Being a father has taught me to love more deeply – Shipi, bauchi PDP legal adviser
The Legal Adviser to the Peoples Democratic Party in Bauchi State, Rabo Shipi, speaks with ARMSTRONG BAKAM about his experience as a father
How would you describe fatherhood?
Fatherhood to me is the stage a man gets to in life when he becomes a father, has the passion for taking care of his family and has children he raises to become responsible in the society. It is a really interesting period; it makes me feel complete and hopeful.
As a father, my life is full of moments that really take my breath away. To have a small human being that looks like you and has so much joy that they can’t control themselves when they see you or when you return home from work, is remarkable. There is no feeling in the world that can compare to the joy and love you feel.
would you say you married at the right time?
I got married when I was 35 years old. I would say yes, I got married at the right time considering that I had to prepare as a man for marriage and family.
Did you nurse any fear before you decided to take on that responsibility?
I did not have any fear because I was prepared for marriage and fatherhood, so I was eagerly waiting to become a father. However, I will say I had anxiety which is very normal when you’re moving into another phase in your life where you will not only think about yourself but about your wife and children. There was also anxiety about meeting the expectations and needs of your immediate family but none of it was fear.
How has fatherhood changed you?
Fatherhood transformed my life totally because there are a lot of things I did before that I no longer do because I am a father.
Obviously, becoming a dad has changed the way I spend my time. I now spend more time at home whenever it is possible. I plan very well for the family, save as much as I could and I’m spiritually sensitive. It has made me more sensible when it comes to work and money. Fatherhood makes me do things I never thought I could. because of fatherhood, I love more than I believed possible.
As a lawyer, how are you able to achieve a balance between your duties and obligations as a professional and a father?
It is very difficult but I try to balance my time. I close late from work but I try to spend as much time as possible with the my family before going to bed. Thank God for the kind of woman I have as my wife; she’s very caring, loving and understanding. She is there to be with the children whenever I am not at home. She has really been very supportive and that has greatly helped in easing the stress I would have had if she wasn’t supportive and available. I also spend my Saturdays and Sundays at home to make up for the weekdays and complement her efforts.
Did you have a preferred gender before the birth of your first child?
Yes, I was looking forward to having a girl as my first child but I had a lovely boy. My second child is a girl.
were you in the labour room with your wife during the birth of any of your children?
No, I wasn’t. I really wanted to but I couldn’t because of the environment we live in; it doesn’t allow it. I mean, it is not permitted for you as a man to be in the labour room with your wife because there would be other pregnant women there.
what values did your father inculcate in you that helped to shape you?
my father worked very hard; he used to leave the house for his office early in the morning and had a strong commitment to his work. I learnt hard work and commitment to everything I do from him. Also, my father was always there for his children and was responsible our well-being. So, as a father today, I have learnt to be responsible for my children’s well-being and be there for them whenever they need me.
I am making sure that
I give my children the best of education. As a devout christian, one of my major priorities is to raise my children to have the fear of God because that is what will guarantee their future. I do this because the bible admonishes us to train up our children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it.
I learnt this from my father who raised us to have the fear of God and that has kept me till this day. I learnt from my father humility, honesty and kindness and I do my best to live by these values although as humans, we sometimes fall short but, I do all I can to live by them. I can go on and on, telling you the values I learnt from my father and I wouldn’t finish because they are many.
Are you also instilling the same values in your children?
Yes, although they are still young, I try as much as possible to make them understand the power of hard work, commitment and discipline. I am trying to give them the best education to motivate them to achieve their goals. I try to make them speak the truth always and to love themselves, that way, it won’t be difficult for them to speak the truth when they grow up and to love people. In fact, instilling these values in my children is what fatherhood is all about. If as a father you don’t pass to your children what you learnt from your father, then you have failed woefully. Knowing that, I do my best not to fail in that regard.
How do you discipline any of your children when they misbehave?
I correct them in love because that is God’s commands to us. I talk a lot with my son and I advise him even at his young age and God has been helping him to learn.
How do you assist your wife with domestic chores?
I do my best when I have the time although it is not easy for me, especially given the fact that as a lawyer, I hardly have enough time.
Do you reward her for taking care of the home?
I spoil her with gifts and praises. As a couple, we play a lot and I take her out a lot even though I hardly have the time but I always create time to give her a treat because it is not easy for her. She is dedicated and committed to taking care of the house and the children even though she works.
She has been very helpful, so if I don’t reward her for all the efforts she put in to keep the home running smoothly, then I am not a good husband. I try to do my best to reward her as much as I can because I know I cannot pay her.
what has been your most challenging period as a father?
I cannot mention anything specifically . Although it has not been easy, so far, God has been so faithful to me.
when you have a disagreements with your wife, how do you resolve them?
We normally talk about them and find out what exactly went wrong so that we don’t repeat the same things again. but I tell you the truth, sometimes, it is not that easy as one would think. It is one of the difficult things in marriage but if you master the art of settling disputes in your home or marriage, you will have great peace and your love level with your spouse will be very high.
What I normally do is to allow our tempers to cool by giving her space for sometime, then we talk things over. Other times, what we have learnt to do is to allow some things just go like that because it is not everything that we disagree on that we talk about. As a husband, sometimes, you just let your wife have her way and as a wife too, she sometimes allows me to have my way. We do all these so that peace will reign in our home.
Do you usually involve a third party in the settlement of your disputes?
No, I don’t do that. Involving third parties in a marriage is not the best thing so we try our best to settle all our disagreements and disputes between the two of us. what advice do you have for youths who intend to go into marriage?
I will advise them to be prepared for marriage and know that there is joy in it. It makes you more focused.