The role of a single dad is tough to handle, yet the feeling when you see a smile on your child’s face makes it all worth it. “I long to spend as much time as possible with my daughter. Her presence is the best stress buster and removes every pinch of sadness in me,” says Tarun, a single father of a ten-year-old daughter.
Single dads go through the same troubles as single mothers concerning the upbringing of their children. Many single dads find it very hard to multi-task and juggle between their work requirements and meet needs of their kids.
Mayur says, “Managing work along with taking care of two children all by myself is a tedious job. Right from helping them with the school to attending PTA meetings and their demands, buying groceries and managing the house, requires the help of more than one person. It takes hard work and there is always anxiety about am I doing enough.“
“Where is my mom? Why did she leave us? Will she ever come back?” are some very common questions, that many single dads have to deal with almost on a daily basis.
At times when they are themselves missing their partners, these questions from their innocent kids can be enormously difficult to answer. They are under a lot of pressure to not breakdown in front of their children.
“It is really difficult to see his withdrawn face while asking these questions. It sometimes gets impossible to face him, when he asks me about his mother,” says Kevin, a father of a six-year-old child.
As single fathers, they are left alone to deal with all the temper, tantrums, frustrations and sometimes even blame of not being a good parent. They lack a companion with who they can share their distress and their bittersweet moments.
Lack of a companion to share their fears and feelings, leaves many single dads, with a doubt if they are doing the right thing. They sometimes, even give up to their demands of their children, even if it is wrong because they fear to hurt their children or to be the sole person to receive their children’s hatred.
It becomes very common for people around to question the capabilities of a single dad. It can become very frustrating for single fathers when their understanding about their own children is questioned. “Who can know about my son more than me?” asks an annoyed Mr. Kevin.
Lalit who lost his wife recently and has a teenage daughter expressed that leaving her while going on work tours is very difficult. He is always worried about her safety, but it is equally hard for him to neglect work. He has resorted to taking his sister’s help in taking care of his daughter, in his absence. However, his daughter has started feeling that he is avoiding her purposefully as he misses his wife. She has started developing a resent towards him, he adds.
Mayur says that he feels his family is complete with just him and his son. He appreciates his son, who accepts him with all his imperfections.
Being a single dad is very difficult, but it develops a person holistically and makes him a better human being. It makes him accept his limitations and teaches him the art of unconditional love.
Disclaimer: All the names mentioned in this post have been changed.