Jay Foley is famous for his success as a Media Personality and entrepreneur.
About a year ago, he became a father, an experience he describes as “a beautiful thing” and “world of beautiful possibilities.”
Foley’s smiles light up his LIVE FM office space literally when he talks about his wife and daughter.
In this interview, he speaks on how he parents his daughter who lives in the UK with her mother, shares lessons he’s learnt as a father, applying them to his life as a business person and also challenges of fatherhood.
Read interview below.
How did you find out you were going to be a father?
Well, I definitely was expecting it. I’d been a naughty man, I was expecting it. We were both anxious to see if she had conceived or not. The day that she came back from the hospital, and then… earlier on we had done a test and when she was home, she called me that “yeah, it’s happened.”
I immediately felt responsible. I felt very very responsible and I knew I had a big task ahead of me: fatherhood so I remember one of the things I did was *laughs* I got myself a ‘How To Be A Dad’ book and I was reading it one in a while just to get a few prompters but the whole nine months was exciting for me. I wasn’t the carrier but I was the one who was responsible for it. I was excited.
You mentioned feeling responsible when you got the news, what other lessons have you learnt being a father?
Well, I did learn a lot of lessons: I couldn’t spend on myself again, just me. That was one, Now I have somebody to take care of so I had to now go back to the drawing board with how I make money and find other means to add up to the existing so I could actually make my daughter very happy and wife as well.
During that period of pregnancy, that nine months period I became extra responsible, a lot more phone calls, checking up and pictures just to keep me updated every step of the way. I wanted to see belly size and everything, and when baby came I mean I was on air at LIVE FM around 7am exactly when delivery happened. I had to do a Skype call… I missed the first day. I had to do a Skype call to see everything and experience as well but a first timer it was exciting.
What have you learnt as a father that you apply to work as a Business person?
I’ve come to learn how to manage money a bit more and also find other ways to make extras to be able to survive in this economy we find ourselves in. To become a dad means you now have somebody to take care of.
And having someone to take care of means that the person’s welfare and the person’s entire happiness in in your hands. You are the decider so in business as well I look at each person that LIVE FM added on to within the last quarter of the year… that means more cost that means more innovative ideas to make more money so we can meet our expectations.
I see addition of interns, and addition of new staff as a childbirth so I feel like I’m a daddy for all at LIVE FM and I’m supposed to make sure that everybody here: Sammy Forson, Jeremie, Berla, Jason, Regina, Masta Jay, you name them, everybody is happy. It all comes from the decisions a leader like myself would have to take.
Do you have any fears being a father?
The only… it’s not a fear neither is it a worry but it’s just a challenge that my daughter isn’t next to me every single day so I always have to rekindle the …and re appear and re-introduce myself in this early stages of her childhood to her but I do believe that after a while it would just slide in and she would know really who her father is but there’s this natural bond anytime I’m with her so they are not necessarily fears or worries but they are just… I see it as something that I need to overcome so I’m making a bit more effort to be with her, share more pictures I’m sure people see on Social Media all the time and be in here face. I virtually live with skype and face time.
Technology isn’t the same as being with her in person, do you fear that she might not recognize you when you visit after a long period in Ghana?
Now, I consistently pay very regular visits and she would also come by to stay and hang with Daddy a little bit more so I don’t have a challenge with that. A girl naturally leans towards her father so that’s one thing and I know that blood is thicker than water so that’s one thing I really bank my hopes on, and in addition to that I do very well to see them at least a very good number of times in a month. I pay very regular visits to see them. And they will be coming down soon as well.
Any plans to live together with your family in Ghana?
Oh Yes. There are plans they will come eventually, very soon.
Any reasons why you post your daughter’s photos on Social Media?
Two things. There’s the joy in wanting to tell the world that “I have made another human being” So I’m not reluctant to share the pictures. When she was born in her first year, I felt that it’s very family, it’s very personal so I need to keep her off Social Media but after a while I couldn’t resist the temptation. I could take some pictures that were extremely beautiful and I just wanted the world to know how beautiful my daughter is. The temptation was there, and I know my wife will kill me all the time but I wouldn’t do too much. The little that people have seen is fine.
There’s always going to be the situation of people comparing your daughter to other girls once you post her photos online. Do you talk to your daughter about what is supposedly the beauty standard?
I do believe that babies listen, and they hear and they keep what they’ve been told. And they see things and they feed their brains with things so as a father I don’t mince my words with her beauty. I keep on drumming that into her mind all the time that she’s a very beautiful girl. Anytime I get the time to spend with her, I talk to her as if she could hear me and she’d smile back. And it tells me that babies can hear, and they feel, and they can touch and they can listen so I do talk to her a lot, almost all the time. I carry her all the time, I play with her all the time, and as for beauty her mother is a very beautiful woman so I’m very much assured that she’s going to grow up to become a very beautiful woman as well.
Based on your experience, what are your thoughts on people having babies without necessarily getting married?
Every child deserve parents: a mother and a father. And I keep on paying respects to single parents because it takes a lot to bring up a child. And it’s much easier if it were the two. I would not recommend that you have a child before you marry but if it happens it’s a blessing so you keep it as it is.
But if it doesn’t happen and you have the opportunity to have a child after your wedlock, that makes it even sweeter but not everybody was born the same way – not everybody was born the way it’s supposed to be so to other parents or to single parents or to mother’s who’ve hard children before marriage, I see it as blessing you keep it as it is and let your child grow.
Do you apply your parent’s principles of training a child to your daughter?
*laughs* Her mom is 20th Century and I’m 21st. Her mom is very strict, she will tell you ‘Janine stop it’ but I will do ‘let the child be’ but I’m more relaxed. I think I’m the very lenient type and my level of strictness is about 30% and her mom’s level of strictness is about 90% and that even exceeds a 100% but that tells you that it’s a perfect blend. She knows where and who will disciple her and she knows where and who will offer her slight leniency and that is very important. It is a fine balance between the two of us.
Fatherhood is a beautiful thing and I keep on encouraging all my friends even you yourself to get into fatherhood. It’s a lovely thing if you have a child, throw all the love and support you can to that child. We were all children before, we are still young but we have kids and it’s an endless world of beautiful possibilities. I want my child to grow up to become someone big in future and take on the legacy of her father. And everything I have started now, I do it for her so you name it: 2131, TOTO Gear, all this things I do I have her in mind because she will be the sole beneficiary of everything that I have accomplished or I’m yet to accomplish so please if you are out there and you are going to be a father don’t hesitate. Be a father today.
Do you want your daughter to choose her career path or you will decide for her?
I’d try to identify what she loves doing at a very early age and encourage her. I can only be the advice but at the end of the day the sole responsibility lies on her and I’d duly support whatever she wants to do.