Same with men. Her answer startled me and even angered me a bit. Not at her exactly, but at the stereotype she shared that her friend completely understood without an explanation. According to this mindset, men who do not have their children full time are not single fathers. They are considered divorced dads.
Divorced dads are men who have their children every other weekend and have all kinds of freedom in between, and as such do not act like fathers during that time. That was my summation of what she said, understand. Her explanation was more eloquent, but no less astounding. And denigrating in my opinion, considering I only get my sons every weekend as per my custody agreement. I waited until we were on our way home so I could calm down a bit, but I had to ask.
I had to know.
Let me just say that I never considered myself less than a single father when I was single. The question is: why is THAT the stereotype? I asked a swath of friends what their opinion was and it was largely in line with what my wife and her friend thought.
I could see that this was a not just a case of me being overly sensitive to the plight of divorced dads with kids, but rather a perception that was widely held. I turned to that savior of information, the internet. According to census. That is a massive jump in numbers, to be certain, yet the stereotype that men who do not have their children all the time are not equal to the men who do persists.
A salient view of this issue could be found in an article on attorneys. There are many reasons why women win custody in the overwhelming number of cases. Traditionally, men worked and women stayed home to raise children. Although that is less frequently the case these days, there is still a bias toward women in child custody cases. From a biological perspective, we are more inclined to think of the mother-child relationship than the father-child relationship.
Many people make the automatic assumption that women are more nurturing as parents than men. So how can we get past this bias? This is part of our culture. Then, there is this idea that women are better nurturers than men, ergo, better parents. And boy, did I ever take that advice to heart. I was scared to death I would only be allowed to see my sons 4 days a month. I bent over backward and gave up many things naively because I feared the worst.
In the end, I was lucky I was able to have my sons every weekend and have dinner with them during the week. That is what is frustrating for me. I am viewing this as a man who has sacrificed to maintain a connection to his children. I realize there is a whole other side of this argument, from a female perspective. Or to be overly critical. Instead, she viewed it as a cautious measure when considering who she, as a single mother, chose to date.
I can empathize with her explanation because I was very choosy about who my kids would meet too. I guess I just find it sad that societally we do assume the worst when it comes to men and fatherhood, especially in the cases of custody. I do believe that over time proving that we can be and ARE great parents in our own right we can eradicate the stereotype.
The onus is on us, men. Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here. Sign up for our Writing Prompts email to receive writing inspiration in your inbox twice per week. We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century.
Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable. Doug is a husband, a father of four, a tech and video game geek.
In his rare spare moments, he enjoys good books and even better beers, exploring new things, places and food with his wife and Kentucky basketball. He also possesses a vast knowledge of 80's music that he hopes will pay off big at some random trivia night. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
This article angers me you want to be known as a dad who does his part. Did you read the article Emily? Liked your Blog, very informative. We live in Canada, my situation is somewhat different than the norm in a divorce. I have custody of Jakob and receive nearly She dated a man that was abusive and RCMP was involved in her new dating life. Jakob wanted nothing to do with his mom and she was also emotionally abusive to him.
That however does not mean you should give up on your children and take whatever custody and visitation schedule is offered to you. Abraham was a friend of God James I have spoken to our children about the importance of having a relationship with both, that every parent is different and loves them, etc etc. His mother and i were married at the time of his birth. I love each of you and thank you for what you have sown into my life. Even though I believe such an outcome is highly unlikely, since my daughter's ex-best friend a woman is now living with my daughter's ex-husband says she can't handle my grandson, as well as the fact that my ex-son-in-law's job sometimes requires him to travel during the time he has custody of the baby, but we are fearful for the baby's well-being.
After the courts and review of the child court ordered. And getting my son and support payments from here was done quickly. Totally get this, my sons lived with me Saturday to Tuesday every week. Being a father was the greatest joy I have ever experienced, unfortunately most of the women I dated were not understanding of the time I wanted and needed to spend with my boys so I have been mostly single since my divorce 8 years ago.
Tradition WAS paternal custody until a century ago. I can only relate my own observations from first-hand knowledge of how the legal system works. The Tender Years Doctrine — the legal premise that children are best served with their mothers — has been written out of every state statute. This language has been replaced with a list judges consider when deciding custody.
Funny, my ex wife was what you just described, a pay check. I was a stay at home dad. I did everything when it came to taking care of our son. What you just said is complete bullshit. The courts favor women plain and simple. This is why mothers are awarded primary care in the greater portion, not some ludicrous notion that the present day family court discriminates in these matters solely based on gender. They would have been one more thing to fight over during the divorce. I know if we would have had children though, that I wold have fought tooth and nail for them.
Great article, as always, my friend. When you come right down to it, the woman have their kids only half the time as well, and that makes them no less deserving of the same prejudice they are perpetrating againt others, according to their own values not mine. Shame on your wife and her friend.
Thank you for the article. I do feel that I am judged by the my custody relationship.
Free download of On the outside Looking In: Hope for Separated Fathers Who Want to Be Good Fathers by Akili Kumasi. Available in PDF, ePub and Kindle. “Being a father is one of the greatest rewards and one of the most significant challenges a man can face. No father should miss this God-given responsibility and.
The worse judge is myself. Personally I believe it was so she could get more money.
I was the one who drove my kids places. I see my two older kids a little, mainly my now 18 year old son, my 15 year old daughter I rarely see. They do not come over for my every other weekend as it was not convenient to them.
My ex-wife killed herself last year and I am now a stay at home father of a traumatised 10yo boy, while my current wife works she makes more money than I could. Mostly I hate feeling useless and valueless, not being able to bring home money for the family and be independent. Was there ever any understanding on their part that both their comments and belief systems could be highly offensive? That goes double when you take a sympathetic position towards a group or individual who defends and perpetuates the false notion.
Victim-blaming is satisfying and popular, but never solves anything. Perhaps if fathers took such opportunities to advocate for their rights, women may be inclined to reconsider their prejudices. More so if both parents could just co parent well without trying to punish the other parent through the child then a child can actually flourish with separated parents working well together. Kay - 1-Feb AM. So it pretty easy for me.
Chris - 8-Jan AM. Chris - Not sure how you were able to come over this. Every day I feel as if someone has nailed me to the floor with my hands and legs tied to the floor then took a shovel full of sand and shoved it through my mouth, nose and eyes until I cannot breath but I have to breath it to live. This is seriously how I feel and I feel lonely, suffocated without my son and crying many nights.
It has been 6 months and I cannot get over it. Enquirer33 - 8-Jan AM. Chris - 7-Jan PM. I just want to be left alone I am just thankful I never got myself in trouble with stupid messages I had god my side with the stuff I said a magistrate would have jailed me. What is a typical child arrangement for a 2 year old.