Part Two- a Message to the Men: A Conversation About Female-Male Relationships in the Black Community

Yesterday was part one of this discussion. Hopefully not too many toes were stepped on. For those who felt offended or slighted in any way, look within to see why my observations bothered you so deeply.

Are they not accurate?

I would be interested in furthering our dialogue to examine any points that I made and why you disagree, in whole or in part. Feel free to post your comments below.

Today we begin with part two, which delves into the offspring and legacy of our male-female relationships. Today I will speak to and with the men. Ladies don’t get all high and mighty. Tomorrow, we will have a heart-to-heart.

To the men. To my brothers. I say…

black fathers matter

Stop Being Baby Daddies

Fellas, I understand that sometimes this is the title that you have been designated by a woman who is hurt and angry about something you did and did not do, and so now you’re just the “baby daddy” in her mind.

You can’t control her mind but you can control yours, and your words and actions, and how you interact with your child.

You have a choice to be a father or a baby daddy.

You make the choice to be involved in your child’s precious upbringing or to be a deadbeat.

Let’s “keep it real” Shall We?

You made the decision to have sex with this woman, understanding the potential consequences of your actions. She was good enough to risk conceiving a child with (and please don’t say you didn’t know the risks of having sex), so now you need to do whatever (positively, ethically, and legally) it takes to positively co-parent with her.

Don’t let her foolishness sidetrack and deter you. If you want to have a healthy relationship with your child then do your part to legally and ethically be there in every way possible for your child.

Don’t let her use sex to move the “pawn” (your child) on this “chess board” and don’t you do it either.

Don’t manipulate this relationship with money, through offering or withholding it.

What you do in these instances of using sex and money to see your child is create an environment where you both are participating in pimping and pandering.

It sounds sick doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

If after great effort a woman won’t let you see your child then take her to court and legally fight for your right. But whatever you do, don’t get ugly with her. Let the court see her trickery. When you lower yourself the eyes of the law grow to despise you. The law expects more from you because you are a man, so when you begin acting like a child, doing tit-for-tat with the mother of your child, the court punishes you. Why put yourself through that madness?

Get Your Money In Order For Your Child

If this has been an ongoing battle, make sure that you have already established an account with a bank or credit union where you have been saving money for your child. This money can be used to pay for their daily needs, future needs, or both. It also shows good faith to the judge that you can and are willing to financially provide for the wellbeing of your child and that you have funds designated especially for your child’s needs. It can also grow and expand to be an extracurricular or education fund for your child. It can be an emergency fund for them.

Whatever purpose it serves make sure it’s clearly defined. You’re not obligated to do it, but you should. Your child’s needs should be factored into your personal budget. No one needs to know how much you deposit in the account. A judge may inquire, but no one else needs to be privy. It’s your account for your child.

Create a Nurturing Environment For Your Child

You also need to show that you have a safe and healthy environment for your child to spend quality time with you. Where will your child be sleeping, playing, and learning at your home? Who else lives there? Who visits your home on a regular basis?

Don’t have your child around a bunch of people that don’t make up the village who are sworn to protect your child. So that includes the women you are casually dating, as well as any men you wouldn’t bring to your own mother’s or grandmother’s home. If you wouldn’t bring someone over to your mother’s or grandmother’s home then keep them away from your child. Why leave the wrong impressions on their minds?

It’s simple. Be the father and the man that you say that you are. I’m not saying that a judge will rule in your favor all or most of the time, or at any time—but it’s not about the judge. It’s about you and your child. It’s a pact that you formed the moment that you knew you were a dad, that even through the obstacles, you did what was necessary for your child.

That means child support shouldn’t be something that has to be dragged from your fingers.

No One Should Have to Force You to Be a Father and Provider

Before that even becomes a piece that your child’s mother moves on the chess board, you need to step up and already begin supplying diapers, formula, wipes and other supplies, clothing, furnishings, equipment, and other things that you know your child needs. If you have money for overpriced shoes, smart phones, tickets to your favorite event, to buy the newest video game, or whatever else tickles your fancy—then you have money to set aside to provide for your child. Provide as though the child lives under the same roof as you.

Don’t Punish Her

Don’t punish your child through its mother. Yes, that’s what you do when you withhold and ration money to the mother of your child. That’s what you do when you have women coming and going from your life like a parade, and each one has spent time leaving impressions on your child’s mind—and then you arrogantly throw your “conquests” in the face of your child’s mother.

Hurting her hurts your child. Don’t forget, your child was formed and nurtured inside of her for nine months (on average). They have a bond like nothing you can imagine.

