Dads in the Limelight – Frederick Goodall (MochaDad)

Our 40th Dad in the Limelight is Frederick of MochaDad and also can be found on Twitter @mochadad. I want to thank Frederick for being a part of this series. It has been great getting to know him and now sharing him with all of you!

1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my reader’s knowledge)
My name is Frederick. Some people call me Fred, but you know me as Mocha Dad.
I am a Texan – born and raised and I have the cowboy boots to prove it. However, Texas has not been my only home. I have lived in several southeastern states – some of them I liked, some of them I didn’t, none of them can compare to Texas. My quest is to visit all fifty states. I have made it to 37 so far. I have also been fortunate enough to visit 10 different countries. I will not visit all 196 countries in the world.
I graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Because I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, I am extremely proud of this accomplishment. But the best thing about my years at Howard was my meeting my wife.
I have worked as a mover, controls manager, quality manager, construction project manager, and a writer. I have also run several businesses: an online collectible toy shop, a photography studio, and freelance writing company. I am currently the Health, Safety and Environmental Director for an engineering and construction company.
In 2008, I started Mocha Dad to chronicle my life as a father and to counter the negative stereotypes regarding black fatherhood. I wanted people to get a first hand account of a black father who is intimately involved in his children’s lives. Now I use to blog to not only capture my experiences as a father, but also to help motivate other fathers to be more actively engaged and involved with their children.
I enjoy music, reading, writing, photography, and surfing the web. But my greatest joy comes from spending time with my wife and three kids.
2) Tell me about your family
My beautiful wife, Kim, and I have been married for nearly 16 years. She is my best friend, my soul mate and the queen of my heart. We write a marriage blog called Making It Last Forever (http://www.makingitlastforever.com).
My firstborn child, Nee, is my little princess. Her thought-provoking observations are well beyond her 9 years.
My 6-year-old son, N, is the comedian of the family. He is also handsome and cool.
The 2-year-old, X, is the rapscallion of the bunch. As the youngest in the family, he often tries to get his way. Many times, he succeeds.
Ginger is our pet beagle who lives with us except for the times when she decides to run away.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
My biggest challenge is balancing all of my responsibilities and activities. My job keeps my on the road quite often which makes it difficult to remain connected to my wife and kids. Technology helps, but it’s not the same as being there in person. When I’m home, I have to make sure that my family’s needs are met by my spending time with them. Finding the proper balance of time is where the difficulty arises. In addition to being a father, husband and working full time, I have to devote time to writing two blogs, serving at my church and in the community, coaching kid’s sports, socializing with extended family and friends, and carving out some quiet time for myself. Managing all of these different responsibilities is difficult, but it payoffs make it all worthwhile.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
The first piece of advice is to love your wife. Kids feel more secure when they grow up in a loving household. Your marriage will be the template that they use later in life. The second piece of advice is to devote as much time as you can to your kids. Fathers have a tendency to show their affection through material things. Buying gifts for your kids is nice, but what they really want is your time. There is nothing more valuable than that.
5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
I receive many invitations to attend conferences or speak to groups about fatherhood. Because of my family duties, I have to turn down more than I accept. Yes, I do regret turning down some of the offers, but I know that spending time with my family will have a greater return on investment.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
The main thing that I’ve learned is that we all share the same struggles. I hosted a three part Fatherhood Round table Discussion on Mocha Dad with seven fantastic dad bloggers. There comments and insight really taught me there are many strong, dedicated, involved fathers who want the best for their kids. Other positive fathers motivate and inspire me.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
The most important quality to develop is patience. I was very impatient until I had kids. Because of them, I’ve had to learn to slow down and relax.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
My most memorable experiences will always be the births of my children. Those events are permanently etched in my brain.

If you have any questions for Frederick, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!

Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

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