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.

By Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 
 Teacher. Corrector. Nurturing. Supportive. Caring. Loving. Tender. Warm. Patient. Understanding. Healing. Healer. Fixer. Graceful. Delicate. Strong. Respectful. Kind. Brave. Meek. Humble. Courageous. Lady. Love.
 
 These words and more describe the traditional woman. These are some of the words that we think about when we think of mothers.
 
 Baby Mama. B*tch. Baddest B*itch. Side Chick. Side piece. Breezy. Butter head. Barbie. Chicken head. Dime. Cougar. MILF. Ho. Jump off. Queen Bee. Diva. Gold digger. Vixen. Trick. Slut.
 
 These are some of the words that are being used to describe women today. These are some of the words that women and young girls are using to describe themselves. These are some of the words being used by mothers to describe themselves and other women. The list continues to grow each year.
 
 Something is wrong. Something is terribly wrong. Painfully wrong. Females. Women. Ladies. Mothers. Sisters. It is time that we step up and act.
 
 We must Woman Up!
 
 I wrote a two-part letter to the men (see the links at the end of this post) asking that they step up and do their part to help bring about positive change in our households, schools, churches, and neighborhoods worldwide. I wrote and asked them to do their part to help young men and boys learn what it means to be a real man, a protector, nurturer, teacher, provider, father, husband, son, and friend. I asked men to do their part to help young women and girls learn what a real man is and is not, why they need to shake their fixation on finding the daddy that left them, was never around, or hardly noticed.
 
 But this change requires us too!
 
 Young men and boys learn how to treat a woman by looking at and getting directions from other males, but they also learn by watching and interacting with us. The kind of woman that you want your son, grandson, brother, nephew, or cousin to marry and raise a family with will either be the woman he sees in you, or the image he sees somewhere else—maybe on television, in magazines, or on the streets. You can either help present an honorable image, or you can carelessly allow him to seek out and connect with the next “jump off”.
 
 It is our responsibility to change the image and view of women. It is our responsibility to not sell out for money, affection, fame, or perceived power.
 
 Your Image: Healthy or Destructive?
 
 Here’s the problem. If your model image of womanhood comes from what you see on television or view in magazines, then you yourself have not been exposed to any positive female role models. You have allowed the media, designers, corporations, and airbrushing experts (all mostly men) dictate to you the epitome of beauty, sensuality, and strength. I just watched an amazing video that reveals what Jean Kilbourne and thousands of women have been trying to make clear for over 40 years—the images we see of fashion models, actresses, and female celebrities are mostly altered and airbrushed in an attempt to entice and seduce men, and embed a message in the mind of women and girls, that only leads to our diminished esteem and an increase in eating disorders, suicide, and heightened destructive sexual behavior. Please watch this video and share it with others, males and females, old and young. We have to change the way we see ourselves and other women. We have to change the way men and boys see us. We have to change the way designers and corporations see and depict us.
 
 Eating Disorders
 
 Eating disorders are not just a “white girl” or wealthy girl issue. Eating disorders don’t discriminate. They can reach all of us. Starvation, forcibly vomiting, binge eating, and emotional eating are actions taken by females around the world from every socioeconomic background, race, color, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.You can have a seemingly “perfect” life living in a two-parent household, beautiful home, fenced yard, with one or more cute pets, and still have an eating disorder. You can live in the projects with your grandmother or aunt, and have an eating disorder. You can be a straight A student and star athlete, and have an eating disorder. You can be a soccer mom, juggling your demanding career and back-to-back playdates for your kids—and have an eating disorder.
 
 Either we think we’re too skinny, too fat, too wide, have too much cellulite, don’t have big enough breasts, or have some issue with our butt (too big, small, lumpy, flat, or too wide), whatever it is we aren’t happy. This unhappiness turns into us using exercise, food and other substances to drastically alter our bodies. Someone planted this seed in our minds. Someone told us we’re too fat or too skinny, and that seed rooted and grew quickly. We then fixated on this and it became our reality. Then our pain must be inflicted on others, because hurt people hurt people. So we then see the flaws in other women, and we do our part to share with them and others our opinion of these flaws. There is the chain reaction.
 
