9 episodes

Complicated Fatherhood is a podcast docuseries exploring what it means to be a father after growing up without one. Over eight episodes, podcast host Ryan Rucker interviews his biological father, Maurice, to understand his childhood, his absence, his attempt to reconnect and ultimately how his legacy and life affects the next generation of fatherhood.

Through stories of humor and heartbreak, Maurice offers a raw reflection of his life decisions while answering tough questions about the choices he’s made. Through each episode, Ryan seeks to understand how his family of origin is shaping his future as a dad.

Complicated Fatherhood Ryan Rucker

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Complicated Fatherhood is a podcast docuseries exploring what it means to be a father after growing up without one. Over eight episodes, podcast host Ryan Rucker interviews his biological father, Maurice, to understand his childhood, his absence, his attempt to reconnect and ultimately how his legacy and life affects the next generation of fatherhood.

Through stories of humor and heartbreak, Maurice offers a raw reflection of his life decisions while answering tough questions about the choices he’s made. Through each episode, Ryan seeks to understand how his family of origin is shaping his future as a dad.

    Episode 8: From 8 to 24

    Episode 8: From 8 to 24

    To overcome, transition, or move forward you need to evolve. In the eighth and final episode of Complicated Fatherhood, Ryan and Maurice work to understand how to move into the next steps of their lives.


    From 8 to 24 pays homage to the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Ryan recites a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of how the famous Girl Dad inspired him in more than one way. Kobe used his jersey number to transition out from the past and into an elevated version of himself. How can our personal transitions help propel the rest of us into greatness? 


    Ryan and Maurice then finish their conversations by addressing a pretty big elephant in the room... child support. Additionally, Ryan asks Maurice about forgiveness and if he feels he's done a good job of reconciling with his past. Maurice also reads the poem he wrote to his Grandchildren, the poem that unintentionally sparked the creation of this podcast.


    Join us on Instagram: @complicatedfatherhood

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Episode 7: Choose To Never Have A Bad Day Again

    Episode 7: Choose To Never Have A Bad Day Again

    Is it ever too late to get to know your father or son? In episode 7, Maurice and Ryan ask 20 questions. In the opening monologue, Ryan references a quote that changed his life and the unlikely source it came from.


    Maurice then begins by asking questions about Ryan's favorite food, shows, teachers, and much more. Ryan uses his 20 questions to ask Maurice about what actor would play him in a movie, his missed opportunities, and what advice he would give to a new dad. The conversation took a turn after the 20 questions were asked and Maurice and Ryan open up to ask bigger questions that lead to bigger answers.


    Follow us on Instagram: @complicatedfatherhood

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Episode 6: This Is What You Missed

    Episode 6: This Is What You Missed

    You've heard about Maurice's life, but what about Ryan's? For episode 6 of Complicated Fatherhood, Maurice asks all the questions and learns about the son he never knew. In the opening monologue, Ryan references actor Jake Johnson's interview with the Off Camera Show where he discussed his relationship with his absent father. Ryan explains what it's like to have his own relationship with Maurice and what it takes to work towards having normal, casual conversations about life.


    Maurice then takes the microphone and begins to interview Ryan. Maurice asks about growing up Black in a predominantly white town, his first relationship, moving to California from New York and how he came to meet his wife. Throughout the conversation, Ryan recalls the moments throughout his life that led him into becoming the father he is today. 


    Follow us on Instagram: @complicatedfatherhood

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Episode 5: When We're Gone

    Episode 5: When We're Gone

    Reflecting on past mistakes can be difficult. It's easier to try to forget, but when we sit to think about the end of the chapter, or the end of the book, are we going to like what we see? In episode 5, Ryan reflects on forgiveness and what it looks like to be able to forgive. After referencing the work of Latasha Morrison on reconciliation, Ryan dives into the motivations to make these moments count.


    Then episode 5 takes an unexpected turn when Maurice tells a story about the time he got fired from Home Depot and how it immediately became a viral news story. Maurice then reflects on his life and relationships and what his hopes are regarding the time he has left.


    Follow us on Instagram: @complicatedfatherhood

    • 59 min
    Episode 4: Distant Image

    Episode 4: Distant Image

    What do you say to your father after 18 years? Episode 4 dives into the unique way in how Ryan and Maurice connected, the first time they met in person, and the unfortunate events that followed Maurice back to Jamaica Plain. In his monologue, Ryan references the words of President Barack Obama in his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, where Obama recalls the one and only time he met his father after he left home.


    Ryan and Maurice then recall how they first connected over MySpace and explain the events that led to them meeting face to face in Lake George. After a tense conversation and a round of mini-golf, Maurice went back to Jamaica Plain where his life began to unravel. 


    Follow us on Instagram: @complicatedfatherhood

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Episode 3: What Was More Important Than Me?

    Episode 3: What Was More Important Than Me?

    After leaving his family for good, where did Maurice go? Episode 3 of Complicated Fatherhood dives into the 17 years following his exit from New York. In the opening monologue, Ryan details his first trip away from his family and the guilt associated with not being there for the hard moments.


    Maurice then walks us through his time in Boston, MA, and explains how Jamaica Plain became the place where he felt most at home. After some teaching gigs working with kids, Maurice went on to form a successful blues band, The Jones Brothers, before the band came to a significant crossroads. Maurice goes on to talk about the important women in his life and the conversation gets emotional when he receives a phone call that would change his family forever.


    Follow us on Instagram: @complicatedfatherhood

    • 1 hr 9 min

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