So that also means, don’t try and be vindictive and sue for full custody of your child. Snatching your child away from their mother will have an impact that you never want to experience.

Hurting her hurts your child. Hurting them hurts you.

Control The Flow of Your Money in a Productive and Healthy Way

If you’re concerned with how she’s spending the money that you normally give her for diapers, clothes, etc. then invest the time and money in shopping online for everything your child needs, have it shipped to their home, and then any actual money that you provide to the mother will cover incidentals that you did not allocate for in your budget.

What do I mean by this?

That means if you spend $300 for incidentals online and have those items shipped to her and then you give her $200 in cash (with a signed receipt), is that still not $500 that you invested in your child’s wellbeing? You can even go so far as provide her with a gas card that has reloadable funds available, so she’s not spending money that can go towards rent and utilities on things like that.

Honestly, you should consider doing this even if you aren’t concerned with how she’s spending the money. You actually save her time trying to shop in-store or online with your child in-tow, who of course is constantly needing attention and care. By you shopping online you save both of you from a headache. Most online stores keep track of your previous orders so reordering is fairly easy; and some even have auto-ship options that allows you to schedule shipments to automatically be shipped at a specific period of time, and your card on file is charged once shipment is complete. This can be a great option, and it makes budgeting and bookkeeping easier because you have proof of where and how much money was spent, and on what items.

Why did I say to have it shipped rather than you delivering it personally?

It’s simple. It reduces possible conflict, especially if your relationship with mom is fueled by conflict rather than mutual respect. Additionally, shipping saves you time. You have a job and other responsibilities, it’s about time and money management—it’s about being efficient and effective.

The steps and ideas outlined above are some of the things you can do long before courts get involved. If you’re already financially, emotionally, and physically taking care of your child then any claims the mother has will carry less weight. But you can also implement these steps even after judicial intervention.

Your Primary Concern

What the judge and everyone else will see and know is that you are not a baby daddy, you are a father; you are not a deadbeat, you are a father. A father who is no longer in an intimate relationship with the mother, but is focused on doing his part to help raise a healthy well-rounded child.

Your primary concern and focus should be your child. To do so you must be respectful to the mother of your child, even if she’s being disrespectful to you. Don’t allow her foolishness to impact the relationship that you are trying to have with your child, your heir, the one who will carry on your legacy. Continue to do your job, keeping your word, making sure that you stay informed about your child’s health and wellness, and their education and social upbringing. At the same time, making sure that you respect the mother of your child and her home.

Yeah let’s talk about that real quick, shall we?

What Co-Parenting is. And What It is Not.

Fellas I need you. No. Correction. You need for you to stop thinking that you are still a couple and that you “run things” as it relates and pertains to this woman who is no longer your girlfriend or wife.

Just like she shouldn’t be dictating to you who you date or marry you shouldn’t try to dictate, control, and determine who she dates or marries. The two of you should respectfully discuss how starting and blending these relationships should take place, when your child should be introduced to a potential mate, and how their parents (you and her) will address concerns such as disciplining, caregiving (babysitting), emergency situations (where one or both parent is not available), and other things that you agree are of importance.

This is a conversation that needs to happen early and frequently throughout the growth stages of your child. Not once one of you becomes involved in a relationship. No. No. No. That’s when fireworks start flying everywhere and tempers flare. That’s when the hurt person hurts the other person, and your child is ultimately hurt.

Remember, the number one priority is the health and wellbeing of your child.

I Know She Can Be “Crazy”

Now I know about the belligerent, out-of-control “baby mama” who flaps her gums and bad mouths you as though you’re the seed of satan. I’ve seen them. I’ve heard them. She’s so mad at you for whatever you did to her, real or imagined, and now all she sees is red, and all she wants to do is hurt you in every possible way that she can. The fastest and deepest way to hurt you is through your child and the second way is through your wallet.

Now hopefully some of the suggestions that I mentioned above help to resolve the “through your wallet” dilemma that you hyperventilate over. As far as “through your child” goes—I know that pain. I’ve witnessed and consoled the father who painfully watches as the mother of his child works tirelessly to turn that child against him. It tears at your heart and soul, it bashes in your spirit and your hope.

I know that what I’m about to say you have probably already heard countless times, but I’m going to say it again because I’ve seen this play out full-circle numerous times. I’ve seen what happens when you trust in God, in the Universe to handle those things that you can’t. I’ve seen how by doing what is right as a man and father, by doing all that you can to provide for your child, that child eventually sees the truth and they ultimately cling to you.

