“I haven’t seen much material, if any, specifically addressing being a single dad on Father’s Day. When I was asked to write about it, I think I realized why I sensed this void. If I think about it, there are a pretty wide range of single dads nowadays. Some of us don’t see our kids as much as we like and it eats us alive with sadness, while others are exhausted from playing both parenting roles for their kids. Also, the reasons behind how we became a single parent are going to be just as varied. However, there is one thing that unites us all as single dads: Sometimes (not all the time) it’s a thankless job, and the fact that it’s just us and our kids is a bigger blessing than many of us might expect.
A majority of the time, we have our time with our kids, and their mom has hers. Regardless of how the relationship with their mother might be, it doesn’t change the fact that our time is exactly that, our time. Other people might be there to help, but the bond between you and those children in that moment is between you and them. It’s a bond that no one but a father can experience. My point is that a lot of the times, there are moments when we do things to bless our children and strengthen that bond which remain unnoticed by so many — Those quiet moments when you might hold off on buying a new pair of work shoes/boots so you can buy your daughter’s ballet costume. Or use your only vacation time for the next few months to be there for your son’s basketball games.
Men in general are the more reserved sex and less likely to talk about our emotions. We do what needs to be done and that’s that. Since we are single fathers, there’s not always someone there to support or help us with communication. Many times we are just basically winging it in how to react or respond. There are numerous situations where we don’t really know how or what to say. And in my opinion that’s ok. The fact that we are trying our best to build, maintain, and nurture this relationship is proof that we care deeply.
This encompasses far more than providing for them or time spent with them (which are both incredibly important, please know that!) It’s about the most important gift we can give to our children: them seeing their father as a man of integrity and self-sacrifice. No matter what the custody situation or relationship with their mother might be, over the course of time a father with true intentions and absolute love for his children will play a major role in shaping their lives.
So this post isn’t something written to boast or puff up ourselves for doing the thankless job of single fatherhood. It’s not to brag or earn praise from others. It’s not to revel in the special day of Father’s Day. The message behind all of this is to forget about earning thanks or recognition from anyone. Even our kids when they are young might not know the extent of sacrifice we make; and seriously can you imagine a better gift as a dad? To set a foundation of humility, integrity, and servitude for them to build their lives upon. I can’t even comprehend what that might feel or look like and I’m pretty excited to say that I can’t wait to see it. Until then, let’s all just keep on doing the most important thing we can do. Be a dad. Take pride in yourself this Father’s Day. You are exactly what your children need.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Seth Megow, 33, of Valdosta, Georgia. For hilarious stories featuring his kids and posts on divorce/single parenting, check out his family blog. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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