[L]ife is tough on pretty much everybody. We’re all struggling under the yoke of suppressed wages, long working hours, rents that continue to crawl upwards even as our pay stagnates and a cost of living that always seems just out of our reach. For a single parent, however, an already difficult life can seem like swimming against the tide. We wage a never-ending battle with ourselves. We constantly turn the cold light of introspection upon ourselves and our lives. We’re always asking ourselves if we could and should be doing more to advance our career while constantly plagued by doubts as to whether we’re doing the best thing for our kids.
As men, it’s in our nature to bottle things up, to carry on regardless and to weather the storm with a stoic look of determination on our faces. We tell ourselves that we have to be a string for our kids, and while this is true, we are all only human. We need support, help, and guidance just like anyone else. Here we’ll take a look at some essentials that you’ll need to survive the often hectic, often challenging but ultimately awesome life of a single Dad…
Survival Kit – Legal Counsel
Even if you and your Ex parted on amicable terms, and although it’s a step neither of you looks forward to taking, it’s a good idea to seek legal representation as soon as possible on your journey as a single Dad. Good divorce lawyers will work with your Ex’s legal team to establish terms for your separation which are fair for all parties. Even Exes who get along well can struggle with this.
A Shoulder to Cry On
Yup, that’s right. I said “cry.” Because, at some point in your journey, you will. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s necessary. In order for you to be strong for your child, someone needs to be strong for you. Whether that’s a parent, a sibling, or a close friend you need someone you can go to vent when it all gets a bit too much. This is not an admission of weakness, it’s doing what you need to do to stay strong.
Survival Kit – A Good Pair of Headphones
The life of a single Dad can often be overwhelming. Holding down a job while also managing your parental responsibilities would take a toll on anyone. Thus, it’s essential that you take the time to relax and unwind at the end of the day by immersing yourself in a movie or your favorite music. But you don’t want to wake your tiny charge while you do this, so a good pair of noise canceling headphones is essential. Just make sure that you also keep half an eye on the baby monitor, too!
And finally… a Smile
Being a single Dad will try your patience and test your faculties to their limits. It will push you to anger, to panic and to frustration on a daily basis… But it’s incumbent upon you to smile your way through it. When your kids see you smile, they will smile back. And when they smile back… Everything seems just fine!
Contributed post. Feature image via Image by Flickr.