My ability as a dad is not defined by whether or not I am married to their mother.

I have thought a lot about what my first post on this site would be. I have been a single dad for about five years now. In those five years the kids and I have been through a lot. At first I wanted to write about something funny and humiliating but I don’t think the kids would appreciate me doing that to them just yet. I really did not want to write some sappy post where I ramble on and on about how great my kids are. Lets face it they are great but the last thing I wanted to do was rub it into everyone’s face about how much better my kids are than there’s. Just kidding. Your kids are just as great as mine.

So with that being said I need to get something off of my chest. In the 5 years my kids and I have been on our own the topic of being a single dad has come up many times. In most of those situations I am “complimented” on how much respect people have for me because I am “stepping up and taking care of my responsibilities”. With all due respect to anyone who has ever said that to me, THAT IS NOT A COMPLIMENT. I would much rather hear about how respectful my children are or how well behaved they are. If you would really like to get on my good side you could tell me how adorable the kids are and they must get their good looks from their dad. Now I get why people say that to me. Unfortunately men, and when I say men what I really mean is boys because a real man would NEVER put anything other than his children first, have a reputation of being deadbeat dads and not fulfilling their duties as a father. Please do not allow a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. The thought of doing anything other than what I have done for my kids has never entered my mind. When my daughter Kaitlynn was born I became a dad. I cried when I first laid eyes on her and it was love at first sight. From that day forward I was and always will be a dad. I prefer it when they call me daddy but now that they are getting older I only hear daddy when they are buttering me up for something but that is a topic for another day.

When the kid’s mother and I decided to split apart there was never a question as to what type of dad I was going to be. I was going to continue to be the type of dad I had always been. The type that would be there to kiss them good night and the type to wake them up in the morning for school. Luckily I never had to worry about whether or not that was going to be my reality. I am blessed more than I can describe because I get to be with my kids everyday.  The very thought of not seeing my kids but every other weekend makes me cringe. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday afternoons in the spring than watching Kaitlynn run track. Madison is a beast on the volleyball court and I LOVE watching her play. I enjoy sitting at the dining room table on a nightly basis helping my son learn how to read and write. My happiest of moments are when the four of us are together at the house trying to decide what is for dinner and then actually sitting down together at the table to eat. We love to travel together and have been to many places that have been very memorable for us as a family.

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We just experience all of these great things without a mom. It does not make us any less of a family or make me any less of a parent.

I have met some awesome parents in my life, both men and women.  What I can tell you is that I have never and will never compliment them for “stepping up and taking care of their responsibilities”. I will however compliment them for the great job they are doing raising their kids.

So the next time you see a dad and you are impressed with the way he is raising his kids rather than complimenting him for “stepping up and taking care of his responsibilities” just shake his hand and say “your’re doing a great job”. A compliment like that will mean so much more to him.

I guess my whole point with this rambling on and on  is that I am happy being a dad. I am right where I want to be and that is with my kids. Even with all of the stress of raising three kids on my own and having the responsibility of paying bills and keeping a house together, playing taxicab driver to all the events, helping with common core math, I hate that stuff. Seriously, what happened to good old math. I had a hard enough time understanding that let alone the new trendy way……. Never mind we can discuss that later. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, even with all of the stress and everything that comes with the territory of being a parent I wouldn’t trade any of it in for the world. I have never looked at being a dad as stepping up and taking care of my responsibilities. I have always considered being a dad as a gift. A gift that was given to me when Kaitlynn was born and it’s a gift that defines me as a person.  It’s just who I am. I am their dad and we are a family.