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For starters – let’s salute all of the mothers and fathers who respect parenthood.

Mother’s Day has come and gone. Father’s Day is actively approaching. As I look to both, I can’t help but salute the mothers and fathers who made a commitment to raise their children. Some couples planned their pregnancies and some didn’t. Some couples could not wait to announce their new baby on the way and some were ashamed. Some couples embraced parenthood from conception while some couples were in denial. Some couples became stronger once they got the news and some couples – well, they fell apart. There are many ways to look at all of these scenarios, however, it does not matter what your journey was – if your baby is here and healthy, and you are actively participating in their life – cheers to you.

Parenting is no easy task. A lot comes into play daily when it comes to rearing your child. But one thing is for sure, being a stand up mother or father is so much better when both parents are on board for the long haul. Again salute.

The main thing that we should always think about when we look at our children is that they are a reflection of us – regardless if we are still in a relationship or not. Their behaviors, their beliefs and the way they carry themselves mirror what they are exposed to. Yes, that includes the fights! So be mindful of your actions in front of your children. If your child is successful in school, that is a result of your care, direction, and discipline. If you and your significant other (or ex) are committed to your children’s future, your kids have a much better chance at success. As parents, we make sacrifices. More than often that means, putting a pause on our career aspirations, school, dating, and often our freedom. However, that comes with the duties of being a parent. Problems occur when we don’t respect parenting, for instance – failure to positively guide our children or failure to be a motivating factor in their life.

When parenting, we have to give our children love and teach them how to reciprocate that. Please note, our love may often come in form of sheer discipline. As parents, we have to be dedicated to creating their structure. We have to be committed to training them to go into the right direction from the start. It’s to hard to try to save them later if they are headed down the wrong path. Truly, our job and ultimately our reward is to make sure that our children are following our lead. That lead is important because it’s not just their future, it’s also about our future and our name as a whole standing strong. We all know when raising a child that we will face bumps and bruises, ups and downs and everything in between. But what we have to remember is that when we are actively present in their lives that we are creating their memories. We are creating the balance they need that will carry them from childhood through their youth into adulthood.

They say it takes a village to raise children, but in all reality, it takes parents who are conscious and committed to their responsibility.

Randy ‘Wood’ Ritchwood is an East Orange, New Jersey resident and a divorced father of 4. He is also a serial businessman, restaurant owner, real estate owner, and the former reality star of ‘I Love New York.”Wood’ as he is often addressed, is also the 2005 winner of Oxygen’s show ‘Mr. Romance.’ To spice up Mommynoire from a man’s perspective, he will be contributing a weekly column targeting sex, intimacy, dating, marriage, baby mamas, and divorce challenges. In his eyes: “Remember, I’m not your doctor, I’m not your therapist, I’m just your man ‘Wood’ Randy Ritchwood.

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