Reflections From a Single Dad: Why Single Fathers Need to Get Up Every Day by Rick St. Peter

Single Dads Fatherhood
8 months ago
Reflections From a Single Dad: Why Single Fathers Need to Get Up Every Day

“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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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
I have goosebumps reading this, Rick St. Peter . I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing these powerful, difficult yet inspiring words. Thank you for all you do as a single dad. Thank you for being part of our community. But most of all, thank you for getting up, every day, for your kids. You are making a huge difference. We look forward to more of your contributions!
Steven Koehler
You are an inspiration with two very lucky and wonderful children.
Ebony Goodrich
This impacted me in a way I didn’t expect. Thank you for this message. You’ve inspired me to “get up.”
Sarah Glasco
Rick St. Peter you are so loved and appreciated. Keep on keepin' on.
Katie Sloan
I am terribly sorry for your loss. It sounds so simple “just get up” but I am sure it was like climbing Everest some days. Thank you for sharing this with us!!
Jeff Jackson
Good for you and keep on getting up. Great article. I guess I need to work on the clean underwear part for my boys... and me...
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Rick St. Peter , Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. You are such a great dad. Thanks for the inspiration. Welcome to our tribe. We’re so lucky to have you.
Eva DeVirgilis
Beautifully written, heartbreaking piece. What a hell of a great dad, with a hell of a great message.
Holly Budde
Rick St Peter, your kids are so lucky !!
Mike Prochaska
Good for you and I can’t agree more. Just have to keep getting up and moving.
Kristan Wager
Yes! I think of the single moms that I know and forget that there are single dads in the same struggle too. You are an inspiration@RickSt.Peter. Your kids are blessed to have you.
Bri Montoya
Rick St. Peter , I, along with my younger brother, was raised by a single dad. He wouldn't have chosen the circumstances, but they were what they were. Some days we staggered through and others we were total champs. I couldn't be any closer to my dad now and he's my absolute hero. Cheers to the single dads!
Dawn Taylor
My circumstances are different, but just like you I get up every day and do it alone even on the days I don't feel like it. We both should be proud.
Dr. Manish Shah
As a fellow single dad, your words hit home. Thanks for shining a light on the struggles we face as single parents.

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