Theory & Essay

I’d Rather Be A Father Than A Husband

While I was in undergrad, me and one of my boys had one of those conversations that women swear we never have that involved feelings, emotions, and questioning myself. It was real emo. I’d recently broken up with a girlfriend and was more or less through with dating. When times are good, everything’s unicorns, Esther Baxter bodies, and rainbows in straight clubs. But when times are bad they tend to be real bad. In fact, some of the loneliest times I ever had in my life were while I was IN a relationship.

Well, during this convo that obviously never happens, I remember telling my boy that I think I was more concerned about being a father than a husband. While I could find some way to concubine my way through life with the freedom I wanted, I couldn’t imagine my life without any children. I come from a big family. Everybody’s got multiple children. I love kids. And to be really real…sometimes I wonder if these relationships are even worth it.

Being wrong sucks monkeynuts. And after another failed romance you’ve put time into you start looking for patterns and in the middle of self-reflection question whether or not you’re cut out to be in a relationship at all.

Again, that was all in undergrad. Truth is, I had no idea what the hell I was talking about. Plus, as soon as I found another woman that I liked enough to want to consider gondola rides and matching his-and-hers towel sets with, I stopped thinking so negatively. Plus…what kind of dbag actually WANTS to contribute to a society without enough two-parent households, etc.

Moving on.

Here’s the real talk. I’m a man which means despite the best laid plans of mice and men (and despite the fact that I kind of get paid to communicate) when it comes to interpersonal communication at times, I suck at it. Stupendously. I shut down when my feelings get hurt and I put up a wall that not even my mother can get through. I realize that I have communication issues which as we all know is the effectively the crux of maintaining a healthy relationship. Agreed? Agreed. Like anybody else trying to get to heaven, I’m working on myself and all that good stuff. But man…the only way to work on yourself in this capacity is to be in another relationship. Oy vey. So basically, the only way to grow as a person in this regard is to put yourself out there again and hope for the best and do your best to not be the reason sh*t falls apart.

Okay? Alright? Okay. Alright.

Again ladies, men have these conversations.

Moving on.

Another failed relationship. Another failed relationship.

Kid.

Another failed relationship.

To say that I’ve contributed to the downfall of all of my relationships would be an understatement. While it definitely takes two to tango I’ve learned how inherently selfish men can be. And the thing is, it isn’t even on purpose. We’re just built to do things the way we see them. Women are built to view the world the way they want it. It’s the ultimate catch-22 if two people aren’t on the same page. You can meander through life as a man with all of the female company you need but without the proven life enhancer that comes with being a husband. The interesting piece is that none of my decisions that ended up causing damage were even malicious in the slightest. What starts out as an oversight that could easily be rectified or a conversation that just hasn’t happened comes with an indictment of wrong-doing. Which as any man will tell you, will go really bad really quickly. It’s not that we don’t know we’re wrong, most of us just don’t like being accused of doing your wrong on purpose. If we truly love you, we just aren’t going to do that. We may (and will) f*ck up to varying degrees but it’s usually never on purpose. I think women tend to benefit from Monday Morning Quarterbacking most of those f*ckups. We look ridiculous for something and it’s only because of the end result which gets turned into the purpose. It’s an odd dance.

All of that is quite exhausting and exasperating. It truly is. And sometimes, again, it doesn’t seem worth it.

Oddly enough, the same skill set you need to exist in a healthy relationship with a partner is necessary for a kid. And yet, it’s so much different. Maybe it’s the unconditional love. I don’t know, but I don’t mind having to be an effective communicator with my daughter because I need to instill that into her so that she can take that with her forward. I don’t mind being patient with her because I want her to understand patience. I love being affectionate with my daughter. That’s my flesh and blood. Little girls need hugs and they need to hear from their fathers how much he loves them or she’ll end up dating some guy…

…who’ll want to be a father more than a husband.

F*ck.

Interesting enough, I have neither commitment issues or fear of being married. In fact, I look forward to doing both. But maybe it’s our newfangled generation’s entitlement issues or hope for perfection and ease. Or maybe I’m just lazy. But how can you be a lazy partner and a great father. Except, that happens all of the time. There are lots of women out there with children by men who are as attentive and effective and involved as one could ask for to their kids. And cold as hell to the women who birthed them. Odd future.

I hope I’m alone in this, but I feel like I’m not. Women? Fellas? Does anybody else struggle with this dichotomy? Why?

Talk to me. Petey.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka YOUNG P DA FLY THEIF aka FATHER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE NUMBER 1 aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

***If you haven’t already, head on over to The Good Men Project and check out “Eating While Black” — The Champ’s take on being black in America today***

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is a co-founder of VSB and co-author of Your Degrees Won't Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • http://theothersideofphlyy.blogspot.com PhlyyGirl

    See….I’m a baby mama and I’d MUCH rather be a wife.
    But tis life…
    The skills that make me a great mother made me a GREAT gf/wifey. In fact, it was said that I was too great, which is why I am now alone.
    I don’t get it, but you’re a man, so maybe you do.

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      I definitely agree that there are certain skills that a mother has that are fabulous for a relationship (such as patience and communication skills just to name a couple), but do you agree that there are certain things separate from being a parent that folks need in order to have a successful relationship?

      Or — and this is the scary part — is it the same skills required yet you haven’t found the person worthy of applying said effort for?

