Nothing Prepared Me to Becoming a Single Father
With a complicated story of not going into any details to create any drama or problems, nothing could prepare me to becoming a single father. In keeping with this mindset, this isn’t to trounce anyone. Always stay positive. Don’t live with regrets. Use the past to learn, and the look to the future to build your desires. Nothing’s perfect!
My journey to becoming a single father wasn’t ideal. I wasn’t a perfect partner nor father. All my time watching movies and cartoons lied to me, lol! Hollywood is not real. But honestly, I didn’t know how. What I did know is that I was enthused to be a Dad and wanted to be a better father than my own. My eldest child’s mother and I agreed we’d be better parents than our parents. Retrospectively, this starts within before the child- but there’s no rewind button in life.
Becoming a parent has always been exciting, especially after five kiddos. No one child or childbirth is the same. Every one is unique and beautiful. The event is hard to describe when you see your mini-me for the first time- but we could also settle for, epic. For a quick time, I wanted that moment to be frozen and time to standstill. All I saw were good times on the horizon, but didn’t know trouble was coming after sundown.
A thought to ponder, my friend told me that kids are the best/worst thing you’ll ever have. Funny, right?! My kids are great and I’ll do anything for them, but they have their moments too!
On my journey in becoming a single father, I drained my savings and exhausted every source of money supply to ensure I could earn my degree and keep my way of life. For the first month, life was good. The excitement getting custody of my eldest was the equivalent of caffeine (if not better). Life of working 11pm-7am 25 miles away, while attending school from 9am-2pm didn’t stop. I had to included daycare from those hours and now have the full-time job as a full-time daddy.
Three weeks into this schedule, life hit me with a semi truck. I wasn’t sleeping nor was I getting my homework done. On top of that, my babysitter told me she’s giving me her notice because the overnight babysitting was more than what she could handle. My mouth dropped. I was floored and didn’t know what to do.
Like I said, nothing prepared me to becoming a single father…
With only one week left, I couldn’t find any solutions. At $12.50 an hour, I didn’t qualify for any government assistance. I had no other choice but to quit school, and possibly quit my job. After a few days of pondering on my next steps, I sent all my professors my intent to withdrawal. This includes:
- speaking with my student government official, because I was a elected student official;
- informing all the committees I was on as extracurricular duties to make the school better;
- thanking my classmates for all their support;
- and letting all my friends know how much they meant to me and had to withdrew my position as a leader in a student club.
By the end of the day, one person stopped me and said they could help me. When I first read the email, I had to read it twice because everyone else was wishing me the best and a bon voyage. The one person was Ophelia Noble. She said, “You have one year left and I can’t let you quit. You have to finish!” She was right!
Ophelia worked with me for a temporary fix. To her, I owe her a bit of gratitude. Honestly, it’s like a plethora a thanks. Words cannot express my thanks. My son was 7 months old. She was and still is my SHE-RO!! As nothing prepared me to becoming a single father, nothing could have prepared me to predict her selflessness. But Ophelia wouldn’t be the last, there would be others.
A single father or single mother faces these sorts of obstacles on a regular basis. I was and I’m still blessed. God has gifted me some incredible people to support me. Unfortunately, the humility of receiving can be crippling because it wasn’t part of the original plan. We didn’t wake up wanting to be a single parent, but life happens. Again, there’s no regrets. No finger-pointing or name-blaming. My love for my children supersedes the love I had them when I first laid eyes on them.
So the next time you see a single parent struggling, don’t talk or laugh at them (it’s happened to me). Help them out. They may or may not accept it, but know receiving help isn’t the norm.
I write this because my business is personal because this service is for the advancement of all humanity. My failures and successes are for your gain. No strings attached.
Nathan A. Webster, MBA
February 26, 2017
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November 22, 2016