A Single Father’s Parenting Struggle: “Am I Not Enough?”

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There are a lot of things I wanted to ask my children, but I am too afraid to do so. There have been some questions that needed answers, and I needed to get it straight from them, but then I couldn’t. Being a father is a tough job because you always have to show your kids that things are okay even if it’s not. You can’t reveal them your weakness or all else will fall apart.

“In my work with new and expecting fathers over the years, I’ve found that while there are different ways men come to understand and adapt to entering fatherhood they all know they are not, and cannot, be the man they were before their child was born,” shared Chuck Schaeffer, PhD. “They know they are growing into something new, scary, exhilarating, powerful, hopeful—a father.”

It’s true that you have to provide for your family, but it would be a struggle if you were a single father. “Single fathers having to work full time and take care of their children at the same time had a higher stress level exposure than single mothers and partnered couples,” wrote Chris Gilbert, MD, PhD.

You will have to make tons of efforts and considerations to be able to know if you can unquestionably give them the things that your children need. However, even if that’s the case, you will still end up incomplete because there are things that you know you can’t offer to your kids as much as a mother could do.


The Weak Side Of Being A Father

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Though the decision making may sometimes give you the authority to implement necessary rules, you might still don’t have the ability to multitask. It’s not impossible though, but it will never be that easy because it requires a lot of experience. A father can only handle one difficult situation at a time before they can proceed to the next one. Fathers (well, at least not all) also find it difficult to notice small details and end up missing the things that sometimes actually matter.


Fathers Get Misinterpreted Most Of The Times

Another downside of being a single dad is that they can often get misinterpreted by people. Sometimes we radically feel the need to explain to people that our dominant position doesn’t honestly matter inside the house. We have to become a follower if we want our kids to obey us. We also have to deal with emotional trauma before we can give out pieces of advice. We need to make sure that our kids will never realize how weak we are when it comes to their sadness, emptiness, and longings. We have to show faces and hide the pain we feel whenever our child is undergoing an emotional crisis.


“Will I Ever Be Enough”?

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Your children may understand the importance of your role as a father, but it will never be enough. According to Ditta M. Oliker PhD, “there is still a wide gap between research results and the true acceptance of the value of fathers, with many fathers expressing the feeling that they continue to be second-class citizens in the world of their children. Books, magazines, and morning television shows are filled with information about and for mothers and mothering. How many comparable ones have you seen about fathers?”

I admit that even if I tried to work hard on what my kids want, they always deserve more. As a single parent, it is challenging to handle certain situations that I know I am not that capable enough. I may try, but it will still require me at least tons of experiences to be able to do both fatherly and motherly tasks.

I don’t complain, though it feels like it’s killing me. I love my kids and I know I always have to be there for them. I salute and respect all the single moms and dads out there because it is undoubtedly one of the most challenging struggles a parent could ever have.