      • http://theothersideofphlyy.blogspot.com PhlyyGirl

        I do agree that there are separate skills that are needed to have a succesful relationship that might not be needed to be a wonderful parent, however I also feel that at the core, since they are both relationships (being a parent and being a spouse) there are MAJOR elements that are going to carry over.
        Patience, communication, compromise, negotiation, understanding – all the building blocks of successful relationships. PERIOD.

        As for this question “Or — and this is the scary part — is it the same skills required yet you haven’t found the person worthy of applying said effort for?”

        I also agree with this. See, my problem is that I cant — or just won’t — separate the two. When I go in, I . Go. In.
        If I’m in a relationship and giving any skills, then I’m giving all of them. Does that mean there have been some unworthy benefactors of the kindnesses of my heart? Yes. But I don’t believe in doing things half-arsed because then I’d be creating a habit of only giving myself partway that could carry over into my relationship with my daughter.

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          Yup, I feel ya. I guess the key difference is how you apply them. Like with a kid, do you really have to learn to be vulnerable with them? It seems automatic for some folks. Of course that “love at first sight” thing with children is not what ALL parents feel, but it definitely happens more often than it does with a potential mate.

          • http://theothersideofphlyy.blogspot.com PhlyyGirl

            It’s different for everyone (I think. Wouldn’t know, cause I ain’t everyone. LOL)
            With me, I had to learn how to be vulnerable with my mini. I didn’t cry when she was born. I just looked at her like “Oh wow. You were IN me and now you’re OUT of me. And you look like an alien”
            At six months, I still have to remind myself that for better or worse, she is all mine.
            I have to make a conscious effort to vocally tell her that I love her.
            Part of that stems from the fact that my parents didn’t really say the words “I Love You”, my sister and I wre just expected to know because there was a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, food on the table and paid cell phone bills with texting. I had no doubts that my parents loved us, but I wanted to hear the words.
            That’s an example of what I meant earlier, because I’m not in the habit of saying I love you, I now have to get back in the habit so that I can say it to my kid. Doesn’t mean I’m gonna run around saying it to everyone, but I still have to re-learn how to say it with ease.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      you’re ex told you that you were too great and for that he had to leave you alone? that doesnt make much sense to me. i’m sure we’ve written something on here that alludes to guys not being ready to meet the woman of their future at certain times…but i dont know that i’d decide to make the leap to be with somebody and feel like she was just too good at everything and in that sense i’d need to leave her.

      my guess is that most men leave b/c they’re not sure they’re with the right person. i dont know if you’d think somebody was that great if you didnt think they were the right person. granted, some guys have their own personal sh*t to get over and thru but i think thats a different argument.

      • http://www.lifeofalibra.com L Boogie

        PJ, I’ve had a guy tell me I was going to be a great wife, but that he wasn’t ready for a wife, so that’s why he left…that I was too good for him, and would treat him way better than he deserved (o_O) so he roll bounced up out of the situation…granted, this was some time ago, and I clearly wasn’t up to par of where I now think I should be to be someone’s wife, but it happened to me too…

      • http://theothersideofphlyy.blogspot.com PhlyyGirl

        Its such a loooong and convoluted story, but essentially, yes, that was his reason for not staying with me…and also his reason for NOT staying away.

        I read the post that you were talking about. My issue is, if he didn’t/doesn’t think that I’m the right person, then I’m gonna need for him to move away and go find the right person!! Because I would much rather be a wife than just the mother of his child, I feel stuck. I want my child to grow up in a 2 parent home. I would prefer that home be made with her biological father which is why there is as much communication as there is between us. (Not to the exclusion of all other males; he just has a slight edge in preference)

        But, that’s another set of issues that ain’t got nuttin to do with this post, eh?

        • Ms. Qualls

          You got me with “that was his reason for not staying with me…and also his reason for NOT staying away”. I hate this, the not staying away part…..I recently went through this for 2 years…You don’t want to be with me but you don’t want to let me go. Unfortunately I shouldn’t have allowed it to even go on that long but it was hard. But you have to decide either you want me or you don’t, don’t leave me hanging on because you see I have the qualities that you want-but you’re not ready yet-you don’t want to see me slip away and ultimately live a life with someone else syndrome. I think this is where a lot of women….myself included…mess up. That in between stage, waiting to see if things will change instead of just letting go. I made up in my mind that I didn’t want to look up and be 40……still holding on to someone who thinks I’m awesome yet not ready for me but still want to be involved in my life. I’m with P, if the man thinks your that great, father of your child or not, they DON’T let you go, sounds like he just wasn’t ready or viewed you as his one and that was his get-out-of-jail-free card…..sweetly used. As for the single parent thing I totally understand. This year will make 8 years since my husband passed. I still have 2 children to raise that are now becoming teens and please believe it’s no walk in the park……but us mom’s do what we have to do. Don’t keep that door open and look up one day with him still there. Trust me, you’re gonna have to shut that door (outside of being parents to your child) ’cause he won’t. As much as I loved my previous relationship I had to cut ALL ties. Was the only way I could move on ’cause he would always find a way to keep communication. :-)

      • Rewind

        I don’t know about that P.

        I’m on the verge of doing that with my current girlfriend. I realize that she is definitely wife material and what most men would love to have around their arms, but I’m nowhere close to the future she envisions and I realize I may have to take a few steps away from her instead of giving her a sense of false hope. It can happen. Hell even women do it, because I’ve had it done to me as well.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          you said what most men envision though. do you? you say she’s wife material. i know a bunch of wife material women. cant say they all make me feel like they’re the one. i mean everything you said was about her. she’s this and that…and future she envisions…but you didnt say that you see her as the wife of your future. it sounds to me like she just aint the one.

          so my question is…do you think she’s the one for you? and if so, why are you willing to let the “one for you” go?

