The Single Dad Experience: How To Look Up When You're Down
Draw Strength Without A Pencil
I think people underestimate my circumstance when I say I'm a single dad. I really mean it. Not only am I single but I don't have a lot of friends to boot. Don't get me wrong, I've got a few and they are cool but a lot of times they are busy or some of them live too far away to hang out with. Time with my son is split between getting homework done and making sure he eats a good meal and in between we try to squeeze in some play time. It's not easy. I find myself wanting companionship from a woman that will understand me and will want the same from me as well.
Here's the thing; we've all been hurt at some point in our lives and a lot of times we don't even know we're still dealing with that pain. It can manifest itself in all kinds of ways unknown to us because we've held on to it so long it becomes a part of who and what we are. Prime example, I honestly think I SUCK at relationships. Yes, I want to be in a loving and committed one with the right woman but somehow somewhere things get convoluted and the relationship spins out of control. Maybe it's her? Maybe I'm ignoring the red flags because I'm too afraid of being alone? Maybe -insert millions of excuses here-
What I'm getting at is, I'm trying to get over a relationship and its starting to show so much that my son is asking me what's wrong. As cute as that may be, as a dad, as a MAN, I can't tell my seven year old my problems?
Or can I?
Here's what I like about kids, (well, mine anyway) they will give it to you straight. That's not to say it'll be harsh, but it will come from a very pure place with no filters. I decided to talk to my son but I left out a few details because, well he is still seven. Here's is what he basically told me when it comes to relationships and here is my advice to anyone currently going through something.
You should be with somebody because they are nice.
If this doesn't hit the nail on the head I don't know what will. A lot of times we may find ourselves giving into other people because we don't want to rock the boat. Eventually we lose ourselves in those types of relationships because we let things slide too far too often. Be with someone that is already nice! Getting along goes a very long way!
It's okay if you're sad sometimes but you can be happy too.
This kid is on a roll! When we are sad it could be because we are focusing on the thing that is making us sad. Remember that happiness is a choice and all you have to do is CHOOSE to be happy. Granted, its easier said then done but it is very possible. I watched my younger son as he tried to take his first steps. He fell and hurt himself and immediately began to cry. I picked him up and his mind forgot all about the pain and be began to smile again. JUST THAT FAST. He didn't hold on to what was hurting him and neither should you!
I love you.
It doesn't get any better than this. Through it all my boy loves me. It's important to keep things in perspective. So this relationship didn't work they way I wanted? It DOES hurt a lot but I still get major love from someone that was made from the best parts of me. In a way talking to him is like talking to my inner child.
Just because your kids are young doesn't mean you still can't talk to them about certain things, especially when they can see it on your face that something is wrong. Being a Dad doesn't mean that you are immune to being hurt. It means that you are a MAN first and men have feelings. We're not meant to push them to the side but we are meant to get a handle on them so we can be the leaders we were made to be.
And, uh, future wife that I haven't met yet, be sure to thank all the chicks that weren't you once you meet me, they're only helping to make a better man for you...