Featured Father, April 2008

Member Name: Redwolf698

Tell us about how you became a single dad.
In early 2002 I hooked up with this lady from the other side of the state (NC). We dated for a while, but as we all know the long distance thing is tough. In the fall of 2002, we were both ready to break it off when... She found out she was pregnant. A single mom of 2 kids all ready, she blew up. Despite my treatment, I never missed a Dr's appointment, driving 2.5 hours one way to be there every time.

Nic was born at the end of May, 2003, a healthy happy baby boy. I was there and allowed to cut the cord - being a bit squeemish, that is a kinda nasty experience!

Tell us about your family.
Nic is almost 5 now, and all I have in my immediate family. My parents are still able and willing to help, and come to visit as frequetly as they can. I have patched things up with Nic's mom and we are now very close friends, despite the challenges. Nic has an older brother and sister as well, along with his mom and I, and my parents, it makes for a nice family for him.

What traditions have you created in your family that you could share with us?
When I was a kid I had certain holidays spent with certain sides of the family. I enjoyed having the routines and the way I got to see a lot of cousins aunts, uncles etc... In Nic's case we don't have the extended family I did, so things are more local for us.

Every Christmas I have hosted everyone in my home, and it has worked well. I buy a gift for Nic and I that is similar, Jeep stuff one year, Carolina Hurricanes another year, stuff like that where we can wear them together and be goofy like that.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced (or are facing) as a single father?
Every day brings new challenges and choices. Meeting some of the challenges has tested my every fiber. I think the financial issues have been the single biggest challenge I have faced. I took a job at a start-up company in a Director position and went for 10 months without income. After using my savings, I lived on my credit cards - from groceries to mortgage... Not a good feeling.

I am very lucky to have a good kid, one who is a good hearted, well behaved, loving soul. My Nic got me through the darkest days with his spirit.

What would you do differently in your relationship with your child's Mother if you had the chance to do it all over again?
I would have definitely NOT gotten back together with her so quickly after Nic was born. If I had given her some more time to be on her own, i think she might have been more appreciative of how much I gave for the relationship. Driving three hours to be with them every Friday night, never having time for "friends" at my own place... The initial relationship was dead, long distance relationships are extremely difficult to begin with, ass to that a very bitter and emotionally charged pregnant woman and the whole thing was doomed.

What do you do during the time without your kids around to help pass the time?
Work too much, spend time on my Jeep and doing things around the house. When I get my next work vehicle I am going to go for a man-toy Jeep that I can add a bunch of crap to and have fun with.

What encouraging advice do you have for other single fathers or soon-to-be single fathers?
The key to being a single dad is to have a penis. The key to being a GOOD single dad is to be a MAN. You have to be strong, and you have to WANT to do it. There are social stigmas which will follow you around, and you may encounter some closed minded people along the way.

The best encouragement I can offer is to remember that you can fight with your ex all you want to. It's hurting you, it's hurting your ex, and it's hurting your offspring. Do you really want to hurt your child every time you challenge you ex? It's just not worth it. Be the bigger person, bite your tongue and move on. As our slogan says - it's all about the kids, not your ego or your ex's or anything about you anymore. Your kid didn't get to choose the split up or the situation. Smile, Nod, Move on.

What else would you like to share?
This is a ton of fun, being with my son is the single most rewarding thing in life. I have stepped WAY back in my career to be a dad and there is nothing I would change other than if the chance came to spend even more time with him. Yes, it's scary some times, late at night when he's sick and I am on my own, and he is crying or screaming or both, but hey- better me than anyone else.

It takes the right person to do this, and don't be ashamed to admit it when you need help, a lesson I am still learning.

If you listen really LISTEN, your kids will teach you a lot about life that you've forgotten. I spend a lot of time in the backyard with a toy sword or Light Sabre learning that my son's imagination is more powerful than any Hollywood blockbuster. Listen to your kids, they'll keep you sane.