Posted by: babbo | January 5, 2009

Dads are Not Second-class Parents, Part 3: A Divorced Dad’s Perspective

A Divorced Dad’s Perepective is written by by guest blogger Derek, dad of two.

 

Derek is a very involved dad who puts his kids first. He is constantly looking for ways to become a better dad and a better man. The story he relates here is one of many instances where the school system has treated him like a second-class parent…

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Without getting too detailed about my situation, I must say that as being a divorced dad I feel I have been treated like a second-class parent many times.

 

I’m a very involved, hands on dad — from changing diapers when my kids were little, to potty training them, to reading them books at night.

 

I believe that there shouldn’t be labels put on tasks when raising your kids, such as “mom’s always cook dinner, unless of course it’s easy mac (and cheese) or dad’s putting something on the grill.” Or doing laundry and grocery shopping to name a few.

 

These were things that growing up my mom would do, and rarely if ever I saw my dad do. He was in charge of the man things around the house and did a good job at that but I believe those times have changed.

 

On my own now being divorced I am forced to “do it all” and doing great with it all. I honestly have most things under control. I always know what my kids schedule is for school and extracurricular actives, I decorate their rooms and make sure sheets are clean, make sure that we all are eating healthy and not taking them to Mickey D’s all the time!

 

And I would be this way even if I were married. It’s called being a parent!

 

What is hard for me is dealing with how the system or people in our society make us dad’s feel as if we should just be a “traditional” dad and not a parent and modern dad.

 

Recently, I called my son’s school and asked if I could have some info about his hot lunch monthly billing (for the last couple months). No big deal right?

 

The first question the lady asks is “now you and your son’s mother are divorced right? And she has primary custody right?”

 

At first I felt like asking: “am I speaking with my lawyer’s office?” I thought better of it! I answered her and she continued talking about how she’d see if see could get that info to me.

 

She could see??? See what? She doesn’t know if I pay for the hot lunch bill or if it’s my son’s mother who pays. She was not telling me what I needed to know. She told me that she would mail me the info…well that was 3 weeks ago and I have not received a thing.

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Want to share your own Second-class Parent story? Submit it as a comment and I’ll be happy to highlight you on my blog. Click the widget on the right-side tool bar (near the top) for more info.

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And remember, you are not alone…

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Additional Dads are Not Second-class Parents Articles:
– Part 1
Part 2: And Then There’s Dad
Part 4: Dads Need Help Too
– Part 5: Perceptions & Paradigms
A Question for Dads: Have You Been Treated Like a Second-class Parent?

Where’s the Dad in Toy Story

Family Blogs
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Responses

  1. I raised my kids from the other side and believe it or not, I think you’re right. It is a lopsided view when the Dad takes his place in line behind the Mom by some sort of default. Parents are parents, no matter the gender and any parents who tries to be involved in every aspect of their child(ren)’s lives should be welcomed not questioned or demeaned.

  2. @ floormodel: Thanks for the comment.

    I have to say, I’m so glad that I was lucky enough to find my wife. Like you, she sees parenting as genderless, and has always been respectful and supportive to me as a dad.

    As upsetting as it is to see this negative stigma on dads, I’m glad to see that some of us (as well as some moms, like yourself) are speaking out. It’s the only way things can change…

    Peace!
    babbo


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