          • Rewind

            No I don’t feel like she’s the one for me. Then again, I don’t necessarily believe in that ideology. I believe we meet many people in life who shape the person we will eventually become through trials and tribulations. I believe her presence in my life was to help me through one of the roughest patches of my entire life, and vice versa for her, but I don’t think it was meant to be forever.

            If there is a “one for me” woman out there, I’m not sure how I’ll get to her, but I also realize I intellectualize this stuff too much. Most people just say “let your heart guide the way”. I just lack confidence in what my heart says at this point and time.

    • LMNOP

      If you don’t want to be a baby mama, don’t be. I’m not with my daughter’s father anymore, but the phrases “baby mama” and “baby daddy” both seem very disrespectful to me. I don’t use them to describe other parents or myself.

      It might be just semantics, but so is the difference between “could you please keep it down, I have a really bad headache.” and “shut the f-ck up.”

      • http://theothersideofphlyy.blogspot.com PhlyyGirl

        Yea, I see it as semantics.
        I understand what you’re saying, really I do, and to a certain sense, I agree.
        To me, it’s not necessarily in the title, but in the relationship and the actions and he and I have devolved into the baby mama/daddy side of things.
        Also as my father reminded me, “a rose by any other name is still a f-ckin rose”

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          it is a semantics thing (though i understand the point) but i always refer to my daughter’s mother as such. i def ain’t finna call her no BM. cuz that’s not what she is.

        • LMNOP

          I know what you were saying though. I’m in the same situation, and it can be really hard sometimes whatever you call it.

          But I really do think that people underestimate the power of language. Like would a rose really smell as sweet if it was called a garbage juice flower?

          This also made me remember when I was pregnant and my boyfriend at the time told me “Whatever happens, don’t call me your baby daddy.” I was like “Wait. WHAT?” Shockingly enough, “whatever” “happened.”

          • Lyndon

            I told my ex wife that she’d be a great wife, just not for me. Looking back, I know that I was really saying she had a great audition. Im starting to notice that I’ve never looked for a wife, which is the opposite for many women. She decided, in her head, that I was going to be her husband …then gave the ultimatum. She had dated guys before me and done the same. She said, did all the right things until she got what she wanted.

            She routinely gave her all to every guy she got serious with. And what I think so many women don’t understand is that men see this ALL the time. There are many women that say and do exactly what we want, then don’t get why we turn away. It’s boring. Most times not real- its an audition and we see through it. Just think, Coming to America

            • http://twitter.com/MOTRenaissance Adonis (@MOTRenaissance)

              @Lyndon

              Interesting perspective

            • Sweet Sass

              You’re a dumb azz. You got everything you want, and turned away from it?

              What is the alternative? A b*tchy woman who could give two shits about what you want? Would that make you happy? j

              Y’all are just… *sigh*… I give up.

  • http://mrcoachwilson@blogspot.com Mr Coach

    I have this same conundrum. I was thinking artificially inseminate (spl) a lesbian so I don’t have to deal with the perils of the relationship, but that’s just odd…the problem is that the light we see as being a great father, we don’t see as being a great spouse. Sad but true.

    • http://twitter.com/_boron Boron the Negromancer

      Artificial insemination works wonders. How else do you think I created my army of minions?

    • darth frosty

      Mr Coach-the problem is that the light we see as being a great father, we don’t see as being a great spouse.

      Dude that is profound as fug! Women will genuinely cream and gush over a man taking care of his kids being their for them. But, a man taking care of his woman and supporting her, while praised on the outside with lip service, in reality is critiqued and side eyed, for being weak or lacking.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      the problem is that the light we see as being a great father, we don’t see as being a great spouse. Sad but true

      definitely some truth there but i think its just b/c of how we tend to view fathers in our community. for some odd reason, actual fathers get all kinds of extra special kudos and sh*t though ideally all those fathers would be attached to a woman. it is odd.

    • http://www.theleftsidepoets.wordpress.com MicTheMessenger

      i think its because while the intent behind being a good father and good spouse are the same, they carry different weights, and have different catalysts (i hope i used that word right). I mean, think about it. As a souse, we have vows. We have to wllingly commit and pledge to not do a person wrong. When you have a child, something that comes from you, there is no vow needed. Babies aren’t born with instructions, but the SECOND that child enters the world, and you hold it, there’s this unspoken commitment that just kind of turns ON. I bet a guy will feel worse that he let his child down over a spouse. That feeling spawns unconditional love that doesnt have to be renewed like a wedding vow, and it doesn’t ask for anything in return, per se. With romance, we want something, be it sechs, a meal, support, whatever. A child though? All of your feelings point right back to that child being nurtured to have a decent life. Parental love is unconditional, agape. Eros (erotic love) i believe, just isn’t as strong or as binding.

      • nubiankween

        “Parental love is unconditional, agape. Eros (erotic love) i believe, just isn’t as strong or as binding.”

        Hmnn….this makes me think of the age old questions spouses first or children? I tend to view a marriage commitment as binding, I don’t know if I see it as more or less binding than parental love. I mean 2 becoming one is pretty strong. What I do believe is that love must be more than a feeling, it must be a will to commit.
        A will to commit to your spouse, a will to commit to your children. I think many ppl would be better spouses/parents if they had that will.

