We recently asked Davion Mauldin, MS, Los Angeles Department of Public Health Fatherhood Coordinator, a few questions about his fatherhood journey. We hope his answers will inspire you and give insight into the incredibly important role that fathers play in the lives of their children. Davion also heads the Expecting Fathers Group for Black Dads, which has a new five-week educational workshop kicking off on Tuesday, January 25.
What does being a father mean to you?
Being a father to me means providing all that my child needs to be healthy and happy while being vulnerable enough to know when I need help providing those things so she is always loved and cared for the way she deserves.
How has fatherhood changed your life?
Fatherhood changed my life for the better. It added a person in my life who has challenged me to continuously grow daily and learn to adapt to the ever-changing world she is growing up in. No day is the same, no lesson too small to learn, no problem is too big to handle, and I learned that from her.
Who do you consider to be part of your “Village”? i.e. Who helped or provided the most support (practically, emotionally or otherwise) when your family was expecting? Why?
My mother, grandmother, and godmother were my support system during this time. I was a 19-year-old college student expecting a child and needed all the support I could get. My daughter’s mother provided extra support knowing my drive to finish school as a part of plans to care for my daughter. Their support pushed me towards helping others later in my life as they transitioned to parenthood.
Aside from your “Village,” what other systems of support did you have in place as an expectant father?
I had friends and cousins who supported me mentally during this time. They were all young like me but our bond and brotherhood kept them in my corner and they've been there for my daughter ever since.
Is there something special that you look forward to teaching and/or sharing with your baby? What is it and why is it meaningful to you?
I look forward to teaching her the history of impactful Black women around the world and in our family. It's meaningful to me to show her how powerful she is and can be.
What advice would you give to other fathers/new fathers?
Be present, be proactive, be open, don't be afraid to learn new things, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
Are you an expectant Black father, or do you have one in your Village? Sign up for the FREE Expecting Father Group Zoom workshops by emailing Davion at: [email protected]. Please also feel free to share this information with your Village.