#FathersDay: Celebrity Dads Share The Most Rewarding Thing About Fatherhood

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Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing Dads in the world!

Fatherhood is a life-changing experience that can impact a person’s outlook on life and work. We spoke with some amazing fathers, from celebrities to dad-preneurs, to learn how becoming a father changed their outlook on life and how they balance their fatherly duties with work.

Check out their heartfelt responses and experience the beautiful journey of fatherhood through their eyes.

Daniel Etim Effiong

How did becoming a father change your perspective on life and work?

Becoming a father is a box of mixed feelings. It filled me with immense pride and at the same time humbled me. I felt an intense sense of responsibility for a whole human being…a living, moving, breathing human! I had to show up every day, whether I felt like it or not. As soon as my child I born…it was an immediate induction to adulthood AKA sacrificial living!

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father for you?

Witnessing the best version of myself emerge in love. I don’t know if this happens to everyone but whenever I look into the eyes of my children, whenever I hear “Daddy” ring out of their cute lips, I immediately want to project the best version of myself.

How do you navigate being a dad, working, and making out time for yourself to unwind?

I take it a day at a time. I have learned that to be present in the lives of my children I have to be healthy mentally and physically. So I take a timeout to tend to my mental and physical health. My secret is to ensure there is a structure in place, work-life balance will only be successful with the proper structures in place. I also have a great support system in place. I get loads of support from my wife, friends and staff. There is no shame in admitting that you’re exhausted and need a break. Admitting you’re human is the first step in being a super-dad.

Deyemi Okanlawon

How did becoming a father change your perspective on life and work?

One of the first things that happened was that, upon the birth of our first son, my brain went straight into overdrive. The idea that there was now this new person in my life I had to take care of really forced me to rethink a lot of the plans I had made for my life and career. I immediately went into that default provider/protector mode, stretched out my goals, and became super focused.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father for you?

To be honest, just coming home after the hustle of a hard day’s work and getting jumped on and squeezed tight with love-filled hugs makes every day as a father worth living. My prayer is to leave the world with men better than I am, and so I’m preparing my sons to interact with the world with love, integrity, respect, and restraint, and I’m happy watching them blossom into pleasant young gentlemen.

How do you navigate being a dad, working, and making out time for yourself to unwind?

I don’t know that I could even survive being a father without my wife! Considering how physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing my job is, I’m lucky to have someone who forces me to relax and refocus when I get into my tunnel vision phases and who helps remind me daily of what’s most important: family.

Timilehin Bello

How did becoming a father change your perspective on life and work?

Becoming a father has had a profound impact on my perspective on life and work. The moment I held my daughter for the first time, I realised that I now had someone who depended on me not just for their immediate needs but also for their future.

This shift in perspective has made me more intentional in how I live my life. I have become more focused on long-term planning and ensuring that my actions align with the well-being and happiness of my family.

In terms of work, becoming a father has led me to reevaluate my priorities. While my career is still important to me, I now place a greater emphasis on achieving a work-life balance that allows me to spend quality time with my family. I became more proactive in taking regular breaks, utilising my paid time off, and creating boundaries between work and family life.

Financially, the responsibility of raising a child has made me more conscious of my earning potential and motivated me to increase my income and provide a stable foundation for my family. I have also taken steps alongside my spouse to plan for their education by setting up a college account and savings account, ensuring that we are prepared for the financial aspects of their future.

Overall, becoming a father has given me a deeper understanding of the importance of family, love, and support. It has taught me to be more selfless, patient, and resilient.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father for you?

The most rewarding thing about being a father to me is witnessing the growth and development of my daughter, Ruby. I cherish those precious moments, like when she spontaneously says “Bless you” after I sneeze or when she uses the “more” sign and rubs her belly to say “please” when she wants more food. These adorable moments are incredibly special, and I treasure them wholeheartedly. Seeing Ruby learn new things, achieve milestones, and embrace her unique personality fills me with immense joy and pride. The bond we share is indescribable, and the love and connection we have are truly one-of-a-kind. These experiences are profoundly rewarding!

How do you navigate being a dad, working, and making out time for yourself to unwind?

I’m not perfect at this yet, but I’m continuously improving the juggling act of being a dad, working, and making time for myself. I have made significant strides in prioritising family time, establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life, and dedicating specific hours or days to be fully present with my spouse and daughter. Moreover, I strive to maximise my productivity during work hours and take advantage of flexible work arrangements, such as remote work, to effectively balance my professional commitments and family life. Additionally, I recognise the importance of self-care and regularly engage in activities like visiting the spa, watching soccer games, and spending quality time with friends.

Noble Igwe

How did becoming a father change your perspective on life and work?

I’m going to start with a little story: before the kids, I could get on a plane and travel to any destination without anxiety, but now, I see myself thinking about the kids first before getting on a plane or being part of any adventure. They have made me more responsible, both in thought and action. I always tell people that I have two kids at home, and they form my spending habits.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father for you?

The love from your kids has no language; it’s glaring. They put their legs over me, ask me to sleep over in their bed, and generally tell me that I am an awesome dad. Kids love unconditionally, and they don’t even care if you are poor and funky; they just give love back, but of course, you need to show them that you love them.

