It took me a few hours to come up with a name for a personal online identity that I felt would help me to create a positive personal online community. As I reflected on my life, I have been known as many things. I was a good student, I was a high school football star and a college athlete, I am married for 6 years now, I have 2 kids (one and four), and as a special education teacher I already have a Professional Learning Community through my @EmeraldCitySpEd identity. It is my role as the Man of the House and father to my son and daughter that I wanted to be known for. Now, I do not fall into the normal Young Black Male stereotypes as growing up without a father-figure in a broken home... or at least I thought I didn't. It wasn't until I was 19 years old that I had a revelation that I was fatherless, and that has had a deep effect on me since then.
Back when I had the real possibility of getting married in my early twenties, I had my reservations. My hesitation did not stem from my now wife of 6 years, but from my family history. My mother was with her third husband, my step-dad, who was on his second marriage. Without a clear, or positive, example of what marriage is supposed to look like, how could I be able to have a successful one myself?
My reservations didn't stop with marriage, but with raising kids. I was very anxious when we were pregnant with our first child. Thankfully, our first was a girl, and my step-dad set the bar pretty low for raising a well-adjusted young woman. On the other hand, my son is about to have his first birthday, and my concern is going to be how to turn this boy into a man when I barely found the way myself. I though I grew p with a good example in my step-dad, but it is difficult to listen to someone's teachings and ignore the decisions they make in their personal life. Some things are just unforgivable by man.
All this to say that I'm trying to come into my own as a man and as a dad, while trying to figure out how to take this baby that will grow into a boy, and make him a man someday.
So why do I have Manhood in opposition to Dadhood?
Quite simply, they are viewed as conflicting by society. I want to examine what it takes to be a man, and what it takes to be a dad (and a husband when necessary), and discover why the two do not always mesh. So the title of the blog, and my Twitter name @ManvDadhood, are just the ice-breakers to a social discussion I hope to start.
Please feel free to follow me on my journey, and join in with comments.