Single Mum Survival Special: A Shoutout to the Single Dads
Let's face it. Dads have got a bad rep. Let's be honest about it too, some women would have been better off going to Sweden and getting themselves a nice sperm donor (good genes without the hassle). Countless baby daddies are jumping from woman to woman like grasshoppers, siring children they don't give a second thought to once they've left. Maybe one day they will grow fat and bald, and the inadequacy of impotency may find them sitting in their armchairs thinking "I wonder how my son is doing?" They may make a somewhat feeble attempt to communicate with their various progeny out of guilt, to find themselves talking with a fully grown man or woman that doesn't want to know them. Stepfathers are walking stepdaughters down the isle in the absence of their biological parent, sons are growing up without a father figure and a single mother trying to make ends meet. It's easy to see why vitriolic abuse is hurled at these men. Yet the absentee father overshadows a very different kind of man. The single dad; he is the man who steps up, takes on the burden of playing both roles, and effectively too. He is the silent worker bee, tying up his daughter's hair before school.
Besides being a great chick magnet (nothing sexier than a man with a child or a dog. Period.), he has also had to learn the patience, endurance and skills commonly associated with the more "female" side of parenting.
Just because single fatherhood isn't as common does not mean it is not important to acknowledge, in the same way we need to fight the stigma surrounding motherhood we also need to fight the stigma surrounding men. Because not all men are passed out in a club bathroom on a Saturday night while their children are asking where they are, some men are reading a bedtime story, or nursing a sick child.
These men need to be admired, for they have shown the love and the tenderness that all single parents do. They have made the same sacrifices to their social lives and their love lives that us women have done. They have had to turn down dates because they can't find a sitter or have to take the day off of work because they don't have anyone else to look after their child if they are sick. They have been driven near enough crazy by the incessant and scarily cheerful tunes of children's television.
Here's a list of what makes being a single dad hard:
- When the "boys" have invited you for a beer but you have to pick nits out of your daughter's hair.
- People wondering if you are a pedophile
- Finding out that "Hey, look at what my sperm can do." Isn't a great pick up line.
- Trying to figure out girl's hairstyles.
- Making the women you date broody.
- Wondering how to tell your daughter about periods.
- Having a house so full of "My Little Pony" merchandise you start to feel like you are on LSD.
Here's what makes it great:
- You are the Casanova of your local park
- You get the chance to build a Lego fortress once more (yes we all know you secretly enjoy it).
- You get to buy miniature versions of your favourite football shirt and have your children wear them constantly without interference.
- You are much scarier to pedophiles.
- You are much scarier to potential boyfriends.
- 6You have a great excuse not to hang out when all you want to do is chill at home.
- You are Lord of the fish fingers (perfect consistency and colour every time, Fuck you Gordon Ramsay).
It takes a strong man to shirk his traditional societal role and raise his children single handedly.
From my research I've discovered that the hardest part of single parenthood is the loneliness. The lonely nights of scrolling through Tinder, seeing people having fun on Facebook and watching some Saturday night garbage on television. We all have times where we resent being so alone. We sometimes wish we could partake in a more active social life, or have the freedom to be a little wild.
So with that in mind these men have also taken on the loneliness. Because they are a minority they are likely to feel even more on the perimeters. So let's share the love and give a massive shoutout to the amazing single fathers out there. You're doing a great job! You not only donated the sperm but you taught it to ride a bike too 🚲.