There are many challenges unique to single fathers. With the financial strain of one income and having to manage everything alone, it can be a rather difficult journey. However, with the right mindset, patience, and a little understanding, these difficulties can be overcome. Below, The Dad Hoodie offers some advice that single dads can use.
Facing the stigma
Teachers, community members, and fellow parents tend to show a lack of empathy or understanding when it comes to dads who are going it alone. For example, fathers are usually perceived as less likely to be a good caregiver. Unfortunately, these negative societal perceptions of a single dad's parenting abilities and level of commitment often result in feelings of isolation and loneliness.
There also appears to be fewer ways for single fathers to connect with each other the way many groups are geared toward single mothers. Essentially, they lack the support system many single parents need to survive. Despite their lack of representation, the amount of single fathers has increased significantly in recent years. In order to break the stereotype, become an active member of your community and child’s school. In the process, reach out to other dads, single or not, as you will find common ground and possibly feel better knowing you’re not alone.
Believing you’re enough
Playing the role of both mom and dad can be difficult to manage, especially when raising a daughter who is desperate to relate to a female role-model. However, by reaching out to a family member, coach, or tutor, you can surround your daughter with strong female role models. Instead of worrying about disappointing your children, focus on your strengths and let them shine through. What matters most to them is that you care enough to put the time into being there for them amidst juggling your work and mental health. Set aside time to do fun activities and make memories within this new family dynamic that they will cherish forever.
Paying attention to finances
If you’re a single father, you probably carefully budget every cent that comes into your household. But if you want to find a strategy that will help you boost your bank account balance without taking you away from your kids, consider getting a side gig started from your house. This could even be the path to full-time entrepreneurship one day. Begin by writing down your overall business plan. Don’t forget to create a detailed budget, too.
Of course, if getting a side hustle isn’t in the cards, there are plenty of other ways to save. This includes canceling unnecessary subscriptions, limiting takeout, clipping coupons and using deal aggregator sites, and even refinancing your mortgage. With refinance loan rates remaining low, you could save several hundred dollars a month if you opt to refi your current mortgage.
While single fathers are an ever-growing segment of the population, not a lot of thought or research has gone into health concerns for single dads. How you eat, drink, and exercise all contribute to your mental health. It’s necessary to take stock and ensure that you’re doing the right thing, not just the easiest one. In fact, the balancing act of responsibilities and dealing with alienation can often lead to stress and unhealthy coping mechanisms.
It’s important that you take the time to properly care for your mental health. Make use of accessible online resources that can help safeguard both your physical and mental well-being. Blow off steam by pursuing a physical or emotional hobby such as cycling, running, cooking, reading, or listening to music. Make sure you are also maintaining a lifestyle that includes exercise, lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits as this will help you model ideal habits for your kids to follow.
No matter what, remember to stay positive throughout the many difficulties you may face and communicate with your children so they feel safe and secure. Being a dad is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. In time, you will grow to feel confident and comfortable in the role of solo fatherhood.