Thank you to Single Mom, What a Life for allowing me the opportunity to guest post on her site.
Greetings everyone, I’m the Skipah from SKIPAHSREALM.COM. Divorced and single dad (not sure how much longer the “single” will apply) and wear the moniker “Single Dad” like a boss after all I’ve been through.
You think you know a single dad? Maybe you do or maybe you don’t, but I can tell you unless you have been in that rabbit hole with us, you don’t know a thing! I only speak of “engaged” single dads, not the deadbeats that most men get stereotyped as from day one as a single parent. Keep the stereotyping to the Cincinnati, Ohio police department, because this single dad has done the best he could to tear down that misnomer!
If you check the statistics, most of us single dads never chose to be “single,” and once we land in the
single dad pool, we have to beg, borrow, and steal to do all we can to be involved in our children(s)
lives! I only speak of my own experiences, but the belittling of single dads needs to stop!If you get blindsided in divorce and have kids, as a man you are in a zone you never thought existed.
While you are trying to cope with your own life changing events, you still have to protect your kids and stay strong for them. I have a daughter, and once I learned of my impending divorce, I made damn sure my daughter would never see me hurt through the whole process! I celebrated my 13th wedding anniversary and a month later I got handed with the shocking news I was getting divorced. From that day forward, I became my daughter’s best friend. Those same words I just typed were used against me in a Guardian Ad Litem review when it came to awarding custody to me or my daughter’s mother!
You don’t know that a single dad longs for a daily phone call from his kid(s), some nights it’s “Hi, good night, I love you….”, other nights it’s ninety minutes of gibberish! Either way, single dads (at least this one) beam with pride when they get a phone call from their offspring. True story, on my first date with my live-in girlfriend now, my daughter called me and was in one of her “talkative” moods. My girlfriend, at the time, had no idea of my “backstory” and was completely at ease with me excusing myself to talk to my daughter. If she did have a problem with it, she more than likely wouldn’t be my girlfriend to this day.
Single dads are parents just like moms, and most single dads treat Wednesdays like it is hitting the lottery. Why? Because it’s the one evening a week most states think we are most suitable to be a parent. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of my control, I lost my Wednesday privileges during the school year because of bad luck and geography! You will see us single dads on Wednesdays usually taking our brood to their favorite restaurant or special activity. We stand out like a sore thumb at times, with no jewelry on our left hand and no eye candy accompanying us.
Single dads treat our time with our child(ren) as more valuable than our own time. I’ve sat in on many an American Girl doll tea party myself instead of doing the laundry or putting away dishes. We have plenty of time for that when our precious loved ones are gone. In my personal experience, I’ve driven approximately 3,000 miles in the past month alone just for the chance to see my daughter play softball!
I would wear cologne made from Exxon/Mobil and walk through a blast furnace every day of the week to be there for her. Why, because no matter what curve ball life throws at you as a single dad, eventually one hangs in the zone and you have to hit out of the park. That’s how I treat being a single dad, and every time I walk up to the Little League park, my daughter has the biggest grin on her face when she sees me. I could only describe it as priceless. Even the other moms take notice (many who must be single or have inactive baby daddys themselves, as the male population at softball night is non-existent). It makes the three and half hour round trip worth it every single time!
There needs to be a #HugASingleDad Twitter campaign going, because most of us have to be in reactive not proactive mode. Most of us don’t get to steer the ship that we want for our kids, and a ton of us spent all we had for the fictional dream of 50/50 custody. Until you have walked in a single dad’s shoes, don’t think you know what we’ve gone through. Some of us aren’t the buffoons or dummies that the stereotypical single dad is made out to be.
I know as a single mom (even more so with an ex who is 100% uninvolved) this is a touchy topic. However, 20% of single parents are men and they do need to have a voice. Has single mothers become a larger part of what is a "normal" family we have to make sure good fathers are getting a voice.