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A thought just crossed my mind

caitlinj's picture

I feel a lot of these bio parents have regrets becoming parents deep down and do not enjoy parenting as much as they thought they would. They feel tired, exhausted, broke and stuck. This post I am writing mainly applies to childless step parents. They take it out on us because we are childfree without them in our lives and are jealous of us and resentful because of it. They feel we should be stepping up and be in their place having to deal with the parenting burdens 24/7. This creates a problem because the kids are not our kids and we are not their parent and we are treated as such in too many ways to count and they do not see that side of it. They only see thier side We also did not put them in the situation they are in. They did. Their ex did. Not us. This creates a dilemna because as a step you never know where your place is and where you fit in and you are not treated as an equal as a parent in many many ways or given those credits or status however your SO expects you to bare the weight of the parenting equally and when you do not they grow resentful and jealous. They are also jealous of your freedoms and your ability to walk away at any given time. This creates huge jealousy on their part. What are everyones thoughts on this?

tog redux's picture

I think many of these bio fathers actually don't want the amount of custody time they have, but take it so they can reduce their child support.  They'd rather not be the primary parent, even if they love their kids, and probably weren't the primary parent in their first marriage.  They may be happy they have kids, but not happy they have to step up and be the parent, which they didn't expect would happen.

If a man doesn't really want and enjoy having his kids 50/50, and plans to dump the responsibility on some poor woman he marries, then the kids should be with the mother most of the time, and just visit EOWE.

Some men do want to be primary parent, and handle those responsibilities on their own without a woman, but many on here don't seem to do that.

Jcksjj's picture

I agree with this...I've also seen alot of dads that dont want to parent until mom wants full custody and then it's a power struggle and wanting to win. I'm sure it goes the other way at times also. 

tog redux's picture

Yes. In our situation, DH was an active parent and wanted 50/50. BM did not parent as actively when they were together, but once they divorced, she fought and fought and fought to get sole custody and most of the time, just to "win", and be able to use SS to control DH.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Can I ask why you specifically chose BFs for your explanation? It could apply to BMs just the same - they don't really want the custody, but they want the CS.

tog redux's picture

Yes, that's true.  We just hear more on here from the stepmothers annoyed by their husbands dumping everything on them. BM in our situation definitely wanted the child support and power of having more time.

lieutenant_dad's picture

True, which I find very interesting because, in my personal life, it's the BMs who tend to be the lackluster parents.

BM in my case: wanted kids so she had someone to love her forever. When DH wasn't who she wanted, she fought for custody and found a daddy replacement. Tried PAS but failed. Didn't want to work, so her kids live in poverty despite DH bleeding himself dry to support them over the years. Etcetera and so forth.

My mom's best friend's son: His XW is very similar to BM, including now dating her XBF. Friend's Son just wants to be a parent, but the courts have made that nearly impossible, expecting him to follow the CO while giving her pass after pass.

Realtor: His XW cheated, her parents bought out his share of the house so she could keep it, she refused to work full-time, tried to nickle and dime custody time for more CS, etc. He is a super active dad - coaches their baseball and basketball teams, goes to every school program he can, takes them on trips, etc. Man works 2 jobs to give them the life he didn't have.

My good friend's DH: His XW fought tooth-and-nail for every dollar she could get out of him, then dumped the girls when they were no longer cash cows.

I take that back. I have one friend whose XH doesn't want to actually parent and dumps the kids on his GF so he can go golf. But he's literally the only one I can think of.

Jcksjj's picture


Curious Georgetta's picture

stem from the fact that when fathers leave the marital home pre -divorce , they rarely take their children with them. If the woman leaves ,she will in most instances take her children.

If a married man walks out with his children as he is leaving, he has the same legal rights to those children and  police will not immediately attempt to return children for whom custody has not yet been determined.

It is hard to respect a man who says that the ho!e situation was so bad that he  was forced to leave , but he was only concerned with removing himself from awful situation. When making provisions to remove himself from that bad situation, he was perfectly satisfied to leave his children behind for some later date resolution.

Men willing to do this may love their children, but they are certainly not the types to be overly concerned about their day to day custodial involvement

A concerned parent would have.provisions to move themselves and their children.


tog redux's picture

In most cases, women are still the primary parent, and there is still a cultural belief that children need their mothers more than their fathers. A man can have conflict with his wife and still think she's a good mother and that the children should not be moved out of their home because he's leaving.  It doesn't mean he doesn't care about their day to day care. 

