Mamas Suppose You’re Creepy: 5 WTF Side Effects Of Single Dads

I started having kids of my own at age 16. I never went to college, and by the time I was 24, I was a parent of three by two different girls, neither of whom I marriage. If that doesn’t sound like the opening lines of a Maury Povich episode, I’m not sure what does.

Fortunately, I kept my head from launching itself up my own butthole( mostly ), and ran that same ass right the fuck off to get a decent chore and provide for their own families. Which is good, because — amaze ! — I ended up separating from my youngest kids’ mama about a year after my last child was bear. What started as collectively shared custody gradually was transformed into me having primary detention, which is where my experience of single parenthood began.

Now, I’m not writing this to tell you how I fought with schedules or housework or fund or picking out professional wrestling attires. Everybody knows that being a single mother has a difficulty level that goes beyond Expert and into Juggling Feral Cats territory. But what I didn’t know, at least until I lived it, is …

5

You Get Treated Like A Pedophile

Despite the fact that my children were doomed to that whole broken home thing, I was determined to make their lives as normal as possible. So I did my best to ensure we participated in all those typical mother/ kid activities. We went to the park or the Devil’s Nightmare( Chuck E. Cheese ), built snowmen, had squirt gun battles, played Five Finger Fillet. You know , normal kid stuff.

Anywhere we went, though, it was not an infrequent occurrence for me to get strange seems from the other parents. On many occasions, when one of my kids made a new friend, their parents would hastily decide that it was time to go home or suddenly offer to push them on the swing. Basically anything to put a hurdle between them and us. And trust me, “were not receiving” weirder impression than realizing another human has taken one look at you and thought, “Yep. That guy’s definitely small children molester.”

Having friends over was sometimes worse — particularly for my daughter and especially when she was younger. Some of her classmates from school weren’t allowed to come over at all, others could visit but not remain the night, and one mom let her daughter come over for a birthday party, but she insisted on staying for it when she found out I was the only one supervising.

As my children got older and my pedo-stink started to waft away, I thought that maybe the other parents might ultimately come around. “You know, my children haven’t been sexed or predatored. Perhaps he’s not a sexual predator after all.” But nope. Not genuinely. I’ve never truly felt welcome, so I’ve largely surrendered myself to being more of a lone mother instead of part of that larger group. I usually sit alone at sporting events, have never been invited to socialize outside of school-related activities, and I’ve been outright ignored when I’ve offered to carpool.

A big part of that is because …

4

People Assume There’s Something Wrong With The Mother

“Why do you live with your father and not your mom? “

If you think that sounds like a weird-ass question to ask a child, you’re not alone. My children feel the same route. But that doesn’t stop people from asking them on a regular basis. It ranks right up there with “How’d you get that scar? ” and “Do you have some sort of face cancer? Because dude . “

It’s kind of fucked up when you think about it. Why would my children live with their father? Likely because I’m their daddy ? I get that the overwhelming majority of single parents are moms( though the single father population is on the rise ), but that doesn’t automagically disqualify parents as being capable parents. I’m a goddamn champ at bottle-feeding, ass-wiping, and puking cleanup. I will cook the fucking out of some macaroni and cheese.

The bearing truth is that it simply worked out better that they stay with me, for reasons too long and complicated to get into. Even if I had the time to share that narrative with them, I wouldn’t, because it’s none of their fucking business. And I sure as hell don’t want them asking my kids for what they’re presuming is a tragic backstory filled with retaliation and a fatal encounter with a former kung fu student.

But that’s what that question boils down to. “Your daddy has custody? Hmm. The mommy must be a crime lord.” Regrettably, all of this discomfort and bafflement with fathers being custodial parents sort of perpetuates the problem. That may sound like a mindset that’s best to just blow off and forget. But what it leads to is …

3

Single Dads Struggle To Find Support

Let me are aware of: Subsistence for single dads exists. Here, let me Google it for you. But if you’re anything like me, with a giant ego and an unwillingness to ask people for assistance, you’re likely not going to seek it out. “Hi, I need assist, ” is not a phrase that has in the past left my mouth. Which is dumb and inherently illogical, because of fucking course I’ve required assistance. Parenthood is a match best wrestled as a tag team. There is simply more to do than one person is capable of, which is why God gave us genitals that we like slapping together — so that we’d agree to hang out long enough to raise some little humans. Well, maybe that analogy isn’t a hundred percentage on the money, but I’m not changing it. You get what I mean, and now you’re picturing fucksex. For me, that’s a win.

