Real Dad Feature : Luise Indimuli, Inspirational Dad
As an annual tradition around Father’s day, MumsVillage reached out to the dads in our community to share their parenting experiences and tips as we #CelebrateDad. This is Luise Indimuli’s story:
1. What childhood experiences shaped you the most? What did you learn from them?
Watching my mother struggle but manage to provide for my sister and I taught me very early to value the input of the woman in not just the family, but society.
2. How would people who knew you in school describe you?
Smart but not particularly academic, artistic, social.
3. How have you raised your children similarly to how you were raised? What have you tried to do differently?
We were always raised to never look down on anyone regardless of stature, always be polite, and never to waste food. To date when my mother visits, I finish everything on my plate. I would like my daughters to value everyone regardless of position, and understand that of all things not to waste, food is somewhere on top of that list.
Differently, I will teach my daughters to venture a bit more, not to play it too safe when it comes to chasing a vision, but above all, fail early. Most of us were either sheltered or taught to NEVER fail, missing a whole lot of lessons could have helped us deal with the messed up Kenya we have found ourselves in.
4. What traditions did your parents pass on to you that you passed on to your child/children?
Strong family values, regular get-togethers even when there is tension, and now that I have reconnected with my Arab side, I’m picking out the noble traditions slowly as I go.
5. What three words would you say represents your approach to parenting and why?
Patience, empathy, trust. Patience with my girls’ tantrums and stop telling them to stop crying. I am learning to validate their emotions by reigning in my own, especially when tired. Empathize by reminding myself they are little girls trying to explore the world and what to think of it, and trust in my spouse’s approach to parenting especially when I have a different point of view.
6. What are some of the most rewarding (and/or challenging) aspects of being a parent for you?
Definitely when we learnt In February this year that our eldest, 4 and a half, has Leukemia. Nothing prepares a father for not being able to do the ONE thing we are wired to do; shield our children from harm. Not being able to take her place for all the jabs, IVs, surgeries et al is something I have to learn to live with.
Rewarding aspect? Watching her fight it, beating it. The younger one, 1 year, got it rough when she was separated from her mom and sister for 3 weeks, but it has been a relief seeing all my girls gel once again, as if nothing ever happened. I am blessed with two gorgeous and extremely feisty girls, nothing rewards more than watching these dynamic characters develop and come into themselves.
7. What was the most rewarding (and/or hardest) period of your career journey?
Leaving employment to try my hand at a business and soon after get the diagnosis. It has been strangely cathartic though. I mean, what is the worst that can happen now? Once you understand that we are hardly in control, fear of failure gets wiped out of your hard drive. The hardest part of the journey then becomes the most rewarding; adversity has ensured I quickly adapt to operate on all 6 cylinders.
8. What are your thoughts about your current line of work?
I have always been in sales, and anyone with access to news can see that the economy is at a standstill. The first to bear the brunt is always the sales force, so I cannot imagine what sales people in whatever field are going through. At the moment, I am still taking it one day at a time as I prepare to resume full-time work/business engagement. Any one who has dealt with cancer can tell you that there is a very renewed attitude about money and finances. Whatever I decide to do once the dust settles, I will supplement it with children’s cancer advocacy.
9. What do you think the world needs more of right now?
To be honest, more dads being present in raising their children. Not that mothers are not doing enough (they are doing too much as it is), but we need to ease off the burden and regain our role. I FIRMLY believe that part of the breakdown of society is that men are not present to stem some of these evils at an early age. Growing up, fathers in the estate met regularly and built each other up, held each other to an unspoken form of accountability. There was honour in patient hard/smart work, now we are all chasing quick money to be admired/feared to fill in some emptiness we don’t even know we habour. It doesn’t matter what beef the parents may have, we are a selfish society that uses kids as ammunition against each other when love turns sour. The world needs more of active parenting, the rest just might fall into place.
10. Is there something that you wish you had experienced that you haven’t yet experienced?
I am a father, so the next obvious experience I am chasing is to be a millionaire, obviously.
11. At this stage in your life, what are some of your best family memories?
Pre-dad, our get togethers in the village. Now with the girls, every time I take them to see something they have never seen. I discover the world afresh everyday.
12. What message would you like to share with your family?
It may be hard sometimes, but you all make it so much worth it. Also, I hope to regain control of the remote in the near future, but no pressure.
13. How would you like to be remembered?
One who worked hard towards leaving a legacy, whatever I decide that will be. For now, It is enough for me to be a good dad. Or rather, try to be every damn day.
Happy Father’s day!
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