Being a single father you realize how lucky you had it before the separation. I don’t mean the relationship I had with my partner but the access every day to my children. When you’re married you find lots to do that doesn’t involve spending time with the kids. You are busy, you have work to do, there is something “else” to do.
“I’ll be there in a minute…” is a far to common phrase that resonates through too many households.
I am granted access to my children for a total of 66 hours once every two weeks. When you take out sleeping, 26 hours and the drive 12 hours, I have the opportunity to spend 26 hours with my kids. That’s less then 3 days per month of “face time”.
Somewhere over history our court system has deemed this an adequate amount of time to build and maintain a quality father, child relationship. Well I am here to say that it really isn’t. It’s actually completely the opposite. Since there is not much chance of this changing and parents being considered equal, fathers that do care need to create “MTM’s”, moments that matter.
Running a camp I get to work with so many young staff that come from single parent homes. I’ve asked many of them about how they remember growing up with having to live with two parents. So many have said the times they spent with their father were so amazing, or they remember those time with such clarity.
Why is that? It’s because a good single father needs to work to create so much in a very short time. It’s our job to create MTM’s every moment. If we don’t we risk being lost. It’s not a competition, it’s a responsibility.
So, last night my son and I got to enjoy a BIG MTM. I purchased two tickets at a charity auction for a Toronto Maple Leafs game and we watched them lose, it was a horrible game. The Leafs were abysmal. Here’s the thing though, our night was amazing and we created a true MTM.
The moment of clarity for me was when Matthew turned to me and said, “Dad, this is the best night of my life.”
Please understand that this is not meant to say that all fathers deserve equal access, there are many that do not. Each father is different and there needs to be less of a quick, one sided judgement. Until our courts realize that parents are of equal value and that a good father has an equal role in the upbringing of a healthy child, I will continue to find and create MTM’s for my children. I also encourage all parents not to take the time you have with your kids for granted. These days happen only once.