Equally shared parenting responsibilities, and laws to enforce it, is not a fringe issue. In fact, shared parenting is arguably the most important issue of our time.
What does a shared parenting supporter look like?
For many, the movement is synonymous with “the men’s rights movement,” and “fathers’ rights movement.” I use quotes here because these terms connote different things to different people — from a quest for basic equal rights, to a movement to undermine female empowerment and actively embolden abusers.
But no single group gets to own the shared parenting movement, and thankfully so. Shared parenting is a very simple, basic and fundamental cause:
PRESUMPTION THAT EVERY PARENT HAS RIGHTS TO EQUAL ACCESS TO THEIR CHILDREN.
No gender gets to own that sentiment — nor should be relegated to fighting for it.
Shared parenting is a human rights issue, and every single one of us should take it as our own concern.
Here is who shared parenting advocates include:
1. Parents (statistically most likely moms) who are frustrated with their kids’ other parent who treats parenting time like an occasional choose-your-own adventure game, and not a responsibility.
2. Parents (statistically most likely dads) who are granted by courts a minimum “visits” with their own children.
3. Mothers whose kids’ dad does not have equal time allotment with the children because of abuse/addiction/mental health / his reasons/ her reasons, but understands that a presumption of equal shared parenting is the best and fairest law.
4. Fathers who do have equal or majority time with their children, and understand that the majority of dads do not — but should.
5. Parents who see first-hand how devastating it is for children to miss out on a relationship with one of their parents for no good reason.
6. Family court judges who are sick of the bickering, fighting, lies, false accusations hurled by parents arguing over parenting time — to the detriment of the minority of families struggling with issues of abuse.
7. Family law and divorce attorneys who are sick of the finagling, strategizing and greed of clients and opposing parties using children as pawns for their own revenge, grief and financial gain — to the detriment of the minority of families struggling with issues of abuse.
8. Tax payers disgusted that family courts perpetuate fights, to no societal gain.
9. Mental health professionals anguished at the emotional cost that custody and time disputes have on an entire family.
10. Domestic violence advocates alarmed at the false abuse accusations that clog the courts, draining the system of resources, time, trust and good will from actual abuse victims.
11. Academics and anyone who respects science, and distain the gross disregard for research that settles that default shared parenting is best for children.
12. Child welfare advocates are aligned with equally shared parenting. Again, the research.
13. Grandparents, uncles, friends, aunts, cousins, neighbors and anyone who sees rarely children they love, because of default minimized parenting time.
14. Friends, siblings, parents, lovers, partners, colleagues of people in unequal parenting arrangements and see first-hand how anguishing it is to miss a parent, feel rejected by a parent, miss your children, feel abandoned by your co-parent, and overwhelmed by solo parenting.
15. Objective outsiders who see how unfair, and messed up our current parenting paradigm is.
16. Married / coupled parents who struggle with equally dividing parenting / housework duties, as they are currently informed by ingrained sexist stereotypes.
17. Moms struggling to balance career and family life and feel they do not have a support structure at home.
18. Moms struggling to balance career and family life and feel they do not have support in the workplace.
19. Women struggling against sexist workplace cultures dominated by men who do not experience parenting responsibilities.
20. Men who crave a more equal parenting role, but are shamed by a sexist culture.
21. Women who crave an equal parenting arrangement with their kids’ father, but are pressured to fight for majority time by a sexist culture.
23. Gender equality supporters (redundant to #22).
24. Parents who aim to raise children to be good fathers and mothers.
25. Parents who aim to raise good, equity-minded people.
26. Educators, social workers, and other professionals dealing with the fallout of absent fathers.
27. Human rights supporters.
Want to be part of the shared parenting movement? Here is how you can support legislation, media and culture shifts to make equality in parenting the norm.
Do you support shared parenting? Why? Share in the comments.