custody

‘Nobody dreams of being a single, middle-aged dad swiping on Tinder. When I entered Single Parent Land, half my brain was sobbing. The other half was thinking, ‘I can run free!’

“As a single parent, every decision takes on a new meaning. If I give my child an applesauce pouch made in China, will my ex bring it up in court? But back to the easy stuff. Remember naps? You know, those times when you could sleep in on a weekend without your ex coming in and yelling at you? There’s a silver lining in all this.”

‘I had to leave, I had to be a single dad, to be a better father for my daughter.’: Single dad explains his relationship was ‘vulnerable, beyond repair,’ despite being determined to have a ‘strong co-parenting relationship’

“My girlfriend of 9 months was pregnant. ‘I need to tell you something.’ She slid a card across the table. As soon as I opened it, I saw pink and started tearing up. I was disappointed in myself and embarrassed I was careless. I had always dreamed this moment would be joyous. It was not.”

‘He had filed for divorce without my knowledge, and was granted full custody. Everything was chaos. It was my worst nightmare. I had to drop my 18-month-old daughter off with strangers.’

“I remember panic started to set in. Time went by, and no one showed up. Finally someone answered his phone. My knees buckled. I dropped to the ground. They weren’t coming. They wouldn’t tell me where she was. My daughter cried in the background. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know if I would ever see her again.”

‘I wasn’t the stereotypical addict on the streets with no teeth, begging for money. I had children. I was functioning. I’d get up, eat, go to the gym. Then, I’d go on a bender for days.’

“I’d do whatever I could to distract myself from the fact that I felt alone. I always wanted to stop, but I didn’t know how. People around me knew, but never said anything. It made me feel like it was okay. I didn’t realize I needed to change until I lost my children. I decided if I couldn’t beat this and see my kids again, I’d kill myself.”

‘The Hidden Blessing of Single Parenting.’

“The moment we realize this blessing is more than recognition, a future spouse, friendships, prestige, or money, is when we can finally begin to understand it. Because it isn’t anything tangible or even visible to people around us.”

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