Being A Single Parent Has Made Me A Better (Future) Husband

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man with daughter
Life as a single parent from the prospective of a dad during Black Single Parents Week.

It's a crip waltz*. Yes, you read that right. While those same women love that I'm such a great father, they wish I could do it without dealing with the mother so much. Or they think that I'm too accommodating or spend too much time tending to the needs of not just my daughter but of her mother. I actually had one woman tell me that she felt it unreasonable and unnecessary for me to ever have a sit-down meal with my child's mother. Color Me Badd and all, but that type of thinking and logic is so ridiculous that it's pretty evident we weren't meant to last.

Another famous issue is the "when can I meet her?" discussion. Now, I'm a little bit different than most. I have somewhat of a higher profile than the average Joe so I don't even have pictures of my daughter up on my Facebook page. I don't want random people figuring out my government name, going to Facebook and searching through pictures and seeing something so personal. I feel like if you need to go to Facebook to see my kid, then you don't need to see my kid.** Yep, I think that unless I can see myself marrying you, then you're not going to meet my kid. And that's two-pronged. For one, at the point that I want you to meet my daughter, I have to tell my ex that I want my daughter to meet you. In the realm of convos I don't look forward to having that is probably number one. And secondly, if I get to the point where I truly feel like you need to meet my child, that means I feel like I'm ready to incorporate you into her life somehow and that's the biggest, and scariest step ever. Ever. Ever. Is His Ex a Threat to Your Relationship?

I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that mentally it's not all fun and games. I don't have many regrets in life but one that will always live with me is that decisions I made (I never cheated or anything, the relationship fell apart and I definitely played my part) precluded my daughter from having the chance to grow up in a two-parent household headed by both of her actual parents. That gives me pause when I meet new women. It scares me that it could happen again. My daughter is happy and she's doing well. She's got two parents who love her and she knows it. But I'm so scared about ruining something else. Something so beautiful that I have to literally talk myself into accepting that I'm not a bad person at times. It's not easy. I have to remind myself that I'm a good guy because I don't wake up every morning to my daughter slapping me on the forehead and asking me for juice. And that kills me a little bit inside every day.

But she's happy. And I'm happy about that. So she's teaching me to be a better man so that I can be that for somebody else. Relationships and parenting, I swear.

Like I said, being a single father is an odd ball of wax.

*A delicate balance, naturally.
**So, no, that ain't us in the stock photo above.

You can read more from Panama Jackson at Very Smart Brothas.

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