When your children are in your custody, one-on-one, you have the opportunity to instill the values that are most important to you. For me it's integrity. I got to share what it is and what it feels like to be on the giving and receiving end of keeping your word.
I need to find similar families, make new connections and start tackling the hard question that will be coming from a very young, inquisitive boy. In essence, "come out" again -- this time, for my son.
Inspired by the true life events of today's single moms, the following is designed to be a guide, not a rule book, for those mamas re-entering the dating pool with both bruised hearts and jelly stains on their LBDs. Together we stand.
Being a single parent, particularly a single mother, and identifying yourself as such, means constantly being open to criticism, not only from other parents, but also from politicians, family members and even strangers.
I guess I was. And I see now how much better behaved my kids are now that they have that better, more chilled-out mom. More polite language. Better listening and chore-doing. Fewer meltdowns -- and quicker apologies in the event of a spaz-out.
I can honestly say that being a single dad doesn't seem like any big picnic. So, I want to validate single dads and tell them how much the single mom really appreciates them, whether she admits it or not.
There's something about Pride that never fully resonated with me, but now that I'm in a certain place in my life and a father, my pride is much subtler, but much more powerful than I ever could have expected.
With some hard work and a few key action steps, I can now see my ex's name pop up on my caller ID and not have a pit in my stomach. Is it perfect? No. Do I feel like we're in a good place? Yes. I only got there because I decided to get there.
What I've realized, in retrospect, is that divorce (as with any challenging situation) actually contains within it many blessings. A decade later I am full of gratitude for my divorce, the opportunities that have crossed my path, and who I've become.
There is a warmth and wholeness to single dads that men without children rarely possess. Another perk: You know what you're getting. A man's parenting profile is about as transparent of a resume as you'll find.