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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dedicated Father, Musician and Author Drums Up a Positive Coparenting Narrative

Wes Watkins is a full-time musician and noted drummer based in Odenton, Maryland who has toured the world with multi-platinum selling music artists. These days, Watkins primarily performs in bands locally and records with industry professionals. Despite maintaining a demanding career, Watkins pauses from picking up his drum sticks when the time comes to tend to daddy duties for his 14-year-old son, Demauri, and his 2-year-old daughter, Drew.

“He’s a supporting and caring father, and I like how he normally stays on top of me and makes sure that everything’s good,” Demauri said, also mentioning key pointers that he gleaned from Watkins. “I’ve learned about taking care of my actions, and basically just making sure that I have everything that I need to be successful in life.”

Professional drummer, Wes Watkins, fist bumps his daughter, Drew. Photos by Mickey Freeman

Taking excursions to Six Flags and Dave & Busters are a few of his favorite activities that Demauri enjoys doing with his father. The father and son even penned a book together called “Fathers Need Their Kids & Kids Need Their Fathers.” Coming up with concepts and writing portions of it were among the teenager’s contributions for the book that was published in 2021. Some of the book’s contents were inspired by family time.

Wes Watkins shares a playful moment with his daughter, Drew. His son, with Demauri, looks at his sister having fun up in the air.

Watkins described penning the book with Demauri as a memorable bonding opportunity. The musician was able to expose his creative son to new undertakings. Virtual school prevented Demauri from illustrating for the book, although Watkins explained that his son possesses a drawing gift. Conversations, such as talks with his son about his future happen often. Therefore, Watkins is aware that Demauri has an interest in a counseling career.

 “He doesn’t have to be a musician, but I want to be able to open his eyes up a little bit to any other thing,” Watkins said. “That was like my main reason for wanting to write a book with him, and then on top of that, I also wanted him to be able to look back at something (and say) …,‘Me and my dad, we did that,’” Watkins said.

Watkins grew up in a two-parent household. His parents are still married. Although Watkins’ parental journey did not include marriage, Demauri’s positive development is also due to the example Watkin’s father provided about fatherhood and positive coparenting between Watkins and his son’s mother, Demetria Seegars.

The Prince George’s County based mother mentioned that coparenting their son peacefully, although they are no longer personally involved, entails effective communication.

“We make sure that we communicate about whatever Demauri needs and wants, and we also make sure we’re on the same page,” Seegars said. 

In the beginning of their parenting journey, legal issues were tangled in it. As time passed, Watkins and Seegars matured. Seegars added that Watkins is “an amazing father,” and she “could not have asked for a better father for her son.” Watkins credited Seegars for having a collaborative approach, too.

 The arrangement is working out well now. The pair even began writing a book about pushing peace as coparents to help other adults to be better parents. Watkins noted that if they could move forward, anyone could, while letting go of hurtful events.

“We started working on it (the book) back in March. I feel like we just have so much advice and a lot of helpful things for people that they can utilize that may be able to help them, because we’ve gone through it all,” Watkins said. “We’ve gone through the court. We’ve gone through the arguing. We’ve gone through the ‘I hate you.’”

Now that they have each other’s backs, Seegars and Watkins acknowledge their positive space.

 “Those past moments shouldn’t define you as parents,” Watkins said.

While stressing the importance of communication, Seegars reminds other mothers who may want to coparent more peacefully to remember a few practical perspectives.

“So the first thing would be to put your pride aside, put your ego aside. When it comes to your child, make it be within his or her best interest, but always know what, it’s not about you. It’s not about the father. It’s always about the child,” Seegars said.

She also feels that a father’s involvement in a child’s life is invaluable. 

“Kids need their mom, but they also absolutely need their father to guide them, teach them things that sometimes a mom can’t do, or don’t know how to do. So…, every child needs their father,” Seegars said.

Visit www.gotmyownsound.com to learn more about Watkins and future projects.

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