We live in a world full of blame and shame when it comes to parenting and fatherhood. It’s not uncommon to hear women complain about absentee fathers and dead beat dads, even though, wonderful, loving, responsible and attentive fathers, can be found everywhere. We need to praise and acknowledge these men on “Daddy’s Day” (That’s a Blackish reference, if you caught it!), and let them know that we appreciate the impact that good men and fathers have on us, and our children.
The difficult truth, is that women are often to blame for introducing poor fathers into children’s lives. We choose the men that become our children’s fathers, and, ideally, our husbands. We have the choice to continue our pregnancies, or to terminate them. We know the circumstances in which our children will be born. We know if we’re mentally, emotionally and financially able to support another life, and, if not, we know that we’re placing our children at a huge disadvantage that will affect them for a lifetime. We know in our heart of hearts, that if a man doesn’t commit to us, he’s also not ensuring a commitment to our shared child. Women, particularly, Black women, make it too easy for men to walk. We are not as discerning as we need to be in choosing fathers, which create strong families for us, our children and communities. We seem to settle for so very little. Federal data states that 72% of Black children are born out of wedlock, so that says something about our choices as women. This open letter to Black women isn’t about shame, but one of empowerment. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. We have the power to choose great men, husbands, and fathers, which contributes to the development of happy, healthy, stable kids. It’s our responsibility to make better choices, and to honor the “good guys” on Father’s Day, and every day, who satisfy the high standards that we need to set for ourselves and our children. So, cheers to the great fathers that love, respect, and protect their families around the world; and the smart women who have chosen them.
Happy “Daddy’s Day”