Bitchy moms vs lousy dads?
What single moms need from single dads.
There’s a war on out there between single moms and dads, and everybody has something to say. Moms complain about uninvolved dads, dads moan about bitchy moms – it gets quite ugly. And yet, we’re all supposed to be on the same side. Our children’s side – right? We all know that, don’t we?
So I started wondering: what is it that the average, reasonable single mother really wants from the father of her children? I’m not talking about the crazy obnoxious moms here, or the lousy un-fathers, either. Or any combination in between. I’m talking to you – ordinary single parents trying hard to get it right for their children.My list of Things We Need From Dad
I don’t think it’s too much to expect, and it’s no less than I require of myself as a mom. What do you think?
- A good dad really wants to be a dad; he will move mountains to do it. He doesn’t give up because it’s difficult or inconvenient or his child isn’t responding the way he’d like. You don’t get to give up on your child. Period. You’re the grown up, deal with it.
- A good dad works with mom to raise the children in the same way as if they were together.
- A good dad includes his children in his life, and thinks of them outside of “visiting hours”. Their time together is a priority for him.
- A good dad contributes towards his child’s financial needs. While money doesn’t make a parent, he knows that maintenance is a necessity for survival.
- A good dad understands that every person he introduces into his child’s life is going to have an effect – for better or worse. He chooses his companions carefully, and is mindful of the child’s feelings and reactions to new relationships.
It’s my job to do all I can to help them along. I realise that as the custodial parent, I will always have more responsibility and less free time, that’s just the way it is. We trust each other’s judgement, so do not need to question the day-to-day decisions that we each have to make sometimes. I always include dad in birthday and school plans. We have an easy, flexible visiting arrangement that either of us can tweak if something comes up. We hardly ever have to discuss money: I know that my maintenance requirements are reasonable and both of us will give extra when we can without expecting payback. I don’t question the choices he makes in his personal life: he makes his decisions with his child in mind, so it’s not my problem, or my place to interfere.
Bottom line: if you can trust your ex’s parenting judgement, then every thing falls into place. Even so, both of us are watching to make sure all is well when we’re not around – we wouldn’t be good parents if we didn’t.
Stop fighting each other about the little topics and ask yourself: is this really about the children? Dig deep to answer this one. If it is, then ask: does the other parent “Get It”? Do they embrace their role and do all they can to get it right? Do you?
Once you’ve both answered all of those honestly, you should find yourselves back on the same side again. What are the basics you need from your child’s other parent?