Life as a single parent from the prospective of a dad during Black Single Parents Week.
For one, nearly all of the things that would count against a single mother almost have no bearing in my life. The double standard is insane. A woman with children is often avoided by most men—unless he has kids of his own—whereas having even a young child (my daughter is two) hasn't been a detriment at all when it comes to meeting women. Doing the right thing and being a responsible and active father is not only applauded, it wins me points. It's attractive to women that I not only want to be but am so actively involved in my daughter's life. For single mothers, it's just an expectation. My Son And I Are Simultaneously Dating My Boyfriend
I've been out with my daughter at the park and women have come up to me and said that my daughter is gorgeous and that they'd like one too. Women seem to look at my daughter as if she's my resume: here is what Panama Jackson brings to the gene pool; here's an actual physical manifestation of possible offspring with him. Oh, and my daughter is adorable, believe that. And that's not just the flesh-n-blood talking. I can't imagine that any man would even half-heartedly look at a woman with a child and think, you know, I need to have one with her because my child would be great looking.
I always assumed that women would be turned off by my having a child but to date, only one woman polled told me that she wouldn't date me because of my daughter, and that was specifically because she was intimidated by the fact that I have more child-rearing knowledge than she did. I don't have to get with that, but I do respect it. If Your Partner Does These 12 Things, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN
Now you might think that with these newfound advantages, I'd be inclined to run amuck with women everywhere, but the truth is, having a daughter has also changed my perspective on some things. While I tend to write from the same G's up, hoes down perspective as I always have, in the real world I look at my daughter as a woman in training and thus I can't be simultaneously out here making it rain and teaching her to respect her body so that a man will. Granted, she's two, but two-year-olds become 22-year-olds awfully fast. You have no idea how much it would blow to have my daughter turn to me one day and say, "You know, daddy, I see these guys out there treating women badly and I saw you do that, too." That would kill me dead.
What does it all mean? It means that I've started to actively think about how I treat women. What it doesn't mean is that I've changed who I am altogether. I'm still growing and will continue to make mistakes, but my ability to acknowledge the long-term ramifications of them has become a damn sight clearer. All because of a little girl who puts crowns on my head and calls me a Princess. Yes, my daughter thinks I'm a princess who likes tea. Real talk, I don't mind wearing the crown (and it's a crown, not a tiara) but being called a Princess is going to take some undoing. But how do you look into the eyes of your child who's so happy and say, "No, that's just wrong." Naw, I just ask for more tea and intend to work on gender roles around the bend. Yes, my daughter has removed all of my gangsta and I'm not even remotely upset about it.
Being a single father isn't all chicken and watermelon though. Especially for a former baller turned excited pappy like me. My daughter being such an intense part of my life means that her mother and I still interact on a daily basis and work through as much stuff together as possible regarding our descendant. We make decisions jointly and spend time with her together so that she sees that adults can do so. And let me be clear, I think my kid has a great mother and I think it's great that despite our own failings in a relationship, we're able to put my daughter first and be grownups—pretty much what SHOULD happen. I can, however, see how that could be extremely frustrating for any woman in my life. Dating A Single Dad
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