Thus I read with some interest that there is one group in this whole discussion who disagrees vehemently with a levelling ideology that concludes Heather's two mommies are functionally the same as Ward and June Cleaver: sole custody dads:
After a long evening discussing their experiences as single dads, Doucet asked a group of sole-custody fathers, "In an ideal world, what resources or supports would you like to see for single fathers?" She expected to hear that they wanted greater social support and societal acceptance, more programs and policies directed at single dads. Instead, after a period of awkward silence, one dad stood and said, "An ideal world would be one with a father and a mother. We'd be lying if we pretended that wasn't true." Nods of agreement followed with expressions of approval from the other dads. Although many had had bitter experiences of separation and divorce, they couldn't help but acknowledge the inherent connectedness of mothering and fathering-and the profound deficit experienced when one or the other is not there.If there is ever a powerful argument to be made for default father custody following divorce, or at least a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting, this is it. Men, even ones who had experienced the divorce grinder, understand at their core that children need both parents, that their kids need the influence of their mother and their father. The choice mommy lobby doesn't appear to grasp this fact--I leave it to the reader to conclude if this disability is willful or not--despite the avalanche of evidence that choice single parenthood leads to poorer outcomes for children.
Dads are different. Yeah, I know. Duh. The "nurturing"--for lack of a better term--that fathers give to their children is different from the more conventional nurturing that mothers give. Where one is risk averse, the
other encourages risk balancing. Where mothers tend to focus on the boo-boos and the upset feelings, fathers tend to be focused on training and equipping their children to leave the nest, to succeed in a rough-and-tumble world. These complementary perspectives produce full and complete human beings, ready to being the cycle of life anew. It is encouraging to me that fathers, some mothers, and some in the public policy sphere, get this.