I Need You to Teach Him How to be a Man

Happy African American Father and Mixed Race Son Playing PiggybaI have four boys.

Four boys with blooming personalities, unbounding courage, and overwhelming energy – they are bursts of light whom God has deemed me responsible to help mold and shape – everyday they change and everyday is a new day for me to show them how to be in this world.

With that being said, I am a woman – through and through. I am loving, emotional, deep feeling and passionate. I see the world through my experiences as a woman, and that’s what I pass on to my boys. I teach them how to be compassionate, loving individuals – I want them to be okay with being who they are and comfortable with expressing themselves.

I am clearly not a man.

That’s not to say a man doesn’t pass on any of these characteristics to their children, because they very well may, it’s just that woman teach their children the softer side of life – and that’s okay. That’s why fathers are needed.

My oldest son is the only one out of my four boys who has an active, present father – that’s actually my son and his father in the picture above. I know that’s a really crappy number. Crappy but true, and I have had to play both mother and father to my other boys for the majority of their lives – and I wholeheartedly hope this changes. I hope their fathers begin to understand how important their presence is to their sons. I hope their fathers sort through whatever demons, and issues prevent them from being strong, doting dads because they are needed.

I’m not ashamed to say it – I need them – better yet my boys need them.

Yes, I can be both mother and father. Yes, I can be both stern and tender with my boys and attempt to show them how to be in this world as black men. Yes, I can raise empowered men who, through my strength and effort, can grow up to become men of valor.

Yes I can do all these things and up until this very moment I have been – but I’m no fool and I know there is no substitute for what their father or a father figure could do for them.

A father can give them that rugged tenderness – the emotional support in a non-emotional fashion.

A father can provide a same-sex role model for life, someone who looks like them, walks like them, talks like them and has had many of the same experiences they may have and will have.

A father can show them what it’s like to be in a romantic partnership – how to treat a lady and how to love a lady.

A father can each teach them that stoic confidence – how to hone in on what it means to be a man of God.

A father can teach them discipline and how to be protectors – and how to discern when to take action on things and when to cool out.

A father can give them balance.

Balance is necessary for everyone because without it, it becomes easier for us to be knocked down by the storms of life.

For all these reasons I know the male father role is so integral and necessary for my children – and I believe this to be true for all children in order to be given the best chance of success in this life. I will never be one who downs plays this role because I have first-hand experience of what it means to not have a father around. I want all my sons to share the experience of a great father – like that of my oldest son.  When and if they are ready to do the right thing and chose their sons over everything else – we will be waiting with open arms.

Until that day happens I will continue raising my beautiful boys – to the best of my ability – showing them everyday what it means to love and be loved.

About author

Toi Smith

Toi Smith

Toi Smith is the blogger behind Lessons From A Baby Mama, the space where she explores her life as a single mother and those lessons learned. When she is not writing, she is busy raising her 4 wonderful sons. More of her writing can be found on her website http://babymamalessons.com/ .

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