I realized something the other day about my children, but more specifically about the ones that don’t permanentely live under my roof. I really don’t like waking up in the morning without them. The other day my daughter prior to me going on another one of my traveling missions; said to me right before getting out of my car, “I’ll talk to you next week.” For a moment it was the longest sentence I’d ever heard. I couldnt understand how we got here, where I would have my child say, “I’ll talk to you next week,” as if somehow thats normal.

It’s not normal. It shouldn’t be normal and I don’t want it to be normal for her or for me. However that is the way it is. Sadly enough it has been that way at least for my youngest daughter for close to 15 years of her life. The painful reality, it will probably be that way for the rest of her life…and there is nothing either one of us can do about it. Even with the best of relationship with her mother, both of us will never know (can’t go back), how things would have been different for her if she have the pleasure of waking up with both her mom and dad in the home.

The statement further forced me to think about situations where mothers have full custody of their children or the dads only have weekend visitation. I wondered if moms could understand what it must feel like not to have their children wake up each morning in their home. I don’t think custodial parents understand the impact on the non custodial parent when they feel helpless to do anything about it. In addition how much more difficult it can be when the barrier is a child support check, a new boyfriend/girlfriend, a disagreement or some other issue that doesn’t have anything to to with one’s ability to be a good parent.

Hearing my daughter say that was hard for me to hear. It was even harder to wrap my head around. I’m clear that the nature of relationships can shape and dictate the make-up of how you ultimately get to parent (even in the best of situations). I also know that you don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to have a parental relationship. The two things are mutually exclusive of each other.  And as a result, I still must show up in her life as much as I possibly can.

Because that’s what daddies do!

Posted by Fathers Incorporated

Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Established in 2004, FI has a unique seat at the national table, working with leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Law, and the Responsible Fatherhood Movement. FI works collaboratively with organizations around the country to identify and advocate for social and legislative changes that lead to healthy father involvement with children, regardless of the father’s marital or economic status, or geographic location. From employment and incarceration issues, to child support and domestic violence, FI addresses long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live.

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