        • http://www.theleftsidepoets.wordpress.com MicTheMessenger

          Without doubt. I think we’ve forgotten the significance of that commitment. And i still think that it holds extreme value, it just takes some work. I don’t think ones holds more value than the other, but I think with offspring, its a little easier for love to be more or less automatic, for varying reasons (be they selfish or unselfish). Women come in to the world wired to love and nurture. And i believe men come designed to protect and provide. With children being innocent, with no alterior motives, with no intent to hurt or cause pain, added to the fact that they come from our own bodies, makes them easier to love and to commit to. Adults come with agendas and ish, hidden or not. Kids just want to be loved and eat candy.

          And i’ve had the “save the spouse or the children” convo a MILLION times, and i still don’t know which one i’d save.

      • ChicagoCutie

        Completely agree. I believe making a commitment to another grown adult is totally different from the commitment one makes to a child. Adults come with expectations, issues and baggage (some even need you to “complete” them), whereas kids are innocent and only expect what you provide on a day-to-day basis. They have none of the emotional garbage of adults. Committing to an adult is difficult because it takes work…we tend not to have patience/tolerance for grown azz adults who by xyz age haven’t gotten their shyt together; nor do we feel it is 100% of our responsibility to nurture and/or make that person a better human (they should be there at this point or well on their way). With children, I suspect, because they are a representation of the parent, parents want them to do better, be better, know more, run faster, jump higher, etc, etc….parents want the world for them and will do whatever is necessary to give it to them.**

        **I have no children, so this assessment is based strictly on my personal observations.

        • http://www.theleftsidepoets.wordpress.com MicTheMessenger

          Took the words right out of my comment.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          “Committing to an adult is difficult because it takes work…we tend not to have patience/tolerance for grown azz adults who by xyz age haven’t gotten their shyt together; nor do we feel it is 100% of our responsibility to nurture and/or make that person a better human (they should be there at this point or well on their way).”

          This.

      • Rewind

        Good point.

        When you’re in a relationship, you realize it is a CHOICE. As in you have options if you get jittery about where you stand. With children, for MANY (obviously not all), your commitment is automatic and a person is willing to see it to the end, They don’t view it as a choice although you can make one (obviously you will be heavily slighted though if you make it).

        • Ms.MangoButter

          Rewind

          I think that commitment to children is equally as fleeting as it is to adults. There are countless parents (particularly mothers) who see their children as just a daily reminder of the poor choices that were made during a steamy night of passion. Therefore they are not invested for life but until 18 or 21…basically until the courts can’t say that they are no longer legally responsible for them. Even then do you hear the familiar threat of sending a child “to go live with their father” if their behavior is not in line for their expectations,or better yet into foster care. You would be surprised at how often I tell parents the expectation they have for their 13 year old is waaay outta wack because while they are 13, 16, or 7 they are still a CHILD. Which means there are a whole bunch of real physiological / developmental stages that need to happen.

          I think that whenever you are dealing with another person, you have to have some kind of patience, compromise or communication skills, basically the stuff you learned in Pre-K & Kindergarten (sharing, taking turns, and being able to tell someone you gotta go to the bathroom). If you can’t share your toys with someone else how are you going to share your life with a partner?

          • Rewind

            Well that’s why I said with children, the feeling to care and provide feels natural, instead of forced for many people, but definitely not all. I get a front row seat to the obvious world of people who made bad decisions and the children who pay the price every day at work, let alone just my own observations.

            I feel like with a significant other though, people know there is something to be gained. You could be with a person just for security, love, money, etc, and walk away when you’re ready. There will be consequences but obviously many people could careless. With children though….there isn’t much to gain by having them if you just wanted to use them. I believe that shows the shallowness of people. I agree both being a lover and a parent requires similar attributes but they also have vast differences in what one can gain from each.

  • SouthernQT2DC

    Awwww, I have a whole new perspective of you….

    I’d much rather be a good mother than a good wife. Being a good mother comes easy to me…selflessness, great communicator, etc. – piece of cake. Being in relationships with black men nowadays? Not so easy…the qualities that make me a good mother also make me not so great on the dating scene.

    That’s how it is…

    You could ask Giz…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      the qualities that make me a good mother also make me not so great on the dating scene.

      why exactly is that?

      • m.e.m.p.h.i.s.

        Because people like southernqt (and me) are natural born nurturers and not natural born flirters.

      • http://www.ifiruled2011.wordpress.com Mahogany Princess

        I think its the nurturing aspect that can turn alot of guys off at times. They don’t want to date their mother. They don’t need us to do everything for them and a lot of times as women that’s exactly what we try to do.
        So a guy can think we’re great because we are nurturing and affectionate but eventually he can see that as an irritation because we act more like a mother than a spouse or a partner.

      • Starita34

        I can’t tell you what she meant by that, but I can tell you what I read in it.

        As a woman, as a mother, the way that I am, the way that comes natural to me is to nurture, to support, to trust, to build up, to work as a team. The dating game seems to require a lot of faux (in my case) resistance. When I don’t like a man, he loves me; but if I like a man and show affection, they’re not interested. Many men seem to love the chase. The challenge, the ibtch, if you will.

        I want to offer up all of me to the man that I love, but men push these women away. They’re needy, they’re clingy, they’re desperate, whatever. The dating game goes against my very nature, but it compliments child rearing perfectly (as it was designed to IMO).

