What is it like being yourself, an individual, who is also a father in 2012?Khal:
Being a black dad in 2012 is scary. It's not easy trying to bring up kids in this world the right way. Got a lot riding on how I do and act.
The only thing that I can see that has changed is the amount of mothers and fathers that stay together after the child is born. Myself, I grew up with both parents in my life day in and day out. No visitation rights set by the court. And that’s what I am going thru with my daughter now. As much as I want to see her every day, her mother and I aren’t together so it doesn’t allow that. But I am still her father and do everything I can to make sure she is taken care of.
Being a father while also maintaining an individual identity is a lot tougher than I expected. I learned very early that what I do, and the precendent that I set, is quickly followed by my son. So, this has led to a greater shift in my focus about my individuality. Sure, I still have my own likes and dislikes, but now that I am a father I have been constantly trying to curb my preconceived notions about stuff because I don't want to influence my son against something that he might actually enjoy. I don't want to hear my three-years-old son saying "I don't like ______" just because I said it. I'm not a hunter or an outdoorsy person, but if my son wants to be a Boy Scout, I'm going to suck it up and do it with him because that time is very important. Am I still an individual? Yes. But, just as I am a married man that has made compromises, I am now a father and that means a whole new set of compromises.
In 2012 I think black fatherhood is making a comeback compared to how things were in the eighties and nineties when I grew up. I was from a place where just about nobody had their dad in the house with them including me. Most of us didn’t have relationships with our dads and those that did probably spent very little time with them. However honestly most of the guys I know that have kids are actually somewhat decent dads who are in their kids lives, not everyone but most. A lot of us aren’t with the moms but that has more to with the way society has evolved to where nothing is forever and barely anything last for any substantial amount of time. All you can do as a father though is be a good parent or to your kids or at least do the very best you can. Can be hard at times when you have women who want to use kids as pawns and take them out of your life simply because you are happy without them. It is what it is though you just gotta make the best of the cards you are dealt.
I find myself doing more communicating, making sure I'm knowing what's going on with all three of my children, encouraging them, punishing them, and teaching them.
What are your biggest fears for you and your family?JC:
My biggest fear for me and my family is our health and the economy. My wife has had a lot of health issues, and not because she lives an unhealthy lifestyle by any means, but because her body is just composed in such a way as issues arise I guess. I want my son to grow up with a mother, a healthy mother, and I want my wife of course. With the economy down as it is, it leads to greater stress on companies to provide insurance for their workers and then you get these employee savings plans that are popping up and other programs that put the majority of the burden on the worker. The American population is already bleeding and it scares me to think that more blood will be bled and that my son could grow up in an even worse corporate and educational environment than we have now.
My biggest fears for my family or specifically my son is him growing up how I grew up point blank period. I was a criminal most of my life from childhood to early adulthood, not because I wanted to be but because I felt like I had to be if I wanted anything in life. Once I became a father I made sure my son never had to learn the feeling of going without because I think that is what drove me to the life I lived. That’s no excuse, but I wouldn’t wish that feeling on no one and (knock on wood) I hope my son doesn’t know that feeling. I do think my son has been somewhat sheltered which can be detrimental as well but I would rather that than him seeing the things I saw as a kid. I just want to do my absolute best to raise him to be a decent and contributing member of society. Thug life is dead and I wish I would have understood that way before I did.
I'm in a relationship and I love my lady and her children like family. They are also good to go. So I can’t say I have many fears. The only fear I have is losing one of them [ or any of my family members ]. And that’s just something about life that I can’t change.
My son not living to be older than me. Him not getting proper education. I'm a worrier so everything, but those are top.
As a father what do you want women to understand about you that you think they don't understand.Akshun:
I think women/mother's of this generation really need to understand the role of the father in a relationship. There is a misconception that fathers play a big role the nurturing of the child, when in actuality we are the providers and protectors of the children and their mothers. When children come into the fold, they become the priority and men have to be allowed to provide for the child. That may mean more education, a second job, or alot of overtime. Women have to allow men to play their role in the household, which I think is not happening in today's society and why you see more children without fathers due to the overbearing stress women tend to bring to men who usually start out on the right track and later derailed.
Most of us who grew up with fathers know that dad stayed working.They solely were providers. My dad worked 2 jobs and went to school while my mom took care of my siblings and I. My father didn't change a diaper until 1989. I was born in 1980. Most dads didn't change diapers, feed babies, or bath them. They came home from a hard day of work and expected a meal while the child is sleep or taken care of. Since men have be emasculated for the last 20+ years and the rise of "independent" women, men are assumed to take more feminine roles in the parenting world. Which of course brings conflict and the idea of fathers "not playing their role".
With so many fatherless children in our country and a depressingly high divorce rate, it is hard to say to a woman that has been burned by either another's bad decisions, or her own, that there are good men in the world that want to have a family and settle down because it seems that statistics speak against that. However, I see it everyday in my marriage and other marriages that men and women can stay together and love each other, even with differences and conflict in their lives and relationships. My marriage is tough, because it seems we are in constant conflict with my wife's health and that can be and is very draining. We love each other immensely, but that doesn't mean that it is easy. Our love for each other only gets us half of the way there. Our attitude towards love, marriage, and work is what gets us the other half of the way there. I'd just say to those that may see me and my wife as being a perfect and loving couple and that it looks easy that we at times are great actors putting on a smiling face to hide our stress and concerns, just like everybody else.
Women should understand that men do worry and are concerned but sometimes its hard to show that side w/o looking like a bitch.
What I would like women to understand about me as a father is this. I can’t always be focused on them and what they want from me when it takes away from me being what I need to be for my son. I am much more concerned with impressing my son than trying to impress them. I can’t be the person I used to be anymore because it simply isn’t practical at my point in life. If that makes me a lame now or not cool I could care less because I have finally got to the point where I see what is important. Some of these woman really would rather be with d boy or a gangsta than a guy who is a good guy and father. I am done catering to those types of women because most of them will be gone in a minute when you have to deal with the consequences of that lifestyle. I know because I have seen it personality.
I just think many women especially young ones don’t understand what is important in life and what they should look for in a man yet are the first one saying there aren’t any good guys out here. If that’s true then it’s because guys shape their behavior and lifestyle on what it takes to get woman and most of them simply don’t want good guys. I do understand it goes both ways however. Truthfully there are plenty of good guys and plenty of good women, they just don’t want each other. If they did we would have more happy homes instead of us chasing what we think we are missing. In closing I just would like any future woman I deal with that I will never let a relationship with a woman I might or might not be with in the future affect my relationship with my son period.
The one thing that I would want a women to understand about me is that it's family first. But in the end I am the man I am. Not the man that they see on the television. I'm me Quincy Allen, and I won’t react to every situation like father (a) on the television reacts. And I shouldn’t be stepped on for that. Too much reality TV has some of these women thinking that that’s really how life is. I got news for them too, It’s not. Come back to earth with the rest of us.