How do you navigate being a dad, working, and making out time for yourself to unwind?

I love a good TV show or movie, and I make time to see an episode every night. I also recently opened a store at the beach called CVL.TURE. I take time off to stroll along the beach.

Banky W

How did becoming a father change your perspective on life and work?

The first thing is that becoming a father raised the stakes in my heart. Success became much more than a desire; it became a duty. Now there’s a whole little human being whose life depends on my decision-making. This little guy means the world to me and his mama. It’s my job to take care of him. To provide for him. To ensure he has everything he needs. And the same goes for my wife. Which means I have to be successful. It’s much deeper than just ambition. Now it’s a responsibility. If it were just me, it’s not that big of a deal, you know? Regardless of what happened, I know I’ll just pick up the pieces and keep moving. But now that I have a wife and a child, I can’t afford to fail (and I will not, in Jesus’ name). Taking care of them is my number one priority. It means that I put myself under a lot more pressure to ensure that I’m properly providing for today and planning for tomorrow.

The other thing it did was just open my heart up. I didn’t realise I had this much love to give. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to make sure my son is okay. There is nothing I wouldn’t give to take care of him—even if it meant my life, God forbid. The moment that he was born, when he was still too young to really engage with or even recognise me fully, it was clear to me that I would do anything to take care of this boy, even though he doesn’t even know who I am. It wouldn’t even be a question in my mind if I had to give up my life for my boy. It helped me understand and appreciate the love of God a bit more, too. All your life you hear “Jesus died for us” and you appreciate it… But when you have a child and you realise that you would die for that child if you need to, now you understand it a bit more deeply.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father to you?

The most rewarding thing about being a father is love. It’s unexplainable, incredible, and beautiful love. I pray that every man who truly desires it gets to experience it. It’s the best feeling in the world. It’s the way my child expresses his love for me that makes it the best job in the world. It’s the way he looks at me. It’s the way he calls me “Papa”. It’s the way he always wants to do things with me, whether it’s watching his favourite TV show, playing ball, or reading his favourite storybook. It’s the way he wants me to carry him, and he doesn’t want anyone else to take him from me once I do. It’s how he’s glued to me once I come into the room and prefers to remain with me until I have to leave. The craziest thing is that, as parents, we want to provide the world for our children, right? I work hard to make sure I’m giving my wife and son the best life that I can afford. I’ve also realised that regardless of what I can or cannot afford, the best present I can give my child is my presence. I get to be a whole superhero just by showing up for him. I take that very seriously. Whether that meant being there every morning he woke up as an infant to sing songs and change his diapers, or taking him to school almost every morning now that he’s a toddler so we can have conversations and connect on the way. It’s important to me to just try and be there for him and be present with him, regardless of what else I have going on. And it’s simply by trying my best to just be there whenever I can that we’ve built this special bond, and I’ve experienced the greatest love in the process.

How do you navigate being a dad, working and making out time for yourself to unwind?

I honestly don’t do the best job of juggling everything I have going on and navigating through it all. I think trying to have a bit of structure around my time helps. For instance, I’m trying to ensure that I have a “sabbath” day—a day of rest—once a week when I’m unavailable for any kind of business or work whatsoever. That becomes hard to do because I work a lot with my various business interests and serve in the church and the community on the weekends, but I try to set it up so that there’s at least that one day that I can be at home with God, my wife, and my son. I’ve found that I have to prioritise them and set aside that time in the schedule intentionally; otherwise, I could very easily get wrapped up in the chase for success because I want to provide for them and never really be present with them. I also try to work in a bit of vacation time every year, where I take time off from everything just to rest, recharge, and relaunch myself back into the grind. I’ve learned the hard way that when I don’t occasionally take breaks, I eventually get to the point where I will break down. And I’m just no good in that state, so I try to plan for my rest. I also try to ensure I do some of the things I enjoy, whether that’s something as simple as playing FIFA, cooking, going out to eat, reading, travelling, or anything else that I truly enjoy. That way, it doesn’t feel like I’m always in service to others 24/7/365. My wife and I love to travel, so we make sure at least once a year we do a couple’s vacation, aside from the full family time, just to have fun between the two of us. I’ve found that planning for rest helps make sure I can put the best of myself into all the work that I do.

Ibrahim Suleman

How did becoming a father change your perspective on life and work?

Becoming a father changed my perspective on life and work in the sense that it just gave me tunnel vision. It made me a lot more focused and a lot less adventurous.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father to you?

The most rewarding thing about being a father for me, is the way his face lights up when I come home or when he comes home and I am at home. Or when he makes things for me, especially in school. Those are the joys that he has because I am here, and it means a lot to me.

How do you navigate being a dad, working and making out time for yourself to unwind?

One of the things that I am learning is to remember that I am also a person and I’m someone’s son too, and I need to take care of myself as well. And it is super easy to be so laser-focused that everything is geared towards taking care of your child. I am learning that if I am not healthy, happy, or at my best, it is more difficult to keep him at his best. It is more difficult for me to play the role that I am supposed to play in his life. I try to find time to unwind, to just paint or watch something—you know, little ways without having to go somewhere. I unwind indoors, so I can be present, even though I am just chilling.



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