        *throws in my discombobulated 2 cents*

        • rnic

          Best comment of the day. Especially this:

          “The dating game seems to require a lot of faux (in my case) resistance. When I don’t like a man, he loves me; but if I like a man and show affection, they’re not interested. Many men seem to love the chase. The challenge, the ibtch, if you will.

          I want to offer up all of me to the man that I love, but men push these women away. They’re needy, they’re clingy, they’re desperate, whatever. The dating game goes against my very nature, but it compliments child rearing perfectly (as it was designed to IMO).”

          YUP.

        • http://theothersideofphlyy.blogspot.com PhlyyGirl

          “I want to offer up all of me to the man that I love, but men push these women away. They’re needy, they’re clingy, they’re desperate, whatever. The dating game goes against my very nature, but it compliments child rearing perfectly (as it was designed to IMO).

          *throws in my discombobulated 2 cents*”

          *adds $5 to the collection plate*
          THIS is EXACTLY what I was thinking in my head and did not type!

        • Sher Sher

          “The dating game seems to require a lot of faux (in my case) resistance. When I don’t like a man, he loves me; but if I like a man and show affection, they’re not interested. Many men seem to love the chase. The challenge, the ibtch, if you will.”

          never a truer word spoken… I’m not a mother yet because I’d really rather have a child with the man I’m going to spend my life with and I’m terrified of the prospect of being a single parent, i’ve seen too many friends doing it and though I’m strong, I have a million personal hang-ups about the idea. I am however, nurturing as hell and I’ve grown so damn tired of the whole “dating scene” because I swear swimming with barracuda while nursing an open wound would be easier and more comforting. the games, the uncertainty, just the overall bullshit is simply too much for me to deal with and I’m quite tired of it. If this shit continues, I may have to bite the bullet and just have a kid and be done with it. *sigh*

        • http://tinawatkins.wordpress.com Tina Watkins

          “I want to offer up all of me to the man that I love, but men push these women away. They’re needy, they’re clingy, they’re desperate, whatever. The dating game goes against my very nature, but it compliments child rearing perfectly (as it was designed to IMO).”

          Gotta call foul… I agree there are some fools out there who love the chase for the chase alone and urge you to run from them fast and far. Good men love supportive, nurturing women… With their own lives who also know when to give a good man his well deserved space. This is also a good parenting trait… Constant doting prevents children from growing up to be independent thinkers and leaders.

          • Starita34

            Thank you ladies.

            To Ms Watkins, please don’t confuse my desire to work as a team, even my desire for submission to indicate that I will be a doormat or constantly dote-on my man or my children. As with my (as yet imaginary) children; boundaries, expectations, consequences, the occasional whoopin, and tough love are still required. I understand men not wanting a woman with no personality of their own, with no backbone, but that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that sometimes it seems that men prefer the hunt more than the prey and I’m tired of running, I’m trying to eat.

          • Starita34

            Thank you ladies.

            To Ms Watkins, please don’t confuse my desire to work as a team, even my desire for submission to indicate that I will be a doormat or constantly dote – on my man or my children. As with my (as yet imaginary) children; boundaries, expectations, consequences, the occasional whoopin, and tough love are still required. I understand men not wanting a woman with no personality of their own, with no backbone; but that’s not what I’m saying.

            I’m saying that sometimes it seems that men prefer the hunt more than the prey and I’m tired of running, I’m trying to eat.

            • http://tinawatkins.wordpress.com Tina Watkins

              Starlita, I understood and was responding to your quote about how men push away nurturing women. So I pointed out this fact: That isn’t universally true. I do agree with how you describe the teamwork approach: “As a woman, as a mother, the way that I am, the way that comes natural to me is to nurture, to support, to trust, to build up, to work as a team.”

              I’m encouraging you not be discouraged by the predators. Sounds like you’re rightly focused on the men who want the awesome qualities you demonstrated you have.

              MicTheMessenger, good point: “If a guy is only interested in you when you’re not showing interest…Not ready to settle down.”

              I know friends of mine who want people who don’t want them. Why bother?

          • http://www.theleftsidepoets.wordpress.com MicTheMessenger

            I agree with you on this, Ms./Mrs. Watkins.

            If a guy is only interested in you when you’re not showing interest, but turns off when you turn on is DEFINITELY in it for the chase, and is not ready to settle down. But a decent guy who’s genuinely interested in you will actually desire many of these things. And yes, we need our space to do us, but who doesn’t? I don’t think the point of marriage is to lose yourself completely to a role, but moreso to bring your unique contributions to the table with another unique individual and attempt to be happy, and hopefully produce offspring that will contribute to society. And all of those things these women mentioned above work great in a healthy relationship. Not so much mommy mode all the time, but def a hot meal and some nurturing. Women I promise you all, if you take time and nurture a man and his talents, he’ll do his absolute best to elevate his family, and he’ll elevate himself AND his particular skill. Fighting crime at its very best, VSPs…

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5FR1LGsT7E TheAnti-Cool

          So much truth in this post Starita. Well put.

    • Rewind

      I’m with you. Anyone who’s ever seen me even talk to a child has always said I’d be a great father. I don’t necessarily see it because kids scare the crap out of me, but I’ve always had a natural charm with them. Women on the other hand, I just want to care for a minute and walk away, and maybe that’s just some natural stereotypical man stuff I’ve always heard of, or I do actually have a self-image and emotional problem when it comes to caring for a lover.

      But I could never see those issues getting in the way of being a father, if I ever become one. The only issue I see that hinders being a good parent is selfishness, because many adults are scared to lose their freedom. But when it comes to relationships, many people will fight tooth and nail over their freedom, willing to screw someone’s life over just to be able to feel the way they felt before the relationship started.

