He would be the first one to tell you—as he probably reminds himself daily—he didn’t sign up for this.
He was never one to shirk his responsibilities, but this situation was wa—ay more than he could imagine or bargained for.
Worse, there was No preparation whatsoever. Lives hung in the balance and there was no time for rumination.
Given the dire circumstances, he only had one option: He had to Man Up.
He’d have to acclimate himself for dual roles that would challenge his masculinity and some days his very sanity. He knew first hand what it was to grow up without a mother.
Unfortunately, life had a way of repeating itself in his life, but like his father, he took sole custody of his children.
Hats off to men like him who are single fathers and raising their children to the best of their abilities.
More appropriately, Happy Mothers Day to these fathers who are both mother/ fathers to their children because their ex- wives or baby mamas have decided to abdicate their roles as mothers.
Some of these mothers left willingly.
Other mothers lost custody through the courts.
And others simply abandoned their child (ren).
Sadly, his situation is not uncommon and he’s not alone.
Enoch, another single father, began raising his daughter when she was a year old. He resided in Atlanta while his daughter’s mother, whom he didn’t marry, lived in another state. Their first agreement stipulated he would see the daughter on holidays, some weekends and summers. In the beginning, she seemed like the perfect mother. She was well-educated; a private practice as a therapist and hired nanny and others to help with the care of her daughter. But there was a problem: she simply quit being a mother
He went to court and got sole custody of his daughter.
To say that Enoch is a great “mother/father” is an understatement. In these complex dual roles, he had to make some hard choices: giving up his single life, changing careers in order to be available for his daughter and other sacrifices.
His daughter is now 17. He says being the dual roles does have its limitations and “setbacks.”
“I learned the value of getting help from trusted female friends and relatives for my daughter’s growth and development.”
These days, Enoch counsels other men in similar situations and says he gives fathers one piece of advice: “In this role, there’s a lot of trial and error. Being Mom/Dad is not easy, don’t beat yourself up.”
Kudos to these dedicated, determined and dependable men/fathers/mothers. Ya’ll rock!