Welcome to Parent Portraits, where we paint a picture of parenthood – which, naturally, looks a little different each and every time – and celebrate the endless variety of family life, and the unconditional love that gives it so much texture.
This Father’s Day, we took the opportunity to ask Courtney Turgott about life as a dad and the lessons he’s learned along the way. Here’s what he had to say...
Have you always known you wanted to be a parent?
Yes, I have actually. I love kids and the thought of creating a life of your own and watching them grow has always seemed amazing to me! Building a strong family environment in order for them to follow and continue building on the ethics you give them is what its all about.
How has your life changed since becoming a parent?
Life has changed dramatically but in such a good way! For me, it's given me more drive and determination to get things done because its not just for me, its for them. Teaching them the right and wrong way to strive and become what they want to be could be thought of as harder work-wise, but it is all worth it. They deserve the world.
What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
I literally couldn’t pick a favourite, that’s too hard. Every part of it is amazing, from when you wake up and see their face 'til they fall asleep, even down to the tantrums and shifting attitudes. I enjoy it, because to them you are the first port of guidance before they even learn to understand the world outside. Knowing that they have someone to believe in and rely on, a role model to look up to – that’s probably my most enjoyable part.
What do you find the most challenging part of the day?
Ooh, tricky. I would say...challenging myself to see how many times I can press the snooze button before actually making an attempt to get up. A nightmare! It happens all the time but once I’m up, I’m good.
What’s the most rewarding part of the day?
The most rewarding time would be just before I fall asleep. For me, one thing I always remind the kids is that you have to be grateful, regardless of your situation or circumstance, because there is always someone in a worse position than you. So just to know we’re all safe and sound ready for another day, and that’s down to me, is a rewarding feeling.
What’s the funniest thing about being a parent?
The way you literally see yourself through your child; personality, things they say, how they react, even facial expressions! It blows my mind when you see how your own genes shape their traits and habits, good and bad. Also the way you turn into your own dad or mum when you’re telling them off, but deep down you know if that was you as a child, you would have done the exact same thing! The amount of times I have to keep a stern face when it’s discipline time, but when they're gone, I’m in hysterics – that, for me, is daily.
What would you say to someone that thinks parenting is easy?
I’d laugh! Parenting is not easy, even more so if you’re a single parent. Anyone that is getting into it thinking it’ll be quick and easy…it’s probably not the right idea. Kids are amazing, but they take up a lot of time and effort, which people never really understand until they’re here. You need to understand what’s behind the door fully before opening it, because it might be too late to change something. That’s something I also tell the kids.
Is parenthood what you expected?
No, it’s very unpredictable, but I love being a dad, so that’s fine. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Is there anything you like to do to make time for yourself?
Yes, I like to go to the gym and also watch football a lot, so I’m always in between both of those. Health is everything and I'm a football fanatic.
Do you have any special moments you’d like to share?
Camiyah saying her first word ‘Daddy’, I remember it like it was yesterday. We were all in the kitchen – me, my son, Camiyah, and Camiyah’s mum – just chilling about to eat up some food, and randomly she said it. The joy on my face and the disappointment on her mum’s face was a priceless Kodak moment and one that could not be reenacted!
She had us boys going crazy at the fact that she had said her first words, and her mummy was really happy but annoyed at the same time. Both kids said ‘Daddy’ first, to be fair. It was a very proud moment, but more hilarious than anything. Oh, and you know I told Lil Madam to repeat it just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. She never disappointed!