Brandon: Hello and welcome to Shoroba. We have an email submission this week and it's called "Deadbeat Dad." "I lost my family in pursuit of a music career, and I feel it was worth it because I'm no longer in a constant state of depression. I wasn't being a good parent, I was yelling at my wife and the three kids all the time and I stayed so depressed that I couldn't keep a job. Music is the only thing that makes me happy. I'm not making a lot of money in music, so I send money only every now and then. What advice would you give to me so that I could be a better dad, and at the same time keep my music in my life so that I'll be happy. I was married for thirteen years before my wife got fed up with my mood swings and lack of parental responsibilities. I want to be that dad that my children can count on. Maybe things will change when I make it big in music."
KP: Welcome to Shoroba, and today we have an email entitled "Deadbeat Dad." I'm KP, and on the panel today we have...
Alexandra Chauran: I'm Alexandra.
Jeremy: And I'm Jeremy.
KP: So we have a guy who sort of pays attention to the kids, music is the only thing that makes him happy, how does he get to be the right dad?
Victoria: I was just wondering about where he puts this child's importance in his life. We know that he has music in his life, right, and that's very important, but I'm hearing that he gives the kid a little bit of money every once in a while. Like, if you're going to really commit to giving a child some kind of support, I would say a certain amount of money should be going to that child. Does the child know that he loves the child? What kind of relationship does he want? I'm getting sort of a thing about he wants to be satisfied somehow himself. I don't think that his needs really need to be attended to, maybe a little bit more focus to what does he need and how is he going to integrate the child into his life, because he's happy with his music.
Cassandra: Well, you know I thought it sounded like he was trying to justify his fact of being a musician now; somewhat making it, and "I left you guys." You know what I mean? He has three kids, and you can't justify either one. You're a dad and you're a musician. Either you're going to do what you gotta' do, and take care of your family, or you're going to do what you wanna' do and...
Jeremy: All careers take second place.
Jeremy: I mean, every career on one level or another, you will sacrifice, and if you have a family at some point they will probably suffer, hopefully minimally, but they will. But for me, raising a son makes you a father, not making a son makes you a father. You need to be involved in their lives. You canít be a musician if you donít participate and put effort in your career either, but I donít think...
KP: Thatís true of everything...
Alexandra Chauran: Well, you know, Iím hearing somebody who wants to be more involved in his sonís life. You know, weíre all getting down on him, but heís trying here, maybe, you know, a tiny bit, but heís trying. And Iím thinking that, you know, no matter what he does, heís going to be drawn back to this music. He might make excuses as to why, but itís gonnaí happen. So, I think for sure he should, you know, bring music into his family life. But also, you know, he could find a part-time job at a record store. At least heíd have a lot more money coming in on a regular basis.
Jeremy: I think he needs to set goals. Heís obviously set goals for his career, because heís stuck with it this whole time, and he feels like perhaps his childís not benefitting as much as he should from his personal relationship with him. So, set a goal for your child. A type of, ďwhat do you want to do with your child in the next year. What do you want to do in the next two years. Where do you want to see him, how do you want to help him do?
Cassandra: How do you want your relationship with your child...
Jeremy: Absolutely, absolutely.
KP: I hope that he takes that advice, because it sounds to me like this is a very selfish man, and Iím very upset about this because I had a father who was a very selfish man. And I made lots of efforts to get to know him, and he kept telling me that he wanted to be part of my life. But, like, you know, to be truthful, he just isnít. And Iím sorry, you know, he maybe set goals, and I hope that really is what he does. But this is a selfish man, and you just need to not be selfish!
Jeremy: Do you think heís asking this question to help divert the attention, make it look like he is wanting to make an effort, so he can show everybody ďI am wanting to make an effort.Ē So, itís just the question, it's just asking...
Victoria: I think heís making an effort.
Jeremy: I get that heís really concerned to a certain level.
Victoria: Yeah, to a certain level.
Jeremy: I think the son has been overlooked.
Cassandra: He has three kids, not just one... I think itís more for him than it is the kids, because itís not like, from what I get, we didnít hear the kids say ďoh, dad, youíre never aroundĒ you know, itís not them coming at him. Itís him feeling that way. And if he feels that way then piss or get off the pot...
Jeremy: ...Later on theyíll have to deal with...
KP: He is making a choice. My father chose his wife over his kids. You know, this man is choosing his music over his kids.
KP: And even though he says he wants to, he has to make a choice to choose both, and heís not.
Victoria: But I think maybe the other thing is how is he relating to the kids when heís there. What is he saying to these kids when heís there...
KP: What should he say? What should he say with his kids... Right.
Jeremy: He has to know the children in order to know what to say, and this is where he has to make, again I say a goal. Figure out what are your childís likes and dislikes, what are they...
KP: Right, so...
Jeremy: Be active with them, get out there. He has to do something to alleviate some of this guilt that he is feeling. Thatís why heís asking the question.
Cassandra: ...Why are you feeling guilty? You wanted to be a musician. These kids are not babies. They will understand, ďokay, dad, you had issues, you werenít feeling happy, whatever.Ē Not that the family wasnít fulfilling, you, but that you needed to go...
Jeremy: And maybe his career as a musician isnít as important to him as he believes.
Cassandra: But thatís what Iím saying, this is for him to find out, whoís saying that he is a deadbeat dad. Does he feel that heís a deadbeat dad? Thatís what Iím saying. Does he feel it because he is not able to do what he feels a father is obligated. And if thatís the case, you know what, you can be a musician and still provide. Iíve seen it happen, Iíve lived with musicians.
Cassandra: He needs to make a choice. You are either going to be daddy to these kids, and make sure that they come first. And yeah, okay, ďI busted my butt all day and you guys are doing your homework and youíre doing everything. Dadís out, I gottaí do this gig and this gig.Ē It might be a week before he sees them kids, but he has got to prioritize. Where is the priority. If they are equal priority, then he has to decide...
KP: All right, you guys, I know, I know itís a very charged topic...
Jeremy: When you start out in a career like this, especially a musician, you think of all the things that come with it. I think that he had really high aspirations in the beginning, probably though that he would be at a higher level of success then perhaps heís at right now. When you move through your career and you find out that youíre not where you thought you were, then
the things that didnít go away that were around you, those become back into your life, and you start wondering ďdid I really do what I was supposed to do?Ē
KP: Okay, so heís asking us what he should do. Weíre telling you to ďpiss, or get off the pot,Ē weíre telling you to make some priorities, weíre telling you to get some goals, weíre telling you to make a choice and choose your kids, not your career. So, we might not be the only ones. If thereís some other people who might think something else, please let us know. Email us something, send us a video, tell us what you think.
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