I usually spend an hour or two on Sunday evening OR an hour or two on Monday morning to write Tuesday’s op-ed column. This time, it’s a little different though. I submitted the column on Saturday afternoon because we were planning on going to the Balloon Fest in Clark on Sunday.
As things turned out, my husband and I spent Sunday running errands. We knew we would never be able to leave early Sunday morning for Clark because our older girl, Sam, got home very late on Saturday evening after seeing a concert with friends. No way we would be able to get her out of bed before noon on Sunday.
So, we agreed to have the carpenter work on Sunday. What the heck. We want to have everything finished as soon as possible. The cabinets are all done but we wanted to have a few things fixed in the kitchen. Exceptionally skilled workers are so hard to come by these days (they’re all leaving for work abroad) so we figured we might as well take advantage of this gem of a cabinet maker that we found through a friend. While Speedy bought door handles, drawer guides, hinges and I-don’t-know-what-else at MC Depot, I went to SM Hypermarket beside Tiendesitas for some heavy food shopping (everyone’s been complaining about the empty fridge and pantry).
Because my routine was disrupted — not having a column to read for and write on Sunday evening — I started surfing the net like crazy (I needed the mental stimulation) and found some articles that really caught my attention. The first is an article that says marriage counseling is dead; the second is about “multi-dadding”, a term I never heard of before.
Dr. Max Vogt suggests you drop the “experts” and become master of your own marriage, and get better results. [Media Syndicate]
Marriage counseling may work for some but my husband and I have always taken the DIY approach in solving our marital troubles. At one specially difficult time, we considered it, but then we managed to work things out ourselves. Personally, I see marriage counselors as people who bleed you dry off your hard-earned money which they do not deserve to get for just sitting there, listening to you and telling you what you should do with your marriage and your life. It’s my life and my marriage — why should I give someone else the power to dictate their course? It just ain’t my style.
So, when I read about a marriage counselor who actually says that self-direction yields more positive results, I feel vindicated. You know, that I’m not just being a cynical bitch who thinks everyone is out there to steal my money.
The second article is about “multi-dadding”, a term used to describe the situation of women who have children with different men. The title of the article, “Is multi-dadding the future of parenting?“, is already very provocative. But reading the accounts of women who have children by different men is really quite an experience.
Especially in very conservative societies like the Philippines, women are stuck with the one-man-one-woman, till-death-do-us-part formula. That’s why adultery is a crime — because it disrupts the formula. But, the truth is, not all marriages work. And when it doesn’t and ends in separation and annulment, should a woman be precluded from having children with a subsequent partner or partners? The big question is whether it is really emotionally, mentally and spiritually unsound for the mother and her children if the children have different fathers. Put another way, is it really impossible for a woman to raise a happy (i.e., emotionally healthy) family if her kids have different fathers?
It might be noteworthy to point out that the situation of a widow with children who remarries is not very much different except for the fact that the dead husband can no longer claim full or shared custody. In short, a subsequent husband or partner will, for all intents and purposes, serve as an uncontested father figure. Consider the following:
The upshot of having a slightly fractured family is that my first child has a very strong bond with me. He gets access to me in a way that maybe the other two do not, because I feel sensitive to the fact that, sometimes, when he sees his two younger, blonder brothers, he feels perhaps a bit separate to them. [Guardian Unlimited]
That situation could be true too for a widow and her child from the first marriage.
The point I’m trying to get at is whether the big deal about multi-dadding is more about the stigma — the moral judgment — attached to a woman who have relationships with different men rather a real emotional health issue for mother and children. Is the perception that multi-dadding parenting is a deviant situation not, in truth, based on a presumption that the mother is 1) too promiscuous to set a “good” example to her children; 2) too emotionally immature as “evidenced” by the various relationships; or 3) both? But the unasked question is: Do these presumptions apply to every woman who has children with different men?