Not all fathers have support. Some are single dads like me, doing the biggest job on our own.
Fatherhood as a single dad is unheralded and underappreciated. It does not show up on a resume.
It takes courage for a father to find the strength to survive and raise a son alone and without support.
A single dad has ALL the responsibilities, including emotional (a teenager growing into adulthood) and financial (maintain steady work and be fiscally responsible).
My 16-year-old son is turning out to be a model citizen, loved by friends and co-workers (at his part-time restaurant job). Would he if I hadn’t provided stability and being there for him?
Eight years ago, his mother left but stayed nearby. OK, 50/50 parenting. But then two years ago, she made the shocking decision to leave her son completely and move across the country to be with someone else. She got what she wanted, including the big house. Yet, she’s essentially been absent and only sees him a couple of weekends a month.
I’ve been making all the parental decisions in the key years of my son’s adolescence.
I do all the work. I drive him here, there, everywhere. I listen to his school presentations. I listen to him when he is upset about something. I encourage and provide advice when issues pop up at school or work. I help him learn how to drive. I cook home dinners. Whatever he needs, I am there for him.
Yet, nobody notices the work I do. There are no Great Job Dad Awards.
Despite the odds being against me while raising a son on my own, I’ve emerged as a debt-free, career success, strong-willed survivor.
And I never once thought of not being there for him.
But it has come at a personal price, especially in relationships. Local friends are busy with family and their own friends, part of the problem of moving across the country and starting life all over. Finding a new special someone has proven difficult while being a single father.
I’ve poured all my emotions and support into my son so he can become an amazing young man. I’m not complaining. We banter, watch movies together, laugh, go bowling, take walks, so much.
Recently, he woke up wondering why I was just standing there, watching him sleep peacefully. I told him, “One day, you will understand, son.”