Thursday, May 14, 2009

Being Heard

I love writing angry letters. Once or twice a year, I feel pissed off and passionate enough to write a letter to an editor or a corporation or a hospital or an ex-husband. OK. For the last one it's definitely more often than that.

I heard a WBUR story last week that prompted such a letter. I posted the letter on this blog. The thing that pissed me off was that the story talked about how terrible it is for non-custodial dads when they lose their jobs and their terrible ex-wives insist on getting child support. (Since I'm aware of my biased opinion, I will post the link here so you can read it for yourself.)

The same day I sent my email feedback, I received a note from the reporter, Monica Brady-Myerov. I have a lot of respect for her. She agreed that the story was missing the perspective of a custodial parent and asked me if she could interview me for a follow-up story.

Well, in addition to being a good reporter, Ms. Brady Myerov is a woman of her word. She came to interview me yesterday for a follow-up story she's doing for a national public radio show--Marketplace Money. Unless there is some breaking economic news, the story should air this Sunday.

My favorite part of the interview wasn't even on tape. We were talking about how she found many groups that represent the interests of non-custodial dads but none that are for custodial parents. I told her that there were no such groups because we didn't have time to organize them or attend the meetings!

I did not bash non-custodial dads in my interview. I just pointed out that, as a custodial parent, I would be charged with neglect if I didn't provide my children with food, shelter, clothings, etc. so why should a non-custodial parent not be liable when they don't contribute their fair share toward paying for those expenses.

My interview will probably be edited down to a sound byte or two combined with other voices, but I'm still pretty excited. I disagreed with something I heard, sent a letter that clearly expressed my anger in an appropriate way, and my voice was heard. I love having a voice.

"An activist is someone who makes an effort to see problems that are not being addressed and then makes an effort to make their voice heard. Sometimes there are so many things that it's almost impossible to make your voice heard in every area, but you can sure try."
- Joanne Woodward


  1. Woo hoooooo Julie!
    I thank you, once again, for speaking for me as well!
    :) xo mb

  2. Congrats on your interview!! That is an exciting moment, and it's great that you are getting your voice out there.

    As a noncustodial mom, I have also found that most groups represent the interests of either noncustodial dads or moms, rarely for noncustodial parents. While I think you may be referring more to opportunities for in-person meetings, just wanted to share my website, NonCustodial Parent Community (, which challenges biases about noncustodial parents, and raises awareness about the issues noncustodial parents face -- dads and moms.