Are Fathers Expendable?

Expendable means easily replaced : not worth saving : not meant to be saved : meant to be used and thrown away (Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary)

She said: No, I don’t think fathers are expendable. I truly believe that a child needs his/her father. Boys and girls,who do not have their dad in lives, tend to have a harder time doing well in life and maintaining healthy relationships.

A father should provide the child with his/her first relationship with the male gender. Some dads are comfortable having a financial relationship (i.e. child support), no relationship or a part-time relationship (i.e. visits for holidays/summer breaks) with their child. Whereas, some dads are very involved in all aspects of their child’s life — he guides, provides, supports, disciplines and cares for his child.

Relationships with father figures are also important. Father figures can be uncles, cousins, grandfathers, godfathers, stepfathers, coaches, teachers or pastors.

As for me, my relationships with my dad and father figure (grandpa) shaped and molded my opinions about men. That being said I had an unhealthy relationship with my dad, which affected my relationship with my children’s father.

I grew in a family that started of as a married couple with kids and later it became a single mom raising children on her own. My dad moved out and had his own apartment.

After my dad left, my opinion of him changed dramatically — I no longer saw him as important because he did not treat his relationship with me as a priority. He worked 2–3 jobs and it felt like he was too busy to see me.

My siblings and I saw him during our birthdays, holidays, at his job or at school assemblies/award ceremonies. His visits were not planned and sometimes we were notified of a visit only a few hours before he arrived.

Although my biological father was available on a “part-time” basis, I had an AMAZING grandfather who was supportive, dependable and loving. My grandpa showed me what a father is — provider, protector, counselor and caregiver.

When I had my children, I wanted them to have a father similar to my grandpa. I hoped and prayed that their father would always be involved with their lives.

Yet, I did not choose a man like my grandpa to father my children. In fact, the father I picked was very much like my dad.

In the beginning, it was easier for my children to have a relationship with their dad because we lived in the same house and they saw him everyday. However, when our fragile relationship fell apart and we split, our egos got in the way and the relationship he had with our children suffered.

It became a war between us. I wanted him to consistently visit our children to ease their anxiety about moving away from their dad. He wanted to show up anytime (day or night) he felt like it to see them.

Although I could easily accept that we were over, it was hardier for my ex to process this reality. He wanted us to get back together and he began to pull away from our children.

Even though the relationship between my children and their father is slowly getting better, I still believe his role is important. There are days when I wish he had a more “full-time” presence in their lives, but the reality is he needs to work on having a more active role in his children’s lives AND I needed to stop trying to force him to do more with his kids.


He said: The above definition is EXACTLY how I feel about fathers in today’s day and age. The birth of your child is a life altering decision. So many families are splitting up even before the baby arrives. Things become more complicated as one parent puts his/her wants before the child’s needs.

Ladies should respect the title father a lot more than they do. He isn’t expendable or replaceable. No one else can have the bond he has with his child.

The birth of a child is STILL a wonderful blessing. The bond a child creates between mother AND father is no longer respected.

I think the main reason we have so many single parent households is because most females don’t understand and respect the importance of a child having his/her biological father. A father completes a child.

There are plenty of things a mother instills into a child. But a father also adds to those things in ways that a mother cannot. Each parent has his/her strong points to contribute to the child’s development.

Growing up as an African American, it’s common to live with one parent or with a stepparent. A lot of us understood that we were missing out on a relationship with the absent parent.

Many of men and women vowed that they would not put their children in similar situations. Yet some women had children, they began to worry about their own needs and feelings over the future of their child.

Too many times I have seen mothers who are pregnant and they’re on their own. Now every case and situation is different.

The two of you chose to create this human being regardless of the fact that he isn’t the person you want him to be — he’s still that child’s father. And your relationship with him doesn’t have to work in order for him to be a great parent.

Sadly, some females tend to blend the two titles — parent and mate — together, as if they cannot coexist without each other.

Now her past becomes her present. Pride makes her convince herself things like “you didn’t have your father around and you turned out just fine” but you didn’t and you know it.

A wall of negativity is built between you and your child’s father, who you will have to deal with for 18 years at the very least. She may think “If he won’t do it the next man will” or things like “I deserve to be happy.”

This is where I get lost because the Bible, Koran or any other Holy scripture does not say that the mother dictates what involvement the father shall have with thy child.

As a man and a father, I often don’t understand how a female can leave her significant other during her pregnancy or replace him with another man once the baby is born? If it’s so easy to just leave or replace the child’s father — why have a child with him in the first place?.

How can a mother allow the new guy to have more privileges than the biological father? The new guy is added to the pickup list at daycare while the father isn’t or the new guy lives with the child but the father can’t have baby overnight. How can she build a new relationship with the next man in a matter of months?

It’s not wrong to start new relationships when you have children. However, it’s confusing for the baby. We are now programming the child to grow up the same way you or I did.

Now I know there are many instances where some fathers are not trying to be around for their child or the child’s mother. Ladies, I’m sorry you even have to go through that.

However, there are some guys who want to be fathers. Even if the relationship is rocky at the moment and you are pregnant, do not treat father as if he’s worthless because you aren’t together.

Fellas, we cannot be so quick to leave the mother of our child as well. As men, we have to stand up for our child’s needs regardless of whether or not the relationship works out. Females aren’t the only ones to blame here.

Mothers and fathers have to understand that we both went through a life changing event — the birth of a beautiful baby. Our child’s birth should be the spark that gives our relationship life again.

My advice is stop making permanent decisions with temporary people please… We have enough wounded African American men and children already.

Writers: He Said & SheSaid

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