Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today Inc.
by Jade Gibbons
Isaac Brown is a 39-year-old Service Technician at Ecopure Inc. He has a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Biology. Brown enjoys sailing and, in his youth, represented Barbados regionally in multiple regattas.
With his wife Marianne, he has three young children aged five, three and seven months. His understanding and appreciation for the role of a father in a child’s life comes from the example set by his father, Dr. Michael Brown.
He recounted that the first trip he took alone with his father was to Tobago when he was 17. “At that time, the Tobago Regatta was the regatta in the Southern Caribbean to go to. It was the first time we weren’t racing together.
We were in different categories. It was nice.”
Brown was 33 years old when his first child was born. For him the hardest part of that pregnancy was seeing his wife not being able to sleep in the later days.
Preparing for the arrival of his daughter had been easy
for them because they had previously worked together at the same company.
Brown highlighted that as a result of this, they already knew how to work together as a team. Because he comes from a family of doctors, Brown was not nervous about the birth of his first child as he knew what to expect.
In recounting the story of her birth, he said “my wife went into what we thought was labour at 11 o’ clock at night. We called the hospital, then went there. Not in any sort of rush, we actually stopped at a gas station to pick up additional snacks.”
When asked what were his preconceptions about fatherhood, Brown indicated that he didn’t have any. “I didn’t go into this thinking I knew everything.” He also conceded that the emotions associated with fatherhood took him by surprise.
“I was going to try my best to not be an anxious parent or a panicky parent, but that didn’t happen. With my first child, I’d wake up in the middle of the night to see if she was still breathing. I didn’t anticipate how good it feels to see the joy on your kids’ faces to see you when you come home from work or a trip. Hearing them say, I love you daddy.”
In speaking about how having children has changed the relationship dynamic with his wife, Brown underscored the importance of teamwork.
“Because we had a team dynamic from working together, we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It was just a matter of playing to those and adapting.
You pick up the slack where you can. With our youngest, my wife is still breast- feeding. I can’t breast feed but I can take over with burping once she’s finished.
It’s about load sharing. If one packs the lunches, the other feeds the dogs. If one is bathing the kids, the other gets their pyjamas ready.”
Even though his children are very young, Brown highlighted that he is most looking forward to their weddings when they get older. He also mentioned that sometimes seeing his character traits in his children feels like “a slap to the face.”
And that he finds himself having to apologise to his parents sometimes. He feels particularly proud of his children when they remember their manners and are polite to persons both at home and in public.
When asked what accountability and reliability means for him as a father, he said, “accountability means that my responsibility is to raise a child to be a good person. Reliability means being there as much as possible.”
“Family support is huge. My mother is currently helping us with online school and helps take care of the youngest so my wife can get work completed. I can call my dad anytime for advice.
Sometimes when I’m tired from a long day at work I might snap quickly at the kids. It is something I am constantly working on – not transferring work stress onto them. Becoming a parent is easy to do but hard to do right. [To other fathers out there, I’d say] do your best.
And be confident and sure in yourself before having kids because any insecurities you have, you may pass on. They will photocopy you. [Also] do not let your masculinity stop you from asking for help.”
Jade Gibbons is an arts and business graduate with a keen interest in social issues and film-making. See https://www.jadegibbons246.com