June 10, 2009
I'm fucking terrified in these photos.
Two days earlier, one week after my daughter Ferity’s fourth birthday, I became a single dad.
My world was chaos. Lawyers were involved. I had stories swimming through my head of all the men who had “lost” their children in prejudiced custody battles.
And I had no idea what I was doing.
I was overwhelmed by questions both big (Is she going to be screwed up for the rest of her life because her mother and I couldn’t keep our relationship together?) and small (How the hell do I braid her hair?).
Single Dads Are Sexy
This is the resource I could have used back then.
It's filled with practical and tactical advice for the soon-to-be or recently single father. In an easy to read, conversational format that includes interviews and tips from guys that have been there and done that.
1 out of 3
1 out of 3 is the statistic that really motivated me to start this site. That’s the number of American children that are growing up without a biological father present in their home. And what other numbers does 1 in 3 lead to? Children from father-absent homes are two times more likely to drop out of high school, four times more likely to live in poverty and seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen.
Though there are many complex systemic issues from racism to obscene incarceration rates for minor offences that contribute to the fatherlessness epidemic, there’s one that I feel this site can help address.
The same overwhelming fear I was feeling on the day the above pictures were taken causes some other men to head for the exit or opt for a custody arrangement that sees them spending 20% or less time with their kids.
It's too easy to just call these guys assholes. Though we shouldn’t be naive (some of them are indeed assholes), a lot of these men are going along with what society expects of them.
How many times have you heard someone refer to a father spending time with his kids as “babysitting”? (It’s called “parenting”.) How often are men who take on the role of primary caregiver talked about in hushed tones? How often have you heard it expressed that children “need their mothers” in a way that subtly implies fathers are disposable? Or the saying, “Mother knows best.”? Or what about the term “Mr. Mom”? Dad or father will do just fine.
I'm not interested in excuses or blaming society.
A child needs their father EQUALLY.
This site is meant to give men the courage to embrace what will likely be the most rewarding role of their lives.
All they need to do is give it a year.
Give It A Year
In Yiddish, yahrzeit means “a year's time” or “time of one year.” The word is commonly used in the Jewish faith when referring to the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Though I'm not religious myself, I admire this tradition. During that year the family gets to experience a full cycle of birthdays, holidays and other special occasions acknowledging the person they have lost is no longer physically present. It gives them time to mourn and grow into an acceptance of their new reality.
The end of a relationship is a type of mourning. While dealing with that grief there’s also a process of growing into a new life for you and your child or children. That’s why this site focuses on the first year.
I believe if men just “give it a year” they’ll realize they have what it takes to give it a lifetime.
What’s With The Name?
Though Single Dads Are Sexy may seem cheeky, I believe it's also the truth. Being a successful single dad means you're nurturing, responsible, fun, patient, independent, generous, capable, strong and loving.
What could be sexier than all that?