Knock, knock: Anslem hangs out with wife Starrene's belly.
Knock, knock: Anslem hangs out with wife Starrene’s belly.

While many dismiss Father’s Day as another lame form of societal pressure to spend money, we like using this time to celebrate something we’re extremely passionate about here: Family. Rather than featuring a gift guide, Black Bridal Bliss convinced first-time father-to-be Anslem Rocque to open up about life since learning he would be a parent. Anslem is no stranger to Triple B, we’ve showcased both his engagement session and wedding. Now, there’s a Lil’ Rocque on the way! Keep reading for an honest take from a real husband on protecting his pregnant wife, leaning on his circle of male friends and keeping the good stuff about his family off social media.  

Black Bridal Bliss: When is your wife Starrene due?
Anslem Rocque:
August 27, 2016.

BBB: What was your first reaction when you learned she was expecting?
My initial reaction was simply joy. I found out Christmas Eve—the news was part of my Christmas/birthday (December 26) gift. We’d just moved into our new place and were surrounded by boxes. My sister-in-law and her family came over for Christmas Eve dinner which traditionally happens at my mother-in-law’s house, but she was out of town. We wanted some positive energy in our new home and hosted a pot luck. After the hectic move it was good to have some down time with family in the space.

After everyone left, Starr and I were unwinding on the couch when she asked if I wanted my Christmas gift since it was after midnight. It didn’t matter to me either way but I agreed. Since we share her Amazon Prime account I already knew she purchased me some Star Wars-themed socks, but when I shook the box I heard a rattling sound. I assumed she snuck something extra in the package. I was laying across her lap when I opened it and out dropped a pregnancy test. I automatically knew what that meant: “My boys work!”

We kissed and I thanked her for the best Christmas/birthday present I’ll ever have.

The happy parents-to-be.
The happy parents-to-be.

BBB: Do you know the baby’s sex yet?
Yes. We found out a few months ago. We’re sharing the sex in private circles but not in public forums or on social media as to keep that, along with the name close to home. We don’t want our gift registry to be stereotypical pink or blue.

BBB: How does it feel to be on the heels of fatherhood?
It’s exciting and scary at the same time. I know from here on out it is no longer just Starr and me. That’s a lot of responsibility. But it’s also exciting. Every night I look forward to placing my hand on Starr’s belly and feeling the kicks of our child. We’re excited to meet our little human.

BBB: How has your relationship evolved with Starrene since you learned she was pregnant?
Pregnancy has made us closer. I’m more affectionate and often rub or kiss her belly. I also make a concerted effort to protect her when we’re out and about, like making extra sure it’s safe to come into the crosswalk or buckling up when in an Uber. I make her breakfast even if it’s something more complex than what I’m eating. She better enjoy that while she can. (laughs)

Pregnant + Posing for the Camera! A glowing Starr shows off her modeling skills.
Pregnant + Posing for the Camera! A glowing Starr shows off her modeling skills.

BBB: What are your expectations of fatherhood? What’s your biggest fear?
Expectations? A lot of hard work. I helped my mother raise my siblings who are 10, 13 and 16 years behind me so I feel a sense of familiarity with what’s to come. But, I understand I was a teenager then and they weren’t my kids so I had the luxury of passing them off to mama when I wasn’t babysitting.

I guess without either my father or grandfather here I’ve sought out advice and perspective from the other young fathers in my friend circle. One of my best friends has two kids that are 9 and 5 so he’s the OG—but I have other recent father friends with kids who are under two years old. There’s also a good friend who is expecting his third child any day now. I’ve found more conversations about what to expect from these peers rather than my paternal figures.

My biggest fear is getting it right. Not having a father figure [growing up] and losing my grandfather at 10, I just hope I have enough of a blueprint to guide this person into being everything I want them to be.

We have a lifetime to figure it out.

Black Love Matters.
There’s plenty of love to go around in the Rocque Family.

Share your  words of encouragement and congratulations with Anslem in the comments!

Get the scoop on Starrene’s new book, Bloggers Can’t Be Trusted here.

Check out our recent new feature If Mama Ain’t Happy here.