I follow a facebook page called Fallen Fathers. Its a page that is dedicated to fathers that have lost, or taken their own lives due to the stress and hardship that custody battles cause.
Freddie took his own life on Oct 29th. I didn’t know Freddie, I don’t claim to know him or any of his family, but I’ve read about his story.
Freddie had 5 children. From what I’ve read and understand, is that he loved them, and was there for them. Though no one will ever know the battle he was going through mentally or emotionally, I have to believe he was at a point of no return.
I am on the road this week posting from a hotel room. I was laying in my bed scrolling through my phone when I came across Freddies story. I laid in bed and I cried. Again, I dont know Freddie. But I know how much I love my kids, and how much my kids love me. I was crying for what his kids are going through right now. What his family is going through.
I don’t believe i’m the savior of all things divorce, or separation… I’m simply a voice. I would have loved to have a chat with Freddie. I would have loved to share my experiences with him and hopefully shine a little light for him.
As I laid there crying last night, I couldn’t shake the thought of how horrible it is that there’s even a facebook page for this… better yet. I cant believe that I have to write a blog about the experiences a single parent goes through. In my case, and Freddies, what a single dad goes through.
In what kind of world do we live in that equal parenting isn’t 50/50 right from the start– unless proven unfit.
Why is it so undeniably hard to have access and visitations to our own children. Why is so expensive for me to spend time with my kids. I don’t mean child support, and expenses which I know you’re thinking about… no.. what about the court costs, the lawyer costs, and the credit card bills that we rack up trying to stay afloat. What about the bills that are falling behind because all of our money is going to the lawyer. A lawyer that gets to go home and be happy.
Its a vicious cycle.. Heres a picture I seen online today.. very fitting:
Now before you all get in a lil Tissy, I am in no way shape or form singling out mothers, or making this about dads.. the picture just happens to include #deadbeatdad. As I sit here and think about Freddie, myself, and other struggling parents, I look at this picture, and man.. even though Im going through it, it never hit me how one thing causes the other. How its a vicious cycle.
My point being this. Fathers/Mothers… I realize that immediately the idea is to try and hurt the ex. Or “make them pay” or that just because it didn’t work with you and him, or you and her, that they cant possibly be a good parent. Or now that your single, you will have your own parenting style… it doesn’t work that way. Even apart, you have to co parent and be on the same page.
What makes you the perfect parent.. but not your ex?
Oddly enough, you were with this person for how long? You had kids together. Your ex was once the love of your life, or in some cases a one night stand. .. Whatever. My question is.. if they were good enough for you to sleep with, and have a child with. Are they not immediately good enough to be the parent of your child. Or at least given the chance to be?
My question to the family law system: A father/mother is good enough to spend thousands of dollars on fighting our corrupt legal system just to see his/her kids, is that not proof enough that they are good parents? Is that not proof enough that they want to be in their kids lives? Who are you to tell them they cant be?
Just a little food for thought.
In the case of Freddie. He didn’t think so. He obviously didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. In the end Freddie is gone and his amazing kids are left to pick up the pieces. This could have been avoided if someone in our great legal system would have stood up for him. Maybe not even in the legal system.. just someone to put pressure on the courts, or on the legal system, to not be prejudiced against a father.
I completely understand there are mediators out there that are supposed to be dealing with issues before they get to court… but then that’s it. Why isn’t there another sort of third party mediator that steps in when court costs are getting high, lawyer bills are getting high… someone that monitors lawyers bills and makes sure that parents are being billed correctly. Someone that can put the fighting, and the legal battle to an end and make the parents make the decision bases on what is in the best interest of the children, which will in turn save so much undue hardship. Not only undue hardship on the parents, but the kids that are at home not getting milk in the morning because mom and dad cant afford grocery’s.
I normally hear every single day from readers, and other people that I talk to that “our system is flawed”
I agree…Which Ive said on here many times.
So…. What do you do with something that is flawed? You fix it.
The only way to fix our family law system is to get involved. Visit your local political rep. Voice your concerns. Have other people you know do the same. Laws like the family act can only be changed through the passing of laws.. or reform. Lets get working on it.
Our kids are all counting on us. Whether your a mom reading this, or a dad reading this. Put your anger aside for a minute. Look at those amazing kids you and your ex have made together. The only thing that should ever matter in your life, is making sure those kids are healthy and happy. Do you think your kids are going to be happier if you are getting 34 dollars more in child support? Nah.. Do you think they are going to be happy that they get to see you more than the other parent?
Nothing makes a kid happier than seeing both of their parents. Absolutely nothing.