A man in a woman’s world

Published 10:53 pm Thursday, November 6, 2008

I have decided to finally write a book. After months of personal research, I feel I’m ready to tackle this literary mountain. My idea for a title? “The Mental Instability of a Single Father.”

I have had full custody of my three girls since my divorce early this year. Since then my life has taken many interesting twists and turns. Nothing surprises me anymore.

My daughters are great. They are 5,7, and 12 years old and are three of the sweetest, most precious kids in the world – well, that was until they painted my toes in my sleep. Now they are on dishwashing duty for the rest of their childhood lives.

Email newsletter signup

I have always held a great amount of respect for any single mother trying to raise kids on their own. My mother did it and was a remarkable influence on my life and that of my sister. But, speaking as a father raising three girls, it’s tough.

I love raising my girls, even on my own. I could never for a second imagine being without them and these past few months have been some of the dearest of my life because of them. If I had to go through a divorce, like I did, then I could not have asked for anything better, except not to lose my wife of course..

It is not at all uncommon to see single mom involved in soccer, baseball, boy scouts, girl scouts and whatever activities their children are associated with.

There are a growing number of single fathers out there, too, who are trying with just as much enthusiasm to stay involved in the children’s activities.

In Girl Scouts – which I absolutely support and love by the way – I have to take a backseat to mothers, whether they are single parents like me or not.

I started a Girl Scout troop, recruited the leaders, funded a lot of the necessary supplies getting started and I am constantly involved with it but, I cannot be a leader in the troop because I am a man.

Like single mothers, I am both father and mother to my children. Like single mothers I find joy in staying active in what my children do.

If we really want fathers to be involved in the lives of their daughters, we have to make some changes. It is often so easy for the father in a married relationship to let his wife take the lead in the kids’ activities, especially girls.

As a single father, you press ahead regardless of what is the norm that you see the many double standards we place on parenting.

John Few is a reporter for the Demopolis Times.