There is a distinct difference between being a biological father and being a dad. I have seen this in stark relief in my personal life in any number of ways. Married, divorced, single or widowed, dads are fundamental to a functioning society. As research repeatedly shows, fatherless children are at significant risk for all kinds of negative outcomes.
Yet I don’t think the children of all single mothers are at risk. Again, my personal experience tells me generalizations don’t always fit the individual case. Enter Michelle Obama contrasting her husband’s presidency to the Trump administration:
“We come from a broken family, we are a little unsettled,” Ms Obama said. “Sometimes you spend the weekend with divorced dad. That feels like fun but then you get sick. That is what America is going through. We are living with divorced dad.”
I doubt she will be asked to walk this back or apologize. The Obamas and their administration don’t ever have to do that. Or be held to account for their actions. But this comment is an affront to single dads everywhere who fulfill their role with seriousness and responsibility.
In my life, I know dads who agonize at the limited role family courts allow them to play in their children’s lives following a divorce they didn’t want or ask for. And take every minute they are given with their children to create an amazing bond. They also know perfectly well how to care for their children when they are sick.
I know divorced dads who fight the system to remove their children from an unsafe environment created by their mothers. Using the time they spend with their children to undo the damage done while they fight for them in vain. Because the system “assumes” children should be with their mothers. No matter how horrific they are.
I know widowed dads who have completely lost their anchor and provide their children with a wonderful life. Reaching out for help they never thought they would need. I think your husband’s own Vice President did that for a time.
Perhaps Michelle Obama should consider this if she would like to compare our country to a broken family. Almost every poll on polarization of division within the country shows both increased during her husband’s presidency. So maybe living under Barack Obama was more more akin to living in a house where your parents are fighting and calling each other names. Even coming to blows at times.
And no matter how hard you try to ignore it, how firmly you cover your ears, the words and insults ring in your head. You know your family is going to bust apart, and you are powerless to stop it. Because the “adults” in the room don’t seem to be able to get it together. While you watch your world spiral into chaos.
Yep. I think that is more akin to the thoughts of voters in the rust belt who voted for Barack Obama twice and then voted for Trump in 2016. Dad told them they were worthless, uneducated, clinging to their guns and religion and mom called them deplorable. So they ran away.
So yes Michelle, America may be akin to a broken home in some ways. But it is one that your husband was instrumental in creating. Stick that in your bestseller.