Did you know that nearly one in three children live apart from their biological dads? Those kids are two to three times more likely to grow up in poverty, to suffer in school, and to have health and behavioral problems. Tony Dungy
OK so it’s only my second post in and it’s already got serious. But given how my mind has been and the wake-up call I got today is something that I feel needs to be shared.
When I separated from my ex I felt lost, hurt, angry and incredibly lonely. My daughter is my crime-fighting partner and we did everything together. Nothing could separate us. However, once she was in bed, I had to face the dwindling relationship that I had with the mother of my child.
Now I’m not here to go into details of what and why we split. Truth be told it was on the cards for a while. Things got very bitter and nasty between us both and it wasn’t fair on our daughter. Rather than enjoy the small number of times I had with her, a lot of it was spent confused, wondering what argument would flare up next with my ex.
While my daughter wanted to play, I was sneaking off for a cigarette just to stand on my own as I was frightened of what would happen next. I didn’t want to lose access to my child, but when I was with her I was running away through fear of the unknown.
My daughter didn’t deserve this. She needed her father there.
I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I still find myself doing this, two years after we have separated. Don’t get me wrong, I think I am a good father, but I know I could be a lot better. I could be there for her more. It’s my own fear that get’s in the way.
So why am I writing about this?
I’m working away at the minute and I know my daughter is missing me. Yet instead of ringing her daily, I sometimes get lost in my own bullshit, thinking she doesn’t need to speak to me nor want to. But the reality is anything but. Our children need us more than we could ever understand.
Maybe it’s just me. But I feel parenting is a minefield. For mums, I have found that they have great networks. Your lives are a flurry of options for groups to attend and take our beloved offspring. For me, I never really had that. Sure I take my daughter to groups, but they are predominantly mums.
This is why I’m doing this blog. I hope anyone will be able to take away something from it. But this is my journey as a father. A separated father who has started his journey without a clue. But I’m learning and I hope that I can help others along the way as I know there are many out there that are as lost as I am.
But you know what, we can do this. It starts by showing up. The rest we can learn along the way!