    • Rewind

      Both parenthood and a long lasting relationship scare the crap out of me. I spent my whole life being selfless for other people. I finally get to be selfish…so now I’m too scared to give it up, for a child or a woman. I realize I don’t want to be alone, but I’d rather stay where I am now and hurt myself, rather than hurt a child with a clean slate on life, or a woman who’s already been hit by that brick wall called LIFE.

      I do believe many people go through a phase where they try to evaluate which option is more sensible, but I also believe many people don’t even realize the option until they’ve either had a child, fallen in love with someone but too scared to move forward, or both at the same time. So it’s hard to determine what standard can truly measure your mind’s maturity and your heart’s capacity to care.

      Perhaps it’s not just if you’d be a better parent or a better lover, but which one would make you a better person overall…maybe that is the true dilemma.

  • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

    hopefully i’ll never have to choose between the two but if i did i think i would honestly be a husband rather than a father. sure i would want the joys of raising someone with my ideals and morals and having someone who looks like me but the joy of sharing my life with a woman seems just a little more rewarding.

    my children will eventually leave my house and go on with their lives. assuming i stay married till i die that relationship is for life.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      good point. and at the end of the day, nobody wants to be alone.

      as great philosopher king Chris Rock once said, “new p*ssy can’t cook.”

      oh, and new p*ssy is also illiterate.

      • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

        chris rock speaks the truth.

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      I know men with your view who are happily married for that reason. They and their wife are truly into each other & the joy of sharing their life post- raising kids.

    • http://yahoo namia

      this is what i believe..and am a woman

  • SororSalsa

    Wow. I was having a conversation about this today. I’m dealing with someone who does a lot of frustrating things, but I suspect it isn’t on purpose. I think men are often singularly focused (career, education, etc.) and women tend to focus on others a bit more. I guess it’s the nurturer in us.

    • bumilla

      I think men are often singularly focused (career, education, etc.) and women tend to focus on others a bit more. I guess it’s the nurturer in us.

      i might be alone is in this but i’m very much driven by my “to-do” list. meaning, one thing gets done, then i focus on another. i’m frustrated as hale by the chorus of society, culture, and family because being a wifey has never been high on my list. either because i’ve always assumed it was coming or because i’d rather expend my energy on my other talents in other areas or because i don’t know if i’d ever meet some man worth that sacrifice. (see: Bumilla’s long suffering moms)

      however, i’ve always wanted to be a mommy. i love babies, toddlers, childrens, all of them. and i’m pretty good with them to boot. the idea of some chunk of mine roaming these streets is exciting. but the wifey part? not so much. this is not to say that i want to raise children with no physically active, financially responsible father. i just don’t know if their father is my husband, my provider, my lover.

      i know this doesn’t make sense. or at least i know it only makes sense to lauryn and erykah. but it’s the vision that i’ve had for as long as i can remember. makes wedding season all the more fun!

      • lovechasher

        Real chop. I have never been mad at Lauryn for having all those kids. I hate to say it but I get it. Well I get what I would be thinking if I were her.

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      “I think men are often singularly focused (career, education, etc.) and women tend to focus on others a bit more. I guess it’s the nurturer in us.”

      I think this gap is narrowing significantly these days, though. There are SO many career first driven women walking around. Maybe it’s in reaction to the how things have evolved, love not working out, a combination of those things… but I’m definitely seeing more people putting their non-love goals before anything. And that includes women.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        i also think this is partially to “blame” for the fact that so many women are single so much longer. actually, i think i just stated what has been expressed in articles, science books, jet magazine, and Martian Weekly.

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          Agreed. A man with a busy schedule and a career will still find time for a woman or a girlfriend or take a wife IF that’s what he wants. Yet a woman will use her career as a reason why she’s not ready for a man. (rather than say she doesnt want one) But a man hears her say that and says ok I’ll leave that one alone.

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          “i also think this is partially to “blame” for the fact that so many women are single so much longer.”

          Yup. And I think a lot of that is reactionary to either direct experiences or what they saw in their own household growing up. Diving into work headfirst is often a self-presevation for some women. They figure they will probably have to take care of themselves anyway so they might as well get “priorities” out of the way. I mean, bottom line is, it depends what folks deem as priorities. But said priority is easier when it comes to trying to keep a roof over your head (and living the life you want to live in terms of financial aspects) so of course women would choose career first. lol

          • ThatOneAKA

            I also think that we have bought into the belief that you “can have it all.” I am a multi-degreed VSS who was married at one point along the way. We were both in grad school, but he did a better job of balancing home life with graduate work and teaching responsibilities. Me on the other hand…I was doing waaaaay too much and really thought that I could do it all! The truth is…if you do it all, something will not be done right (or at up to our version of perfection). Realizing that and more importantly, accepting that is key. Plus, my father always drilled into my head to get my education, earn your own money, and by all means don’t fall for them fifteen cent slicks! LOL

            • SororSalsa

              Agreed. My father always pushed the “get educated, work hard in your career and only marry for love, never for security” edict throughout my childhood. I’m 40 and have never been married. He worries now that maybe he pushed me being independent a bit too much but I don’t agree. I can take care of myself and don’t worry about the possibility of being alone for the rest of my life.

