I would be lying if I said that I was not scared when I became a single father of two girls, one who was just starting first grade and another in middle school. But after the initial shock wore off and I settled into my new role as a single parent, life just kept getting better and better. Like many things that life throws at us, single parenting can be just as much of a blessing as anything else.
Because I am the sole parent in the house, the bond between me and my daughters has grown stronger than I ever believed that it could. The situation has made it so that the time I spend with my daughters is far greater than it would be if I were sharing the responsibility. I have to drive them everywhere they need to go, take them to all of their doctor’s appointments, and shuttle them to all of their school functions. All of this extra time together has allowed me to get to know my daughters on a far deeper level.
This deeper relationship has allowed me to experience more of the world through my daughter’s eyes. Not only do I spend more time with each of them exploring their interests, I am also a large part of their social circle. Their friends are also my friends and the number of children who call me “dad” is much greater than two.
This goes both ways. I believe that both of my daughters know far more about me than they would if I were sharing the parenting. They can both immediately sense my mood and my oldest daughter enjoys letting me know when I am being irrational. I think she enjoys it a bit too much actually. All of the stuff that I would normally share with my life partner I now share with my children instead. At first it was a bit frustrating not having another “adult” opinion on some matters, but over time I realized that my daughter’s opinions and contributions were just as valid as an adults.
Because I am more involved in my daughters activities, I have become more involved in the world at large. I no longer just drop off my kids for their extra curricular activities, I now volunteer to help out as well. I don’t just go to my oldest daughter’s band contests, I am president of the band booster club! Rather than driving me into a shell, single parenting has made me a more well rounded person.
So I have much more than two daughters, I also have two best friends who live in the same house as I do. Sure it’s not always a barrel of laughs, my oldest daughter is as hard headed of a teenager as you can imagine and my youngest daughter is more of a Ramona than a Beezus, but I would not trade them for anything in the world.