Quick: Can you remember what was in your timeline an hour ago? Ah, so much information, so little time. However, there was a social media message that still stands out more than a year after its posting. In 2013, Doyin Richards, creator of the blog Daddy Doin’ Work, posted a photo of the corporate executive combing one daughter’s hair, while holding his youngest daughter in a baby sling. In an instant, the photo went viral and Doyin (pronounced “doe-ween”) went from anonymous father to a media sensation.
ESSENCE recently caught up with Richards to discuss his new book, Daddy Doin’ Work: Empowering Mothers to Evolve Fatherhood (Jolly Fish Press, $16.99). Here, the Los Angeles-based author talks about why men should play a greater role in their children’s lives.
ESSENCE: Daddy Doin’ Work is an accessible guide with a refreshing twist: an African-American father offering universal lessons on parenting.
DOYIN RICHARDS: Everything I’ve learned about family, I learned at home. My father is a great role model. My mom was a stay-at-home mom while she went to school. I have an identical twin brother and an older brother, and we benefitted from having our father and mother in our lives.
ESSENCE: It’s good to hear that story because the media so seldom shares that narrative of African-American life. Any advice for single mothers?
RICHARDS: Kudos to anyone raising a child alone. And no one should have to raise a child by themselves, especially since two people created the child. In Daddy Doin’ Work I discuss ways in which mothers and fathers can and must work together to support each other in parenting. There are married mothers who are doing most of the work. There are deadbeat dads. There are dads who believe they are providers and don’t participate in the changing of diapers, feeding babies, or giving baths. And then there are dads who are equal partners in parenting. These are the dads doing the work. That is what a father is supposed to do.
ESSENCE: What’s next for you?
RICHARDS: I’m working on my second book. I also want to work with legislators to make fatherhood easier. We should have a changing table in the men’s room. Fathers should have a voice.
For more information, visit Daddydoinwork.com.