For years a man can live his life irresponsibly, and for a while, it’s exciting and feels worthwhile to live life without a worry or a care. But there comes a time in every man’s life where he decides he wants more for his life and his legacy, he wants to be a contribution to society and add value to the lives of others. These epiphanies normally come when he’s experienced some sort of tragedy in his life that humbles him (i.e. Death in the family, a bad break-up, loss of a job/place of residence, etc). One of the most powerful influences that drive a man towards maturity and growth is Fatherhood.
A mother/son relationship is the closest a man will ever come to experiencing unconditional love; that is until he meets his first child. When a child is born, he/she knows no one except for the people who are there, and that child inevitably grows to know & love those two people as their parents. When a man stays connected to his child, it becomes almost impossible for him to disconnect; once he feels the unconditional love his child has for him, he’ll never want to let it go.
Men are capable of completely disconnecting emotionally while being active sexually with a woman, however pregnancy and the birth of a child are very emotional places for a man. When considering the well-being of a child, it’s important that the parents have an ongoing happy/healthy relationship with one another that’s filled with what I call “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Relationships” [Respect, love, trust, honesty, loyalty, support, and communication]. No matter how the two of you feel about one another romantically, there is a bigger picture here, and you have a moral obligation to provide the best life for your child together.
Being sexually active with someone you’re not in an exclusive relationship/marriage with can be an extreme risk factor for a woman, and should be avoided at all costs. A man who is not connected to a woman romantically will not be pleased with the idea of him having to access his emotions to nurse her through pregnancy, raise a child, and love the child. The shattering of his plan to simply be casual with her will forever leave a bad taste in his mouth and will build resentment. This is an unhealthy space for a man to be in when considering the well-fare of the child.
The power of Love through a child can certainly change a man’s mind not only about the kid, but about himself. Who better to blame for becoming a father than himself? Each day he looks at his child, it’s a reminder that “Youare accountable for your actions, whether you’d like to be or not. If you don’t like the position you’re in, change your direction and continue to move forward”. The child whom he once thought was a curse can turn into a blessing once he sees the value in fatherhood; a life changing blessing that allows him to see who he really is and where he wants to be.
There’s no running away from a child who looks just like you, behaves like you, and wants to know where you are, what you’re doing, or when he will see you again. Instead of running from his responsibilities, he looks his kid in the eyes and lets him know, “I love you, and I will always be here!” What started out as a young man living his life selfishly with little to no direction, stemmed a man who has now discovered a new purpose for living! When it comes to his child, he shares his time, his money, but most of all, he shares his love!
It’s for this reason many men who want nothing to do with the child’s mother opt never to see the child. He’s afraid of the natural love connection that will occur between a father and his child, so he avoids it at all cost. A man who has decided to only have a casual relationship with a woman will not be filled with joy after hearing the announcement of a pregnancy, but instead filled with outrage, and in some cases will flee.
Side note: It’s important to first build a solid friendship built on love and trust before making yourself accessible to someone emotionally/romantically; this process will allow you the time you need to truly assess a man’s character. As a woman, you have to protect yourself by legally binding the man you give your body to (i.e. Marriage). Men don’t fully understand, value, or respect Love, but they do understand time and money, so make sure the man you’re sleeping with is investing both. Child support/alimony/jail time are things that make perfect sense to men, and they want to avoid them at all costs; use these tools to protect yourself against abandonment.
Being an active father in your child’s life doesn’t only do wonders for the child, it does wonders for you as a man! You have an opportunity to be an influence in someone’s life; someone who will value and appreciate your contributions. Some men think having a child will slow them down or “stop their flow”; on the contrary… this child will upgrade you by encouraging you to associate with people and places with higher standards.
Instead of going to a night club, being a father might prompt a man to organize a family gathering. Instead of having a regular guys night out, a father might call up his guy friends who also have kids and make a fun filled day of socializing with old buddies and watching his kid build new friendships. Instead of going grocery shopping and buying snacks and goodies, a father might take his son to the kitchen and teach him how to make frozen ice pops with 100% juice, make homemade cookies from scratch, or how about making “Smore’s” over the stove…
There’s only one key ingredient to being a better father and that’s simply “being a better father”. With all of the fun activities a father can provide for his child, what matters most to your child is that you’re “there”! Take him to a high school basketball game; he won’t know whether it’s the “Saint Anthony Friars” or the “L.A. Lakers” playing. All that matters to him is “My Dad took me to a basketball game”! Take him to a park and challenge him to throw a football, baseball, or a Frisbee to you, tackle him to the ground as he tries to score a touchdown, and then lie there as you describe what the clouds are shaped like. Don’t just throw your kid into summer camp to keep your child busy, figure out ways to form a special bond with your child.
There isn’t enough money in the world that you can wire into an account that could replace the one-on-one experience, interactions, and life lessons a father/son have when you’re present in a child’s life. Your child needs to know that although you and his mother are separated physically, you’re all still connected spiritually. He needs to know that you are grateful to have a son, and you are grateful for the one woman who loves/cares for him unconditionally. He needs to know that you’ll always be positive role model in his life, and you’ll always be there for him.
Yes, love the mother of your child (even if/when you’re not together); this is the first woman your son will fall in love with. Show him how to treat this woman, so he’ll know how to treat all women. A child may or may not have been a part of your diabolical plan, but nevertheless, that child ishereand he’s here to stay, so get used to it. Any animosity between you and the mother of your child should cease and desist for your own personal growth & development, but most importantly for your child’s.
Always be a positive influence in your child’s life; make him proud… but also make yourself proud.
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Life & Relationship Coach