Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

Divorce Sucks but Love Is Unconditional!

Father’s Day is coming up, and the dads are taking over! Stay tuned all week as we hear from several awesome local dads, and be blessed by these glimpses into the mind and heart of a father.

Des Moines Dads Blog


Divorce. Though it happens in almost half of all marriages, it is still one of the most devastating spiritual, personal, financial, and emotional challenges any two people may ever experience. When a child is involved, the impact can be exponentially immeasurable.

Being a divorced father sucks. My name is Brett Penager, and I know because I am one of them.

Single mothers dominate the headlines of single parenting issues, and rightfully so. Being a mother is absolutely the toughest job on the planet bar none. Since most marital laws favor the mother of a child over the father, the child is typically placed in the hands of the woman as the primary caregiver. Though in many instances it is in the best interest of the child, the father is left outside looking in while mother and child continue their lives together daily.

brett and mikaylaNo matter what I do, how successful I may be, or how many people benefit from my life, the one person who I want to care most about me and who I am to her is my daughter. Though there’s nothing on earth I would rather do than spend time with her and the love of my life, Stephanie, my parenting time with her is limited to 3 days a week for 10 hours.

Most mothers have no idea how demoralizing this can be for a father who wants to be with his child and the child who absolutely needs her dad. I often wonder if my lack of time with her impacts her experience of me and, sometimes, if she’ll remember me at all due to the lapses of time between visits. Though it takes two to create the blessing of a child, it only takes one well-meaning yet self-seeking parent to deliver the curse to a child that can come from a failed marriage.

For most, a challenge like this brings out our worst. Two people with all their attention focused on themselves while potentially destroying the other leaves no room for the child or children in the middle. Despite this reality, most never get how damaging their self-centered motives are to a child who knows nothing other than what they are taught by their parent’s example.

brett and mikayla 3One can either choose to be a victim of their circumstances and take the path of least resistance or to take responsibility for their lives and become a victor for themselves and all that they influence. When a child is involved in a divorce, I personally think there is only one option, and that is the one I’ve chosen. To be a victor and do my best to create the most amazing experience for my daughter and her mother so that my impact as a father manifests in blessings rather than curses.

The only way to do this is to model our Father in heaven and truly love unconditionally. To sincerely give thanks in ALL things and love people for everything they are… and aren’t. To see the seed of equal or greater benefit that is always found in adversity and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I know there is more that I don’t know than that which I do, and this I’m certain of: my 21-month-old daughter, Mikayla Gabrielle, is the happiest little girl I have ever witnessed because she sees in me what our Father sees in us – perfection.

To all fathers, including us divorced ones… Happy Father’s Day! Believe….


Meet Guest Blogger Brett Penager

brett and mikayla 2Brett is a close friend to DMMB’s Co-Founder, Sarah Farnsworth. An author, businessman, and entrepreneur, Brett Penager has over 20 years of extraordinary success. Currently, Penager is a founding partner and CMO of Chiro One Wellness Centers LLC. Having been selected in the top 10 to Crain’s Business Weeks Fast Fifty for the past four years in a row (2010–2013), a 3X Inc. 500/5000 recipient (2011–2013), and the reigning Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner in the healthcare division, COWC is the largest chiropractic healthcare organization in the world. Penager sits on several National Boards, is a sought after business consultant, motivational speaker and passionate philanthropist. Born and raised in the great state of Ohio, he now calls Chicago home.

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