“I Would Not Run Away”: Single Dad Stefan Malliet Talks Being Present.

Our Affirming Black and Brown Fatherhood Series has gotten such great response this week that we’re adding a second featured unmarried dad today. This is Stefan Malliet, a 32-year-old Brooklyn native and father to three-year-old son Kyle. We were struck by Stefan’s candor and insights, particularly as it relates to his rocky road toward harmonious co-parenting, his thoughts on animus between black unmarried mothers and fathers, and his insights about single mothers raising sons. 

Stefan Malliet, with then-newborn son Kyle
Stefan Malliet, with then-newborn son Kyle

BBM: What’s one specific way in which fatherhood has changed you or your outlook on life?

 

The biggest change that comes to mind is the way that Kyle has become a huge portion of the context for EVERY decision I make. Whereas I used to be a relatively go-with-the-flow person, I now make sure that I take time to consider how any decisions in front of me would affect him; his present and his future. For instance: Who, how and when I date are extremely important now. While I have always (at least casually) considered the potential for positive influence in the women I’ve dealt with, now I specifically think about “is this the kind of person I would want around my son?” I’ve found that there are certain associates who I’ve decided not to deal with any more because of that reason.

BBM: Did you have an immediate idea of the kind of father you’d want to be? 

There was one thing I knew about fatherhood as it pertained to myself: I would not run away. For better or worse, that was about as far as I had thought about it. I knew that I wanted children at some point, but hadn’t necessarily thought about what that actually means in real life terms. Once it came to pass that my turn was coming, I decided that I’d be – at the very least – someone who my son will be able to look up to. That means clearing out a lot of the cobwebs, old hurts, and bad habits that tend to build up over a lifetime of not necessarily dealing with them.

BBM: What is your relationship with your own father like? 

I didn’t have a relationship with my father; I never met him. My “father” was my grandfather (mother’s father) and he is my hero. He passed on when I was just about to turn 16, which was unfortunate because I was just entering into that time where the transition from boy to man should have been starting. Fortunately, I feel as I have remembered enough of his examples and his words that I was able to integrate them into my journey. In short, that relationship was probably one of the most important thus far.

Continue reading ““I Would Not Run Away”: Single Dad Stefan Malliet Talks Being Present.”

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Momma’s Boy: Single Mom Jakiba Herndon on Raising a Son.

Today’s Community Blogger is Jakiba Herndon, a 33-year-old mother of one. She works as a Government Finance Specialist and resides in New Jersey. We asked Jakiba about some of the triumphs and challenges she’s faced, raising a son and navigating a long-distance co-parenting experience. Here’s what she told us. Beyond Baby Mamas: When you found […]