No person in the history of mankind has ever gone down the altar dreaming of the day that he or she will get separated from the one they’re marrying. However, the rate of divorce today clearly shows that we live in a world where more and more marriages are falling apart, costing children stable and loving families and homes to grow in.
Parenting is a big challenge as it is. Doing it alone can be quite overwhelming. And while most people and write-ups usually talk about single mothers, not as much material and discussions have been done about single dads.
That is not to take away from all the wonderful and noteworthy things single mothers do for their children. That’s the reason why a lot of discussions and reports have been made about them — to highlight their courage, resolve, and fortitude in raising their children despite not having the fathers to help them out.
Challenges That Most Single Fathers Encounter
1.Parenting is supposed to be a shared responsibility.
By nature, parenting should be done by two people working together to build a secure and better future for their children. It is supposed to be a two-person system set-up. Taking one out of the equation, on a full-time basis, leads to both parties exerting more effort than it would doing it together.
Whether you’re carrying the burden alone or have shared custody of the children, surrounding yourself with people who can help you raise your children can help ease the burden on your part. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child.
2. Spiteful exes and biased courts prevent good men from becoming great dads.
Disclaimer: this is not to take a swipe at ex-wives. We believe that there are a lot of good divorced women out there who are victims of circumstance. However, not all divorced women willingly want to work with the fathers of their children. That is why a divorce is a nasty event that you should avoid at all costs. It’s ugly, it’s traumatic, and it destroys lives.
A lot of divorced men want to be the best dads that they can be despite the painful circumstances. But many of them are hindered from it because of spiteful ex-wives who wish to make them suffer more by keeping them away from the kids, only needing their child support.
If you’re in a similar situation, seek to agree with your ex-wife about putting the kids’ needs — material, emotional, mental, and spiritual — as both your priorities. As much as they need financial support, a child also needs a healthy and loving relationship with a father.
3. It’s hard to juggle responsibilities between family and work.
Understandably, single fathers are more inclined to work even harder to make sure that child support is paid regularly, especially those under specific arrangements that should they fail to give money, their visitation rights will be heavily affected.
The motivation to work hard is even greater just so that they can provide for their children’s education, buy nice stuff for them, get affordable dental and healthcare services whenever needed, and a lot of other things.
Sometimes, when a man gets too caught up in his work, he forgets the other aspects of his life. He sometimes fails to even take care of himself. He usually sees it as a way to compensate for his physical absence at home. This compartmentalized thinking often gets in the form of parenting. Even men who are not divorced are not free of this burden. Men are typically designed with a one-track mind that often leads them into heated arguments with their wives.
The best thing to do if you’re caught in this predicament is to take a step back and honestly evaluate yourself as a father, not just a provider. If you believe that your priorities are lopsided, take the necessary steps, and talk to the right people about making some changes in your lifestyle.
4. Single dads don’t want to get on their kids’ bad side.
Discipline is one of the things that is hard to maintain in a broken family. Most separated dads don’t want to get on their kids’ bad side, so they tend to let a lot of things slide so that they can be the good cop.
This attitude is unhelpful for the children in the long run, even though we understand why divorced dads do this. Discipline has to be one of the constants in a broken family. It should never be neglected out of fear that the children will lose affection for you. Although discipline may be challenging, especially at the time it is given, your children will appreciate you for being a consistent parent despite the challenges brought about by the separation.
The best way to deal with this is to establish a set of rules that both parents agree with and can enforce. Disciplining children should not be just left to one parent. It is both a privilege and a responsibility that the two should share at all times.
Fathers, men in general, are supposed to be the stronger sex. But that strength isn’t just supposed to be physical. It should also involve mental, emotional, and spiritual strength for fathers to fulfill their roles to their children. While many single fathers don’t seem to have it together, others are doing the best they can to live up to their roles and raise their children to the best of their abilities and circumstances. These men are as tough as nails. They may not have everything figured out, but with their dedication to their children, things will be okay.