Hey Mommas and Daddies,
I am bringing you a real treat! I have interviewed Devon Hackle on the challenges and rewards of young fatherhood and how we can combat single parent issues within our community. I am excited to be able to bring this because a male’s perspective on these types of subjects is so refreshing!
Just a little bit about Devon
Devon Hackle, who is native of Missouri City, Texas, is a dedicated father and knows firsthand what it takes to go above and beyond in the name of fatherhood. Devon attended school at University of Texas San Antonio and has begun his career in real estate (Saratoga Homes) as a sales counselor here in Houston. After building his experience and consumer base, Devon went on to become an independent realtor. Devon is very aware of the many issues that face the Black community and has some suggestions on how we as a people can overcome these obstacles.
*This interview was conducted on January 26, 2017 at 6:30pm*
So this interview came about because of a comment on one of my posts regarding the different types of baby daddies titled “Absent, Court Ordered and Social Media Baby Daddies”.
Needless to say I agree with the comment and was interested in hearing more of a male’s perspective on the topic of fatherhood in the Black community. So let’s jump right in shall we?
SM: My first question to you is why do you think there is such a huge percentage of fathers who choose not to whole heartedly provide for their children?
Devon: I’m no expert at this I would say that some fathers aren’t particularly ready at that point of finding out they are going to be a father. Not saying the child is an accident but they may not be mentally and emotionally prepared. When Kyndall was born I was 25 and I hadn’t started my career so I wasn’t financially or mentally ready to be a father. I didn’t know what to expect or what was it to come. I took the necessary steps to get a career in real estate to better provide for my family so that I could be the best father for my child.
SM: Sounds good. Seems like you took the initiative to get prepared and that’s rare especially in our generation. In your opinion, what do you think being a great father entails?
Devon: I don’t think there is an exceptional father. A father is still a human and humans aren’t perfect. Most men mess up and mess up pretty badly. I guess that’s the provisions and the form of emotional support. Letting the child express themselves, teaching the child the do’s and don’t’s of life. Being there in the elementary stages is most important.
SM: I agree. I also think being an exceptional father mean you are a listener and you give the child a chance to make mistakes. Not always looking at disciplining the child but teaching the child you know what I mean?
Devon: Well you know it also depends on if the child is a boy or a girl too. That requires the father to respond to things a little differently.
SM: I agree with that as well.
Devon: Like knowing the child and what they may or may not do is so important. I think communicating is the biggest thing that makes an exceptional father.
SM: Most definitely communication is EVERYTHING! (laughs) What’s the most enjoyable thing about fatherhood for you?
Devon: The most enjoyable thing about fatherhood for me is knowing that they’ll turn 18 and eventually be out my house! (laugh) Just kidding! I think seeing them grow up is pretty cool. Each year they learn something new about themselves. Features, thought process change day to day. They are children with a large imagination and you watch them get older knowing that the imagination aspect is becoming nonexistent with each passing year.
SM: That’s interesting you mentioned imagination. Sometimes as adults we forget that word exists we neglect our own imagination. Alright moving on, do you think it is possible to provide a family style environment for children whose parents aren’t a couple romantically?
Devon: Yes it’s possible. It just depends on the two parties. If you are not with each other but you put up with each other for the sake of the child that’s not cool. If the two parties are trying to see if they can get back in the mix with each other than that’s kind of tricky. You don’t want to confuse the child or children. If the two parties aren’t together and one party gets a significant other that can cause some issues too because one party isn’t going to be ok with that.
SM: That’s so true because ideally an active father doesn’t really want to feel like someone else is being their child’s father. Men are territorial creatures so I get that! What do you think is the major factor that keep parents from positive and effective co-parenting?
Devon: Miscommunication. Communication is key no matter whether it’s co-parenting or family setting. I get In trouble a lot for my tone of voice. To me when I say it this is what I mean. Being in a house with all females my tone needs to be ok I guess.(laughs) I think not communicating at all plays a factor. Resentment I think from the man standpoint. What time frame in his life when he had the child? He wasn’t ready to put away what he doing in life. Financially being able to take on the toll of taking care of the child mother and myself.