Something Your Child Will Cherish Forever

Start writing your child letters now, make a copy of the letter (I would even make a copy of the stamped envelope), and mail the original to your child. I don’t care how old they are. Send those letters. Keep the copies in a folder, envelope, box or whatever. It doesn’t matter how long or how short the letters are. It doesn’t matter what you say in them. Speak to your child through a letter, as though you’re only apart because you’re away on an extended business trip. Tell them how much you love them. Tell them how proud you are. Tell them about how excited you were to see their achievements.

When they are older and you’re given the opportunity, hand them the letters. If their mother is a true mother (and hasn’t transformed to “Mamazilla”), then she shared these letters with your child. If not, you now have the time to share months and years of letters with your child.

Don’t scoff or roll your eyes when you read this. Nothing is more powerful than the expression of love.

It doesn’t matter what the mother says and does, your child will grow up to learn and know the truth and when that time comes your child will cherish everything that you did for them, and will learn from your actions on how to be the best parent they can be with the hand that is dealt to them.

You Are The Example. Set It.

Let them see from you what it means to be a man, father, dad, and parent.

No, you didn’t stay with their mom. You didn’t keep the three of you together as one family unit. But you did everything that you could to make sure that they had all that you could provide, with the resources that you had at your disposal.

Don’t listen to your “boys” and others who would convince you to lower yourself to baby daddy or deadbeat status. None of those people have a legacy to consider tied to that child you helped to conceive. Your child could grow up to be a successful entrepreneur, scientist, engineer, educator, author, chef, architect, designer, mogul, entertainer, athlete, or politician.

All of those people who tried to convince you to do the bare minimum or nothing at all for your child, will be the first lining up with their hands of expectation stretched outward—looking for the “hook up” from your now-successful child. But your child will look at them and look at you, and based on your role in their upbringing they will determine how best to treat you now that they have reached a level of success.

You determine the kind (and quality) of relationship that you will have with your child.

I love you my brothers.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant/Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

10 Comments

  1. When ppl feel righteous about a situation they are going to get their point across even if it takes revenge. Spite is a powerful motivator. And men who are scorned will inflict terror if they feel like it will put them back at sea level. We will go so long with revenge that at one point we ask ourselves what are we without it. Rage, anger, and mean spiritedness are common tools of men who want to get revenge on the mother of the child. Men feel like utilities and resources. Once a man realizes he has been reduced to a facilItator of a lifestyle he won’t shut off the desire to get even. And sacrificing a relationship with the child to hurt that woman can turn an otherwise decent man into something resembling a sociopath. Men lie to ourselves. We think we can be a great dad when we can’t. We need to realize the safest bet is to not have kids at all. If you’re not well balanced emotionally and psychologically don’t do it. For the men who have kids and are no longer with the mother it my very well be too late. You are and will always be restless and disappointed with the way things played out. You maybe forever more portrayed as a bad dad or the villian. If you’re single and childless stay that way. Take naps. Watch cartoons. Catch up on Harry Potter. Do not have kids. The experience will most likely ruin you. I don’t have kids. Best decision I ever made besides that Chappelle show box set. But like I said for the brothers that have kids just pay the money and don’t make the mother mad. Don’t talk back to her. Say yes ma’am and no ma’am. Be on time. Play the wedding tape backwards so you can see her walking back down the isle away from you. And like Chris Rock says play that tambourine with your ass if you have to.

    1. Well that’s definitely one way of looking at it. I think that unless people address what’s really wrong, then nothing can ever be made right. The root cause of anger is hurt that was never addressed and made right. The hurt builds and the resentment of it never being resolved turns to anger, rage, and hell on Earth. But we have to know that in order to address it. We have to know how to address our hurt in a healthy way; how to tell someone that something they did or said was hurtful, and understand and accept that they may not acknowledge the hurt or even apologize—but there should be a level of “breathing” to speak our truth and get things “off of our chest”—there should be a freeing of the burden of carrying around the hurt that was never addressed. It’s like carrying around an extra body on your shoulders but no one ever acknowledges that you’re carrying it. It’s obvious to you, but everyone else’s silence begins to tick you off—“why are they not saying something about this body on my shoulders? Can’t they see it?”. Basically that’s the same concept of our hurts and anger that we carry around. We want someone to see it, say something, anything. Some people who have unresolved hurt and anger issues should be mindful of getting involved intimately with another person. The exchange of energy can bind them together, yet muddy even more the toxic “waters” that the person is wading in. Now this other person has no clue what they have stepped in. They have no clue that this person is carrying around so much baggage, and that eventually those bags will get dropped off at their feet to deal with. If we cannot deal with our own baggage we should not toss or even unpack them at someone else’s doorstep. Work on you before aligning yourself with someone else. Do your part to not bring children into this world until you are committed to committing your life to raising and nurturing them. That means be aware of the kind of birth control she uses and even when she says she’s on something, double-up on protection, don’t leave deposits in the “bank”, and then flush the “deposit envelope” so that the woman can make a withdrawal and then deposit your “wealth” into her “bank”. [I’m trying to be tactful with the descriptions]. But if by chance it’s too late, you’ve hooked up with someone—casually, dating, or married—and now a child is in the picture, you will have to force yourself to get help (professionally, through church, or from reading a book) to unpack some of your bags—on your own and at your own doorstep—because your child did not volunteer to join this mess you have caused. A child is an unwilling participant who becomes collateral damage when mom and dad decide to go to war over some foolishness. Having a child can be the biggest blessing a person can experience in their life, if their mind and heart is receptive to love and have a desire to live. An emotionally mature person understands the importance of making sure that they do their best to engage and interact with the other parent in a respectful and dignified way, especially around or near the child. An emotionally immature person is quick to act a fool, and there begins the cycle of foolishness that this child will grow up to model. Today I share my message to the women, to have a heart-to-heart conversation with them. Maybe if you have some time you can check it out and tell me your thoughts.

