Fathers are fundamental in the divine plan of happiness of their family. They are capable caretakers and disciplinarians. On father’s day we want to praise and encourage fathers and simply focus on the good that men can do in the highest of masculine roles—husband and father. Go Weekly is very honored to have our Prime Minister, Eugene Rhuggenaath, in this special edition, to share his personal stories about fatherhood, how he will spend Father’s day and more.
What is the best thing about being a dad?
I can tell you about my experience. Once, an ex-colleague, and counsel member told me: ‘You know, I go out a lot, and we often use the words ‘’love at first sight’’ when talking about women’. But true love at first sight is when your child is born, and you hold him or her in your arms. And that’s exactly what happened to me 3 times. So, that’s the best thing about being a dad, seeing your little child grow and being there to help.
They say, nothing can prepare you for fatherhood. What did you learn in your first year of being a dad?
How to change diapers, not losing your patience when the baby cries, and not being able to say something back to the baby. What I would’ve done better is support my wife more. It’s an experience I will never forget. When I was younger, I thought I never wanted to get married, nor have kids. I was thinking about it one time on an airplane. Why on an airplane you ask? Because of the crying babies. But it’s one of the greatest blessings of my life.
Are there things you wish you had done differently as a father?
Yes…I would have given my children more space and not telling them so much what to do, and allow them to make more decisions on their own. I’m still learning how to do this.
What do you want to make sure your children, and (future) grandchildren remember about you?
That I was always there for them, and that I had a purpose in giving meaning to their lives.
Being a Prime Minister of a country is like being the ‘’father’’ of all its citizens. How does it feel for you, being responsible for, and taking care of 150K people?
Actually somebody told me that a few weeks ago. He said: ‘Do you know what it means? The votes you got?’ I said: ‘Yes I know, I’m honored and encouraged.’ He said: ‘It means that you are my father, my daughter’s father, my niece’s father, you’re everybody’s father.’ And then suddenly, it hit me. It’s an incredible responsibility and an honor. If I’m able to make a difference in the life of all these people, then doing this job has a meaning for me and it makes it all worth it.
What do your children think about your new job?
They are 11, 8, and 5, and I know that they are very proud of my new job. When I was sworn in as a Prime Minister, my son gave me a hug and I was flabbergasted. I felt that he was very proud.
‘’It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.’’ – Ann Landers. What’s the most important life lesson your father ever taught you?
The most important thing he taught me was to follow my dreams. He always supported me all the way. He never judged the choices I made in my life, he always had my back. When I got into politics, he supported me 2000%. He always allowed me, and encouraged me to do what I want. And that’s what I want to do for my children.
How will you be spending Father’s day?
Well, juggling my work responsibilities with being with the kids. I’ll be expecting them to wake me up in the morning with hugs, and their smiles. That’s all I need.
What would be the perfect gift for father’s day?
Being woken up by them, with hugs, and kisses. I always try to show them that it’s normal to hug, and kiss. I didn’t have that with my father, he wasn’t at home a lot. I want to show my kids, how important it is to show love. I always tell them, individually, that I love them. That’s important to me.
Photography by Harry Davelaar
Written by Sendeliz Gibbes