From his point of view

September 30, 2010

by Mary Timmons

It seems as if the release of “Juno” in 2007 has made sent teenage society go on a baby-making frenzy.
Now, television programs like “Teen Mom” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” are growing in popularity because they portray to viewers pregnancy from a young mother’s perspective while facing the new struggles of parenthood and continuing education, if that is her choice.

Though these shows are both informative and entertaining, there is very little focus on the father of the child, and what attention there is comes out mostly in a negative light. Rarely do viewers see the pregnancy from the dad’s point of view whether it’s because he is uninvolved, unknown or simply unaware.

Who is the baby’s daddy?

It’s obvious it takes both a man and woman to create life. So why is there more focus on one parent over the other?

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy website, “the percent of men reporting an unplanned pregnancy followed by births is highest among fathers age 25-29.

Arcturus Forbis, a senior secondary social studies education major, has had two children while he has been in college.
Forbis and the mother of his daughters are cooperating while living apart to try to finish school as well as raise their daughters,1 year and 2 months.

As a new parent, Forbis is faced with the stress of work, school and trying to be involved in his daughters’ lives.

“There are stressful times that can cause communication issues,” Forbis said. “You just have to remember to talk and confront problems so you can enjoy the baby.”

Since Forbis and the mother of his children both live in Ruston, they are leaving the subject of joint custody untouched at the moment.

“For the time being, we’re both in school and leaving that question alone.”

Unplanned paternity can be a terrifying and overwhelming task for many, but Forbis shows his dedication to the fatherhood role by confronting his situation with excitement and a clear head.

“It opened up my eyes to a part of life I wasn’t aware of before. It showed me that I can fall in love very easily because I instantly fell in love with both of my daughters.”

Though parenthood is a heady task for any college student to take on, Forbis received positive reactions from both family and friends.

“My mom and dad were excited about being grandparents. My friends have been the most supportive of the fact that I’m a father of two beautiful little girls.”

Forbis is planning to graduate in spring 2012. If the birth of his children has shown him anything it is that he needs to direct his focus on his future for himself and his daughters.

“It’s made me think of the future alone more,” said Forbis “I’ve started to plan more long term instead of short term.”

With two kids and college halfway finished, Arcturus said he does not plan for any additions to his family anytime soon.

“If I ever settle down with someone I may potentially have more kids, but as of right now, no. I’m happy with them. I’ve been looking forward to raising my daughters and giving them a piece of who I am.”

While some parents decide to raise children in separate households, others may decide to pick a different route.

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy website 64,400 teens were married in 2007 due to pregnancy.

Derek Falgoust, a senior history major, is expecting his first child at the end of October and is filled with excitement as he awaits the birth of his daughter.

Derek and his wife have been in a relationship for 11 months and were married last April.
Plans to marry were arranged before they found out they were expecting.

“I feel that marriage is not necessary for the baby, but it does help to have both parents together, and my marriage is very important to me.”

Falgoust expressed his anticipation about having a new baby and feels that going through this pregnancy with his wife has made both of them grow.

“Over the last nine months, I have become very mature from getting all of her stuff ready and having to provide for my wife and our family. She has become more caring toward the baby and started to think about herself.”

With a full schedule ahead of him and a baby on the way, Falgoust has been making changes in order to raise and support his family by keeping a job with a steady income and providing a livable home for his family. Maturity gained does not come without sacrifice.

Falgoust will continue to attend Tech full-time, as well as work as a manager for the football team. He plans to graduate in spring 2011 and will work while his wife, who graduates in fall 2011, finishes school.

“The main sacrifice I had to make, which I don’t see as a sacrifice, is having to deal with times that she gets tired and starts to get a little cranky. I had to learn how to make her feel better about herself,” he said. “Sleep is also a sacrifice, even though I don’t get much now, soon I will have to get use to getting even less.”

E-mail comments to mnt005@latech.edu.