  • http://www.SpecterMagazine.com Ashley Ford

    I want to be a mother more than a wife because I’m afraid I’d make a terrible co-parent. I’m the oldest of four children and a former nanny. I love children and I think I’d be a great wife…until I became a mother. I fear I’d suddenly begin to sometimes treat my husband (if he had less experience with children) like another child. I know my weaknesses. I’m working on them now, so I don’t pay for them later. Still, the fear is there.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i was reading some article some time ago about that phenomenon and the frustration that it caused for a lot of men. many guys felt like their women’s entire focus became the child and then started treating the spouse in a similar fashion. not tending to wife duties, etc.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        I think it’s hormonal changes post-child and limiting beliefs about of her sexuality and woman-ness and lack of trust that leads to that. Some women become mommies and think they should treat their man like he is her child. I cringe inside when a woman treats her husband like that and even talks in the same tone she talks to a 2 year old. And I cringe when friends with babies talk about lack of sex as if it’s no big deal. And their spouse has lost the pep to his step.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Mailuv7 Mailuv7

    Pretty insightful. Seeing the problem is the first step right?

    Although I want to have a gaggle of children after being firmly ensconced in a committed and loving marriage; I still look forward to marriage more than parenthood. Maybe it’s because there are so many people who don’t value marriage anymore. If I ever find out that I can’t biologically have children, I have options; but what are the options for not meeting someone that you want to spend your life with?

    • Yoles

      excellent point… and i totally agree

    • Lola’s Mambo

      @Mailuv7 – I would also choose marriage over parenthood. I want the man of my dreams to sweep me off my feet. I want us to live and love each other. I want us to fight. I want us to work through it. I want us to have an affair to remember with all the highs and lows that are associated with it.

      I want a companion, not a dependent.

      • Leonie UK

        Yep I would rather be a wife then a mother anyday.

        After spending countless hours on FB and killing my mobile, due to checking the whereabouts of family offspring, due to the fucked up riots throughout the island yesterday. I am still holding down “no kids till I get a husband who will stop me killing them straight”. Three days of madness escalated into one night/morning of hand in heart rage. All I keep thinking in my head is “This is the parents fault, why are kids on the damm streets, no excuse for this collected acts of crime”. If one of my children were taking part in any of the shamefull looiting I would be devasted, and that is what I would rather avoid. If my marriage fails, the ownership is partly my fault, when your child is a creatin,trust you get full responsability.

        Fuck kids after last night/early morning I’m moving into a garden flat so I can become a bloody dog loving freak (no cats hate those dead bird gifts).

        * Today I will be full of venom and hate for all things under 25yrs, so please charge the red eyes and drunk on green tea and crackers to my head not my heart*

        ** I am still wheeling my baseball bat in my hand the good metal one, not the wood one imagining several kids trying to come into my home**

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          And I hope for their sake that they do not come into your house.

      • Leonie UK

        2nd time losing my comments, not writing a nice peice again.

        Let me first apolgise, in advance. Been a hard night/early morning due to the f$£ked up riots throughout the country. So I will say most of my comments are fulled by too much green tea, jacob crackers and rage.

        No kids without assistance. I would rather be a wife then a mother, anyday of the week. For anybody who did not see the stupid senseless riots, mainly last night. Shame on any parent/guardian/relative who’s child was looiting and causing hundreds of people to be homeless and jobless this morning. I would rather hold the burden of mashing up my marriage and having to be SINgle again, then knowing I failed at raisining a decent child and them, turning into the band of my existence. Children are for life, and no matter what you do, they can be infulenced and go another way from your teachings of good morales and ethics. Yes that’s true. But trust. If you set good foundations, strong ” I will skin you alive, if you bring me shame” foundations that chld/ren will not even hestiate to think about taking a step out of your boundaries.

        I spent hours on FB making sure family/friends were cool. I knew not to be too worried cause my family are kind of older, and most of the little ones under 20yrs are abroad, or in some holiday activity camps (aka Church/Mosque/Black movement running 6wks of crazy fun, but locked down). But some friends are rasiing their broads alone, men and women. Some have spouces working abroad,armed forces and passed away. Those need assistance sometimes more than others. Glad not one person I know had children running the streets, cause hand in heart, I had my baseball bats (wood and metal) ready for their asses.

        I want a companion, not a dependant also.

        * Like I said before excuse my evil comments towards children and all those under 25yrs today charge my rage not my heart, but I dispise kids right now*

        • http://twitter.com/kjnetic peter parker

          i hope that everything ’round your way is cool (you and yours are safe) and that justice…is somehow reached.

        • Antoinette

          It’s was so ridiculous out here, I’m in Hackney,. It’s been kicking off since 2:00 PM. I’ve been trying to figure out or even understand what’s going on but it just boils to ‘wotless’, short-sighted people, because the Adults were looting, or sending their Kids to loot.

          What I don’t understand is the children who have looted goods, whose house are they bringing those goods into? If I ever tried that stupidness my Parents would not have a bar of it!

          It’s just so sad to see people you know; have their livelihood, cars and homes destroyed right in front of them.

          • Leonie UK

            @ Antoniette have you seen the “west indian women speech” going round on youtube/twitter and stylist.co.uk. She made Hackney proud.

            Well as I had the day off, I went to the city centre to help clean up. Had to come back home, as the town is being seen as a crime scene. That alone makes me want to kick ass.
            A relative (who just turned 25yrs) tried to bring stolen goods to his home this morning, and was met with packed bags and things in boxes instead. For once my family was in full aggrement in something like this taking place. Nobody deserves the sleepless nights of rage from other neighbours,because your wotless child thinks a free laptop and some trainers are worth more than your sanity.
            All for marriage but long term childcare, hell no. I’ve alreday fully signed onto the childfree enviroment yaesr ago. What took place these few days have made my stance even more concreate.

