Millar from TheBossDadMovement writes a letter to all single dads who may be tackling the tough predictament.
In his own words…
Since having kids there have been times where I’ve felt like I couldn’t fully express to people that I’m a father. I know this is something that friends of mine have experienced as well. It’s like something was holding us back.
And even though I am a big part of my children’s lives, support them and take care of them, sometimes, when talking to people I just couldn’t naturally and fluently tell them in conversation.
I have put this down to a deep seeded, socially conditioned belief in Social Stigma and Outcome Dependance.
Social stigma and outcome dependence.
The stigma: That all young single parents are ‘meant’ to be drop outs who leech off the system and don’t add anything to society. Or who can’t be good parents because of a lack of maturity and knowledge, feeding their kids coke in bottles for breakfast.
Michael. The Boss Dad Movement Subscriber
They are all things created in your own mind.
Those sorts of stereotypes are only true for you if you believe it to be so.
If you believe you can be clumped into these groups then you are imposing limitations and rules on yourself.
I know that you are going to be the kind of Dad that is hitting their goals, making the hard decisions and supporting your children in a multitude of ways. Such is the way of the ‘new age’ father.
So next time you get that feeling like something is holding you back at those moments when kids came up in conversation…push through the pain and just be open. It can be hard at first but gets easier with time.
Being outcome dependent
When it comes to being able to tell girls that you have kids, being outcome dependent is what I’ve found to be the biggest sticking point.
Outcome dependence is being worried about what her reaction is going to be and therefore what the outcome of your interaction will be.
Will she run?
Will she go cold?
Will it be weird?
There’s a lot to think about for single dads out there:
“I have dated just a bit (separated for 2 years now, divorced for 2 months). I think what is behind that is its just still so new and a new identity that “I am single.” I haven’t been since I was 16. I don’t struggle to tell people that, I just have absolutely no game or idea how to date.”
I know, it can be hard to just bring up kids in conversation. On the one hand you don’t want to feel like you’re lying to her by holding out such a big piece of information about your life, but at the same time you don’t want to ‘scare’ her away by telling her straight off the bat.
“In terms of dating it has always been that bombshell in the back of my mind when you are talking to someone you actually like. Do I mention it now so that its out there and possibly end this date real quick.. What is she going to think if I mention it? Does she think that I expect her to be mommy? Or do I not mention it and then she comes around trips over the latest toy that has been left out and then we awkwardly get into that conversation.”
Michael, The Boss Dad Movement Subscriber
Being in this frame of mind is not the right place to start. Where you must begin is within!
My 3 stages to success:
- The calmer and more at peace you are with your situation, the more likely you are to sub-communicate how relaxed YOU are which will translate into HER being more relaxed too.
If it is OK with you, then it will be OK with her. It is always better to be honest and open. Own your situation or it will own you.
- Remember that having kids isn’t what defines you.
And yes girls may not want to hang out or date you for the simple fact that you have kids…
But it is much better knowing that sooner rather than later and knowing where you both stand.
Ultimately, there needs to be a change in your own confidence in yourself and your life position. Become unapologetic about who you are and where you are at.
Michael, The Boss Dad Movement Subscriber
- Changing your attitude away from caring only about what other people think, will mean that you are that much more in touch with who you are and what path you are on.
When it comes time to potentially get into a relationship, you will be that much more rock solid in knowing who you are that it will be a natural progression. Remember, where there is pain or discomfort there is also opportunity to grow.
So, when it comes to trying to meet new women when you have kids, it’s your perception of your situation that will hold you back. Not just the fact that you have kids. Perception is reality.