A lot of men have come in for heavy, angry criticisms from women especially for the simple fact that they have not stepped up to the plate to be either a father or a ‘good’ father. And I don’t blame these women, but there are definitely some roses among the thorns. I’m talking about those wonderful, caring fathers who have stuck by their kids through thick and thin.
I recently spoke to a new colleague of mine, a guy in his forties. In our start up conversation, I came to learn that he is a single parent. Okay, so what, right? Well that in itself is always impressive to me—when I meet or hear of men who are raising their kids without the mother. Not that that’s an ideal situation, but in these instances, these fathers may have been given custody of their children by the courts or may have chosen to raise their children because the mothers are simply not interested or ran off elsewhere. Surely, where the mother is rendered mentally incompetent, unfit to raise the children or is deceased, we can understand why a man will be raising his kids single-handedly.
More so, it is an eye-opener to me in cases where courts grant full custody, or any type of custody for that matter, to the father and not the mother. The courts generally use the welfare of the child guidelines to decide who gets custody, and from the cases I have read, at least in my jurisdiction, mothers tend to be favoured over fathers, especially when young children or girls are involved. So, that the father was granted custody tells me, without getting into the finer details, that this has to be a ‘good’ man, at least in the eyes of the law.
So as I said, I was speaking to this “Mr. Mom”. Soon enough I discovered that he was raising his four children, a mixture of boys and girl and had been raising them alone for the past 10 years! His youngest child was just a baby, 6 months old, when he took custody of them all. I didn’t bother to pry in order to figure out what happened to the mother but I realized that she is still pretty much alive. Whatever happened, kudos to this guy.
He and his family do pretty much everything together. Eat, pray, vacation, you name it. And from the little interactions we had subsequently, I realized that the children are well raised and are great company to him.
This reminded me of my own father. A great, great dad. I am not exaggerating. A man who was not afraid of the responsibilities that came with having children.
While these Mr. Moms make the world a better place because of their dedication and commitment to sticking by their offsprings, they are not to be seen as redemption tools for those who have fallen short of the mark. Hats off to all the Mr. Moms! You are definitely a constant reminder that there are some wonderful, sensitive and caring men who are not shy to take on their responsibilities as fathers and mentors to their children.
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All rights reserved, July 25, 2010