Destination Paternity

Before we get started, In the last part of the trimester I am starting a New-Dad group in Providence, Rhode Island.  I don’t know who is going to come but, I would love to hear from dads etc on this.  If you are interested or know someone who may be interested, connect here! 

So, Court and I are pregnant! Yay! I'm going to be a Father! 

So, me being me, I can guarantee four things. I will be Faithful, Consistent, Intentional, and Passionate.  Period.  That's just me.  That being said…I HATE the world for new dads out here. I was joking with Courtney on Black Friday that there should be a “Destination Paternity” store.

Why is that Justin? 

Newsflash. It takes 2 to Tango. So, while I’m not carrying the child…I’m invested in the process of pregnancy.  

Let me explain. 
I am overjoyed with the ability to be a father. It's something that I have looked forward to for years.  Who doesn’t want to have someone with you daily that looks like you, that you can pour into, that you can love every single day?  Not to mention I get a chance to be with my Best Friend (The wifey) every day with my child.  (By no means am I taking anything away from black women or single mothers.)

I know I know I’m a man, and judging by the #IssaHive and #LawrenceHive from last week, it is totally not cool to be a black man in black culture anymore. Don’t even think of being a black man who loves his wife.  

What has been so hurtful and insulting is how each and every time I share that excitement it's met with the following:
“You are going to hate dirty diapers”
“You are not going to want to get up early”
“Wait until they start talking” 

What I hear is, “You are going to leave eventually anyway because you are just another black father.” And I understand. Statistics speak boldly, and I’ve personally experience it. I get it.  But, there seems to be a coalition of people and culture that says it is not ok to enjoy fatherhood.  Not just from women, but other men as well.  We do not celebrate Black fatherhood until: 
1 - They leave and we are frustrated
2 - Father’s Day (Which has become Single Mamas Day)
3 - Birthdays (If anyone remembers) 

What this is, is taking an opportunity to share my part in Pregnancy. Prayerfully open an opportunity for men to talk about their part in Pregnancy.  Talk about the things that I’ve seen, what I’ve heard, and in the end how to build community with other New Dads who are as excited as I am to be a father, be present in their lives, love their wives, and be so unbelievably counter-cultural.  Not just that, to raise awareness of the Dads who are doing the Dad thing! (Like so many men I know!) 

So, about Destination Paternity! Courtney asked me, “Babe (she calls me babe :) ) What would they sell? Here are a few things I would love to see

-In the Winter Section - A nice Process-coat - 
Other New Dads to Talk through Pregnancy with

One of the things that I realize for my wife is…she is going through SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much.  From Doctors appointments, morning sickness, fatigue, and so much more. She is dealing with a lot.  What I personally wish is at doctors offices and at maternity stores is to have a pamphlet or connection to other men who are in the process of pregnancy as well.  So, 

For some man who has a pregnant wife, here are some things I have learned in the process. 
a - A Morning sickness box - I made a few boxes full of saltines and ginger-ale so that if she ever felt sick she had something to eat on.  (needs - 3 cans of ginger ale, saltines in a Ziploc bag, paper towels for the nasty stuff)
b - Set “wife-eating” timers - Pregnancy brain is a real thing.  Set timers on your watch or phone to text and remind her to eat.  She needs to keep eating no matter what! 
c - Talk about everything, even if it doesn’t make sense - This was the hard part.  But…its all apart of the process.  


-In the Undergarments Section - Full coverage Boxer-briefs
Real Honest Emotional Support

Please hear me out before judgment falls. 
Men have emotions. I know, it is a ridiculous statement, but it's true.  Pregnancy yields so much. Preparing my mind for the Multi-million dollar investment called a child is mind boggling.  There are so many other factors that play into moving from person to parent.  There are counseling options, but that defeats the purpose when it comes to cost.  It would be a wonderful opportunity to have people male or female available for an open and honest conversation on the harsh realities of parenting.  Success favors the prepared.  

For some man who has a pregnant wife, here are some things I have learned in the process. 
Do your Research like the book, Dude you’re gonna be a Dad. And read blogs, factual and opinionated blogs. (Spoiler Alert - if you’re black…there's nothing out there. Court and I are trying to create the space) 

-Specialty Items - You Aren’t A Cheater Chapstick
You’re not cheating here's stuff you can do

When we first announced that we were pregnant, I remember one of the responses I was messaged. “Congratulations man, now go get a side chick. You’ll need it.”  
Every man cheats, like everybody poops I guess.  
We Don’t. Not every man. Please don’t say that again. 

For some man who has a pregnant wife, here are some things I have learned in the process. 
When things get difficult, stick there. Your wife needs you. Your Baby needs you. There's nothing another woman will ever do for you that will enhance your relationship.  If you get to a place where you feel like they will…Contact me here. Let's talk. 
 
Overall
The hardest thing I’ve had to deal with is being told, I’m stupid and nieve for being excited.  It not only is insulting, it demeaning.  In the wonderful seasons of life, rejoice and please help! In a world that seeks to kill those around us, what would happen if we built people up? How would it look for expecting dads to work together instead of staying silent? If women would stop reacting with shock when I ask questions about what I can do, but shared something they wish they had in this season.  

Seasons yield opportunities of growth and engagement.  This season is no different for my wife and I.  Go shopping with me, men! 

In the last part of the trimester, I am starting a New-Dad group in Providence, Rhode Island.  I don’t know who is going to come but, I would love to hear from dads etc on this. Connect Here and let me know you're interested.