Inspirational author Germany Kent said, “Don’t live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.” Single dads in Virginia would do well to consider his advice. Evolve, grow, and embrace the ups and downs of parenting. Being a single dad in Virginia is like riding one of Virginia’s famous roller coasters.
Intimidator 305: Single Dadhood can be Messy
Single dad life is messy, much like our headline. Kings Dominion has one of the nation’s 15 most vomit-worthy roller coasters. Similarly, single dad life is all about cleaning up messes.
Intimidator 305’s jarring twists and turns remind single dads that there could be diapers to change, baby and pet barf to clean up, toilets to unclog (“Why would you put an Aquaman action figure down there?!?!?”) and burnt dinners to rescue.
We also add another wrinkle that relates to Intimidator 305: fear. You are expected to have answers and you may have none. Your anxieties about your kids will turn into a never-ending stream of what-ifs:
- What if the boys get sick and I have no more sick days?
- What if I meet someone — when do I introduce her to them?
- What if I’m asked to put on a tutu and dance in my daughter’s ballet recital?
Like the Kings Dominion ride, everything comes to an end. You take unpaid leave to tend to sick children; you discuss with a counselor when to introduce your new love interest. And, yes, you dance in your daughter’s recital because you love her more than you love your dignity.
Verbolten®: Single Dadhood Can Be Thrilling
Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Verbolten® lets you and a ride-along partner go for a side-by-side ride on this lightning-quick roller coaster. Your life as a single dad is the same way: You go through experiences side by side with your kids, not relegated to the back seat.
Perhaps in your marriage you usually found out after the fact about some great adventure the kids and their mother had. Now, though, you’re it! Until you find another soul match, you are all the kids have to rely upon, and you cannot tag out to your wife when the driving gets tricky through the Black Forest of financial setbacks, broken arms or promises, or hurt feelings.
That can be good and bad, of course, just as the thrills and chills of Verbolten® are both heart-gripping and hilarious. You can plan surprise vacations and parties without worry. You can find out for yourself what happens when you mix little Rhonda’s rose-red top in with all of Willy’s white tee shirts in the laundry.
Shockwave: Single Dadhood Can Throw You for a Loop
Kings Dominion once had the Shockwave, a stand-up roller coaster that took riders through a 360-degree horizontal loop. Single dadhood is exactly like that. You are a) required to remain standing throughout the experience, b) it is a shockwave rolling over you every standing moment, and c) expect to be taken for a loop. Your kids are going to come at you with everything, all at once, all the time. You need to learn to triage their concerns:
- Billy needs a check for band camp, now!
- Bobby-Sue needs her blonde hair braided, now!
- Baby Boo needs a new diaper — pew!
What are your priorities there? Baby Boo comes first, for everyone’s sake. Billy gets his check to take to school, because Bobby-Sue’s braids will take longer than writing a check, so get him out of the way right away. Those are simple examples, but you get the point: you are constantly “on” and making split-second decisions. Will you screw up? Constantly. Do you need to keep riding the ride? Absolutely.
The writers at Cracked have identified five surprising ways life as a single dad takes a bit of getting used to:
- You get treated like a pedophile, even by the parents of your kids’ friends
- Folks assume the kids’ mother is not quite right
- Single dads have a hard time finding a sympathetic ear
- Being a dad and an understudy Mom is effing hard
- You rush into a new relationship in a false and desperate desire to make your family “whole” again
Tempesto: Single Dadhood Can Be Topsy-Turvy Emotionally
Busch Gardens Williamsburg also has the famous Tempesto roller coaster. In this one, you are careened back and forth in tight corkscrew turns and thrown into a huge loop-the-loop. Your life as a single Dad in Virginia may, at least for the first year, feel like you are tempest-tossed. You are on your own emotional roller coaster, but you have to somehow shove those feelings aside and look after your kids.
As you reconcile your feelings that first year after a divorce, you learn to love your kids unconditionally, accept that you will make mistakes, and be a real dad.
Please consider calling The Firm For Men at 757-383-9184, or contact us online, if you need professional, compassionate legal help navigating your role as a single Virginia dad. We make a practice of protecting men’s legal rights. We only ask that you keep your hands and feet inside the law office at all times.