In many cases, that same man might agree to EOWE visitation if the child support system didn't make it rewarding for him to take more time and pay less. 

My DH did take his son when he moved out, and cared very much about day to day care, but of course, BM won out and got full custody, because 50/50 here would have meant she paid full support to DH and she wasn't having that.

Curious Georgetta's picture

returned to the mom as the primary custodial parent, but that dynamic would likely be reconsidered if more fathers did what your husband did.

It is hard to believe that so few men care enough to bother taking their children with them. I have seen !an take their dog and yet leave their children.

Sadly, far too many children become the victims of pocket book economics rather than the beneficiaries of best interest decisions.

Kudos to your husband for caring enough to try. Pre-custody hearing , married couples have the same rights to their children.


ESMOD's picture

Maybe it's because the father's don't want to uproot their children's lives by moving them out of the home where they may beclose to school and friends.. their familiar bedrooms etc.. when the guy leaves... he may just be taking

lieutenant_dad's picture

Are you talking about in situations of abuse or just bad marriages?

You do realize that part of the reason why women take their children is because they CAN? We have built a domestic violence rescue network that supports women and children, but rarely supports men and children. Shelters literally won't take men in, and they won't take the kids without a parent. Plus, especially in rural areas, women just have to say that he swung first and he'll be in jail. It's not easy for men to leave to begin with, and even harder when they have kids.

Now, if you're talking about men who just walk away, you realize that makes up a smaller percentage of divorces? About 70% of divorces are initiated by women.

That's not to say there aren't men (and women) who don't just leave without the kids. Some certainly do. However, as you still haven't seemed to learn, courts still heavily favor women. If dad walks out with his kids, there are still police that will take those kids back to their mother because they won't keep kids away from her.

Also keep in mind that all because someone takes their kids it doesn't mean they have their kids' best interests at heart. BM here took the kids and left DH to move in with MIL while DH finished his final year in the military. BM proceeded to date someone new and move him into MIL's house. She served DH with divorce papers, pissed off MIL, and then ended up homeless with the kids. DH paid for an apartment for himself on the other side of the country and was paying for BM's apartment and everything else here in Anti-Canada because she didn't work and had no where to go with her new BF. It took DH between six months and a year to save up enough money post-military (in the middle of the recession) to move back to Anti-Canada. It had been nearly 2 years since he had seen his kids, not because he didn't want to, but because he was financially trapped. If he left earlier without a job, his kids would lose a place to live because he couldn't pay for it.

So be VERY careful when you talk about absent parents. The circumstances by which they are absent isn't always their own choosing.

Jcksjj's picture

Yeah those things vary greatly from circumstance to circumstance. A caring parent could leave the kids with mom because it's in their best interest and they could also take the kids just to gain the upper hand. Theres no one size fits all rule for that situation.

Notup4it's picture

I think sometimes it can be a really bad situation for the man only-  the kids aren’t targeted but he is. Also because we have so many social norms of “mother knows best” or “mother is the better parent” I think a lot of men legitimately FEAR taking their children because they believe there will be repercussions.... “if you take my kids I will call the police!!!”, you would rarely hear a man say this.

Also. In a lot of volatile situations the mother stays at home and is the parent the kids have become more attached to (because she is there all day with them) and a lot of men feel that by leaving and going to a hotel with their kids it would damage them.  I’m sure they also feel they wouldn’t be able to just kick mom out of the house (I actually have yet to hear of a man kicking his wife out and keeping the kids in real life, but women will kick them out and keep the kids ALL the time). 

CLove's picture

I keep hearing that - both from him and his family - esp his sisters who saw him growing up as a kid and all the crazy things he did. So, from what I have seen/heard/observed, DH was the primary parent, but Toxic Troll spent some time as a SAHM. However, when it comes to disciplin - DH all the way. Munchkin SD12 put it to me this way: "mom is way easier. Dad is ...harder". Meaning she gets away with ch1t with mom. Toxic Feral knew this and knew how to work her mother over pretty well. Now, her mother is shuttling her around (guilt for beating her up a few years ago) because Toxic Feral, at 19 refuses to get a

DH and I would actually want more time - because Toxic Troll is well, Toxic, and her sister is as well, but custody being what it is we have to roll with it.