      1. There is phenomena that is occuring where men who otherwise would have a high SMV are opting out for fear of child support extortion. For men who have gotten caught up and had a child they do need to be responsible and be present in the child’s life. I disagree that men shouldn’t sue for full custody though. The notion that the womb is the default is something that some women can rely on and weaponize against a man who is shamed for filing for full custody. The notion being: ‘what kind of men would do that to the mother of his child?’ A litigious one. A man who advocates on his own behalf and avails himself of the right of redress. In short a man that realizes it’s a cold game that cuts both ways. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Men who sue for and get full custody are not monsters or terrible dads. And women who give birth shouldn’t be thought of as noble or maternal because they carry a child to term. Women dispassionately carry children everyday. Psycopathy and sociopathy just like nobility and honor know no gender. The father getting custody is not about punishing the woman. It can be him providing security for the child in spite of the fact that society believes women are superior care givers. Which sounds nice but is not an absolute. Now Ms. Foreman I know this may get me banned. But I refrained from using words that men use to dismiss women. Words like hypergamy or gynocentrism. Which are a weapon of the MRA’s. I wrote this respectfully. Im not as they say ” coming for you.” Just giving my perspective. If the tone is pointed it’s because I didn’t want to write a novel ( no shade) in the comments. I didn’t proofread this b/c I’m not turning this in for a grade.

        1. Shannon thank you for sharing. I don’t feel attacked by your words in any way. We’re having a conversation so everything is good here. When I mention not suing for full custody, its for the very reasons you just stated. When the intent is poisonous then nothing good will come of it. Just as a woman should not file for full custody to harm the father. Both parents should have joint custody. The ONLY time a parent should fight for full
          custody is when the health and wellbeing of the child truly is at risk—when a parent is being abusive to the child, to others, or to self, then that child should not be left in the full time care of that parent. That parent needs professional care and intervention to help them with their issues that cause them to abuse others or self. But that is the ONLY time a parent should file for full custody. Revenge is poison that the person giving it shall drink slowly and fully. But sadly, while they drink that poison it will also slowly and steadily harm that child. We have a lot of adults walking around here still not able to face and heal from childhood trauma. We have too many adults who don’t know how to communicate, love, be vulnerable, be honest and trustworthy—all because one or both parents were more concerned about attacking each other, than in raising that child up in a healthy and loving environment. There are a lot of good people doing evil things, and there are some people who are filled with so much evil that the only reason they haven’t been blotted from life is because they serve as examples and reminders of what not to be. There are countless women who don’t seemingly deserve to be mothers, yet God allowed them to give birth—the lessons they haven’t learned, maybe they will and maybe they won’t. Any woman who would put herself above her child is not a mother—she was merely an incubator and food source. I think that you should read my post from yesterday so that you can read what I wrote to the women. Your comments to me today are based on the notion that I’m out to bash the men, that I somehow believe that the women are saintly. But maybe after reading yesterday’s message to the women you will see the balance of my mind and approach.

    1. I don’t know the last time you heard it, and I don’t even know you, but I’m going to say this anyway—I salute you. I’m proud of you. It’s far easier to take the cowards route but you know and understand that it’s no longer just about you; it’s about your son and what he says and does, and how he chooses to live based on his first
      male role model—YOU! So each day you bravely do what society doesn’t expect you to do. Thank you sir!

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