The Phenomenon of the “Baby Daddy”

Yesterday being Father’s Day and all, I found myself struggling with what to say in the pulpit.

I don’t like to do Father’s Day or Mother’s Day sermons.  Those are not good “church days.” Mother’s Day is generally sad, and Father’s Day has over it an air of indifference.

So, I had to struggle yet again on what to say and how to say it. I ended up talking about men being fathers “after God’s own heart.” But I found myself veering over to have a conversation with the women.

True, in the African American community, more fathers need to be present and “step up,” to be not only baby makers, paternity firmly established by DNA, but also involved in the experience called fatherhood.  I think the damage done to family structure during slavery has had serious and tragic repurcussions, and one of the most serious has been the phenomenon of the “baby daddy.”

But if there is a “baby daddy,” there is a “baby momma,” too, meaning, too many women willing to have sex with anyone, just anyone, even if she knows he is not the man she’d like to marry. There are still too many of us women who are so starved for love, and so confused about what love is, that we will settle for anyone, get pregnant, and then be stuck with raising a child alone. 

We create the “baby daddy.”

So many of us know going into the bedroom that this is about to be a wild night, and for some reason, too many of us still think that it’s OK to have a baby when we are not ready. Anyone pregnant this day and age wants to be pregnant, which leads me to believe that too many of us do not believe that raising a child is hard work, an art form, actually, a job about which we ought to think long and hard before we enter the ranks.

It angers me, then, that, once the baby is born,  and the “baby daddy” takes off, that we take on the victim role and begin to criticize the man for not being around. It also angers me that if the “baby daddy” wants to be involved in his child’s life, we use the baby or babies, as it were, to punish the man for not being our Prince Charming. The one who suffers is the baby; the culture that suffers is our own.

There is nothing fun about raising one child alone, let alone more. My two children were very young when theire father and I divorced, and it was a bear, trying to raise them to be well-adjusted, well-educated and well-taken care of while trying to be a pastor on a limited income at the same time.

When I see, then, women having baby after baby, sometimes with different men, my cheeks get hot. I get angry because those kids will not have a dad, but instead a frustrated, overworked mother who has no idea how hard it is to raise a child, or how important it is to raise a child who can compete aptly in this society.

Pro-lifers don’t care about kids without fathers. They want babies to be born, but throw them to the wolves and rather blame them for their course in life once they are born.

It is unfair and unkind to bring a child into the world when we cannot take care of them. It is selfish to bring them into the world when we cannot take care of them, and it is unfair to put all the blame for the absence of the father on the men. Too many of us know, going into the bedroom, that “ol boy” is not the one we want to live with for the rest of our lives.

Oh, I went back to talking about the importance of being a father after God’s own heart after I had the heart to heart with us women. Were we not to allow them to have sex with us… no, let me say it another way: were we more discriminate in who we have sex with, the “baby daddy” phenomenon might quietly fade into oblivion … which is where it needs to fade.

That’s just a candid observation.

4 thoughts on “The Phenomenon of the “Baby Daddy”

  1. All of that is certainly true.

    In my fathers day message however, I spoke to the Fathers.

    Abandonment of your children/child Men, is a GRIEVOUS sin that has lifelong implications in the life of that child. Perhaps you cannot be married to your baby’s mama. So be it. That is an issue between grown folks. But you are STILL the father of that child. A divorce degree or a decision not to marry IN NO WAY absolves you of the RESPONSIBILITY to participate in the raising and nurturing of that child.

    The tragedy of the damage inflicted on the African American Family by the insidious practice of slavery is very real and it is undeniable. Those of us born in this generation can do precious little about that except to acknowledge that it is part of our terrible past, to repent as a nation and seek redress for those whom we have injured. The decision whether or not to PERPETUATE that damage IS however, a decision that we, in this generation have control over. Men, PLEASE don’t perpetuate that evil for yet another generation. Break the cycle. Break the curse. Fulfill your responsibility as a Father before God and the Child that is yours.

  2. I think the sermon was on time and on point. Women need to recognize that with choices comes consequences! And that the “baby daddy” phenomenon has been created by women who made the wrong choice… I have seen too many men being denied the opportunity to take on their responsibility to full capacity and therefore being labeled by society. Not to place all burden on the women as men have to own their own self-created labels, but I do feel strongly that women need to be more proactive and selective with dealing with ALL MATTERS surrounding this subject.

  3. I completely agree with you and as I sat and listened to your sermon, I remembered my own lack of discretion when I made a conscious decision to have a child without a present father. I never took on the victim or martyr role because I understood that it was a choice. My mother scolded me even though I was 21, my friends were shocked, but I was responsible for not exercising my right to choose to be protected. Thank God all I got was a baby. We (she and I) have pressed on through adversity. She is a well rounded, young scholar, who if it had not been for the lord on my side as the song says “where would I be” and I have included “where would we be.” I too, like you, have a tendency to speak to my sisters, becaue so often I hear the moans of despair. Because of my often unwillingness yet ever present relationship with “The Father” I had a lot less headache and heartache trying to exercise power over a powerless situation. Many women and I know more than my fair share think that they can extract a commitment from an unwilling participant with a child. Babies are not bargaining chips! Therefore, as I listened as I always do intently to find my piece in your words, I sat with an attitude of gratitiude. Although it has always been my daughter and I against the world, I’m so grateful to have the wisdom to know the difference and understand that the generational curse of the attitude that there are no “good” fathers left in the world stopped in my home. No victims, only volunteers enter in to an unspoken agreement to have unprotected intercourse and leave the outcome to chance.

  4. Michael Jackson was neiher Black nor White but a man, created by God to be a human being with extrodinbary talent, and with that talent he also had pain. Pain from the consequences that arose from our white brothers who find it odd that he bleached his skin, but normal to sit in the sun everyday to be black which is natural in us. It is a white entitlement mentality that has unfortunatel;y developmentally and socially disabled some white folk, who also suffer from the same Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome that the Black man suffers, only the symptoms are expressed on the opposite end of the spectrum giving them an illusion of suoeriority, when we all came from the same Adam and Eve that surely they have come to discount, if they beleived they would no as Michael that it doesnt matter whether you are black or white, we are one body, one blood and there is one God. The facts syrrounding why he died are irrelevant, only his life was relevanbt to the edification of mankind. He is a star in life, and today he is a star among the heavens where he heard the harmony, the melody and rythem that the Angels shared with him seeing the purity of his heart. Have anyone of you published an article regarding why white people bake lije a cake in the oven to become black like us!

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