particular situations. But that just comes with the territory. But overall, the day to day is still exciting.
Jorge: The “oh no!” Was definitely accurate jajaja. Parenting has been a beautiful journey. I love my kids and have grown so much because of their life’s presence in mine.
Burke: You would have to ask my 3 children about how well I ended up being a parent, but the joy in seeing them achieve their goals, being there for them when they don’t, and just seeing the parts of me and my wife in them is just an incredible feeling.
Chris: As far as having a girl, they have been proven so wrong. To the point where I wanted another girl. Having a daughter has been a completely different dynamic than with my sons, I feel like I can nurture her more and our relationship is special. But, we haven’t gotten to the dating stage yet, so my initial thoughts haven’t come to fruition yet.
What is the most rewarding part of being a dad so far?
Robbie: It is so rewarding to me to witness Jasper bringing joy and laughter to other people, and his mom and me. Also, while I know he is and will be his own person, just knowing that I have a part in shaping him, helping him grow as an individual and eventually becoming a young man, there is no reward that will ever be greater.
Jorge: Learning from them. I know the love and grace of Jesus Christ more today because of my son. I can see on a different level how much a father can love a son.
Burke: The first time your child smiles back at you, gives you a hug, has a “conversation with you”, it is hard to describe, but it brings such joy.
Chris: My favorite, most rewarding moments are watching my kids as they learn new things and develop and grow. Watching them become their own people.
How has your dad prepared you for this role in your life?
Robbie: My dad has always shown great patience even in times that we were being punished as kids. I believe I have picked up on that and it will be my most useful trait as Jasper grows up. The ability to remain level headed through trying situations, I think, will have a huge impact on how criticism and punishment is processed by him and received.
Jorge: I am grateful that I had a dad growing up. He never knew his dad, therefore learned to be a dad with us. Seeing his sacrifice has humble me to lead well, with care and commitment.
Burke: He was a great role model in so many areas, he helped me to be confident, independent, and taught me a lot about being responsible.
Chris: My dad has always made time to create special moments and make everything a fun memory and I love doing the same with my children now.
Has becoming a dad given you a different perspective on God and how he loves us? How so?
Robbie: The biggest comparison I can make between the relationship with my son and with God would be the understanding of unconditional Love. Honestly, it scares me to think about what would have to change in order for me to think any differently of Jasper or love him any less.
Jorge: YES! Just seeing things from the perspective of a father, it’s incredible and allows me to see His care and love for me in a new way. He loves me not because of what I do but because of who I am, His child.
Burke: Absolutely! You get to feel a little bit how God might feel about all his children, that unconditional love, that desire to see them grow, to be good people, and to love others. Being a dad is probably the closest thing I can think of to actually being able to possibly “feel” how much God must love us.
Chris: Absolutely, I feel like I have a better understanding of God’s generosity and patience with us based on how I feel towards my kids. I feel like a perfect example is with my daughter, when she was learning how to buckle herself up in her carseat, she was struggling. I wanted to help her but she didn’t want to accept it. I feel like we can be that way with God. He is eager but patient to always help us, if we would only ask and let me.
If there’s anything else you want to add, you can! Just anything about fatherhood, family life, etc!
Robbie: I cannot even begin to explain just how rewarding it is to be a dada and to hear those words come from your kid. No matter what kind of day you’ve had, what kind of temper tantrum they’ve thrown, or how long you have to stay up in the middle of the night with them, when you hear dada come from that little voice, all is good in the world.
Jorge: The way I define success is: My family KNOWS me and I KNOW them. Do not build your business/career at the cost of your family. Anybody can do the job you do at your work, but only you can be the father to your children and husband to your wife. And be ok with saying sorry a lot. All of life is repent and believe.
Burke: When you are looking for a wife, be sure to find someone that will also be a great mom! (okay, Burke. This one really made us laugh!)
Chris: Being a dad has been my favorite and most important role as a person. Knowing that you are the one influencing who they become, is a lot of pressure but is also my biggest mission on this side of heaven.
We are so thankful for each of these dads, their wisdom and for taking the time to share their perspective with us!