Painful As It Is….

I was perusing WordPress when I came across a blog post titled Deadbeat Dads: Give ‘Em A Break.  The title intrigued me for fairly obvious reasons.  Given the most recent bouts with Tanya, I was interested to hear another perspective.

The author’s husband, decided not to be involved in the newborns life.

Yes.  That man did the unthinkable…well no, he did not.  Yes, according the post, the husband does not have a relationship with his daughter but no, the thought is not unthinkable.  I think MANY fathers feel this way but few go through with it. I think the main reason that this course of action has not taken hold is fear of the “deadbeat dad” label.  Due to the very loose definition of being a deadbeat dad, I would not be surprised if more fathers make the same decision in the future.

Any infraction can land you on that list no matter how minor or how principled the reason.  If a father decides that he is not going to pick up his son from a sporting practice, or his daughter from a cheerleading practice, he can be immediately labeled as a deadbeat dad.  The label is applied and advertised so quickly that no one stops to ask why said father made that decision.  It is assumed that said father doesn’t do because he does not want to.  I submit that the reason may be because the father was not consulted nor did he agree with the decision to have their child in a particular extracurricular activity in the first place. Why does that matter?  So glad you asked.

Any child sport requires time, money, and energy for the parent. Let’s assume that the money being used to pay for the sport is paid for from child support.  The child still has to be taken to and picked up from practices and games.  You can bet your bottom dollar that the custodial parent will not want to continue to drop off, pick up, attend all, and bring snacks on their child’s designated snack day for each game the entire season.  She will want to shoulder that burden. Here is the problem.  If you make a solitary decision regarding a shared child, you can not therefore expect nor require the other parents involvement. Being a custodial parent does not give one authority to be a dictator to the other parent involved.  

I can guarantee you that that parent will be labeled a deadbeat for that single reason alone.

That one common example being said, just think about all of the other conflicts that come up in a shared child relationship?

Mother – Pick up the child at 5.  Father- I can’t get there until 5:30.  Mother- Well you need to figure it out because I need to leave at 5.  Father – The best I can do is 5:30.  Mother – Figure it out.

Father – I want to take the child to see the Christmas lights.  Mother – He doesn’t like lights.  I tried to take him yesterday and he cried the whole time.  Father – I want to take him tomorrow.  Mother – No.  I told you he doesn’t like them.

Father – I am getting her an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas.  Mother – No, that is what I am getting her.  You get her something else.

Compound that by YEARS and I can see why a father would rather not begin a relationship.

It is an uphill battle. Try to build a relationship with a child that is being told twisted truths or blatant untruths from a parent that loves them to pieces which happens to be the one they are with 90% of the time. The visits with the other parent has strained drop offs and pick ups. The visitation may or may not be regular.  As a parent, who wants their child to go through all of that? I can easily see why you would rather walk away. Of course the decision is hurtful for the parent and you can bet that the child will be greatly effected as well.  It comes down to which is worse.  Neither road is ideal. Both are hard and have negative consequences for ALL persons involved but I can see how it happens.  In cases like these, the decision is not made because the father does not love, but because the father loves so much.

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2 thoughts on “Painful As It Is….

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