Fathers, dads and daddy’s. For the majority of us, these titles provide a sense warmth, love and protection.
For this episode and blog, I wanted to focus on fathers. I jump at the opportunity to have an open discussion with men about their issues, because it is rarely done. This is even more apparent in the Black community and something that needs to be highlighted at every opportunity.
I am a firm believer that our parents ultimately mould us into the adults we become.
Our identities that form from our DNA, to our preference in foods, movements and the silent voices in our heads. Our foundation of those two relationships are imperative to our development and wellbeing.
However, we are not all afforded the opportunity to have two loving and well balanced parents in the home.
When it comes to the notion of broken families, fathers are very often in the firing line. Whilst single mothers are still discriminated against to this day, the blame isn’t always necessarily placed at their door. Women are seen as heroic martyrs who somehow manage to work every hour god sends, keep the home running, find time for themselves and provide all of the emotional support required from their children.
Women are often coined with being ’emotional’.
Biologically, this is true. Women are purposely wired to be the carer when it comes to child rearing, but men have also been wired to be providers and disciplinarians.
So, why is it that so many men find it difficult to honour their side of this life long partnership once a relationship breaks down?
It’s fair to say that we all probably know of a ‘feckless father’ or two, whether it be an uncle, cousin, a friends ex-partner and maybe even your own father!
Whilst this isn’t anything new, we are now seeing even more-so, the detrimental effects of fractures in the family.
This platform is primarily based around highlighting emotional traumas. I do not believe that every absent or non-consistent father just cannot be bothered. There is usually a few layers of past traumas from their own childhoods, traumas as adults, depression, anxiety, poverty or lack of sufficient finances, drug or alcohol abuse, guilt, lack of education and a lack of purpose.
I believe that if you take away a mans ability to provide, you undoubtedly assist in creating a broken man. A broken man leads to a whole host of other issues (see the list above again).
Now please, do not come for my neck. You may just be a single mother having to handle things yourself and think I’m making excuses. Not in the slightest!
However, until we seek understanding we cannot fix this problem. The rhetoric of simply calling shit fathers all types negative slurs hasn’t aided their change. So maybe we need to try a new approach?
I applaud platforms such as ‘The Daddy Series’ who are trying to make a positive change in advising their peers and younger fathers coming up. There is not enough of these.
We have spoken about co-parenting previously in season one and explored how poor co-parenting can lead to problems in school and serious youth violence.
In the UK and particularly London, there appears to be a movement amongst men to get things right again. Whether it be through community organised groups or platforms similar to Love Laid Bare, men are taking the reigns again.
I read a book that I rediscovered this year called, ‘The Celestine Prophecies’ and it talks about the energy that is required in raising children. I won’t go too much into it but it serves as a very good eye-opening read into the additional needs a child has that we may not be too familiar with.
Sometimes we can be so bound by our hate, disappointment and rage towards the man who left us as a child or left us with one, that we don’t really stop to ask how or why this happened.
I honestly do not expect every reader to overstand what I’m trying to say. It is hard to look at a situation objectively when you are hurt and your children are hurting also.
I am also not for one second saying that I have the answers, but what I do know is that communicating is always the first step. Understanding someones behaviour can also (sometimes) assist in your own healing. You may not agree, but objectively you can at least see things from their clouded vision and perspective.
I have learnt that trying to get an answer out of a closed book with agitation and anger will not flutter the pages.
We can continue to fight over the fence or we can at least try to exchange a note or two. Next season we will delve even deeper into the male psyche so please stay tuned in and continue with me on this journey.
Men need to make their peers accountable for their lack of presence. This isn’t a time for being judgemental and bashing the man that is already down. Lift up and encourage him. Oftentimes, people are desperate to make a change but fear rejection and simply don’t know how to.
I also want to applaud the fathers that have always done what they’re meant to do despite the challenges, and the ones trying to make a change. I also offer my hand to those that want to but do not know where to start.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and the podcast platforms. We are on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud.
As always thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this weeks episode!
Take care of yourselves!