I ran across this post
today and he makes a good point. I started to a comment and found that I was not saying what I wanted to say the right way and was coming off as if I were patronizing him. That was not my intention. I wanted to give props but it kept coming out wrong. What I meant to say was that it seems that most men don't wear the title of single dad like the single moms do. The dads I know are just dads. They don't put emphasis on the single status that they have. I am not sure why this is. I'm thinking out loud so again I hope to try to get it right.
I'm in my forties now and grew up with mom at home while dad worked. All of my friends mom's were at home when they got home from school. The dads worked and retreated to the den or study with the paper and a drink before dinner. Dad's were not involved back then as they are today. And that is a great thing. I think of my generation as the transitional one. It was our parents who really took to divorce with abandon. If a family divorced on the block it was talked about in whispers. The mom, if she was able to stay in the neighborhood, continued to take care of the kids and the father pretty much disappeared from their lives.
Imagine having little contact with your kids while married to find that for a weekend or longer time during the summer you (dad) had to interact with your children on a 24/7 basis. I think a lot of dads fell by the wayside. So fast forward to where these children are now parents themselves, the ones who promised never to divorce and put their kids through the pain their parents did and you have this new generation of dads who want to be as active in their kids lives as possible. The gender roles in marriage are still however pretty rigid
except that more women work outside the home. Guys are involved with their kids. They are much more nurturing and involved in all aspects of their kids lives.
I hate to admit it but I think there are women who are threatened by this. The men I know who are single dads seem to do it effortlessly. I know that isn't the case but women are much more likely
to vent about the challenges of parenthood whether single or coupled. Men still keep their emotions to themselves and are still less likely to admit that something is challenging. Calling attention to men's marital and parenting status such as "single dad" says that the marriage didn't work. Again I am generalizing here but I don't know any man who is proud or even relatively at peace with the fact that his marriage didn't work out. Calling attention to their perceived
failure is not something they are likely to do. Women on the other hand have thrown out the feeling of failure or brushed it aside and held on to the perceived strength
in being a single parent. This didn't happen overnight. It took generations and lots of legislation to get rid of the shame of being a single mom but it did happen and now its just a matter of time for the dads to catch up.
So...if you know a single dad give him a high five or an atta
boy just for being who he is... a great dad.
Labels: co-parenting, divorce, marriage, parenting time, parents without partners, seperation, single dad, single mom, single parents, visitation