Fellas, below is an email I received while taking part in a discussion about the relationship between black men and black women and black fathers taking care of their children. The lesson that should be gathered from this is APPLICABLE to ALL MEN!
The names have been substituted with Andrea (the daughter/baby) and Donald (father) to protect the
As a single mother I deal with this issue [a father not taking care of his child] on a regular basis and I thank you for bringing this up. It means a lot coming from a person who really doesn’t have to "put this on the things to think about list". I say that cause you don’t have any children. So kudos to you!
But at anyrate – I have a little one named Andrea – she’s very bright, articulate and insightful for a 6 year old. Well, with that being said, about 2 moths ago she was brushing her teeth and getting ready to start a new day at swim camp and she says to me:
”Mommy, can I have new parents?”and of course I’m like what? So she says it again
“Mom, can I have a new parent (singular)?”so I asked her why and she said “well, what I really want is a new Dad." Seconds later, my heart sinks so low that it feels like there is ton of bricks on it.
Well, Andrea being the insightful child she is senses and sees the pain in my face, so I try to crack a smile to reassure her and I say, well, Andrea, you have a Dad, Donald. She says
“I know, but he doesn’t call me, or see me, he doesn’t even pick me up from school or nothing and he doesn’t take me anywhere. So I wished for a new Dad at my birthday party” (her father was there – unbelievable right?)Of course, I’m dumbfounded, so she asks me:
“Mommy, do wishes come true? Cause I don’t have a new Daddy yet”So I tell her Andrea, you’re a blessed little girl because you have 3 uncles, and 2 Grand Pops! And she says I know that already Mommy, but I don’t have a Daddy? He’s not here.
This true and sad reality is a problem in the black community – the issue of the absent father.
My daugther’s father takes good care of her financially (which he was forced to do) but he isn’t there emotionally, physically, spiritually and collectively...and at the tender age of six she knows this and is probably adapting better to this cold reality than I am.
She knows that there is a void, she has brought it to my attention and his. And she at the “tender” age of SIX is holding a 31 year-old MAN accountable. She calls him on it every time she sees him, speaks with him and talks about him. I’m so proud that she is dealing with this and speaking truth to the both of us – it speaks volumes of her strength and character and also lets me know that she knows right from wrong.
She knows that HE should be there for her. She recogonizes it and you know what, she told me. She said
"Mommy, we’re gonna pray for Daddy, that he will be good and be a good Daddy"and she at this moment is content with her uncles and her Pop-Pop’s. She is no longer wishing for a new Dad...except, praying for the one that made her to do better.
And that for right now is how WE (Andrea and I) deal cause I don’t want her wishing for something that at this point, I may not be able to give her unless I get married, etc...
So we’ve agreed that we would pray for her real father to do better – which works for our belief system.
And for right now we’re ok. Yes, its hard. Because I know I made bad choices as a mother by getting pregnant by a DEADBEAT. And I’ll tell you most GROWN AZZ women won’t keep it real and admit that THEY (WE) made a bad choice in a mate and father for our unborn children.
I knew a long time ago that he wasn’t going to do right by us (but my vision and thinking was clouded) but underneath it all I knew. I knew it would turn out like this and I would raise her alone. But even at the age of 21 when I had her. I was ignorant of my wrong doings. I was selfish. I was only thinking about my needs and not the needs of my child.
I’ll keep it even real-er with you and let you know that I used to beat myself up on a daily basis because I CHOSE (chose is the keyword) to have a child by a person that I knew was not equipped to handle being a father.
AND MOST black women know this before they even lay down with a guy and they do it anyway (I WILL ARGUE THAT TRUTH with ANYBODY anyday and I'll win - bring it on...LOL).
But I don’t beat myself up anymore. I’ve dealt with it and I’m trying to move on. NEXT TIME, I KNOW BETTER.
Keeping it Real – even if it hurts...