 Plastic Surgery
 
 Then there’s plastic surgery and this obsession with becoming a barbie doll—thinner, uplifted always-smiling face; big and even bigger breasts; perfectly sculpted legs and arms; toned and rounded hips and butt; and a teeny tiny waist. Women are spending one to six months of income (theirs or someone else’s) to achieve their ideal barbie doll image, and then when they still aren’t satisfied, they spend another one to six months of income to make corrections.
 
 That is why honorable plastic surgeons inquire in advance your true intent for wanting plastic surgeon, what outside influences may be encouraging this decision, and if you are mentally and emotionally prepared for this change. You can make all of the physical corrections that you want with the help of a surgeon, but if you aren’t spiritually, mentally, and emotionally healthy, happy and satisfied, then you will never ever be happy with yourself or your looks. We must accept this for ourselves and we must explain this to the young girls and teens who are growing into their bodies and ingesting the toxins delivered by magazines and on television. It is our responsibility to have this discussion with friends and family. It is our responsibility to have this discussion with young school-aged girls and those young women ages 18 to 25.
 
 It is our responsibility to tell the media, fashion designers, advertising and marketing companies, and other corporations that we are not inanimate objects, we are not objects. Period. We are women, ladies, girls, daughters, wives, girlfriends, sisters, cousins, teachers, entrepreneurs, and bearers of life. We are not to be dehumanized and exploited. To make this point clear that means that we have to also refuse to audition and interview for roles, assignments, and jobs that negatively portray us as objects of desire, and we have to stop carrying ourselves (and behaving) like mere objects.
 
 Woman up!
 
 Tune in for Part Two coming soon!
 
 
 Your Sista girl,
 
 Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 
 To read the two-part Call to Action for men visit:
 
 Part One
 https://natashaforeman.com/2013/12/12/a-call-to-action-for-all-men-part-one/
 
 Part Two
 https://natashaforeman.com/2013/12/13/a-call-to-action-for-all-men-part-two/
 
 
 Sources:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWKXit_3rpQ
 
 Jean Kilbourne
 http://www.jeankilbourne.com/
 

By Natasha Foreman Bryant, MBA
 
 Part one of this series was a call to action for the men in the world to stand up, speak out, and to be proactive in our communities. Today I continue my plea. Today I go even deeper and broader.
 
 I want to see more positive male role models showing young girls and ladies what a man and father is all about and that although these females may not have a real father in their life, they should not go through life looking for one in every male they encounter, nor should they lower themselves to fighting over men or plotting and planning to take one from another woman.
 
 I want to see these male role models speak up and tell women that “he who findeth a wife finds a good thing” and that a real man will find them and will do right by them, encourage them as they grow in their career, and will marry them first and not rush to turn them into a “baby mama”. I also want these men to shed light on the labels of “baby mama” and “baby daddy”, and that a woman should not want to be labeled as such or be in a position to have a man not worthy to be called the father of her children, or her husband.
 
 I want to hear from the men as they explain to young girls and women that their value is not between their legs, but rather within their brains, and that it is a rare man who is interested in marrying and staying in a committed, monogamous, and healthy marriage with a woman who spreads her legs like an eagle or frog for almost every passerby. I want men to stand up and let females know that the only man interested in a “loose” woman is not a man, but he is rather a snake who is pimping not only her but others for their “goodies”, and once he is done with her he will move on to the next and the next, and the next.
 
 Young ladies need to know that they don’t need to fight for, manipulate, trick, or set up a man. A good man, a decent man, a man qualified to be a husband, will seek them out and they will complement each other. I want to see the men stand up and tell these young ladies that trying to get pregnant to keep a man will only make their lives a living hell, and increase the probability of their children growing resentful of one or both parents.
 
 I want to see men stand up and let these young girls and women know that the words “I love you” are used casually as well as manipulatively to gain power over another person, and the truest sign of someone’s love is when they don’t ever make you feel desperate, weak, vulnerable, less than, second to, dependent, alone, lonely, ugly, stupid, trapped, incompetent, worthless, or like a body part.
 
 When a man gives a woman the space to grow, learn, experience life, take on challenges, chase your dreams, set and achieve goals, pursue and complete your education, follow your passions, work for the job and career you desire, start your own business, have a social life outside of him, spend time with friends and family, live interdependently—-that is love. The same is true when a woman provides that environment for her man. That is what I want to hear men share with these young ladies.
 
