Now there are many types of fathers out there. The ones that are with their children's mothers, that maintain the household, work, tuck their kids in at night and share responsibilities right down the middle. Then there are the fathers who are not with their children's mothers and these are the ones I want to focus on. I know there are many sub-types of these fathers but today I will focus on 3 specific types.
1. The Absent Father: This is the father that disappeared into thin air. They may have been in a relationship with their kids mother or it may have been a one night stand but when it came to taking responsibility for that child or children they took off running and they don't usually look back, although some do. Now Im not saying that this father doesn't think about their child and some actually still pay child support for that child but they are not grown up enough to take care of that child physically and emotionally. Some men get scared, they may not have been in love with the child's mother and did not want the burden or responsibility of raising a child or committing to the mother and child. Some of these fathers have tried fighting for their child/children but may have given up when they felt it was too difficult, or may have just thought that it wasn't worth the time and money. I have found that some of these fathers do come back into their child's life eventually, perhaps when they have had another child, or have established their life, or sometimes the child may be old enough to ask questions or search for their father. Although we may frown upon these fathers, sometimes it may be best that they are not a part of their child's life because if they aren't ready to be a father or if they are angry at the mother this may reflect on their child's wellbeing and may be more detrimental then positive in the child's life. Every child deserves a father only when the father is ready to be deserving of that child.
2. The "Fake" Father: This is the father that walks around with their head held high and takes responsibility for having a part in raising their child, claims that they love their child with all their hearts and excepts the award for father of the year when in reality they follow direction of a court order only, they pick their child up on their weekend or evening with no extra time or visits, they are miserable with their child. Their child interrupts their weekends that they can be on a date or with friends so instead of spending quality time with that child they are taking that child to bars or to friends houses so that the father is still able to hang out with his friends while the child sits and plays video games or watches TV and on most occasions that child spends more time with the fathers family (being babysat so the father can go out) then they do with their father. This is the father that hasn't paid child support months or maybe years claiming he is not employed when really he is and has just fallen so far behind he doesn't know how to fix it then he blames the child's mother for the lack of payments instead of taking responsibility and paying what he owes. Now I don't doubt that this father loves their child/children very much and they may try to make an effort here or there to prove that but the majority of time it is just for show, so that people on the outside looking in believe that this father is the number one dad. I call this a "child father" someone who is not grown up enough to take on the responsibility of being a parent but definitely puts in an effort so that he is not frowned upon by others. This is the father that blames everyone else for his problems especially the child's mother and instead of building a relationship with his child he is pushing his child away. The anger that this father may feel towards his child's mother he is taking out on the child and the lack of respect this father has for his child's mother the child is able to pick up on that and may react in many different ways. I believe this type of father can grow and change and I believe that with a little bit of help this father has the potential to be an amazing dad but their needs to be some kind of bottom before they can realize what they are losing and only then can they take responsibility for their actions.
3. The "I Will Do Anything For My Child" Father: This is the father that fought tooth and nail to get his joint custody or his access. This is the father that would drop anything and everything if his child needed him. This is the father who is willing to pay anything in order for their child/children to have a good life. The father that has built a relationship with their child's mother knowing that it was the only way to establish a healthy relationship between him and his child. The father that shows up to every soccer game, every swimming lesson, every school meeting and every doctors appointment without missing a beat. This father enjoys co-parenting and he listens to his child's mother and his child's mother listens to him, they have a mutual respect for one another. This is the father that is willing to spend time with his child's mother even if he does not enjoy doing so, so that his child can see that his parents are friends. This father may have been this way from the moment his kids were born or perhaps he grew to become this type of father with many obstacles along the way. This is the father that every mother dreams of having for their child if they were separated from their child's father.
I feel so blessed to be able to say that my son's father falls under type #3. But here is the thing, my sons father has fallen under all 3 categories over the last 5 years. In the very beginning of our separation things got too hard for my sons father to handle and he took off for 6 months without a trace, no phone number, no address, no visits and no phone calls. One day he decided to email me to request a visit and he quickly turned into father #2. He did not care about what I said or the wellbeing of his child. He was angry with me and took that anger out on our son. He was doing things to benefit himself and his needs. Although that didn't last too long it was very hard for me to go through as I felt my son deserved better then that. He quickly transitioned into category #3 and has been the most unbelievable father any little boy could ever ask for. I have been through it all ladies so I know how each and everyone of you feel. When you look at this and figure out which category your child's father falls under just know that there is room for that father to grow and to become the father your children deserve. Every child deserves a father who is present, involved, loving and devoted. A father that will go above and beyond for their children. If you are dealing with someone who is not committed to your children the way that you are please believe I empathize with your frustration.
I would love to hear from you ladies. What type of father does your children have? Have they changed over the years? Grown? Is there some points I might be missing in each category? Let us know!
And a very Happy Father's Day to all those dads who stood up and took care of their children to the best of their ability. As long as you are trying you are a good father in my eyes!!!