We hear a lot of stories in the mainstream media about deadbeat dads who abandon their children, but very rarely do we hear the dad’s side of the story.
One such father has spoken out in an attempt to get people to understand that the reasons behind their lack of contact with their children isn’t always due to selfishness, but rather an act of love for the children.
Kieran*, 44, from NSW told his story to Corrine Barraclough from news.com.au, and it might make you reconsider your views.
“For over ten years my ex and I had a brilliant, happy relationship. We dated for six years before she fell pregnant. It was an accident, but we were settled, committed, in love and planning a future together,” he said of his early relationship with his ex-partner, before going on to talk about the joy he experienced in becoming a dad.
“From the moment she told me she was expecting I fell in love with my first child. I lay talking to our bump, singing and letting my bond develop. I can honestly say the day our daughter was born was the happiest, most moving day of my life. I cried tears of absolute joy.
“Our second child came along several years later. We were a content family unit — I thought. Problems started when my ex went back to work. She changed. I had a feeling someone was paying her attention and my suspicions were swiftly proven correct when she told me she’d been having an affair.”
After his relationship broke down, he moved out and visited the children on the weekends. It was tough, but toughest on their youngest child, whose development began to regress, and she developed a stutter and was losing weight.
On top of this, she started wetting herself, and would approach random parents at the school gate to ask, “do you love me?”
Kieran said that this broke his heart, but even more so when a child psychologist suggested he stay away for a few weeks to see if the situation settled, and it did.
He said that at that point, his world fell apart, and he hasn’t seen his children since. He moved interstate for a job, and six years have passed since he last saw them.
“It’s hell being away from them,” he said.
“I miss them every day. Every morning I look at photos of us laughing together, I hear their voices in my ears, and wish life was different.
“It’s so much more complicated than people can imagine. If you want to do the right thing by your children — what does that actually look like? Is it really bringing that kind of energy into their life where their learning and development goes backwards? Is it really best that they feel the energy of warring parents?
“I don’t think so. Even on days where I go for a walk alone and let secret tears fall, I know I’m doing the right thing long term.
“I adore my children and want them to be happy. I’ve never had another relationship. I’ve set up savings accounts for them. I will be here when they want to come to me. I know it will get easier as they get older.
“I will not step into their world and cause harm. I hear about them through my mum who still sees them; they’re thriving at school, they’re happy.”
He finished up by explaining that in the long term, he believes he’s doing the right thing by his kids.
“Being a good parent means putting your selfish desires to one side — and I firmly believe I’m doing that.”