An Open Letter to Absentee Fathers

Photo by Lina Kivaka/Pexels

Dear Absentee Fathers,

Your child needs you, and you know it. This conversation has been had and the topic has been bled to death. However, we are still at this same starting point.

Yes, I know you may be missing in action because you feel you have nothing or not enough to contribute. Yes, I know your ex, aka, mother of your children gets on your last nerve, is hard to get along with or can be a total…

…still, no excuse.

Even if your children are told that you are not the best man in the world (which I totally despise anyone’s decision to bad mouth the other parent) you have an obligation to them.

You should be emotionally connected to the point that being away from your kids for any amount of time should strike a few nerves.

But who am I to write to you?

After years of dealing with so much drama with trying to get someone to be the father they used to be, I have so much peace when I just let it go. However, the kids aren’t able to do that as freely.

I have had years of cradling my children to heal their emotional state as they tried to understand that we were now in a single-parent family. Did we choose that? No. Are you choosing to stay away?

(Insert answer here) >>> ________.

Photo by Vanessa Loring/Pexels

Now, 13 years after my divorce and birth of our 2nd child (our 1st child/young adult is 22) and my choice to let go of sharing the responsibility of parenting, I am free of asking for help in this area.

I have been able to raise my kids by having an immediate and extended family as mentors and role models.

I now continue to remind my kids that they are loved and still allowed to ask questions. Those uncomfortable questions have been stated to their father for the answers they always looked to me for.

Maybe your children have questions for you.

It is okay for the kids to want to know. It is even more acceptable if they choose to ask. Children need to understand.

However, I ask them to prepare themselves just in case they don’t receive the answer they might be looking for.

I have chosen not to take calls because there is no need and they may happen 3 times a year. Maybe more to my oldest and she shares the call with her brother. Perfect.

I no longer take calls for small talk. The point? None. Trust me, if money will be sent for my youngest, my CashApp link was given more than a year ago.

Western Union is always in business and my texts work quite efficiently to send any reference numbers.

Sound cold?

Nah, just over it. It’s all in one’s perception.

Still not sure how to stay connected with your children when you are no longer with their mother? Here are a few suggestions:

Stay connected with your children. If that means seeing them from their front porch.

  1. Do what you say you are going to do. No more promising you are coming and not showing.
  2. If there is an issue with the mother NOT letting you see your children, seek legal assistance. No excuse for the lack of money. Legal Aid offices are in most cities from what I have researched.
  3. Continue to contribute financially. If you are worried about your money being spent on something else (I have heard this excuse/reason on so many occasions in other co-parenting relationships), buy whatever it is. Take groceries. Take them new clothes/shoes.
  4. If going to the kids’ home is a drama fest, don’t let that be another excuse why you don’t see them. First, learn to ignore the drama. Use the kid’s school as a refuge.

It is another place you can take their new clothes/shoes to them if you need a different option. They can put them in their bookbag to take home. Every school has a social worker that may be able to help with those connections.

Conclusion

You have options. You have a responsibility. Now it is time for you to choose. You have wasted too much time. No more pointing the finger.

Make the best decision for your children. Even if we, as parents, are a bit inconvenienced. Why does that matter? It doesn’t.

I hope this is an eye-opener. Something that shakes you. Gives you some motivation. Kills the excuses.

At the end of the day. It is ultimately about the kids.

Not any kids. Your kids.

Sincerely,

Just a divorced mom.

Tiffany Jasper
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