Rick Younger
Inspired by the tweets of @HelloMocha

Earlier today my Twitter friend @HelloMocha shared from some conversations she’s had recently with men. In these conversations she spoke with single men(some were white, some were black) and there was a disparity in the attitudes toward marriage and fatherhood. The black men in the conversations all had children but weren’t married to the mothers of their children. The white men were putting off fatherhood until they were married. The black men felt it was alright to be in their children’s lives without being married to the mother’s of their children and didn’t particularly see the value of being married. I’m just giving a brief summary so that anyone reading this can know what I’m addressing.

I particularly decided to write this post because I just wanted to address the value of being married to the mother of your children and living everyday with your children. I understand that sometimes that can’t be the case, but I don’t understand not even having the intention of ever being married to the mother of your children when you’re having more than 1 child with the same person. My take on marriage and family comes from being the child of a married couple that was together 46 years and lasted until the day my father died.

That being said, here I go. Fatherhood is a full time job and there are far too many men who only want to do it part-time. That’s much easier to do if your kids live with their mother (who is more than likely having to be a full-time parent as you give excuses as to why the 2 of you shouldn’t get married and you live somewhere else). One good reason for being married to the mother of your children and living in the same house with your children is the wonderful ability to actually teach your children about love and relationships as they watch you first hand loving your wife(their mother) and showing them by example what a man is. Living with your children also allows them to really get to know you. Yeah, you really get to know your father when you see him all the time and not just see him as he steps in to do a few activities with you before he heads back to his house. Living with your kids also gives you the ability to see what they’re being influenced by. You don’t have to ask the mother of your children, “who’s that dude you got around my kids?”, when you are the dude who is around your kids. You don’t have to worry if the guy your baby momma is dating is a predator who is trying to prey on your kids if you’re there(trust me I could give you a laundry list of things you could worry about when you’re not the primary man around your own children).

OK, I’m gonna go ahead and finish this up, I just did this post because I wanted to use more than the 140 character limit that Twitter does not allow me to succeed. Fatherhood is very important to me. So important that I’ve even written a one-man show about my relationship with my son and my father called, “I Am My Father”. I have a passion for fatherhood and realize that it’s an important job that affects the life of your children for their entire life. I love and miss my father and that is all because he was there. He loved my mother and he loved his kids. As a man and a father, I have more respect for him everyday. That’s what being there will give you as a father. You’ll be rewarded when your child as a grown man or woman who understands all that it takes to be a father understands how much you loved them. I said all that to say that some of the things involved with being a husband and a father aren’t fun and they’re hard work. Fatherhood is something you shouldn’t go into half-assed. If you are a father it happened because you made some decisions that made it happen. That means it’s time to grow up and do it right. You’ll be glad you did and your children will thank you.