These are the hardships I face every day.
I can’t be there every time he needs a shoulder to cry on.
I can’t tell him goodnight.
I can’t be there to tuck him in bed.
I can’t be there to say “I love you”.
I can’t be there to kiss his pain away.
I can’t be there when he gets messy.
I can’t be there to clean him up.
I can’t be there to sing him to sleep.
I can’t be there to read him bed time stories.
I can’t take him to the zoo.
I can’t introduce him to his distant family members.
I can’t chase him around.
I can’t make him laugh.
I can’t take him to library events.
I can’t take him for walks.
I can’t take him shopping.
I can’t take him to sports games.
I can’t tell him good morning.
I can’t dress him up for the day.
I can’t wipe his tears away when he cries.
I can’t take care of him when he’s sick.
I can’t put him back to sleep after he wakes up.
This kills me inside. It kills me that I am not able to be a parent. Instead, the family court system has essentially made me a baby sitter.
I only get 9 hours a week with my son. 6 hours of that 9 is spent transporting him to exchanges and making sure he gets the sleep he needs to keep growing and staying healthy.
This means I get a single hour of face time with him during the 3 days that I do get to see him. If I choose to take him anywhere other than my home, I have to sacrifice that one hour of face time.
The courts have stated this is necessary because he is under a year of age. I disagree on the necessity of this schedule. Dr. Joan Kelly also shows evidence of why this is actually disadvantageous to my child here.
This system, is wrong and completely unnecessary. A quick search on google shows the benefits that spending ample time with both parents has for a child.
Through joint physical custody, children of divorce/separation have similar rates of developmental disadvantages as children to married coupled.
So my question is, why is this not the standard?
Why aren’t both parents able to be actual parents rather than excluding one and making them a glorified baby sitter?
As long as the parents are capable of adhering to the 12 best interest factors set by the court, there is no reason why they should not enjoy joint physical custody from day 1.
It’s been shown through evidence from various studies that children are much better off when the parents share joint physical custody. You can again refrence the meta-analysis by Dr.Kelly above.
Here are common known factors of absentee fathers to prove my point from a fathers point of view.
Children with no significant fatherly presence:
There’s no reason why I as a father should be excluded from the majority of my son’s life. I definitely should not be excluded simply based on these negative effects of my forced absence.
I want to preach for equal parenting rights for both fathers and mothers. However, it’s no secret that fathers generally get the short end of the stick when it comes to parenting rights.
Today, I wanted to be selfish and vent about the struggles that both myself and many others are facing as fathers.
Going into the negotiations over custody for my son, I was hopeful that things were going to be equal. That the courts actually cared about minimizing harmful results such as the ones listed.
However, I was extremely let down. This is what has led me to start this blog.
I may not be able to be there as much as I want due to the legal system, but what I can do is try to make a change. I want to spread awareness of this issue.
I am going to spend the rest of my life working to change the family law system here in the USA.
I will probably fail, but I would rather die trying than sit around and complain without doing something about it.
I ask that you join me. Help make the separation process better for our children.
I will do ample amount of reading through the literature that is available. I will become a resource to help both mothers and fathers come together as best they can to raise an incredible child.
I simply ask that you read up on what I post from time to time. To just stay aware that this is a major issue in our society.
From there, I ask that you help spread the awareness. I will do the heavy lifting, I just need you to walk with me.