What happens when you have to step up and play both roles?
Should I not do it so as not to, "Act like a father?" Should I get some random man to do it so he can be the surrogate father? Do I hook up with a guy so that my son can have some male role model, regardless of whether it is good for me or my son? Or maybe I just tell my son he can’t play baseball because taking the lead on that is a father’s job. That is absolutely ridiculous. There are things that must be done for my children whether they are done by their dad or me, and as a person I refuse to feel bad because I have picked up the slack. I say, get over it! Understand I can’t wait for someone else to do the job that needs to be done, if I’m the one here. I must do it! And if in the process, I get or give praise to another single mom in the same situation, so be it. This neither validates me as a father nor invalidates men as fathers. It is simply encouragement no more, no less.
This issue becomes frustrating to me because we are focusing on an issue that does not bring relief to either of the parents or to the children who really lose in this situation. Rather than argue about who gets what card, maybe we should try to foster dialogue that will help navigate these difficult relationships. We can’t erase the past of its hurt feelings or broken promises, but can put our focus on what is most important—the kids and their needs. That means we all have to "man up" or "woman up" and take on the roles necessary to raise healthy, happy kids. That is what I am committed to and if it means that I have to step into "fatherly roles" then that is what I am going to do!
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