Reflections From a Single Dad: Why Single Fathers Need to Get Up Every Day by Rick St. Peter
“You have to get up.”
I was talking to myself. It was about 6:30 on a Monday in the fall of 2015. I had to get up because I had to get my son ready for school. I didn’t want to get up. I just wanted to lay there until the pain went away. But the pain wasn’t going away, so after a while, I physically willed myself to get out of bed and face the worst and hardest challenge life would ever throw at me: I was a single father. And a widower.
I was an anomaly growing up in the 70s. I was a child raised by a single dad, but the world was a different place then. I used to joke that "Kramer vs. Kramer" was a documentary of my youth. But my mom was still mostly in my life so my dad got an occasional break from me. Now my new normal consisted of me, my teen daughter and my tween son. It wasn't a normal I was looking forward to, but I had no choice.
So I got up. And two and a half years later I continue to get up. Some days it is easier than others. My son eats more fast food than he probably should and maybe I'm not as diligent about him wearing clean underwear to school as I should be. But I get up. Every day.
There's no playbook for this but I guess my first tip is this: Get up. Every day.
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