I was that guy on dating websites who was once afraid to mention my kids in my profile because no one would match me, and I always felt awful about it.Not long after I did, would come that ever burning question, “Wait, you're 31 and you have an 11 year old? Suddenly the conversation stops, and they disappear. There goes another potential match off into the potential match graveyard that has become the list of contacts in my phone. I am the dad in Target, browsing the toy section with my 4-year-old as he tries to pick “just one.” I'm a little annoyed that he's taking so long, but so happy just watching him. “Picking out a toy is tough,” I say to him, laughing a little.Or use our factsheet guide on the action to take when a relationship ends for a practical guide through the things to do straight away, and the next steps to take.
You might want to share your experiences and get support from friends or other single parents who have been through similar changes.
Joining a group, like a Gingerbread friendship group or chatting to other single parents in our online forums can be helpful and supportive.
Here you’ll find a range of practical information to help you with some of the key issues that new single dads face in the first few years of becoming a single father, as well as stories shared by single dads and links to the Gingerbread community.
If your partner has died and you have become a single dad, you will need specialised advice.
For example Chris describes life as a single father after losing his partner, Jo, following a long illness and Eddie talks about his experiences of being a single parent since his wife died suddenly thirteen years ago while his son Connor was a baby.
If you have recently split up with your partner, or are in the process of separating, you’ll find lots of useful information in our separation advice.
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Her children's games are the only ones she wants to play. Feel like she's perfect except you don't want kids? Instead of pretending you know what it's like, ask questions and be humble. Be ready for rapid-fire spontaneity or an ironclad calendar. She probably doesn't need saving, but she definitely needs a massage. If you want to whisk her away for a romantic weekend, offer to help with the parental logistics so she's relaxed on her trip, not distracted with worry.
It's probably best you move along if either of you wants something long-term. You might have a really fun time with your nephew at Christmas, but this isn't the same as cleaning up vomit at 3 a.m. At least not until you're all functioning as a family unit, which takes time, honesty, and patience, and possibly some therapy. You're at the mercy of custody agreements, parent-teacher conferences, skinned knees, stuffy noses, and — buy her wine for this one — lice. Throw everything you know about Sunday Funday out the window. Handling what life serves is her modus operandi — she's been handling it since before you came along, and she's prepared to handle it if you leave. Pamper her because you admire her Terminator strength to always keep going.
From separation, to looking after your mental health and balancing work and childcare, David shares his tips for other single fathers.