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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view omekongo's profile
    Posted July 2, 2013 by
    omekongo
    Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Don't call me Mr. Mom!

    More from omekongo

    Being a dad in a country that hates fathers

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     omekongo, father of 4- and 7-year-old daughters, says he and his wife have the same values but parent a little differently. 'Kendra will let them explore and pick up leaves and things (not taste them though), and I'll be the one right there with the hand sanitizer and wipes ... When they argue, Kendra is more likely to let the argument go to see how they work it out where I have been more likely to intervene earlier on in the arguments to make peace.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    My wife Kendra and I have 2 girls ages 7 & 4. We live alone with them in DC. In addition to my Kendra's 9-5 job, we are both entrepreneurs and I am a doctoral student. Our work has taken us together and separately across America and to almost 30 countries, sometimes with our kids. Kendra is also working on opening her own Bikram yoga studio so her schedule is jam packed.

     

    In order for us to not treat our kids as an after thought, I could in no way leave the child rearing to Kendra as if this was the 1950s. I had to step up as a new millennium dad. Furthermore, when we first got married, I was pursuing more entrepreneurial activities than Kendra but now it's her time to shine so I had to make changes in my schedule like she did for me in the beginning.

     

    Since Kendra works 9-5, I am the primary person dropping off and picking up the girls from school. Being with them after school means I am the main person helping with homework. I am also the primary parent who takes them to playdates, and their activities such as gymnastics, swimming, sewing, and fashion camp. One of the pictures here is with my oldest daughter on the runway after her fashion show (hiding part of her face behind her hair is part of her fashion style). I also taught them how to read.

     

    Around the house, I also have to do my part. I do the laundry the dishes, and some of the house cleaning. Kendra is a health fanatic so she really is the one responsible for the healthy eating habits our girls have developed and we are together on raising girls who will be confident in themslves. Kendra is also big about teaching them the importance of being entrepreneurial as well as independent. They learn so much just by being in her presence. They say they can't wait to work in her yoga studio!

     

    My most important role as a father is for my girls to see me loving their mother. In no way will they say that they learned that women are not worthy based on how they saw me treat my Kendra. Kendra and I are very mindful of showing them a healthy relationship, which isn't hard because we actually have a healthy relationship.

     

    It sickens me the way America looks at fathers. When I go on some playdates with my daughters and their girlfriends, it's often other dads bringing their kids. Most men I know are responsible fathers but people nowadays see Homer Simpson as America's dad before they think of an Obama or Bill Cosby. I have even learned that it's easier for women to get government benefits if they can prove that the father is not in the home so they push the dads away for consistent government assistance.

     

    Despite this fact, real fathers just focus on the future of our seeds and hope they will blossom into productive members of society. We cherish the time we get to spend with our children because nowadays many parents are not able to spend quality time with their children due to work demands. If society won't portray more fathers in a positive fashion who do make the time to be with their kids, I wish they would just leave us alone.

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