Monday, April 2, 2012

Putting the "Father" in "Single Father"

So here's a question for you...

What is the definition of a "single father"?

Hold that thought for a moment and let's focus on "single parents" as a whole for a minute.

Being a single parent often means different things to different people.  When you picture a single parent what do you see?  If you're like me (and most other people, I assume) you picture a young woman with kids... strong and tough as nails... she works hard to provide for her kids and very often does so with a minimal amount of support from the father of her children... My mom was one of those women for a time.  So, is this the norm?  It's certainly what society and the media would have you believe.  Single parenting on television and in the movies is primarily the domain of women.  What's even more interesting is that almost all single fathers portrayed in the media are widowers.  As if to make the assumption that no father would willingly take on the role of single parent were it not for the death of their partner.  I'm sorry, but I'm calling shenanigans on that one!

I consider myself a single parent and I know that there are a lot of men out there, who feel the same way.  That being said, I don't have primary custody of either of my kids.  I share custody equally... 50%... right down the middle; and while not common, half/half custody is increasing in frequency.  Especially now that men are really beginning to take their role as a parent a lot more seriously.  I won't deny the fact that I have an ex-wife that is a willing parenting partner, a very good mom, and has no desire to begrudge me my time with my kids.  In that respect and all things considered... I am fortunate.

So... what is a "single father"?

It's me and guys like me... it's single guys who put the effort into being a parent; even if the time they get to spend with their children is minimal.  That's the key right there... effort.  You've got to want it.  You've got to make the decision that regardless of the situation, you are going to step up and be a parent 100% off the time... even if you don't get that much time.

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