As a single dad, you may have come across some people making assumptions about you, your children, or how you choose to parent them.
While some men find so much joy in being a single father to children, it can sometimes be overshadowed by misconceptions or straight-up myths from other people.
And with Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s important to highlight these frustrations by allowing the dads themselves to help break a lot of these single dad stigmas and stereotypes.
For instance, some dads have mentioned that other people tend to assume the worst about them and their intentions.
That’s why Buzzfeed.com asked the BuzzFeed Community: “If you’re a single dad, what are some misconceptions you’re tired of dealing with?” And a lot of their answers were vulnerable and honest.
Here’s what they had to say:
“There is lots of information and support groups out there about the struggle of being a single mom, but there isn’t much about the struggle of being a single dad. It’s a struggle at times because it’s super difficult for two dads to get together with their daughters and have play dates.
Or the fact that I usually have to text a married mom asking if their daughter can come over and play with my daughters without it seeming creepy, especially when I have never met the kids’ dad. It’s way easier for women to text women that stuff. Same with sleepovers.
My kids always want someone to sleep over because they do it at their mom’s all the time, but it seems so inappropriate to have girls stay the night with my girls.
With sexual abuse being what it is, it doesn’t make raising daughters easy as a single dad. I understand these misconceptions and cautions and why they are there — but as a dad, it makes it difficult to get my daughter’s friends together.”
“People often assume that I’m the one with visiting rights. It’s shocking how surprised people are when I say I have majority custody.”
“That we are obviously the ones with reduced involvement in our kids’ lives. I have majority custody of my kids and do almost 100% of the day-to-day responsibilities for them, yet any time their mom is with us, all questions about the children are directed to her. Not mostly to her, but basically exclusively as if she’s the only one caring for them.”
“That I can’t talk to my daughter about teenage girl issues, such as sex, love, etc. I can and do. Sometimes not very well, but she gets it.”
“That my career will not be sacrificed for my kids. I had to pause my career to make sure my kids had a parent that was a constant presence in their life. I turned down transfers and made myself less promotable because it would require more hours.
I think it worked out as I am on the cusp of getting them both into college and they have had stellar sports careers that have kept them grounded. A lot of stress, sacrifice and heartache to get them there — but at this point, it’s been worth it.”
“When it comes to dating that women tend to avoid dating single dads even if they themselves have kids. They usually assume there will be baby mama drama and want no part of it.”
“That dads can’t do everything that moms can, that we don’t understand our children, or that we pawn them off on family to raise for us. I think that both moms and dads on average do the most for their kids.
But the reality is: dads don’t get as much help, especially if you’re middle or lower class (I don’t like those words but it’s just to describe income). Dads don’t qualify for SNAP because they are men.
We don’t qualify for paid maternity leave with our children and usually don’t end up getting equal custody because we are assumed as not being as fit of a parent as a mother would. The system is biased against men.
But men are raised to power through anything that comes their way. To put it all on their shoulders without help (or asking for it), because frankly, no one cares about their mental health. I’m tired of men being treated as lower-class parents simply because we can’t biologically birth our offspring.
Both parents deserve to be supported and praised equally. But far more often than not, we see men not getting time or custody of children simply because they are men when the opposite is rarely true (it still happens sometimes with abusive relationships).
We should come together and support all parents because it’s not dads vs. moms or men vs. women — it’s about the kids and should always be viewed as such.”
“I’m a single father of two teenagers: a girl and a boy. And people seem to think that their mother MUST be a big part of their lives.”
“That my kids are baggage. They are not baggage, they are the people I love the most in this entire world! I think your dogs are baggage, so there!”
“I’m tired of people assuming that if you are a single dad, that equates to the fact that the mother was so extremely bad that the courts had no other choice but to give the dad custody.
Granted, in the US, most mothers automatically have custody of their child from birth despite everything so, usually, the first thought is the mother must have been “bad” or on drugs. The mother could have also died leaving them a single dad.”
“Why are there no changing tables in the men’s bathroom?! When my daughter was in diapers, I would have to ask a female restaurant worker to clear the ladies room and then guard the door — just so I could change my daughter. Do dad’s not change diapers?!”
“When I take my daughter to school and the school only wants to interact with her mother and not me; never sending me forms or updates or progress reports.”
“That a dad actually makes the appointments (i.e. school conferences, doctor, etc). I love it when someone calls and stutters expecting a female to answer as the primary contact for my daughter.”
“I’m tired of people assuming they know how I raise my children or have an opinion on how I should raise my child.”
“When you take your kids out for a (rare) fast food treat and hear: ‘Must be dad’s dinner night,’ as though dads have no idea how to cook any healthy food. McDonald’s did an entire global-themed commercial using the stereotype.”
“That I don’t know what I’m doing. Or that I need a woman to help me around the house or with the kids. Dads are more than capable of doing anything a mom can do. I know I did it!”
Are there certain misconceptions you face as a single father? If so, tell us what they are.