I Am The Wife And Survivor Of A Daddy Warrior
Dear Childless Father
I am not sure of your circumstances, as everyone's struggle is real, yet the challenges and defeats, can be very different. I won't begin to say I understand your pain. I can only humbly offer some insight based on our journey.
I am the Wife and Survivor of a Daddy Warrior.
Our journey wasn't a walk in the park. It was financially and emotionally draining, as most of you can attest to, and unfortunately relate to the gender bias in the family court system.
As his wife, I felt helpless. As a human being I was disgusted by the injustice. I have always been supportive in my husband's personal and professional endeavors. Yet, there is nothing more agonizing, than not being able to help the person you love. As woman we have fought bravely and boldly for equality in the home and in the work force, and I am grateful for that. For the Gay and Lesbian community they have fought courageously for equality, in the home and in the work force. I am happy that we finally live in a world where people are free to marry whomever they choose. As a father, on the other hand, there is the unmentionable lack of equality in parental rights. Society doesn't speak about the gender bias for what it truly is "an inhumane injustice". Society seems more interested in poking fun of fathers, in commercials or meme's and deem it as funny, when in fact it is harmful to male bash fathers.
We are not the perfect parents, we don't have the perfect children, or the perfect family. We don't believe in perfection, but we do believe in progress, and practice gentle respectful parenting. We aim to raise our daughters in our home without racism, without sexism, without prejudice and without gender bias. I have learned so much in being married to my husband. Yet, I had no prior experience in dating a single dad before I met him. I had no idea that the court system was stuck in a 1950's bias for mother’s know best belief.
Today my step daughter is 13 years old, and over 8 relentless years of legal and court proceedings and in working on a better, healthier relationship with her mother, we now have 50/50 custody.
As a step mom, and a biological mom of our soon to be confident little 3 year old daughter, I cannot imagine robbing her from her father’s lovingly, safe arms. It is our job as parents to protect our children, and in doing so, we are a unit, parents must work together to ensure their children thrive, emotionally, and mentally so that they can become successful happy adults. As women, mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters, aunts and girlfriends, we need to band together in helping to break the cycle of broken children, by supporting Father's parental rights. Remember this, when you are raising your son’s who will one day become Father’s. Remember this, when you are raising your daughter’s who will one day become Mother’s. Children come from two parents, sadly, society tends to forget about this in cases of divorce. The court system doesn't consider long term effects of one parent having limited time with their children. Children need to live happily, conflict free, with both parents actively involved in their lives, regardless of their parent's indifference's as a result of divorce/separation. How a judge could possibly believe that one parent is significantly more important than another, is an example of how broken the system truly is.
We don't blame her mother, nor do we hold any grudges or resent her. We don't think about the past, we focus on the future. We have all suffered. There was a time when we didn't think it was possible to be good friends with her mother, but today we are, and we are thankful for that.
Our experience with the judicial system was painful for us. My husband felt defeated many times in his attempt to gain more and more access to his daughter, but he never gave up, I never gave up, and together we became stronger and stronger never losing sight of our ultimate goal. To get through holidays or tough times when we were missing my husband’s daughter terribly, we did our best to be patient. We had to remind ourselves we had no control over what happens in court, or what a judge decides. Our fate was left in the hands of the system. We had to remind ourselves that we had no control over the day to day decision making in raising her, at her mother’s home. We focused on the love we had/have for his daughter, and never stopped calling her to talk to her, or emailing her, and made sure any time we did have with her we were entirely present, and attentive with her. When it was our hour, our over night stay, or our weekend with her, we made her agenda our agenda. You make the most out every minute you have with them. You drop all your adult plans for them.
Children don't care about material things, as cliché as it sounds, all they care about is spending quality time with you, knowing and feeling they are loved is more important than anything you could possibly buy them. All the matters is your pursuit of connection with them. We always showed up, even if that meant we may not get to see her or speak to her. We attended her skating lessons, swimming lessons, school events, volunteered in school activities, and cheered from the side lines at her team sports. We kept telling each other, one day, she will learn the truth, that regardless of what happened between her mother and her father, her father always has loved her, always will love her, and will continue to love her.
I know easier said than done. But I lived it, by my husband’s side, 9 long years of working towards more and more time with my husband’s daughter. In and out of stressful court. When we felt defeated, or that the fight was lost before we even begun, we reminded ourselves that we were doing the right thing by never giving up, even if my husband’s daughter may never know the fight and journey we took to get where we are today, from every hour we got with her, to every one night a week sleep over, to every other alternating weekend, to where we are today with 50/50, took hours, days, weeks, months and 9 years of never loosing hope, EVER. I can tell you today that my husband and his 13 year old daughter are closer than most of my friends who are fathers and have been married raising their kids together in the same house hold. Time with our children is important. We know from countless studies that children grow up more confident, successful, secure, and independent with fathers who are actively involved in their children's lives. However when you don't have that luxury, it takes immense courage to muster up the devotion in your heart and soul, to keep on going and fighting that fight. It must become your goal, your mission impossible, your light at the end of a very dark tunnel, and your driving force to survive.
One day in the near or distant future, your kids will find you, and they will learn the truth, and when they do, they will love their Daddy Warrior for staying in the battle and never raising the white flag of defeat. I'm the wife and Survivor of a Daddy Warrior.