If you’re fortunate like me, perhaps you have a motherly form in their own lives — like … well, my mommy — who steps up and takes your son to practice so you can go watch your daughter’s game. Perhaps you have a close household friend or a sister or a cousin, someone to offer a helping hand or a word of advice when the world throws a hand grenade into your calendar. That advice is fairly fucking crucial, because while single daddies do exist in this world, they’re not super common, and it’s unlikely that you’re going to find one within your kids’ peer group. I’ve never had any single father “buddies” who I could ricochet ideas off of. Nobody to call and ask, “So my daughter needs cupcakes or some shit for school tomorrow, but do you think they’d notification if I simply bought some from the store? Barring that, I have some old cans of tuna in the pantry. Perhaps I could run those into the crude shape of cupcakes? “

Yes, I could perfectly ask my female family members or friends, but the point is that sometimes I want to know how another guy does it. Person I can instantly relate to, knowing he has the same issues as me and- goddammit, how do cupcakes work ?!

2

Adopting Both Parental Roles Is Fucking Hard

This probably isn’t Ripley’s Believe It Or Not ! material, but taking on the role of both parents is a struggle. Severely, do you know what it’s like to be both a shoulder to yell on and an authoritative disciplinarian within the same five minutes? I sometimes feel like I’m running a marathon where the finishing line is made of exhaustion and the trophy is bipolar disorder.

Good or bad, I tended toward that disciplinarian mindframe. It’s what I was used to. That was my thing. But when my kiddos didn’t make varsity, they didn’t need a drill sergeant. Parenting is a delicate stone/ newspaper/ scissors balancing act in which hugs counter letdown, frustration counters lashing out, and lashing out counters hugs. Look, I haven’t perfected video games. I’m still trying to iron out the details.

The spirit of video games is there; I just go through losing streaks from time to time. For instance, I’ve often met my kids’ frustration with advice instead of succour. Which is penalty — they do need advice. That’s how they grow up to not be offenders — or worse, assholes. But fuck me if they don’t need that other part, the component that I never seemed to have the knack for. The portion that presented feelings, the part that demonstrated them that I fucking cared about them. I know I’m promoting a stereotype by saying that, but sheer observation has taught me that women just seem to do that better than humen. And I’ll flex and screaming at anyone who tells otherwise.

Because I absence that ability( not actual impressions — I will literally burn down the Earth around all of you fuckers to protect my kids ), I observed myself attempting out alternative sources of motherdom for their benefit. Is that a word? Motherdom? Probably.

The unfortunate side effect, however, is …

1

You Rush Relationships Because You Want Your Family To Be “Whole”

Look , nobody wants to bring their children up with split parents, but we don’t precisely go into boning with that idea in mind. I think most of us want that happily ever after shit — unless you’re an asshole, I guess. The reality, though, is that sometimes people cheat, or drain your bank account, or both, and man, fuck her ! Sorry, I got a little too into myself there. But what’s cool is the fact that I get to spend every day with my children. I frankly can’t think of a better style to live my day-to-day. My children are the best, and they’ll tell you so, because I taught them that narcissism wins reality depicts and they have a future to plan for.

An unfortunate thing about living that life, however, is knowing all the way you’re falling down. There’s no way you can fill both roles, so inevitably you find yourself attempting out that missing piece. That portion that will truly build your family “whole” again. You don’t only look for a girlfriend; you look for a potential mom. Not consciously, but it’s there in the back of your brain like mental poison ivy.

So when you first start dating after becoming a single father, you find yourself rushing. You want that household puzzle put back together right goddamn now . You don’t slow down to really evaluate not just the other person, but both of you as a combined unit. You get so focused on the family, you forget that if you don’t run as a couple, you’re doing more injury than good. But just as bad, after a couple of failed endeavors, you go the opposite direction and start ultra-judging everyone. Like with lasers and shit.

You find yourself turning down wonderful women, because you think they may still have a bit of a wild side. Maybe that’s not good for the children. Or you consider someone who’s not a great fit for you, but would be awesome for the kids. You’re no longer in a two-person relationship … you’re dating for your entire household. Again, it’s not conscious, but it’s there. A glimpse of a darknes in the mirror as you brush your teeth. You tell yourself it’s not there, but it is. You know it is. And it’s coming after you. It’s arriving

Shit , now I scared myself. I want my mom.

Dwayne wants to thank his mom for helping him raise such awesome children, and his three kids for being the most kickass imaginable. Just don’t tell any of those four people about his seldom-updated Facebook or Twitter accounts .

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