Single Dad Wonders If Taking New Job Out Of State Makes Him 'A Bad Parent'

He's deciding between moving away from his kids for work or staying present in their daily lives.

dad with two kids Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

A single dad wrote to Reddit asking for guidance on a difficult situation regarding a decision for his future. He asked the subreddit r/Parenting if he would be letting his kids down if he moved away from them.

The single dad wondered if taking a new job in a different state from his sons would make him a ‘bad parent.’

He explained that he’s 31 years old and has twin 10-year-old boys. He and their mother split up 5 years earlier, and have 50/50 custody of their sons. “I have always been in their lives from day one,” he stated.


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He described recently going through an “awful” breakup that left him “absolutely devastated.” He was with his ex for around four years, and had thought, “this time I definitely found ‘the one.’”

He offered context for his situation with the mother of his kids, who cheated on him with his cousin, leading him to be alienated from his own family, “while they attend all my family events and reunions.” He lives in a town “where everyone knows everyone… I have no family… and I have no friends.”


single dad wonders if he's a bad parent for taking job out of statePhoto: Vlada Karpovich / Pexels

“Nothing ties me to this location except my kids,” the dad stated. He explained that he loves his career, though he dislikes his current job. He has the opportunity to change jobs, to a position “several states away that is a huge increase in pay and benefits.”

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The dad wondered if accepting the new job would make him a ‘bad parent,’ despite his hopes to have his kids visit him during the summers and school vacations.

He also wondered if the issue was one he should discuss with his sons, asking, “Do you think they are at an age where they can responsibly voice and opinion to go off of?”

“I really want to just have a fresh start,” the dad said. “But I don’t want to do so at the cost of sacrificing my parental responsibilities.”

He ended his post by saying that he’d appreciate any advice that the Reddit community could offer. “I just feel so unmotivated now, and I just want to be happy while still being a good father,” he explained.

The advice he received was mixed. Some people believed for him to move out of state would be the wrong decision to make.


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As one person saw his situation, moving away would damage his relationship with his sons. They opined, “Even if you continue to provide financially, FaceTime/Skype regularly, fly them out to visit and visit them in return regularly, I think you may likely have a poorer relationship with them as teenagers and adults compared to if you stayed in their area.”

According to their view, if he were to move away, he wouldn’t be available for his sons’ daily needs. They said that his sons “won't be able to approach you easily for advice, you often won't be able to pat them on the back when they have good or bad days.”

single dad wonders if he's a bad parent for taking job out of state Photo : Lina Kivaka / Pexels


This person couched their opinion by validating how difficult of a situation the dad was in, noting, “I understand your situation isn't easy and financial pressure is really difficult to manage.”

Another person acknowledged that there’s nuances to every situation, and that no one aside from the dad himself can truly answer the question of what’s best for his family. They then stated that, “In my honest opinion, it would make you a bad parent. Only the most selfish of parents choose to move away from their own children.”

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“No matter how hard you try to be present while not living near them, you will fail. They’ll miss you,” they explained.


But one person understood where the dad was coming from, and advised him to prioritize his own mental well-being and take the job. They said, “You can't pour from an empty cup. Fulfill yourself and then you can give to your boys... It's not an ideal situation, but your boys will understand in time,” they stated.

The single dad is in a challenging situation, and it’s possible that there’s no clear correct answer. For him to live in social isolation, with a job he doesn’t like, isn’t the healthiest choice for him.

Yet being apart from his kids might not be the best choice, either. The fact that he’s actively considering how he can continue to show up for his kids and be a present parent signifies that he holds his role as a father to high importance.


Whatever he decides, it’s clear he loves his sons, and wants to prioritize them in his life.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.