[The Baby Daddy Chronicles]: The “Choice” of Fatherhood

30 Nov

Disclaimer: The following are the views of a single, black father whom shares custody of his child. These views are not representative of all single fathers or black parents. These views are not meant to excuse or justify the choices or actions of any individuals. However, this discussion piece is meant to provide new perspectives and encourage dialogue. Comments are greatly appreciated.

The Baby Daddy Chronicles
I – The “Choice” of Fatherhood

The most notably celebrated archetypical villain in black culture is the “Baby-Daddy”. People hate a BD… and they LOVE to HATE the BD.

Have you ever seen an episode of Maury Povich? The topic of the show will be about men who refuse to take care of their children because they haven’t had a paternity test yet. Before the man is ever introduced, he is belittled and berated by his accuser… the crowd shows no mercy; they boo him before he even has a chance to prove innocence; guilty until proven childless.

People Love to hate the BD. And what is more is that the BM is usually assumed to be the “good guy” in most cases. So much so, that a BD is discredited from ever having a point of view. Before we even hit the stage, we are trifling, no good, and assumed to be the single source of everybody’s strife… regardless of the fact that both parents should share accountability… not only in the child’s existence, but in the lack of planning to raise it correctly as well.

But instead we play the blame game. As a result, fatherhood isn’t seen as a life goal; it’s more of a chore.

People always ask the simple question of “Why don’t you JUST take care of YOUR kids?”… not realizing how loaded of a statement this is. What if the simple answer back was “Because I never intended to, and that wasn’t a secret.”… would that excuse him? Would we reassign blame to the woman who flirted with the risk of a pregnancy by an Aint-Shit-Dude?

What society fails to realized and/or accept is that ownership of a child/situation isn’t always easy or simple. Mothers have the advantage of seeing a feeling a tangible difference in their lives while expecting a child. Men sometimes need more time than that… especially when it’s not a part of their plan.

While as humans, we have individual beliefs and moral backgrounds that restrict some life options, the fact remains that there are choices for women to abandon motherhood. Abortion and Adoption, while not very popular, are very available. Men’s only option is to abandon the woman and the child.

This underlying fact coupled with the expectations set in the relationship between the mother and father to be (Please see this link for explanation), could equal something upsetting for one or more parties.

Considering that all active parties know the consequences of unprotected sex, if a contingency plan for pregnancy has never been created, it is assumed that both parties will work to raise the child… But is this a fair assumption? Assuming that somebody will loan you $20 is harsh… but assuming that somebody will invest the rest of their life to include you in some way…. Easy decision. And for those who don’t agree with the many, the choice is not to be a father.

You see, in truth parenthood is a choice; responsible individuals realize that long before they decide to not use a condom. Even still, men often view it as a trap. Sometimes it’s not even that fatherhood is scary; it’s just that men decide they don’t want to be with the woman before they become attached to the idea of raising their own.

Is this okay? No… but it is life… it happens… often. You see it on TV, in movies, on Maury, in your family… maybe even with your mother. My point is that it is prevalent… yet it continues to happen. But you never know, maybe these men abandon the job because they have no intentions of doing it correclty… This is a pathology that is directly linked to the historical behaviors of (absent) fathers, however the blame cannot be placed in one (Man’s) lap.

KING’S LAW: The Parent Trap isn’t impervious to free will.



Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Family, Sex, The Baby Daddy Chronicles


13 responses to “[The Baby Daddy Chronicles]: The “Choice” of Fatherhood

  1. MichaelYoungHistory

    November 30, 2010 at 3:07 PM


  2. Spacely Sprockets

    November 30, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    *locks windows, close doors*

  3. Typo-Critical

    November 30, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    I respect this “other side” opinion. I always tended to take a hard line against fathers who abandoned their children (seeing as my own father abandoned me, it was an easily adopted stance). However, now that I’m older, I DO see that sometimes there are other circumstances or things that happen that may… cause a father to not be around. That doesn’t justify an absence by any means, but it does help me see the other side.

    Men are the easier ones to blame, unfortunately, because we don’t often see the picture of a “present” BD. We see daily images of the single Black mother, hear often about the number of children born out of wedlock and of fathers not present. We rarely see or hear as much about the Black father, not even just the BD that actively participates in his child’s life, but especially the single Black father. It’s just sad that the most recent image I can come up with, with regards to a single Black father is a Tyler Perry movie SMH.

