There is no doubt that, while being a single father is rewarding, it has its moments. From facing ignorant stereotypes, to rude comments, to awkward daughter moments, there’s rarely a dull moment.
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When a Reddit user recently posted the question “What are some hardships you have to endure that people don’t seem to understand?” to subreddit r/AskMen, over 3,000 users flooded the post with their personal anecdotes, summing up their experiences, ranging from sad to hilarious. Here are a few of our favorites:
“But He needs to Be with His Mother”
“Where is his mother?
He lives with me. I have custody.
Why isn’t he with his mother?
She’s a drunk.
He should still be with his mother.
Her boyfriend hits him.
He should still be with his mother.”
- Source: u/cheeseandonions
“When I go to parent-teacher interviews with my ex-wife, the teachers speak directly to my ex the vast majority of the time. This isn’t a hardship but it is unintentionally disrespectful.”
- Source: u/100Ninjaa
When Your Daughter Hits Puberty
One day when she was 11 her best friends mom called me and said “I don’t mean to intrude but have you noticed that your daughter has breasts.” I was kinda shocked and told her no, not really in the habit of looking at my kids chest. She suggested that maybe just this once I should. when she got home that night I did. My first thought was Oh shit, how did I miss those. I took her to a really nice store that night to get her fitted for a bra. She was super embarrassed, but handled it with a minimum of fuss, and was happy that we went. Such are the tribulations of being a single dad.
- Source: u/Bu64
Not Getting the Understanding Moms Do at Work
“It seems like as a man, my boss can’t seem to grasp that after 5pm, I’m done working. I’ll answer phone calls and respond to emails, but 6pm-10pm is my time with my daughter. I don’t give a shit how many reports are backlogged or how many times a client called you asking for something. You have me from 6am-6pm, after that, if you expect anything else you will be disappointed. Meanwhile, my female coworkers leave early every day to go pick up their kids and they never hear a word about it.”
- Source: u/BakedBuffalo
People Assuming It’s All My Fault
“One of the biggest things I’ve had to deal with is the stigma. Whenever people hear I’m a single dad, they immediately jump to the conclusion that I drove my wife away or caused some break in the marriage. The look of surprise when I tell them I filed because my wife basically abandoned the family gets old real fast.”
- Source: u/mysecrettales
Other Moms Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
“Friend’s moms constantly pulling my daughter aside to discuss female issues. While I can appreciate this one to an extent, talk to me first. Because you can be damned sure she’s going to tell me all about how uncomfortable you made her.”
- Source: u/kakamouth78
Being Told Her Mother Can Handle Things Better Than Me
“After a difficult doctors visit for shots, where my daughter fought off the doctor to avoid the shot (she was about 5); the nurse suggested in the future I should get the mother to arrange the next visit.”
- Source: u/tsyius
Not Having a Place to Fit In
“There are no dad groups and mom groups don’t want you around.”
- Source: u/SanguineThought
I’m Still a Man
“Just because I’m having a pretend tea party with my daughter and she painted my nails AND I just so happen to be princess daddy doesn’t mean I won’t snap your fucking neck.”
- Source: u/Cat5edope
Father of a six year old girl here. It’s hard sometimes to get her to wash her private bits, and that’s something I’m 100% not comfortable doing for her. She knows how, it’s just that as a six year old, she sometimes refuses or gets into a state about having to wash herself in the bath.
- Source: u/rowdy-riker
Perhaps most endearing about the post is all of the grown children of single dads commenting with their own perspective on how hard their dads tried to give them the best lives possible. Regardless of the hardships that single dads face, there is no doubt that their dedication doesn’t go unnoticed by those who matter most: their children. Read the full post here.