            • Antoinette

              @ Leonie UK
              I saw the clip of the woman, she was speaking the truth. I was born in London and have lived in Hackney all my life, and have never felt such shame.

              What upsets me the most is that innocent people are being held to ransom. My girl lives in the flats just across from where the woman was filmed, but because she lives alone, we decided she should come stay with my family up the road. Why should a law-abiding tax-payer not feel safe in their home?

              I have off-street parking so I let a family-friend come park their car by me. Why should people be afraid to park their cars infront of their home?

              These fool-fool children will not deter me from having my own family. I’m not wotless, My parents aren’t wotless, so no child of mine could ever be wotless!!!!

            • Todd

              It’s sad to see the ninjas vs. Black people war has crossed the Atlantic. Thankfully, you’re on the side of the good guys. Also, much props to your fam for not supporting the looting foolishness. Keep safe, take care of yourself, and worse comes to worse, there are plenty of decent West Indians in NYC. :)

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      “If I ever find out that I can’t biologically have children, I have options; but what are the options for not meeting someone that you want to spend your life with?”

      Blow-up dolls. For real doe, ya’ll seen Strange Addiction? Right…

      But yeah, that’s a good point. It’s interesting though… I truly believe that each of these types of love touches on a different part of our heart. Like I think one part of us responds to each in a different way. And depending on what we need or desire, that’s the type of love we seek.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      good point. makes total sense.

  • Mo-VSS

    My father was an awesome dad…he was a suck ass husband for many of the reasons you listed. Add youth, hard life situations and him being an attractive man who wouldn’t say no to strays and you can see part of why my parents divorced.

    Oddly enough, a great father doesn’t make one a great husband sadly. I do think dealing with kids is easier because they don’t know…courtesy, respect, consideration…all that has to be taught to them more or less. With adults, we take for granted that someone just “knows” about all those things and when they do something to the contrary, we believe it was done out of disrespect or malice (which isn’t necessarily true).

    I look forward to being a lifelong partner and parent. Being a wife isn’t all that meaningful to me if I’m not willing to make the commitment to be a life partner.

    • bumilla

      I look forward to being a lifelong partner and parent. Being a wife isn’t all that meaningful to me if I’m not willing to make the commitment to be a life partner.

      this is the real b!tch. my biological clock is obviously deciding one part of this equation. but the other part? i don’t feel compelled to keep it on the same schedule, which in mainstream society means getting married. i’ve met half a dozen or so men whom i know would have made/make an excellent father to my baby(s). but anytime someone suggested i “do something” about that feeling of mine, i always started giggling. i’m not that pressed. at least not yet. #paginghalleberry

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      we take for granted that someone just “knows” about all those things and when they do something to the contrary, we believe it was done out of disrespect or malice (which isn’t necessarily true).

      that’s that real right there. i think as we get older we all get so focused on protecting ourselves for various reasons that we view everything as a personal affront and deal with sh*t that way. i guess that’s why communication is key.

      • http://tinawatkins.wordpress.com Tina Watkins

        Panama: ” i guess that’s why communication is key.”
        Emphatic agreement on communication being key.

        This however? –>”But man…the only way to work on yourself in this capacity is to be in another relationship.” I disagree emphatically that the way to figure out how to be in a relationship is to be in one. Too many folks mistakenly apply the practice makes perfect motto to relationships. In fact, the only way to really master the art of loving someone else is to master loving yourself first… Alone.

        • ChicagoCutie

          Truer words have never been spoken. If have never knows what loving you feels like, how can you truly love another?

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          you know…you’re right. that was a lazy conclusion on my part.

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    I can completely understand where you’re coming from even though I’m not a fan of kids until they reach the age where they are able to talk. I’ve often think about adopting kids or going through artificial insemination to have someone else that I have had no relations with, but with good genes, carry my child. Being a single father doesn’t bother me. If I were to have more than 1 child however, I would like that to be within a family.

  • Old man

    ” But how can you be a lazy partner and a great father. Except, that happens all of the time. There are lots of women out there with children by men who are as attentive and effective and involved as one could ask for to their kids. And cold as hell to the women who birthed them. Odd future.”

    That’s the rare exception rather than the rule. I wish you and yours the best truly but to think you your young can be well adjusted without the full deal is like waiting for those lotto numbers to hit. She will only expect what she can see being demonstrated by the ones that are invested in her the most. Again Im hoping the best for you but don’t sell that pixie dust to the masses. I pray every night to maintain my family and only hope that for you as well. Two Christmases, two Thanksgivings, two sets of parents to visit on Easter break = equals too much confusion to allow the growth needed for fulfillment. Here’s hoping you and yours are the exception to the rule.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      you’re right. that was a lazy extrapolation. and you know, to be clear since i clearly wasn’t in what i wrote, i dont think its okay to be cold as hell to the women that birthed any child.

      i could never be that way towards my daughter’s mother. it’s already hard enough trying to co-parent and work together under straining circumstances (though it gets a little easier with time much like anything else) so to be cold would just add all kinds of unnecessary detriment to the stituation which would ultimately affect the child. so yes…thanks for pointing out that non-sense.

      in the context of my own life…my singular focus is maintaing a positive situation within the family i created because even if we’re not together as a familial unit, we are family. so i’d never go that route.