Daughters love their dads, just like sons fall in love with their mothers. Men love it when they take their daughters for long walks and to repair their cars.
But things change when the man becomes a single father, with a daughter blossoming into a woman.
Fathers don’t make the best girl talk buddies with their daughters. Without a woman around, a father is at sea, trying to surmount one parenting challenge after another.
One wrong move and the daughter could be scarred forever and the lovely girl gets lost.
Striking a balance can be tricky, especially for celebrity single fathers like actors Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx and musician Bow Wow.
Closer home, we have hairstylist, Eric One Wash, who is a father of a three-year-old daughter – Delish. His relationship with the mother did not work. But he has ensured Delish does not lack for anything.
“I knew I had to be part on my daughter’s life. Not just providing for her, but being actively involved in her life as she grows. I have been doing this even before she was born, by taking care of her mother during pregnancy, until now,” Eric told The Nairobian.
He says that he ensures his daughter “never misses basic needs that I can provide. Though my salon business is demanding, I spend all my off days with my her. We play most of the time and she is now learning how to pronounce words and so we do that together. I also ensure that we don’t miss clinic appointments.”
“Being a parent at a young age can be very challenging. I have to deal with work and at the same time, handle social pressure from my peers. This can affect your parenting,” he explains.
Eric adds that: “Co-parenting can be hard because sometimes we don’t read from the same book with my baby’s mother,” he acknowledges.
He says that he teaches his daughter to be responsible, respectful, bold, honest, visionary and creative in life. “I want her to have the best thing in life and be better than me,” says Eric, whose greatest fear is the daughter succumbing to negative peer pressure and social influences.
Eric is not alone.
Titus Wairati recalls that: “I met the love of my life, the late Nancy Njeri, in 1998. In 2001, we got married and God blessed us with a son and a daughter. She fell sick for more than five years and I had to step up when everyone thought I couldn’t.”
His wife died after six years from the illness. Their son was six and the daughter was four years old. He had to step up and start doing chores like washing his children’s clothes before leaving for work.
Neighbours were impressed and some offered to look after his children when he is away at work.
“But I made a decision to fully take care of my children because I was their father, their only parent. It was my responsibility,” says Titus whose children who are now both in high school.
They have turned out well and “every Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, they would send me messages of encouragement and gifts,” says the father.
He confesses that he thought of remarrying but wondered what if, “after one or two years, I find them at their mother’s grave crying and wondering why their mum had to leave them. I decided to sacrifice all my needs for them.”
Titus says the teachers, friends the Christian community he belongs to have been very supportive, especially when it comes to providing the girl talk Immaculate needed so much.
Music producer Tedd Josiah, through his YouTube channel, ‘Raising Jays’ talks about his journey raising his daughter Jamila Wendo after his wife died last year. That was just three months after giving birth.
“It’s been one of the most challenging journeys of my life, but I don’t like to complain about it. I am sure it’s also a challenge for my daughter because the first three months she was bonding with her mother, who showered her with maternal love bonded with her when breastfeeding. Then suddenly she wasn’t there,” says Josiah. He adds that their nanny is a ‘day scholar’ who also reports for work most weekends.
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