There seems to be a quite a number of these being handed out, particularly among the black community and it really breaks my heart. A few days ago while browsing through my Facebook news feed, I came across an informal advice column where a young woman was asking advice on how to handle a situation with her daughter’s father. According to her, this would be her daughter’s seventh birthday party and she had become fed up with “inviting” her daughter’s father because he shows up for the birthday parties each year, empty handed, with a different lady on his arm every time. Pretty much absent throughout the rest of the year by choice as she put it (he hadn’t seen his child in the last 4 months) and he provides no other support for the child. The question posed was: “Am I being petty for not inviting him?” My reply: HELL NO! OK, well…maybe not that bluntly.
What upset me most about this post were the responses received from various readers that defended this absentee father’s behavior, even to the point of insulting the woman who posed the question. I couldn’t believe it! “Oh let him come for the child’s sake” “Who cares if he doesn’t bring a gift as long as he shows up” “So what he has a different woman each time, you must be jealous” (I’m paraphrasing of course, but you get my point). The response that took the cake: “Well, not seeing her for four months is better than father’s that don’t see their kids at all” –Needless to say, this response came from a woman that had no kids of her own. (We’ll give her a pass)
This really struck a nerve with me because I realized how so accustomed we have become to absent fathers, single parent homes, and partial parenting that the bar is set VERY low for these men. As a father, you should be just as active in your child’s life as the mother. No one should have to hold your hand, push, or force you to be there. A father shouldn’t require an invitation to his child’s party because he should have already either been planning something on his own or teaming up with the mom to figure out what they can do collectively. I am in no way saying that there aren’t mother’s out here that are dead beats also, but most of us know that is the exception rather than the rule. Single mothers are usually the ones left to carry the weight of the family, act as both mom and dad, and are held to higher expectations than single fathers. This behavior is just NOT ACCEPTABLE in my book and it never will be. Your thoughts??