What’s Wrong With A Daddy Doin’ Work?
From the annals of controversies that make you go, “huh?” comes the story of father and friend-of-GEM Doyin Richards. Doyin is founded Daddy Doin’ Work. He is married and has two little girls. In his blog, he shares his adventures raising them. People tend to think he’s a stay-at-home-dad because he blogs, but he works, his wife works and they’re doin’ work together. But wait, there’s more.
Doyin is the kind of guy who says that real men don’t babysit their own kids, that it’s important for guys to support their wives or girlfriends and that the days are gone when it’s cool for a guy to come home from work, grab a beer, watch ESPN/play video games/ignore his children, all while yelling, “Where’s dinner?”
So, what’s the problem? He posted this picture:
Doyin’s wife was running late for work and he promised that he would do their oldest daughter’s hair while giving attention to the baby. She said she would believe it when she sees it as she dashed off to work.
He took this picture with a camera on a timer to prove his handiwork. He later posted the picture to his Daddy Doin’ Work Facebook and Twitter feeds and it was shared widely. So widely, in fact, that he got lots of comments and email. Most of them were overwhelmingly positive and supportive, but there were some comments from other men that were negative and downright hateful. Here’s a sampling:
- “He probably rented those kids. They don’t even look like him.”
- “I would bet anything that you’re a deadbeat.”
- “OK buddy, cute picture. Now why don’t you hand the children back to their mom so you can go back to selling drugs or your bootleg rap CDs?”
- “So do you do this for all of your illegitimate kids?”
Then, there were the comments from other black people:
- “This would be so much better if those kids were BLACK!”
- “Look at this Uncle Tom. No chance he would be doing this if his kids were black.”
- “I’m sorry, but I can’t support a brotha who didn’t marry a black woman.”
- “Your MOM is black and you dishonored her by marrying outside of your race? You probably can’t handle a strong black woman.”
As Doyin states in his blog post from October, “I, too, am stepping away from the computer to check the calendar and make sure it’s 2013 and not 1913.”
As you can read for yourself, Doyin handles the negative comments with grace and aplomb. What I find discouraging about them is that some men seem to think that there’s something wrong with men who actually take care of their own children. I know that these are the selfish, cave-dwelling, insecure type of men. What worries me is that they’re “raising” children. Some are sons who might one day behave the same way. Some are daughters who might have children with selfish men. And the cycle continues.
I’m also discouraged by the black people who tear down Doyin because his wife is not black. Their comments weren’t even fired at me, but somehow I feel like I got caught in the crosshairs. Interracial coupling—whatever the combination—raises the ire of some ignorant people. I applaud fathers of every race, particularly black men, who love and care for their children. I would never question the authenticity of his parenting because of who he happened to have those children with.
I hope that what comes out of this is that some man, somewhere, is motivated by Doyin (and the love of his children, of course) to step up more when it comes to parenting. It’s not a secret that all children need fathers as part of their healthy development. I hope that some black people who automatically dismiss black men in interracial relationships will look inward and deal with their own issues regarding race.
Related: GUEST POSTING: DADDY-ING FOR DUMMIES
Those are my thoughts. What do you think of these comments? More importantly, what do you think of all daddies doin’ work?
Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is managing editor of Good Enough Mother. Read more about Alexis on her blog www.lilliebelle.org or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.