Family => Divorced With Kids => Topic started by: Keith on January 08, 2012, 12:09:47 PM

Title: Single Dad? What now?
Post by: Keith on January 08, 2012, 12:09:47 PM

Single dads can make it in this world.  It is a hard feat to overcome being single and only having one income to rely on but it is manageable.  How do you balance work and home life when you are raising a child?  There are many things you can do to help you make the balance work for you. 

First off, you need to prioritize.  What is really important to you?  Lets hope that your first priority is your child/children.  If not, you need to make this your first priority.  This will allow everything else to fall into place.  Being a single dad will be easier if you make your children number one in your eyes.  If your children are in school, make time for their events.  If not, schedule a time where you can play with them or just read to them.  Always listen to your children.  Ask them questions about their day and always let them know that you do care and have it be a rule that you eat together.  This is a great time to learn about each other’s day. 

Do not be a pushover either with your children.  Many single dads feel that since they are playing both the mother and father role, they have to say yes to everything.  This is not so.  Single dads need to learn how to say no.  You may not feel good doing it, but it is in the best interest of your children.  Some day your children will thank you for not giving in all the time.  And if you are able to say no, they will not give you as many fits in the future because they will realize that no means no.

Single dads also need to take care of themselves.  It is in the best interest of the single dad to stay in tip top shape.  Go to the doctor when you need to, get plenty of sleep, eat well, and exercise.  If exercise is hard for you to fit into your schedule because you have to pick your children up from daycare or school, then exercise with your kids.  Go to the park and toss a football, or have relay races with your kids.  You can even workout now with the Xbox with games like “The Biggest Loser” and “Zumba Fitness”.  You will be getting the best of two worlds, exercising and spending time with your beloved children.  If you are not feeling the best, then you can not take good care of your children.  Take great care of yourself so you can give your 100% to your children. 

A great option is to join a single dads group.  This can be one you find in your community or online.  Just talking to other single dads and how they get by could help you out tremendously.  Many times they may offer a solution to a problem you are having that you may never have thought of.  Plus, you can make some “like-minded” friends and that means that more than likely, your child/children can be friends with theirs as well.  It would be a win-win situation.

Being a single dad is hard work because you are essentially taking on two roles.  Balancing it all out will make your life easier and make your job as a single dad much easier on both you and your children.
Title: Single Dad? What now?
Post by: Heimdallt on February 08, 2012, 01:50:07 PM
Very nice post, I have read a very good book about this subject. I forget what it's called.

Me and my wife has had close agreements to separate and I thought it would be the end of life. But I released there is lots out there

It's not how we fall which defines us but how we rise after falling
Title: Re: Single Dad? What now?
Post by: keetedw on February 08, 2012, 04:03:55 PM
Great article, though I don't think the "find other single dads" is necessary.  What is necessary is finding a social circle that works for you, even if it's some function or event your child does regularly, connect with the other parents there as some of them will be dealing with the same things you are.  Just knowing you're not the only one dealing with something typically makes it easier to deal with.


It's incredibly difficult to do anything as a single father, but it is so incredibly important to do things for yourself.  Play a sport that has low commitments (one of the soccer teams I'm on has a 1-hour per week commitment).  Find a place to workout that will watch your kids while you go, join and find people in similar situations or find kid-friendly meetups.

Spending 100% of your time focusing on everyone else will do you in, in the end.
Title: Re: Single Dad? What now?
Post by: Keith on February 09, 2012, 10:01:54 AM
Great comments, guys! 

I was only a single dad for a short time, but it was hard and one thing I do remember is how I needed to get out with my friends.  It didn't happen a lot, but when it did I felt like I was new again and it made being a single father alittle easier.
Title: Re: Single Dad? What now?
Post by: MindBender on February 27, 2012, 02:03:53 AM
Great post Keith.. 

There never has been much for single dads or hell even dads as far as support groups go around here, so when I was all brand new to it, and everything was out of control as I tried to learn how things with just me and Emily were going to be.  I just worried about the two of us and when I was seeking some where to talk with other dads, I found this guy I think his name was Keith and a few of his friends, even thou the Keith guy was kinda odd and from Tennessee (we won't hold that against him) he had a great idea he had recently shared with the dads of the world, and that's how I came to be a member at Daddyplace.   

As time progressed and I rolled through my first year Emily was 4 and I had a good routine set in place.  Then before ya know it someone sticks a stick in the wheels spokes and Emily is 5 and now we get to remodel the routine and start school.  Once we got the school routine all smoothly flowing things have been running smoothly for the most part with Emily now 10 years old, and we've now reached our 7th year as a single parent household everything runs pretty much like clockwork.  Emily is near the top in her grade for just about everything.  She has a 9th grade reading and math level in the 4th grade, even thou they discourage her to read books of that level due to some possible comprehensions that will arise.  I no longer have to ask her to do her homework she does it when she gets home and at bed time shes off to bed on time (rarely there's a time I have to tell her its bedtime).  I let her stay up until 9 or sometimes 930 on school nights, and 11 pm on weekends.

The employment thing has been a little tougher for me then getting life in order, There are a few factors working against me but now that I have a degree for Network Administration.  Things have been a little better.  The Main factors I've found working against me were No Child Care In My Area open around the clock and not having support of my family since I cant stand being treated like I'm 13 and other family dramatic events.  I've also found most employers are less understanding about Single Dads Having to leave work mid day without much for advance warning when shes sick at school and the school calls telling you to come get her.  I've lost two jobs including one job where I made sure to tell them several times in the interview and hiring process that I'm a single parent and I may at some point have to leave work early if she gets sick at school etc.. The employer wasn't worried about it until the day it happened. 

I've also found from the start that the playing field is very different for Single Fathers then it is for Single Mothers. Washington State where I live is a Mothers Rights state if I've ever seen one.  Just about anywhere I went that had to do with the state a doctor or schools.  I had to make sure I had my custody papers for the first couple years.   Because everything is set default as the mother for custodial parent.  DSHS is the worst but that's a whole different topic and thread. 

I know I got out of control on my post here as its way longer then I thought it would be.  So,. my bad.  I've left out alot of my story as a single parent.  But, someday I might just sit down and recap all of its glory, tragedy, and heartbreak.  Including the 3 years Emily's Egg Donor failed to see her, but was able to call CPS on me so many times I requested CPS to let me do a volunteer program with them.  So, until then this is all you get.. and of course Keith you know I'm messing with ya. 


Title: Re: Single Dad? What now?
Post by: Keith on February 27, 2012, 06:40:43 AM
I know you are Brandon.   Thanks for the kind words.  I appreciate it.   Sorry it's been so rough on you, but you will look back on it when your older and you will be proud as hell of yourself!   I think of you often and what all you go through.  I don't know if I could have stayed a single dad longer than I was.   It was so rough on was just me and my 2 boys at the time.    Thank God that he sent Kimberly and Kaydence into my life!