So, I dont have experience with the typical father in this situation. I do know that DH really enjoys his non-parenting time, as a break. Because kids take a lot of energy and they had theirs on their older years. We have been together a while and it took some time to adjust  - I am bio-free, and he often would say that I have it way easy, etc. I tried explaining how hard it is being in my situation as the "step-aside", but he just shakes his head and sais "you have absolutely no idea how hard it is being a parent. You have such the EASY time of it."

So, that might be a kind of jealousy, I dont know. Never thought of it that way before.

ESMOD's picture

I think it's also very true that even today.. it is quite normal for the MOTHER to be the primary in the trenches parent.  They tend to be the caregiver and nurturer in the family.  Dads aren't in that role as typically.

The point about them wanting to reduce their CS obligation probably plays a big role.  Then there is the opposing interest of the step parent.  The stepmom doesn't want income leaving her home.. yet she doesn't want any added responsibility of caring for those other kids.. even in cases where there is agreement that she can be a SAHM.  When both parents work, yes dad should be stepping up to parent.. but even then.. it's much more common for the man to have the more demanding and higher paying prospects.. making it again a balance of money vs time effort issue.

TwoOfUs's picture

It's actually not much more common anymore. Current stats are 40% of households the woman is the primary breadwinner. Still...yes. Men tend to get paid more. 

Jcksjj's picture

I think there is way more bio parents that regret or just cant handle parenting then want to admit it. It's too taboo to admit that your kids arent the greatest thing that ever happened to you. I honestly really really do love parenting and chose that over a career for the time being but I can totally see how someone could regret having kids or not enjoy it much because it's completely life changing and an insane amount of work. 

There could be a degree of jealousy at times. In my case I think BM just wants to delegate some of her responsibilities to absolutely anyone she can, even if it's her ex's wife.

TwoOfUs's picture

This wasn't true of my DH at all. 

He was a very active and involved parent before the marriage broke up, and he grieved not being able to see his kids every day and have them under his roof when he was divorced. I do think at times he relied too heavily on me regarding kids things....and I've always said that being a childless stepmom feels like you have all the grief of being childless without any of the benefits of being childfree...

But for the most part my DH parented his kids (after a bumpy beginning born out of guilt) and was and remains active in their lives. 

still learning's picture

My exH is having a grand ol' time being free of his children. He married a rich divorcee whose teen kid is in prep school and the biodad is involved so exh doesn't have to do anything. We live 2 hrs away and he's exercised ZERO overnights since summer when he took bs16 for a whopping 2 weeks.  ex has 50/50 on paper but is alway *too busy* to see his kid.  I'm even willing to drive and meet him halfway.  He was much more involved when he was married to wife #2 who had her own young kids and he could pawn his kids off on her. 

Even when we were married he wasn't very involved and I thought that exh would have been much happier being childless. Our religion wanted us to have kids and my uterus complied.  Oh well, the kids know their momma loves them and I am involved in their lives. I wouldn't change anything except maybe having been artifically inseminated and never having to had dealt with him.  

Plantmom's picture

It's taboo for a parent to say they don't want their own kids. This is why you get people who can say their kid was unplanned but will later add "but I love him he's the best thing to happen to me" or something like that. If you don't add that "but" then people will think you are a monster. 

But if a kid is unplanned (or planned by one parent but not the other) then by definition that kid was not wanted by at least one parent.

It's quite sad because babies are innocent. Some people never wanted to be parents and made the best of it, while others got divorced and it doesn't bother them that they don't see their kids much.

My DH has told me pretty much that BM got pregnant around when he was leaving her for cheating on him. He did not want SD, and he was upset when he found out about the pregnancy. He loves her, but he didn't want her and he felt that she was a trap to get him to stay. It's pretty obvious she is his but he didn't know while BM was pregnant so that screwed him up pretty bad. I can't imagine that feeling of not knowing if your pregnant wife is having your kid or someone else's. 

susanm's picture

People have children for many reasons other than genuine parental commitment.  There are plenty of people of both genders who regret having children but can't admit it.  If not, there would be no neglect or abuse because either the parent would take care of the helpless creature they made or they would recognize their inabilities and love the child enough to give them up to someone who could take care of them.  But instead they keep the child and make their life a living hell.  We all know people who grew up that way.  Some of us did ourselves.  Unfortunately pregnancy and childbirth is nothing more than a biological process that does not require actual intent.  Sad

Harry's picture

Does anyone have the house with the white picket fence ? Life never goes like you dream about, it.  No body just sits back drinking ice tea, and everyone takes care of themselves.