A few months ago, a mom in the Millionaire Single Moms Facebook group said she planned to take her kid’s dad to court seeking equal parenting time.
They had never been married, and there was no parenting plan in place, and the dad has been flaky in his ad hoc visits.
The mom is sick of taking full responsibility for the time and logistics of full-time parenting, when this should be shared with a capable parent.
She wants less paid child care for her kid.
She wants more time to work, earn and build a career.
She wants a co-parent.
She wants a BREAK.
She wondered what the outcome might be when she goes to court with a man who is not enthusiastic about shared parenting.
The reason dads don’t see their kids
Here’s what I replied on her post:
As it stands now, men are told they are frivolous parents. The presumed parenting schedule marginalizes men to 4 days per month, in most cases. If they want more, they must fight for “visits” with their own children.
That so many fathers do not step up into equal parenting, whether in a marriage / cohabiting relationship, or after separation / divorce is no wonder.
They are told implicitly and explicitly that they don’t matter.
Expressing to your ex and to the courts that he DOES matter, and is expected to be equally responsible, sends a message that will change the world. The judge may or may not order shared parenting time. Your kid’s dad may or may not accept a shared parenting schedule. He may or may not show up when he’s supposed to. He may or may not get it.
If he does not step up today, he may in the future. That is because you have taken a bold step to revolutionize your own life, and gender equality for families everywhere.
Be realistic and hire child care you need.
Be loving and forgiving as both you and he fumble your way forward.
Be optimistic about the possibilities of what co-parenting can be.
Because what you are doing is thwarting hundreds of years of patriarchy, and that shit is hard!
Mama, we are at a moment in history when gender equality is at a brink of changing. Today, a quarter of U.S. children are raised by single moms.
The two-married-parents cohabiting nuclear family has been a minority for five years, and single parent-led households are the largest part of the new, “non-traditional” home.
Single parent-led homes are set to be the majority of all families in the United States within our kids’ lifetimes. We must create norms that benefit our sons, daughters, women and men and families.
Single moms are a critical, unrecognized power in the fight for gender equality.
Your fight for your family is a fight for all families, all children and all women, everywhere in the world.
Let’s hold each other up, hold each other accountable, push each other to let go of old notions about motherhood, and men — no matter where you are in your own co-parenting journey.
I sign this in love and sisterhood and equality as a single mom who does not yet enjoy equally shared parenting,