Being a single parent is hard enough, much less, trying to be a happy soul. It’s easy to get sucked into negativity. I figured, why not start this first blog on a positive note. I don’t want it to be a downer but a place of optimism. It might be a bit long, but it’s on my mind.
So, here are the things I feel are the best things about being a single Dad (in no particular order):
I’m less selfish…Admittedly, when I was married, it was easy to find something else to do. Work, church, my own interests, were the excuse to perhaps spend less time than I should’ve with my children. There was another adult to back me up, take my place, so I felt I wasn’t missed. But now, there’s just me. And, when my children are present, I rarely do laundry until they go to bed. I never do work. I don’t go and workout. I spend much more time with them. This has certainly made me realize how important these dear souls are to me.
Quality time…Completely linked to the first point, I do spend much more quality time with my rugrats. We play games, swim, run, hike, cook, trampoline, soccer, clean, laugh, cry, and learn from each other. Though I can share, I think I have learned far more from them, than they have from me.
Stronger bonds…Another product of quality time is definitely the stronger bonds that I’ve cultivated with my children. We still do Daddy/Daughter dates, and Daddy/Son outings. We talk more. They share more. And, we’ve grown closer because of it.
Saturday morning wake-ups…My kids are at an age where they are good sleepers. It’s a good thing. However, on the weekends they are with me, Saturday mornings are one of my favourite days. Usually, around 8 AM, I feel the first my 10 year old crawl into bed beside me. I’ll reach over, grab the iPad, and give it to her. The boy comes in next, about 30 minutes later, taking his place on the other side of me. Then, about 30 minutes after that, the teen will lay across the bottom of the bed, with her head on my legs. Such a golden moment.
Two Christmas’s…Many co-parents come up with splitting Christmas Day up between the two families. We do it a bit different. My ex and I didn’t want to split up Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We switch off every year. This year, she will get them the week before Christmas, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She will bring them over to my place around 9 PM. Then, when they wake up on Boxing Day, they are surprised by another Christmas here. Then, I have them the whole week after. Then, we switch next year. It works for us and the kids really enjoy it. And, we both get to see their excited faces, in the respective mornings.
I’m more organized…The calendar is now my critical guide. I put everything in it…soccer, basketball, music lessons, recitals, and other city events we will attend together. I don’t think I’ve ever been more organized. But, I have to be. Because, no one else is going to tell me and I definitely don’t want to disappoint any of my rugrats by not showing up to something. About the only thing I haven’t mastered yet is meal planning. But, I just took a course on that and it’s a lot easier to do than I thought. By the way, if you don’t have a slow cooker, you are missing out on a miracle!
My T-Shirts…My two oldest girls have gotten into the habit of stealing my t-shirts to sleep in. Initially, I objected. Eventually, I accepted it. They say my shirts are comfortable. Who am I to argue? Who am I kidding…I love it.
My house, my rules…My house is not always a house of fun and laughs, but is a house of responsibilities. I have heard some people say that when the kids go to a Dad’s house, it is pretty lax. Well, not here. My children work. My oldest does a great job cleaning the kitchen, everything from the dishes and countertops, to cleaning the floor. My middle child love to clean bathrooms, and does it really well…God bless her! The boy does garbage’s. They all fold their own laundry, clean their rooms, and make their beds. We work together which brings us closer together.
Good behavior, without me being there…One the best feelings in the world, is when one of my friends or colleagues tell me how well behaved my kids are. Whether it’s proper manners, and helping out, without being asked…it feels my heart with joy. Though I can’t take all the credit, I’ll just pretend it’s me anyways.
I’m a better father…Sometimes, I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t as good of a father as I could’ve been when I was married. But, I think I’ve learned a few things over the past few years. And, I continue to learn. My kids have been patient and loving with me through all of these major life adjustments. But, we’re a team. And, being a Dad is the best thing ever.
So, there a start. If you have more, feel free to list them. I would love to hear them.
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