Friday, September 19, 2008

Not a deadbeat Dad but a sometimes Dad

We all hear about the deadbeat Dad’s but what about the ones that are not. The ones who miss their kids and want to be full time everyday Dad’s who only get to be sometime Dad’s. The ones who have to watch as their kids call someone else Daddy, someone they spend everyday with and he only gets the odd weekend and phone calls. Men who struggle with the lost of time with their children. Time they can never make up on a weekend or over the phone. Someone else is giving them bath time, reading stories at night, doing monster hunts, fixing boo boo’s and holding their hand as they walk to school.

One day “Bob” came home to his common-law wife only to be told that she was not happy anymore, did not love him anymore and that she had packed his bag and he was to leave. Their son was being babysat because she did not what him to see the fight and Bob leave. So Bob went from being a Daily Dad to a sometimes Dad in a blink of an eye. Now he was homeless, without his family and at a complete loss. He moved in with friends for a few days as he tried to work things out with his wife. They all thought it would only be for a few days, but no.

Eventually he found a place to live and a job. He agreed to help out his sister, a single mom, who needed someone to watch her children when she went to school. He needed a place to live and she could supply that. It was with the understanding that this was only until he could work things out with his wife. Unfortunately it was not in the same town as his ex and son, but as he said “It is not like I am getting to spend any time with my son as it is, she will not let me see him.”

It has been a few months now and his wife just told him that she is already moving on with her life and so should he. The guy that was just a friend turns out to have been more then just a friend. He is devastated. He misses spending time with his son. He never gets to see him because he lives in another town and has no car. On top of that she is not being that co-operative. She cut Bob out of her life and does not understand what the problem is, so what if that means he does not get to see his son anymore.

It is eating this man up from the inside out. It is killing him. He is missing being able to read stories at bedtime and just playing with his son. He is going to miss out on being his son’s hero, to teach him to ride a bike, tie his shoes, and everything else that is part of being a father. Halloween is coming up and he will not be there to help his son find the right costume, or go trick or treating. Then Christmas. He does not even know what he son would like, and has no way of talking to him to find out. He does not know if his son will even know the gift was from him or will she just say it is from Santa. He is quickly becoming a stranger to his own son, a little boy he loves with all his hart.

How do you go from holding your son’s hand as he goes to sleep to not seeing him at all? How will his son know him, and know that he loves him if he is not part of his life?

Until I met this man and have seen what this has been doing to him over the last few months I never thought about what it was like for the father when families go wrong. I always saw single Mom’s talking about deadbeat Dad’s. Who sees the other side of the fence, the fathers struggling with being separated from their children? It is easy to see the single Mom and identify with her, but it is harder to see and identify the man who is torn up inside because it has been a week since he last saw his kids and he will not get to see them for another week, or the men who don’t get to see their kids at all.

I am not saying that there are not deadbeat Dad’s. My own father was one. I am just saying that it is a horrible thing to be separated from your children whether you are a man or a woman. Dad’s can and do feel anguish and sorrow over the loss of their time with their children. The moments and memories they are not going to have and struggle with being a sometimes Dad, trying to make the most out of what little time they have. How can you develop a relationship with your children if you don’t get to be a part of their lives?
*Bob is not his real name, I used that to protect his privacy.

1 comment:

  1. great insight! dads must unite for the good of all children