The other day I came across a video making rounds on one of the Mummy Blogs titled His Side (Part I) – ItsAMamazWorld by Mwende Mbae that got me thinking.
Here is a single mum, Mwende who has been sharing her experiences with other mums about her motherhood journey on her video blog, sans the father of her child and had decided to invite him to give his side of the story…which made for a refreshing change.
In a nutshell he said that He was not ready at the time to wife the mother of his child…She responds with…if he was ready to have slept with her then he should have been ready for the consequences, and should have at the least been with her during her pregnancy journey and not left her to deal with it alone.
As a man growing up you may have been born in a family with two parents; or not. You may have grown up with your Father always at home riding you hard; or your Father visiting every other holiday; or you met your Father once and you were not impressed; or you had no Father experience to write home about.
Fast forward and you are actively dating and one of the girls you are ‘having a thing with’ or ‘messing around with’ or ‘are just friends with benefits’ tells you she is pregnant, and your knee jerk reaction is to deny paternity, and block all communication with her and leave her to deal with ‘it’.
If anyone asks you about your ‘Baby Mama’ as she decides to have the baby, you deign any knowledge of said baby and even the woman and move on with your life like nothing happens; unless she then sues you. And even then if you have the means to, you find a way to frustrate any process requiring you to take emotional and or financial responsibility.
What if the script was flipped; and instead of looking at the pregnancy news as a trap to the altar and your wallet, you saw it as a way to change the future of one person in the world with your DNA. Why not look at it as a way of…showing love…and that even if you and this other person are not together, I will ensure my child has a similar life and options as I did if not better.
Many single mums when asked what their biggest challenge is, will tell you that it is the fact that they do not have someone with them to share the slack of raising this human being(s) whom she did not conceive alone. Many may interpret it as meaning financially, but it goes a step further to mean such like activities like offering to babysit some weekends so mummy can have a break, attending some school functions, teaching them a new skill like riding a bike, giving them the talk on life skills and so on.
Before we complain of ‘bitter single mums’, Fathers you have the power to change the conversation. Imagine a group of women sitting in a bar being told the way how, “My Baby Daddy is the greatest, he took the kids so I can have a night with the girls” or a son saying how when he grows up he wants to be like his Father who was there even when he was not together with Mum, and he had his back, or a daughter who tell her fiance that the only way she is marrying him is if he pays child support and has a relationship with his child as ‘You’ her Father found a way to be ‘Present’ in her life.
I know there are difficult circumstances when Fathers are not able to be there for their children because of one reason or another, but imagine a world where being a ‘Present Father’ was a thing and not ‘Dead Beat Dads’.
Fatherhood254 would love to hear from you about your Fatherhood experiences. Feel free to share or ask questions or nominate a ‘Present Father’. Remember we are not here to break but build a Fatherhood community as we support each other.