 I’m asking the men to stand up and keep telling these young males to pull up their pants, dress with respect and dignity like they want a career and have aspirations beyond living for today. Tell these young ladies to dress with class and not like prostitutes. I’m asking for the men to stand up and tell both boys and men to stop calling women bitches and hoes, chicken heads, side chicks, side pieces, and other disrespectful (and belittling names). I also need you to stand up and tell the females to stop answering to and calling each other these same names, and to stop disrespecting men by calling them out of their names. Females need to stop tearing down, beating down, and psychologically castrating men—a man can’t lead if he’s been kicked down. Let them know this. Explain this to them. Help them to see what you see.
 
 Men I need you to stand up, stand up, stand up, and get to work. Don’t close your eyes or turn your head, get to work. We have a world to save!
 
 If you are serious and ready to commit to turning our communities around for the better, in addition to your active pursuit of change, take part in the Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action through Operation HOPE’s Project 5117 by visiting http://operationhope.org/join5117 and select one of the options, or click “Other” and type in your specific commitment to saving our youth.
 
 
 ~Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 
 
 Link to A Call to Action for Men: Part One: https://natashaforeman.com/2013/12/12/a-call-to-action-for-all-men-part-one/
 
 Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.
 
 
 

By Natasha Foreman Bryant, MBA
 
 I’m fed up so I’m speaking out and I’m calling people forward to join me, and to do their part to change our situation. Every week I will post a Call to Action. Today I share part one of this series.
 
 Today and every day I call for men to stand up and be men in your families and households, communities, and in the communities that are in need of positive male images. I don’t care your color, racial makeup, nationality, religion, or how much money you earn. I just want to start seeing men lead and work to take back our neighborhoods.
 
 I want to see more men investing time in classrooms, in before and after school programs, in local community centers, in churches and religious centers, and in outreach programs. I want to see more men tutoring our youth, and telling them about the struggles of adulthood while encouraging them to accept the challenge with dignity.
 
 I want to see more men teaching young boys what it really takes to be a man, and that it has nothing to do with his age, the money in his pocket, the number of females he can impress and have sex with, the size (or capability) of his sexual organ, how far he can throw a ball, how well he can dribble or shoot one, or how fast he can run. These boys need to learn that making babies doesn’t make them a man, taking care of them and treating their mothers with respect is what separates the men from the deadbeats.
 
 Come on fellas, step up and tell these young brothas about the dope game and how they are setting themselves up to be locked up or stone cold in a grave, and how they are risking their families lives every single day. Tell them about the marijuana and crack possession laws that are slanted to incarcerate and keep them mentally enslaved for years. There is no credible and long-term retirement plan for drug dealers or gang members, and their families.
 
 Tell them why being in a gang doesn’t bring them power or respect, because they don’t own the streets they terrorize, and no one respects a person they fear—they merely tolerate them and hope that God or the government will remove them from their life. The disdain that they feel by the so-called “power structure” is the same disdain their community has for them. Oh and those big, bad guns that they (and others) want to tote around, their usage proves nothing to the rest of us—anyone can pull a trigger. I don’t condone violence, but two pairs of fists make a point better than a bullet, bat, knife, or other weapon. If you can’t put up those fists and take a “chin check”, then you need to stay out of drama and don’t let your mouth write a check your butt can’t cash.
 
 Pulling a trigger, stabbing, kicking or beating a person, stealing from or robbing someone doesn’t make you hard or brave. It makes you weak. It sets you up for a life of failure, incarceration, or a shortened lifespan. Tell them this. Explain this to our boys and young men.
 
 A weapon used for revenge or punishment is a cowards way out. You can’t claim self defense when you go out looking for the person to harm. People are outraged about George Zimmerman, so am I, but I’m also outraged by the countless young Black, Brown, Yellow, and White boys who are killing each other like it’s a video game. The players don’t reset themselves in real life like they do in a video game. In real life once the person dies the game is over.
 
 Even a person being bullied doesn’t really get an “eye for an eye” sort of revenge when they pull out a gun and begin firing. Now one or more people are dead or injured, and the person bullied is heading to jail (if they didn’t turn the gun on themselves or get killed by a third party). I need the men to stand up and explain this to our youth and young adults.
 
 Men I need you to stand up, stand up, stand up, and get to work. Don’t close your eyes or turn your head, get to work. We have a world to save!
 
 ~Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 
 
 Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.