It takes a village to raise a child, so we can understand why it’s so difficult for single fathers to do this on their own. These are their biggest fears:
- They will be judged by everyone. They need to be always there for their child and every mistake will be noticed by people around him. If the little girl does not have a nice hairstyle in one day, it means that she is neglected. If her clothes are not always clean, it means he does not care about her. It’s just a constant struggle to be on top of everything so as not to be criticized.
- They will never have a real relationship again. Going on dates will be a thing of the past. Finding a partner willing to take on a ready-made family will not be easy. Now he has to be home every evening to take care of his child or children, feed them, bathe them and put them to bed, make sure their clothes are clean, look after them when they are ill, arrange for babysitters or for the children to be taken to school or picked up from school. It is a full-time job and doing it all alone is challenging.
- They will lose some of their old friends. Football matches? Beer with the guys? Late nights out? This can’t happen anymore. The single dad’s life revolves around the children and they have less in common with their single friends and a lot of their married friends as well.
- The big talk. Talking with a son will probably a lot easier that with a daughter. The single dad is expected to discuss things with his daughter that normally would be a discussion with the mother. He has to talk to his daughter about boys, about her body and how to deal with all the changes during puberty. The daughter may feel awkward to discuss these things with her dad, and it will be another challenge for both of them. The trick is to start having heart-to-heart discussions early and not wait until puberty hits.