"A parent should not be punished for having a job, and a co-parent should see that."
Many parents have the struggle of balancing their life at home and their life at their job. Both include a number of responsibilities and time commitments, that can affect one another in different ways.
On one hand, the responsibilities and commitments that a career can offer allow for the financial stability and income necessary to sustain the life that you strive for as a parent. It allows you to give your child the life that they deserve and allows you to give them all of the tools they need to succeed in the future.
On the other hand, it can take you, as a parent, away from your child. The time spent focusing on any job is time spent away from parenting time that you cannot take back. Whether it is physical distance, mental distance, emotional distance, it is in play, keeping you away from what matters most.
For professional athletes, that is just as much of the case. They spend so much of their time practicing and focusing on their craft that they sometimes find themselves taken away from spending time with their children. Unless an emergency comes up, they can find themselves away for days or weeks at a time.
Then, there are times when the athlete has to set aside their profession to take care of their children and resolve any sort of familial issues. This is currently the case for two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who withdrew from the U.S. Open on Aug. 21, because she was unable to resolve a custody dispute with her infant son’s father, according to The Associated Press and ESPN.
Azarenka, a 28-year-old Belarus native, gave birth to her first child, Leo, in December 2016, but separated from her son’s father after Wimbledon in July.
In her statement, she writes the following:
“The day my son Leo was born, back in December of last year, was by far the happiest day of my life. I now have a brand new appreciation for how new mothers – and fathers – juggle the many different responsibilities for their families. However, like most working mothers, despite my unconditional love for my son, I am now faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away.”
Staying for the child
The former No. 1 women’s tennis player in the WTA continues by saying that the way things stand now is that the only way she can play in the U.S. Open this year is if she leaves Leo behind in California, which she is not willing to do.
She talks about balancing child care and a career and the difficulty that entails. According to The Daily Mail, she wishes to support men and women everywhere who know it is okay to be a working mother or father and that no one should ever have to decide between a child and their career. She wanted to make it clear that men and women everywhere are strong enough to do both.
Whether you are a professional athlete like Victoria Azarenka or not, you still have the ability of being there for your children, physically, emotionally, and financially. Whether you are their father or mother, you should have the ability to provide for your children, and you should not be punished for it. You should be able to succeed in your professional career and be able to watch your daughter score goals at her soccer games or listen to your son practice the piano.
Divorcing fathers without custody or hopes of custody are asked to provide child support for their children, while they are often times denied as much visitation and parenting time as they would desire. They are being asked to use their professional expertise and earn an income from their career, in an effort to provide for themselves and their children. Providing for one’s children without custody is not the present issue.
The issue is not giving a parent the ability to be a parent. As much as a child may want a new bike or a new video game, they are just things. They are objects that they desire, and that desire is fleeting. What is not fleeting is the relationship between a parent and a child, and when a parent is not given a chance to be a parent, that relationship suffers, as a result.
A parent should not be punished for having a job, and a co-parent should see that. They should see that they are doing everything that they can to give their child the best life possible and should work with their schedule for the betterment of the child. If they truly want their child to have the best life possible, fighting with their co-parent and punishing them for having a job that provides for the child is not the way to go about it.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.