Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Single Parenting: Being Raised By A Single Father

Are you a single parent? How about a single father? Some of you may know that I was raised by a single father, who's relationship is very dear to my heart. My father taught me everything that little girls must know; like how to shave my legs, apply makeup, and yes...the menstrual cycle and bras were also in the know. 

Being a single parent is HARD for anyone, but being a single father to a daughter can be even more challenging! Unfortunately, there's not a lot of resources out there for single fathers. So when Daniel from dadsolo.com asked me if I'd be interested in posting his article on being a single father, of course I said yes!

Daniel is the author of dadsolo.com. He's also a single father to a daughter (9) and a son (6). He started dadsolo.com to help and share his experiences with other single fathers.

{Guest Post}    

Challenges of Being a Single Father and How to Overcome Them
By Daniel Sherwin

Raising children is one of the greatest and most unpredictable adventures. There are unprecedented surprises, moments of joy and pride, and difficulties. A single father will know all too well that the role is full of challenges but also brimming with rewarding and incredible experiences. Even though single fatherhood has become more common over the years, there are still many challenges these fathers face. Read on to learn about how single fathers can overcome these challenges.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Many single dads are reluctant or resistant to ask for help. It might be due to denial or a belief that it is a sign of weakness or failure. Nobody can navigate the waters of single parenthood alone. Building a support group can help ease the workload and come in handy during unforeseen circumstances or emergencies. Look for assistance through a variety of avenues:

     Research local support groups in your area. These may include groups for single parents or exclusively for single fathers that meet weekly or monthly for supportive conversations.
     Use online groups and forums to communicate with others and get advice.
     Look into government assistance and programs that might help in lifting some financial burdens or tax credits.
     Ask around in your community, church, or local schools for programs that can help with after-school activities or affordable child care.
     Many nonprofits and other programs help single fathers with useful information. These include resources like the National Fatherhood Initiative, The Fatherhood Project, Parents Without Partners.

Take Care of Yourself

It’s easy for parents to put their physical and mental health in the backburner or to make excuses when time appears to fly by. This can result in problems in the long term that will actually cause greater obstacles when looking after your children. As the Huffington Post explains, your health is a great investment in your child’s life.

According to drugrehab.org, “The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing.”


Many single parents suffer from isolation and depression and often neglect caring for their mental health, leading to more serious problems down the road. Negative thoughts and anxiety brought on by stress and a lack of rest can be naturally mitigated with a regular dose of exercise. Physical activity plays an important role in overall health and wellness. Parents can often incorporate exercise into activities with their kids, such as taking them to a park, on a walk, or on a run. Regular exercise, according to Harvard Health, can help fight stress, depression, and anxiety.

Exercise also helps maintain a healthy heart and energy level. Organizing your week to include at least three to four exercise sessions is vital to you and your child’s well-being.


Maintaining a healthy and clean diet is not only necessary for your health, but it also instills good eating habits in your child. In order to avoid last-minute visits for fast food, have precooked meals and leftovers ready throughout the week. By choosing one day a week to cook in bulk and prepare large portions of storable food, you can ensure your fridge is always stocked with healthy home-cooked meals that include plenty of vegetables and healthy proteins.

Structure and Order

While your life may seem chaotic, doing your best to structure your days and set routines can go a long way in helping you manage the many tasks and responsibilities in front of you. According to The Spruce, children thrive with routine, and this can help them get a sense of stability and comfort.

Remember you share similar circumstances with millions of other Americans that are single parents, and you are not alone. However your adventure is uniquely yours. Embrace the challenge as an opportunity to live life to the fullest and learn. Doing your best and being a loving parent is the greatest example you can set for your child.

Photo credit: Pixabay

{End of Guest Post}

Kudos to those single fathers out there...and to ALL single parents! If you're a single parent, and especially a single father, I highly recommend you tune into dadsolo.com. Daniel has lots of great insights to offer to other single parents!

I'd love to close with a very special poem that my father wrote before he passed titled, "Being a Mom When I'm Only a Dad." It is VERY SPECIAL to me and hangs on the wall in my home! It reminds me of everything he taught me every day!
Copyright George Norwood Marlowe/Traci Marlowe Bender
The poem reads:
Being A Mom When I'm Only A Dad
By George Norwood Marlowe

I correct them when they are wrong, 
I stand by them when they are right.
I wake them up each morning, 
I tuck them in each night.
I forgive them when are wrong,
I try to understand.
I wrap my arms around them,
or gently hold their hand.
I laugh with them when they are happy,
I cry when they are sad. 
I want to be the best friend,
that they have ever had.
Yes, I've seen them happy,
I've seen them sad.
I praise them for their good deeds,
I sold them for the bad.
Yes, the toughest job I've ever had, is being a mom when I'm only a dad.
I've done their laundry,
I've cooked their meals.
I've helped them climb bridges,
I've helped them climb hills.
I've mended his trousers,
I've sewn buttons on his shirts.
I've set up late nights,
just hemming her skirts.
I taught her how to cook and clean,
I taught her how to sew.
I've tried to teach her all the things,
that little girls should know.
Yes, the toughest job I've ever had is being a mom when I'm only a dad.
I know their joys,
I know their fears.
I've doctored their bruises,
I've dried their tears.
I've often walked by their room at night, 
when were sound asleep.
I'd gently pull their cover up,
and kiss them on the cheek.
Sometimes they ask for dollars
sometimes it's just a dime. 
But the most important thing to them, 
is my love, my trust, and time.
Yes, the toughest job I've ever had, is being a mom when I'm only a dad!

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