SM: Im glad you mentioned resentment. I think a lot of women and some men too, feel resentment because they want to be in a relationship with the other parent however the other parent does not want to be with them. I also know for myself I had a sense of resentment toward the father of my child because I felt as though I wasn’t getting the help I needed. I had just had the baby and could barely walk yet I had to get up to change diapers, breastfeed, bathe and keep the child comfortable while dad gets to go on like nothing happened! It was stressful emotionally and physically so yea I’ll admit I had some resentment going on there.
Devon: Yall may feel resentment in that aspect but I can give you some personal experiences where I know people who have children and they have a maternity leave for the mother. During those first two months to the man life is till going on and the man is thinking I must provide for my family. I don’t think any man just wants to work to work.Women may feel resentment in a sense that they are alone all day with a child and men may feel resentment as well since they have to go to work and use much of their earnings to maintain the household.
SM: Yea I mean children really change the lives of everybody it’s complicated as fuck you know. Ok so we talked about court ordered fathers who only do the bare minimum. Do you think what the court orders is enough to help raise a child?
Devon: Well that depends on the income of the father. I would say if the father has a job where his 20% covers many of the costs associated with the child then yes. If he doesn’t have an ok job and can barely take care of himself then absolutely not.
SM: I think so too. You mentioned earlier you weren’t able to provide financially as you wanted to but you made a way to make sure you could after the birth of your child. This is something I hope a young father that’s reading will take away from this interview. My next question is what do you think would be a solution to the single motherhood/fatherhood problem within the Black community?
Devon: I think before the child is born or before its even thought about they both need to sit down and have an understanding on this is what it is. You have to be truthful in communication. They have to figure out are we going to do x y and z if a b and c happens. It gives the women to opt out of the situation firsthand. There would be a lot less resentment going on if people are honest early on.
SM: Seems like a good solution to me.. along with the fact that we all need to be protecting ourselves the best we can. You know as far as the communication things goes there are a lot of guys lying to women about their feelings just to have sex?? I’m not 100% blaming men but really they have a way about doing whatever is necessary to get a women into bed then when the baby comes it’s like uh oh! No I don’t want to be with you or that baby bye!
Devon: Truthful communication can prevent many of those things from happening.
SM: Indeed! So I would like to end this on a positive note and here’s my last question…what would be your words to motivate and encourage a new father or a father who hasn’t done so well in the fatherhood department? What are some words of advice you would offer them?
Devon: To new fathers, always communicate and to be there for the mother of your child. Be upfront and truthful! I guess to the guys who are in the situation as of right now, each situation is like a new set of downs ( in football) you have to be better in the next play than you were in the last and get better every time when new things arise.
SM: I like that advice. Thank you so much for letting me interview you tonight. I think you were dropping gems on em! Continue to be an example in this generation.
Devon: No problem.
I hope you all enjoyed this interview and got some insight on fatherhood! I do think over the years the percentages of single Black parent homes will likely drop! It may be many many years before it happens but I believe it can and will.
I think many more women are waiting to have children with the man they believe are perfect for the job of father and husband. I truly encourage this!
To the young daddies who feel like they can’t provide the way they want to, you can! You know what you need to do to provide for your children so start taking the steps to make it happen. For the mommas, start being a little open minded as to why your child or children’s father is inactive or being the type of father he is? I am not telling you to accept his ways but to try to see things from his perspective. Sometimes we may feel like we got the icky end of the stick but be mindful that your are the solid rock and foundation of your family. No matter who leaves your children’s lives your children see you and know you aren’t going anywhere. To all Black parents whether peacefully co-parenting or in a relationship let’s start showing our children what family is and looks like. We are the example and we are the leaders. Peace.