    I guess my bigger issue comes from obligation. If a woman gets with a man who she knows isn’t trying to be a father right now, and gets pregnant by him because they didn’t make a store run (word to Trey Songz), can/should the father still be required to stick around? I say yes, he’s still obligated. While the man may have been quite adamant about not wanting to have kids/not being ready to be a father, he chose not to go Trojan Man and therefore he should accept the consequences responsibility for his actions. (no child should be considered a “consequence,” IMO)

  4. justinfication

    November 30, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    Interesting perspective.

    I agree that society really doesn’t show sympathy [is that the right word] for the man when the man gets a woman pregnant.

    I’m from the school of thought that if you have a child, you love and take care of it – period. I never considered the difficulties and hurdles of the father to deal with the mother and the unexpected responsibility of 50% of your own flesh & blood. And even after reading your post, I understand the sentiment but I just don’t sympathize.

    –Not that you’re asking for sympathy for something I can’t directly relate to.

    A child is meant to be a blessing.

    We all get that part. Eventhough we definitely intend for it to be scheduled.

    And we all expect the mother/father of our child to be a blessing too.

    But what if one loves the child (naturally), but resent the mother/father or situation in general?

    Can’t say I haven’t heard that question before, nor personally witnessed it.

    I don’t know what it’s like to go through such a situation. Or what I would do. Or what I would consider. I see your post is about more than the reprecussions of not wearing a condom. And refering back to your previous post, this realization just teaches the importance of developing a substantial relationship — preferably before you decide to get intimate.

    I suppose fertilization can rock a seemingly-perfect relationship. Hmm…

    Justinfication’s Law: Marriage before Fertilization-purposed activities… lol

  5. The King's Law

    November 30, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Great insights… and truthfully I’m in the same school of thought as you all.

    However, one thing that is a universal truth is that Nobody Owes You Shit… why would that rule translate any differently to personal responsiblity? It doesn’t… like I said, not excusing those guys, but just showing you what they’re thinking. If it’s a question of personal obligation and morals… which they have neither… then they technically have no motivation to stick around. There has to be more than that.

  6. Tava

    December 1, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    **Let me preface this by saying that I am speaking from a perspective of someone who was blessed to be raised in a two parent household with my Dad playing a huge role in my life. I am also speaking from the perspective of someone who has dated a single father and from witnessing acquaintances who are single mothers.**

    Now with all of that being said…

    Last time I checked men were not the only one’s allowed to buy condoms. Ladies you can buy them too. Matter of fact, you can go to health services or a clinic and typically get some for free. I personally do tend to sympathize for the man because often times he has NO SAY in the decision process when a woman gets pregnant. Whether that be to keep the baby, terminate it, or put it up for adoption. Instead the woman and typically the woman’s family makes all of the decisions with the man just having to accept whatever decision is made. Even though it takes two to tango, only one vote matters that could potentially change both parties lives.

    With that being said there is a lot of blame being placed on absent fathers and none being placed on the mother (reminder I’m speaking on what I’ve observed with my encounters). As women, I will admit that we can be down right crazy. I have acquaintances who have just belittled their children’s fathers in every way imaginable and then complained about how they are never around for them or their child. Last time I checked most people don’t appreciate being yelled at or degraded on a regular basis and will do anything to stay away from it. I agree that in quite a few circumstances the father does want to be in their child’s life. They just don’t want to be around the mother.

    Now I’m sure some people might be thinking, ‘well he should have none she was crazy to begin with.’ Wrong Wrong Wrong. Ladies we are tricky. Not all of us. But I’d say a good 90% at least. We portray the perfect or ideal woman in the beginning and slowly but surely the truth begins to come out. The truth may only come out sooner if pregnancy occurs, and at that point fellas you have reached the point of no return.

    But I digress. I personally am tired and saddened about hearing all of the statistics surrounding Black women about being single mothers. Instead of blaming the men. Maybe it’s time we start taking a look at ourselves and asking what we may be doing to perpetuate the situation. And while you’re thinking about it, head to the store and buy your own stash of condoms.

    • The King's Law

      December 1, 2010 at 4:20 PM

      Thank you for saying what most will not… this blog was kind of a roundabout way of expressing these exact thoughts. We’ll explore it more in the next post…

      My only disagreement is that because of the state of things, I believe men really just can NOT trust women on any level… letting them buy the condoms is a NO-NO….

      Besides the fact that they may buy the wrong size, they may poke holes in them… I don’t put anything past women any more.

  7. embossme

    December 1, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Just watched the Maury clip *DEEEEEEAAAAAADDDD*


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