Absent fatherhood is a pandemic. In my opinion, it’s a serious problem in this country.
So, I took it upon myself to start advocating for single moms and for children raised without fathers because I was also raised by a single mother.
For 10 of my formative years, my father was not around, so I know the ramifications of that kind of abandonment first hand.
Even though he is back in my life now, it took a lot of personal healing and introspection to get to this place of forgiveness.
If you think back to your childhood, either you or someone around you grew up in a single-parent home – and the majority of the time, the single parent was the mom.
This still continues today; how many more children have to grow up without fathers?
These cycles will never end until we have the conversations we need to have to heal – and then choose to do better. The first step to healing is acknowledging the problem, which many refuse to do.
A lot of men are of the opinion that “they were raised by single moms and turned out just fine”, so there’s nothing wrong for a child to grow up without a father. Stop trying to make it okay, you are perpetuating a harmful cycle, which somehow proves you are not fine.
There is a child out there who is half of you, your blood runs through their veins, and they are wondering who/where you are, wondering if you even think of them at all because for whatever reason you have given up on them.
Who is protecting our daughters? Who is teaching our sons how to be respectable young men?
A friend shared this quote on Facebook the other day: “If you want to be in their thoughts tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”.
If you don’t spend time with your child today, they won’t have a single memory of you tomorrow. You’ll be like any random stranger to them. The time you spend with them now is an investment you’re making; you’re securing a spot in their thoughts and lives, and a lifetime of love and appreciation.
You may not think you need them now, but our needs change with time – and one day, when all is said and done, you may need the love and affection of your child, and they won’t know how to love a stranger.
It’s not normal for your child to not have a relationship with you. Every day that passes makes it harder for you to build that relationship, so find and love your child today; they need you.
Paula Christoph’s column concentrates on positive and inspirational write-ups every second Friday in New Era newspaper.