I guess when the father of your child goes out and buys groceries and pays the household bills on time – he is a good man. I suppose when he picks up the kids from school, while you work overtime, he is worth bragging about. When he takes the kids out to the park and engages in activities with them – he makes for a great father. You see men get the props of doing what a real man slash real father should do. However, I find as a stand up black father, I don’t see that enough in my neighborhood. It feels like a miracle to see another black man focusing on his children. To me, it is sad that many black homes don’t have any structure anymore.
In my mind, your natural instincts just kick in when you become a mother or a father. Most of the time we learn from watching our parents hold down a house hold. It is a huge problem when we can’t learn from our own parents. There are many of us who give up, drop our responsibilities and turn our backs on our children because we can’t or don’t want to handle the role. We can enjoy the passion of sex, but can’t stand the heat of what comes with it, when not protected.
Truth be told, couples want to play house, but often don’t want to man up when the real responsibilities appear front and center. I tell many fathers out there, pay attention to how your parents did things. Did you admire their parenting style? If so, apply it to your home. Your parents may have gone to work and complained, but hopefully they were still on point with how they raised you. I know all households are not the same, but there are some traditional things that I think many urban households share. Here are some small jewels: Eat, sleep, work, take care of your family and grow old with a beautiful legacy. Also, be sure to pray for your families health and by all means keep them out of harms way.
The longer my experiences as a father, the more I embrace the stability of raising my family. I’m 40 years-old so I have a bit of wisdom under my belt. Just know, being a father is so wonderful. Your kids are your everything. The joy comes from watching your little ones get older. Although they may move far away from you because they want to explore more of the world, they will always come home or make a phone call to make sure things are alright.
Truly, everything I know and do as a parent I’ve learned from seeing how my mother and dad did it. I’ve also learned from my older siblings. They taught me how to step up as a man. They encouraged me to want a better life for my children, especially because they represent my last name.
To the mothers out there: men get weak like women. Sometimes they can’t stand the pressure and run. It saddens me to say that you get more men running from their children than just stepping up. I can’t say to pardon them, but I ask you to understand.
A word of advice to the fathers out there: if we just take things back to the basic fundamentals of being a parent. Focus on the growth of your child. Try to instill in them strong beliefs and teach them to respect themselves and their environment. Also, try to rise to the position as head of your household. Be respected by that title.
See, being the head of your household comes with a lot of perks. That’s if you are up for the task. You get the bigger piece of meat during mealtime. You get the end of the table where you get to over look your family and lead them into prayer. You get to say what is going to happen and how it is gonna happen. You get to dictate the flow of your home, if your wife agrees on your plan for the family. Your children will see mommy and daddy working things out for the better. Your woman will respect you as her husband, king, her man and clearly her Mr. Everything. She will make sure you eat well. She will be sure to take care of you when you are sick. She will have your lunch together before you walk out of the door. Your queen, because of your ability to lead, will make sure that you have a good breakfast before the day starts.
I can look back and remember from morning through night how things went down in my family home, even when my parents went their separate ways. It was hurtful, but my dad still stayed on his business when it came to the kids and home. As long my mom didn’t have another man staying under the same roof he would handle the responsibility of the bills. He always took care of his kids, but in his world he felt if another man enters your home and is laying with you, then its his job now to take on the responsibility of the bills and whatever comes with it. He recognized his role as a father, so he wasn’t worried about being replaced.
I remember my father would not allow me to walk out the house without a belt on my waist. I remember getting my hand knock down from the table because I had my elbows on it and that was not the proper way. I remember if my flat top hair cut was too high, my dad would cut it off and tell me he didn’t raise a dummy. He always noted that he was raising a young man. He allowed us to be kids and enjoy life, but he also had priorities that he embedded in us. That’s what a father does.
I still use many of his methods.