Real Fatherhood

thwkgviinaDuring self-introductions a college student of mine once boasted that he’d fathered 11 children by 11 different mothers.

I normally avoid judgmental statements. Not this time. “Do you support them?” I asked.

“Uh, no!” he said with a grin.

“Then you’re not a real father. You’re a child abuser,” I replied. A period of awkward silence followed. Which normally bothers me.

Not this time.

Fatherhood is being there. With your time. With your heart. With your paycheck. When it’s convenient, and when it’s not.

hank-baskettTo all of the real fathers out there: I celebrate you!

To all of those who are not:

Man up and get real.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Real Fatherhood

  1. One woman, 53 years, 3 children, 9 Grands, 4 Greats. It’s a wonderful life, Great Post!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh amen!!! Three of my nieces (two different sisters, both very young when they had these kids) had this kind of “father.” One niece is still young, but the two who are grown consider the man who actually raised and loved them to be their father. They refer to the biological specimen by his first name…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. nancyehead says:

    Good for you, Mitch! God bless!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. barbara runck says:

    Interesting. I could not agree more and that is one of the values of which my brother and I are so opposite.


    Liked by 3 people

  5. pkadams says:

    How did that ‘behavior’ become something to be proud of in certain circles of men? I’m not being racist, but the only men I’ve heard that spoken about are Black men. I have a feeling that there is a reason this became a ‘thing’. I’m happy to say that I know plenty of good Black men who are real fathers. Just thinking.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. myplace3187 says:

    I am going to throw a wrench into this thinking that all men who do not support their kids are useless and need to man up !!! What if the mother does all she can to hide those kids from their biological Fathers ? Yes, this did happen and I hated every day of not seeing or being allowed to talk with my children. So women need to get real as well and stop being rude and nasty at times like this. Both my kids and I lost out on a ;life time of love from each other. Get lost Professor and grow up and man up !!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. joyroses13 says:

    So glad you stood up to him and told him what you did! There is a time to let things go and a time to speak up.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. trE says:

    Amen!!! You just said a mouthful, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. smzang says:


    You always make me proud that I follow this blog.

    This post has the power to change the world.. It is
    the true Power Of Story and further testament
    to the value of your being.


    Liked by 2 people

  10. Not a happy story! I know of one young woman who already having had children taken into care because of her inability to care for them deliberately setting out to find someone to father another one so that the one remaining one should not grow up alone…. Resulting in another two children having to be removed to care again because she was yet again unable to care for them because of mental health issues. So. So many broken hearts…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. John Eli says:

    #micdrop 🎙⬇️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bravo, Mitch!
    I remember when at the conclusion of a wedding the minister would say, “I now pronounce you man and wife.” Someone decided that this wasn’t right, and they now say “husband and wife.” Lately, however, I’ve thought about it and decided that I like the idea of not pronouncing a guy a “man” until he has made a lifetime commitment to a woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This hits home with me a lot. I never met my dad until I was 8. Once I did, I wished I hadn’t. I thought I had forgiven him for my childhood mess until I had children of my own and it really struck me what he had done. Men who abandon their own blood should… I should not be the judge. But, I will say that they have no clue what they are missing. I would not abandon my children for the world and everything in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. gpavants says:


    Hard real words. Being a father and being a dad, big difference.



    Liked by 2 people

  15. Jennie says:

    Well said, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Ann Coleman says:

    Well said, indeed. Anyone can create a baby. But unless you support and love the that baby as it grows up, then you aren’t a father. Or a mother, for that matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So glad to be married to the truly great father of my children.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Wally Fry says:

    Reblogged this on Truth in Palmyra and commented:
    Mitch, this was succinct and 100 percent right on. Thanks for saying this needed thing so directly.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Equipping says:

    Thanks for your like of my post on The Childrens’ Hospital In Jerusalem; you are very kind. The story on video is very soul stirring.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. SLIMJIM says:

    I think you did what is right. That guy needed to hear that. Badly. And you spoke truth to him like a prophet.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Wonderful! Your students are privileged to be in your audience–whether in a class or on a blog post!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Yure says:

    Harsh words. But sometimes you need to hear those.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Fireside Dad says:

    Kudos. Way to be real. And to fight against fear and speak the truth. I worked in the underserved areas of South and Central LA for the past 7 years. And the youth I worked with – the number one thing missing from their life….Dad. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I don’t understand how anyone could take pride in abandoning a child let alone 11!
    Is castration an option?

    Good on you for saying something.

    Liked by 1 person

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