I’m going to touch on a subject that is near and dear to my heart for a variety of reasons.
Let me start by saying this: ANY man who is the father of a child is NOT babysitting when he is looking after that child. You are doing what you signed on to do (when you laid down and played Russian Roulette with your penis), taking care of your child. Even though every man doesn’t step up to his fatherly responsibility, I don’t think you deserve special recognition for putting some time into a life you went half on.
That said, I want to give you a peak into the conversation I recently had with my brother. The names are changed to protect the innocent.
Boo-Boo’s brother: “Pookie is tripping. She don’t want me to have the baby around Keisha”.
BB: “Oh yeah?”
BBB: She tripping, she must mad our thing ain’t work out. MBB (Momma BooBoo for those who didn’t read the last post) said I should have Keisha call Pookie, but I’m not boutta be jumping through hoops for her @ss. She don’t be telling me when she be having dudes around the baby”
BB “ I’m not a fan of Keisha, but I think you need to listen to MBB. If you don’t, and Pookie don’t let you see the baby, you’re the one who is going to suffer.”
I don’t feel the need to rehash the whole conversation (trust me, I gave you the highlights), but I do feel the need to explain my comment. I come from a hodge- podge family, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. God blessed me with the most amazing father, but it happens that he isn’t the man that donated the sperm to give me life. The sperm donor has been absent since I turned 6. He touched based when I turned 18 (didn’t even know he knew when my birthday was) and has recently decided to clear the air between us. That’s a topic for a later blog but suffice to say, we don’t really have a relationship.
When I told my brother that he was going to suffer, I was speaking as woman who felt spurned by her biological father as a child. I knew from my life experience that an absent father (but it applies to either parent) is going to be greeted with several emotions (of varying intensities) when/if he decides to enter the picture. I think it depends on the circumstances, but happiness is the least of those emotions. Trying to become reacquainted with a stranger who doesn’t have a good reason for their disappearance from your life tends to bring a lot of anger out of people, especially when you can think of ATLEAST one pressing reason that person shouldn’t be a stranger. For me, that reason is that parenthood brings a lot of responsibility, the greatest of which is being responsible for shaping another life. You can’t fulfill that responsibility if you are absent.
Now, I am not suggesting that you need to try to stay together for the sake of your child/ren, but I am suggesting you keep it civil (at the very least). Letting the mother or father of a child keep you from the child is a SORRY EXCUSE. Honestly, you leave yourself open for all kinds of character attacks, whether they are warranted or not. The child is going to have more time with the custodial parent, and that parent has license to avoid talking about you, to defame your name, or to discuss you however they might decide to discuss you. That’s part of background that child is going to bring into the reunion, good or bad.
I see a lot of my brother in my niece. Outside of the fact it looks like he spit her out they are both stubborn. Even though she is NOT a Gemini, she has his fiery temper. Even though she will likely have contact with the rest of the family, I think that would make it even worse if she sees her father every once in a while, or not at all. And how will he explain his absence to her?
BBB: Babygirl, I know I ain’t been around, but it’s because yo momma was trippin.
That even looks foolish in print! I definitely hope for better. Someone once told me “If you knew better you would do better” (or maybe it was American PIMP?) and I hope that is the case in this situation. Not only because he is my brother and I KNOW he was raised better than that, but because…well, maybe that’s enough.