In the long run.
This dedication to being a single dad did come at one cost. At times I wish I had a break. At times I wish I had another person to bounce things off of and get a second opinion.
Did I make all the correct decisions all the time? Probably not. There was not much I could do. I made the decisions I made because that is what I thought would be right… Was our household perfect? No, but what household is. At least there was no arguing amongst the parents. This also meant I got to celebrate both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The kids always got a Mother’s Day present for me. This was a bit of a joke and we still do on occasion to this day.
At times that word crept up on me… Not because I was lonely. Heck, I always had two kids around me and was busy all the time. But the sense of being alone did strike me often. It was a loneliness that is harder to explain. From what I recall it was the lack of having another adult around and in my life. This didn’t last forever but picking someone to share my life became that much harder.
Watching for red flags. Establishing trust. Once bitten twice shy became a real thing for me. I am a single dad with two grown kids. 8 and 13 and 9 and 14 then 10 and 15 and on and on it went. How do you bring a woman into the family of two kids who are young adults?
Eventually, I got back out in the world and had no choice but to date with discretion. Only when I was very sure that this relationship was a long-term one would I introduce the kids. Was it nerve-racking? Sure was… It was worse than going on a first date. How will the kids react? What will they say? Will they say something wrong?
We always had a ton of sarcasm in our house. Puns and jokes were constant and while the kids knew how to behave they were kids. Luckily all this played out quite well. Of the few partners that were eventually introduced to the kids, they all got along. I always felt I had to reassure the kids that they will not be losing me. These little things as well as many other big things are only some of the challenges faced by single parents. I imagine this dating thing to be harder for single moms. But we all deal with it the best way we know how.
Conclusion: The best word to use here is patience. But to me the best advice is… Know what you do not want…
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