Parent24 chats to Clifford
This parent is determined to be the best possible dad he can be to all of his kids, whether they’re biological or step-kids.

Clifford chats about making shared parenting work.

• What have you enjoyed most about being a parent so far?

The moment of happiness every time that a new achievement is reached. And having a child whom is not my own call me Daddy

• Are there any challenges you’ve found which have been particularly tough?

When it comes to temper tantrums I have found myself having to keep a level head and not encourage them further. Also being a step-dad as such has come with a few challenges but each obstacle gives great reward.

• What would you do over, if you had the chance?

Spend more time with my biological child from my ex-wife. It is the one thing that I regret not doing but now that I have a truly supportive woman who holds family values so close to her heart I am once again making the effort to catch up what has been lost.

• Any tips you have for new parents, based on your own experiences?

Don’t listen to everyone else- do what your heart says is right, take every word people say to you with a pinch of salt. Your parents and grandparents did it their way- don’t be scared to do it your way.  Also to the dads out there who just don’t care about their kids or are separated, man up and take responsibility for what you have created. That child will need you one day.

• If laughter is all that’s keeping you sane, what makes you smile?

Seeing my daughter when I can. And every day when we pick Emma (step-daughter) up that smile on her face. Also when we go visit Shae (step-daughter 2) and she come up to me and gives me a huge hug.

• How do you think your kids would describe you?

Stern yet fair. Happy and playful.

• What characterises a “good parent”, and would you call yourself one?

A good parent is one that loves their child unconditionally no matter what mood the parent is in. I personally love all our girls unconditionally, biological and step-children. Based just on that I would call myself a good parent because to me I love them all as my own.

• What would you say is different about your family?

Well, we're not a standard family unit in that not all 3 of our daughters live with us: between 3 kids there are 3 different sets of parents so we have to take the other parents' views and opinions into account.

• Is there anything you enjoy doing just for yourself?

I love that part when baby is in bed, mom has fallen asleep next to me and I can breathe in relax and say I am the luckiest man in the world to have such a beautiful step-daughter and wonderful fiancé who has brought me to where I need to be, the happiest man in the world.

• Do you feel you have enough support?

Yes and no. Yes I have support from Megan with getting back to seeing my child. She supports me through the thick and thin. The one person who I used to have the most support from is no longer here- my mom passed away 7 years ago and there are many times when all I want to do is ask “mom what do I do?” O the “no” side is also that all my family live far away in JHB, so not much input from them.

• Your craziest parenting moment? Why not share it with us?

Trying to handle all 3 girls (8 and 5-years-old and 15 months) having a blast at Ushaka Playworld. Let’s just say it was chaos from the word go.

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