It is true that it’s not always the absent father’s fault. But sometimes men are men’s worst enemies. Our egos get in the way of our parenting. We have to make money, drive fast cars, build muscles, be good at sports, impress women, and be clever, masculine, and cool. Being a dad takes time away from most of these things. Women have egos too, but they have a distinct advantage. Being a woman who can successfully juggle three kids, hold a job, and make a house a home are considered heroines among other women, and men.
Basically, men want to be masculine above all other things. Frank Pittman in his book, Man Enough: Fathers, Sons, and the Search for Masculinity states, “The great passion in a man’s life may not be for women or men or wealth or toys or fame, or even for his children, but for his masculinity.”
This causes many of the issues with fatherhood. It is usually a young man who first
impregnates a woman, in part, to prove his masculinity. When this happens, the young man ends up being a father when he’s not ready for the commitment, and with a woman he may not love. The man, the woman, and the child are off to a terrible start!
Further complicating the issue, being a dad sometimes doesn't fit in with the persona that some young males want to project. A young man may then be unable to make enough money for all his dreams with a young mouth to feed, further damaging his ego. He is no longer free, cool and can’t ethically chase women any longer. Nothing is going right for him! When the going gets tough, he may bail on his responsibilities. It can happen that easily and it happens too often as proven by the statistics. This is just one scenario that results in the 43% absence of fathers in the home.
It would be helpful if men could wait to be fathers, i.e., wait for their maturity to place less importance on masculinity and more importance on the people in his life. Fortunately, the older a man gets, the less he feels he has to prove himself. Older men are self-deprecating, surer of themselves, and less concerned for what other people think. They realize that being a good father is as simple as realizing how easy it can be to become a good one. Just time, concern, love, and attention are enough. You’ll find that men who were disappointing as fathers often become wonderful grandfathers-and the parents of those grandchildren scratch their heads.
The drive for masculinity and satisfaction of ego becomes much more pronounced when the young man did not have a caring father in his own life. So while irresponsible fathers have various backgrounds, those men with irresponsible fathers themselves are much more likely to fail as dads. If we are to stop this cycle, then we have to start with the young men of today before, or soon after, they become fathers. It takes action to neutralize the masculine ego and raise consciousness of what it takes to be a father. That action usually is best done by a more experienced man, hopefully the father, but someone.
It’s not just the men/boys who are need this education. Young women who have had unpleasant, or no fathering experiences also have ego needs. They need to know and feel the love of a male, a situation which may be sorely lacking in their lives. When you have a young male, with a need to prove himself and his masculinity, and a young female, who needs proof of her ability to be loved by a male, you have perfect formula for a baby to be born. And you have an imperfect situation for a baby to be born.
SO WHAT TO DO?
If you have a fatherless young man in your life that needs some fatherly advice, try to show yourself as someone he can approach. Uncles, grandfathers, brothers, even neighbors are perfect as mentors. It is most likely one of the most important and satisfying acts you could ever perform for someone!