Tag Archives: Parenting

The Best Job I Ever Had

Sitting in my apartment, watching HBO, with my almost six year old daughter sleeping peacefully in the room next to this one, it occurred to me that I haven’t written in a while, and I have decided to start writing again.

Certainly it isn’t because I have more time than I’ve had in the last several months, I’m not bored,  not depressed, nor morose.  I’m happy.  Why?  Not because Grace has begun to really show aspects of her personality, and I’m sure over the years, I’ll see things that I don’t like, although I haven’t yet.  It isn’t because I’m satisfied, because I’m neither that nor overly comfortable.  Life is still a challenge; I still have many, many goals to fulfill.  So why the quick change?

I’d like to think that I’ve embraced my life and that is the reason for my attitude.

I am a parent.  Like many of you, I’ve faced roadblocks and problems.  All single parents do.  I suspect, also, that there will be many, many more to come.  However, I am a parent; a single male parent, with a ex, with a girlfriend, with a home, with a job, with responsibilities that often times seem to be more than I can keep track of at one time, but I’ve learned, managed, and will continue to get even better at being the best parent that I can be.

Better yet, I have embraced my destiny, and for parents, non parents, and people, I truly believe that there may be no lesson more important than this.

I might only have my daughter half the time or sometimes a little less.  Bills will continue to grow.  School problem might loom.  Anything could happen.  But right now, my daughter’s room is not empty, and my skills will continue to grow, and I might not be totally prepared for the future, but I am working on it.

Some people are forever changed by a religious conversion, or a marriage, some other life changing event.  I, however, believe that at this moment, the path that began when I first saw my daughter’s face six years ago in the hospital was the ultimate jumpstart to realizing exactly who I was, who I could be, and how I could get there.

I am a father.  And I am working towards exactly what I need to do, which is to bring a wonderful contribution to our world in the form of my daughter, who I hope becomes a truly remarkable young woman.

It’s the ultimate job, and it’s the most difficult vocation that I’ve had yet.

But I think that I like it very much.

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Use Child Time Wisely

I love Saturdays.

Lately, my daughter has been spending a lot of weekends here, which, I have to admit, is wonderful for me. In the past, I’ve heard of a lot of other co-parenting fathers taking their time with their toddler kids to do the fun things, like go on trips, go to playgrounds, and just simply play. The very first excursion that I took Grace and her sister on together when I was still with their mom was to the Art Museum – and Grace was still a little, little baby at that time.

I like to do “fun” things with Grace but I love to plan activities that count towards her future development.

Our most recent weekend adventures involve the “learning” Leapfrog videos. If you’re not familiar and have a toddler, I can’t recommend them enough. Right now our family is a little obsessed with the Letter and Word Factory DVDs, which are fun for me and for her no matter how many times we see them. Better still, the DVDs come equipped with learning games that teach your kids skills, like recognizing words that rhyme, or letters. She gets to acquire skills that she will be able to use for the rest of her life; I get to swell with pride at her increasing ability to communicate like a big kid.

You can’t get a better win/win situation.

Being that I have no idea what she’s learning when she’s with Mom, I figure that exposing her to as many opportunities to learn while she’s with me is the best thing that I can do for both of us.

But we also went to the playground.

Ah, the wonders of the toddler attention span.

A Parenting Interview

No, no one interviewed me about being a great parent, although if someone wanted to, I’d extrapolate on a few parenting tips that I’ve learned, all the while thinking to myself that I really don’t know much of anything, am playing it all by ear, and simply trying to do the best that I can.  No, no one interviewed this single parent.

However, the author at Zen Habits was recently interviewed by ParentingWonder.com about his parenting skills, ideas, and how he has managed to help raising six children (gasp!) and keep everything together.  Here’s a quick excerpt:

5.    Every parent wants a happy, confident and successful kid. What’s the best way to achieve this?

Show that you care about what they do, help them become competent, give them confidence in their competence, support them, love them. There’s no one answer, but if you do these things, I think you’ll succeed.

Spoken like a true believer; you can sign me up for his newsletter.  If he can handle six, certainly I can handle one.  If you take nothing else from his interview but love and priorities, then I think your reading would be a successful interpretation indeed.

First Day Of School

Tomorrow is my baby’s first day of school.

Now, one would think that this makes me a little nervous.  One would be right.  Despite easthigh_2.jpgthe fact that my daughter has been well socialized by daycare, trips back and forth between my house, her mother’s, and her grandparents, I still find myself, today, just a bit off.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it’s because I know that from this moment on, teachers and other students can have as much of an impact on my daughter, or more, than I do – but honestly, I’m not sure.

However, I do know that at this moment, it’s even more important to listen, observe, teach, and parent to the best of my ability.

So, with this in mind, I will be going to school with her tomorrow, as will her mother.  Sure, it is an orientation day, but I seem to have this need to make sure that my daughter knows that I will be around for her. 

Equally, I think that it’s important for her teachers to know this as well.

Sigh.  School.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a lot of fun for both of us.  And if you have children out there, I wish them and you well.  Summer is over.  Hello, school!  Wish me luck, and if you have any intelligent nuggets of education information out there, feel free to share.

Getting Through Single Parenthood – Year One

Now, how about that! An article about the first year of single parenting that I can get behind!

If you’re newly single, you probably have a lot of questions, and you may be unsure of where to begin. These practical suggestions will help get you started and keep you on the right path.

A shockingly useful post in About.com. Much appreciated!

Anyone who has EVER been in a single parent situation certainly must know that the first year is possibly the worst. I shouldn’t have to tell you that. The key thing is learning how to cope, and once you do, you’ll be better off, and so will your children. That’s one of the purposes of this site – to educate and spread information. There isn’t a heck of a lot of information on the Internet, sadly, but there is some. So go take a look at the article, then come back here. I’ll keep posting.