Nobody wants to be the clean-up man.
But when it comes to being a father, it becomes your badge in the interest of your children. It’s almost like a parent handing over the keys to a new driver—you’re worried about the other drivers!
As a volunteer assistant and part-time gym teacher at my son’s preschool, I see the consequences of broken families, mainly in the behavior of the little boys.
Being recruited to be a positive male influence at the school is far from what I actually do—more of an enforcer of the school policies.
Most of the boys in my son’s class are unruly, disruptive, lack order and you guessed it…mama’s boys! Meaning they’re never accountable for their actions.
Don’t get me wrong, all children break toys, steal from each other, kick and punch and have outbursts of foul language. The difference is these particular boys have no accountability.
“I want my mommy,” or “I’m telling my mommy that you’re being mean to me,” is what I hear after I look around the classroom in destruction.
And not to mention my favorite, “you’re not my daddy!”
Their exactly right, I’m not their father. I’m much worse…
The teachers cannot reprimand these students with force, but I can. The teachers are not supposed to muscle the children when in an action of discipline, but I will.
I don’t have a job to lose, but I do have a child to be responsible for. If he’s not learning, then the school is failing. I’m not paying for an organized babysitter.
As the mothers bring in their children in the morning, I have to hear the solicitations of these mothers of how to discipline their children.
Each story is different, yet they all have the same conclusion—no father.
When I ask about the locations of the father, it’s always some complicated story. I eventually get the story later on from teachers, but then I quickly realized my real role at the school—to influence and protect my son.
Here’s what the women don’t understand.
I can provide order in a classroom all day, no problem. However, it doesn’t matter once they go home. There’s no order at home.
All they have to do is weather the storm of the 8-hour day until they’re picked up.
This is the main reason why fathers are active in the community. It’s not about doing what’s right for the community, it’s about guiding their own children.
More times than none, most male role models in the community are married with children. Yes, the little league coaches, boxing trainers, boy scout masters, football and basketball coaches and teachers are males who have wives and children at home.
They do it mainly for their children—the community just receives the indirect benefit.
Most men know that there’s no reward for being de-facto fathers in the community. No praise or accolades, minimal support from parents and the different hats you have to put on.
How many success stories have you heard where an athlete was living with a coach? What about teachers that come out of their own pocket for food and clothes for students?
The clean-up men can take pride in steering children in the right direction. Why? Because in a figurative sense, they end up adopting these children.
Though I lived in a two-parent household, I still remember some of the basketball and football coaches that made an impact on me.
Day in and day out, fathers are stepping out of the household to attempt to make the community better for their children.
Guess who has to share this man? The wife and children.
Why should the wife have to share her man when she did the right thing? Why do the children have to share their father just because other children are lacking theirs?
Is it the children’s fault? No. However, there’s no consequences for bad mating choices.
You know, it’s funny that our community shames polygamy, but the women don’t mind sharing men for non-sexual obligations when needed. Then again, they share men for sex too.
Should I have to be the clean-up man? Absolutely not.
So why do I do what I do? Because my son needs me. More than ever. I have two boys—an infant following right behind my 3-year-old.
That’s why black fathers are recorded as the most active with their children, according to the CDC.
To my single fellas, I don’t blame you for not wanting to be a clean-up man. You have your own life. We do this for our children. Don’t let anybody cajole you into doing it if you don’t want to.
We do this for our families.