Updated: July 15, 2013 7:04PM
This one’s for you: For every man who is not just a “baby’s daddy” but a loving father. For every father who has faced and also endured BMD. That’s Baby Mama Drama.
For every father who has endeavored to be there for his children, despite their mothers choosing to use the children as pawns. This one is for fathers who have had to deal with “bitter” women who see a man’s love for his children as a weakness to be used against him.
Fathers who have been falsely accused, lied on, or withstood an ugly custody battle. Men who have shed tears over seeing your children torn by the strain of being caught in the middle of a mother and a father at odds.
For every father who has ever been wrongly denied the right to see his children. And every father who has been lied on by his baby’s mother, whose name she has made mud with your children, calling you every thing but a child of God.
For every father who has endured the difficulties that divorce or separation from your children’s mother can bring from a woman bent on, by whatever means, making your life and very existence miserable, this one’s for you.
For men who have found their children unkempt, tired and worn, or in some ways broken when picking them up for visitation while their mother’s hair is fried, dyed and laid to the side, and the child support you paid is long gone. Fathers who carry the load meant for two parents.
For every father who has decided that his children are worth the humiliation and denigration of a court system biased against them, worth fighting for, worth holding onto.
For those men, who have decided that your children are worth every put-down, even when the peace and harmony you seek in raising them is overshadowed by opposition and strife from their maternal half.
This one — these words and brotherly encouragement — are for you, especially on Father’s Day — a day some fathers find bittersweet.
Over the years, I have known brothers in this struggle. Men who readily admit to having their own faults. Men who fully embrace the role they may have played in failed marriages and relationships but who say they don’t deserve the “hell” some women put them through with their children.
That hell plays out as denying fathers the right to see their children, interfering with visitation, not allowing him to speak with them even by telephone, or myriad other hurtful ploys meant as roadblocks to the father/child relationship.
I am not writing here to disparage good mothers or to make excuses for bad fathers. My purpose is not to beat down mothers but to build up brothers broken in this process — broken to the point of almost giving up.
You can’t give up. Your children need you.
The good news is: Children grow up. And as fathers, we can trust that our children ultimately will come to see things the way they really were.
That won’t make up for any lost time. It won’t heal the hurts of missed moments, of missed memories. But it reassures us that this, too, shall pass.
So if the calls from your children don’t come this Sunday — not one. And if your children’s mother denies you, even on Father’s Day, the right to see them. And if with tears you must endure, take courage, knowing that other brothers — including this one — also have been there and lived to tell the story.
So keep the faith. And keep fathering.
This one’s for you.