Black Balling Mr. Mom… : ThyBlackMan

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Black Balling Mr. Mom…

October 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Fatherhood, News, Opinion, Relationships, Sports, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Corporate men have made a nice run of fatherhood but their time is waning.  There is a new breed of father on the scene that deserves respect due.  I don’t mean to discredit the contribution of the former type of father whose head of household status was reinforced by earning the top income in the house.  This type of monetary status garnered from corporate ladder climbing is not without merit; especially regarding African-American men who had to push through the stereotypes and stigmas within the structure of American businesses.

Yet in their drive to prove themselves in a workplace that has been traditionally set up to devalue their worth, something became amiss – quite literally.  The time and mental energy spent in overcoming innate racism  within the rat-race pursuits of happiness and American dreams has taken many a man away from his children at home.  It is a bit of bittersweet irony that in their fervent attempts to provide for their families, such men denied the same families an emotional, physical and spiritual presence in their homes

As such, said fathers have had their go at this head of the household title – it’s a new day.  Make way for me and others like me who are more involved at home.  Make way for the man who turns his back on attaining corporate America’s golden carrot for the sake of being present in the lives of his family. Make way (and respect) the man whose spouse may make more than him – he is not a moocher nor is his wife a sugar momma.  Make way for the masculinity it takes to make consistent contributions to the upraising/caretaking of his children, upkeep of the house and preparation of day-to-day AND holiday meals (my mac and cheese is NOT to be trifled with!).

As I stand at the precipice of a potential increase in my responsibilities and more traditional entitlements within the education field, I can’t help but look back at what I’ve endured since I left the world of engineering nine years ago to work in the lower paying field of education.  I have endured and discerned judgment from my pastor, father-in-law and other corporate men within the Church who looked downward and sideways at me for what must only have looked like a lack of motivation and drive to be successful (in the traditional sense of titles and monetary increase).  I have endured the paranoia/expectation I’ve had of such judgment for the extended amount of time that I’ve not held higher positions within my field of choice. I have endured the social pressures of making more money than my wife as a sign of my dominance (or lack there of); a pressure which turns a blind eye to and downplays what I did to manage our house whilst my wife clocked longer work days.

Yet all in all, I’ve always maintained the respect of my wife as the spiritual head of our household.  And, interestingly enough, I’ve garnered the respect of other wives of corporate-minded husbands (at a respectful distance, of course) as well!  I’ve received compliments directed at me and my wife when they see me comfortably handling my infant children in tasks that their husbands either handed off to them or simply ignored all together. 

The mentality of these old-school husbands isn’t necessarily wrong but reflects where society and culture has grown from within the last 50 years.  I can recall having a discussion with some of the older gentlemen in my church who admitted that they didn’t know how I and other men of today “do it.”  “It” meaning work with today’s more independent and liberated woman who, if your manhood rests on the wrong mantle, can easily mangle and emasculate the old-head definition of manhood.

When my wife is able to go to weddings by herself or get her nails/eyebrows done without our kids tagging along to throw off the experience, she’s told me that other wives have marveled and wondered “Where are your babies?!!” as if she is a single-mother without assistance at home. 

Further still, she’s corrected some of the men at our church who, when our 4-month old daughter was born and too young to be taken out, saw her by herself and stated “So Reggie’s at home babysitting, huh?!!”  Her response said it all:  “No, he’s not babysitting, he’s being a father!”  This isn’t some temporary job for me that I do from time to time to make a few extra bucks – this… is… my… ROLE.

Granted, I have much to refine and learn but I’m done with being looked upon as if I’m incomplete for not having the conventional means of contribution.  Make way – for the new age of manhood has come.

Staff Writer; Reggie Legend

Can find more about this writer over at;  http://www.steelwaterspoetry.com

Also available as a Keynote Speaker – Book him Today; Speakerwiki – Reggie Legend

 


Comments

4 Responses to “Black Balling Mr. Mom…”
  1. Deeann D. Mathews says:

    Well done and well said, Mr. Legend. Keep up the good work.

  2. sankofa says:

    Check mate!
    Being a man is about knowing and acting on his role as provider, protector and supporter of the family. Unfortunately the Caucasian model has been followed much too long to the point where not only us but our women, would look at a brother sideways who eschews climbing that ladder to suck-cess over raising responsible and functioning hue-man females and males.
    An extra shout out to your compliment, without her support, you wouldn’t be writing in such a positive manner. As a man in the church, walk the walk and talk the talk and the young ones will emulate you or seek guidance from you.

    Peace and blessings

  3. KIme Jones says:

    I know girl some people can just be so lazy. All you men out there Please don’t use the excuse that you work to hard or don’t have time to care for your kids thats just…. well I can’t even think of a word to describe how pathetically dumb that is. When I got married I told my husband straight up I wasn’t going to be one of those wifes who go to work, take care of the kids, and tend to everyones needs. Being a wife and mom is just chaotic.

  4. Eleanie says:

    “No, he’s not babysitting, he’s being a father!” I love that statement.

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