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.
Dating a single mom might not be the right choice for every single man. It takes a special kind of guy to want to be involved with a woman who is committed to devoting a significant amount of time and attention to her children.