If, for whatever reason, you now find yourself a single dad, the chances are that you never foresaw this situation occurring. Not too long ago you were probably part of a comfortable and content family unit. However, fast forward to now, and you no longer have that partner in your life to help you look after the kids, manage finances and have two income streams. Becoming a single parent can be tough, however it is manageable. Read on to find out the single parent pitfalls that you need to avoid.
As a single dad with your kids living with you, you are a little different from the norm. When two parents split up, the main carer usually ends up being the mother. This is purely in a physically custodial sense. Dads are just as present but not under the same roof. If you have chosen to have sole custody of your offspring, you could be in for a rude awakening. Kids can find change in their home life very challenging and may end up taking their frustrations out on you. Don’t take it personally. They need time to adjust. Their world has been shattered and they are feeling vulnerable. You need to make it clear and demonstrate to them that you aren’t going anywhere.
For some dads, being a single parent means cutting back on work and therefore money. Sure, you could put your kids into extended day care, but this won’t be beneficial to them if they are feeling lost. They need you. While many families that split result in the father paying child support, your situation could be a little different. You may need to look into government subsidies and credits if you are planning on cutting down your hours to take care of your kids.
If your little ones are school age, they may find seeing happy parents and families in the school playground a little difficult. Resentment can build and they may begin to blame themselves for their parents no longer being together. You must dedicate more time than you usually would with your kids, and you have to be civil towards your former partner.
Yes, there may have been arguing, you may find it tough to be kind, and you might have to bite your tongue, but your children need to be at the center of every decision you make. This means co-parenting with your former partner in a productive and civil way. If you choose to be more hostile, your children may choose to rebel, may grow up unhappy and may see their mental health suffer. Be the bigger person and meet with your former partner to draw up a plan for meetings, visits and financial decisions.
As a single father, you are breaking the mold. Most dads are more content being weekend fathers and allowing the mother to take the reins. However, you may choose to take on physical custody for the benefit of your little darlings. Don’t judge, keep your children at the heart of everything you do, and be patient. Your life will never be the same again, but it will be enriched and happy with your kids living with you.