(Earlier today, I published a blog post entitled “Children Are Not a Paycheck.” After reading it, and receiving some much appreciated feedback, I have decided to break the post up into various parts in order to provide clarity to the subject matter. As a result, this will be the first post in a series of posts related to the topic of what I believe children should not be. I know this is a sensitive subject, but I am writing it based on my personal experiences, which have shaped my point of view. I know not everyone will agree with me, but I just ask you to read this with an open mind. I also welcome comments, whether you agree with me or not.)
I am a divorced father of five children, from three different relationships and marriages. Now I fall into the category of a “non-custodial” parent. Typically this position was one of respect as one parent, usually fathers, exercised regular visitation with their children. Often this was a standard formula of every other weekend, and possibly one night through the week. This arrangement ideally allowed for both parents to continue to foster healthy relationships with their children. Unfortunately, in today’s borderline socialistic society, this isn’t always the case.
When I was in the relationships with the mothers of my children, I was actively involved in their lives. This ranged from leaving work early on Fridays to read during story time when my oldest daughter was in Pre-K to attending Parent-Teacher conferences at school, and to helping coach my kid’s soccer team. While at home, I would change diapers, play with my kids, and read them bedtime stories. I would also ensure my children were involved in church, I would help them with their homework, and I would discipline them on those rare occasions when it was necessary. Throughout both the fun and the difficult times, I thoroughly enjoyed being an active father for my children.
Eventually, for various reasons, the relationships between my children’s mothers and I dissolved. Unfortunately, this level of separation is not uncommon. According to the American Psychological Association, “About 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.”1 In addition to the mother and father, this also has a dramatic effect on the children involved, which I will explain in further detail in future posts of this series.
Over the years, I have made myself available for my children as much as I possibly could. For a number of years, I had two of my daughters with me almost every minute they were out of school. I have remained living in close proximity to their mothers, often at the cost of my career, so I could be available for my children.
Needless to say, I love each of my children greatly. But, it has been a struggle to be a father to them. As you will see in future posts of this series, my children have been used in ways that no child should be.
Throughout this series, I know not everyone will agree with me, and that is fine. I believe that we all have a right to our own opinions. But, as I try to remain open minded, I hope that you remain open minded as you read these blog posts. By the conclusion of the series, hopefully I have enlightened, if not inspired, some of you to join me in speaking up for change to the current system, and to defend the humanity of children!
- American Psychological Association. “Marriage & Divorce.” https://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/ [Accessed July 16, 2019].