I’ll admit it: I had no idea what I was getting into back in 2009, when I decided to stop looking for the perfect partner to build a family with and start pursuing the possibility of parenthood on my own as a single dad.
I had no idea how long it was going to take —8 years!
I had no idea how many times my heart was going to break along the way.
I had no idea how much love I could feel for another person, or how everything in my world would be turned upside down but that it was all going to be so, so, worth it.
I also had no idea how hard being a parent was going to be. Don’t get me wrong, people warned me—you know how they do. But the challenges of parenting are something you truly must experience to appreciate.
What I did know way back then was that I wanted to be a father. I wanted to love and nurture a little person in the way that only parents can do, and so I set out on my journey.
My little girl is now six months old and it’s been the most amazing year of my life. Being a single dad means I carry the weight alone, but there are so many awesome things about being a single dad, too!
I get to call all the shots.
I absolutely love that when it comes to what is in my child’s best interest, I get to decide. There’s no one to argue with, no differences of opinion, no agree to disagree. This can be applied to almost every decision parent need to make whether it’s the best way to discipline the child, bottle or breast, what religion they will be raised in. As the only parent, it’s up to me. I do the research, I listen to my instincts, sometimes I ask my mom and friends for advice, and ultimately, I decide.
Take co-sleeping, for example. I see so many parents in Facebook groups frustrated because they feel that their baby should sleep with them, but their partner disagrees. So many of these people are afraid they’re going to destroy their marriage by making a decision they feel to be in the absolute best interest of their child. Not only do I get to do what I know is best for my baby without fighting, tension, or inconsistency, there’s a lot more space in the bed for co-sleeping because it’s just the two of us.
I’m the favourite parent.
My couple friends are always talking about how their children prefer one parent over the other. One parent gets the bulk of the snuggles and smiles and the other one can’t get the baby to stop crying no matter what they do.
I love being the primary caregiver of my daughter. We already have a tangible bond and I can’t wait to see how it grows as she does. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in this alone. I have friends and family who help us and who my daughter is bonding with but there is something so amazing about knowing that all the best smiles are for me! I’ll always be her favorite parent.
I get to take her everywhere.
It’s not that only single parents can travel with their child but I know I get to a lot more than my married friends. Most dads go on a business trip or even vacation and leave the kids behind. Although it stems from necessity (I don’t have anyone to look after my daughter when I am traveling), I really love that taking her everywhere I go! We’ve already been all over Canada together. I can’t wait to eventually show her different countries and cultures around the world.
Because it is just the two of us, travel is also a lot more affordable!
Single dads get way too much recognition!
People are always telling me how amazing it is that I am doing this on my own. They also have a tendency to give me a little more slack when I am not perfect. My female friends with babies are always stressed out about being judged and I’m over here wondering why everything thinks it’s something special that I change most of the diapers and do the night feeding.
While it’s a perk for me, it makes me sad. In this day and age, moms and dads shouldn’t be held to different standards. Single moms do what I am doing all the time, and no one gives them a break or extra kudos for their efforts. Many of the surrogates that come to Proud Fertility are single moms. They care for their children often with very little or no help from the other parent. They work and support their families AND they undergo fertility treatments and then pregnancy because they want to do something special and make the world a better place. I am just blown away by the tenacity and strength I witness daily.
I wish the kind of acknowledgement single dads get was applied to single moms, too!
I love being a father even more than I knew I would.
I’ve relished every milestone and although I whine to my friends about the 3 am feeds, I cherish every second I spend with her. I know there will be challenges. I know that we will experience unforeseen difficulties, that I haven’t even thought to worry about. I also know that I will face them head on and always do whatever it takes to put my daughter first.
Are you ready to learn more about becoming a parent through surrogacy or egg donation?
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