What’s the Biggest Challenge Single Fathers Face?

This is a guest post.

Single parents face many challenges, such as carrying the burden of finances and not having someone to split parental duties and responsibilities. There’s no one to help with housework, drop-off, or pick-up, so he has to face it alone. Although it’s more challenging, being a single parent can be rewarding in many ways. Here are some single father challenges that they have to face. 

What Challenges Do Single Parents Face? 

Single parents face many challenges as they navigate parenthood. Being a parent has challenges with or without a partner, but it can be more difficult without someone on your team. Single parents may struggle to find time to take care of their mental health, stay physically active, or cook healthy meals for themselves and their kids. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate these difficulties with extra time and planning. 

Related: How Single Dads Can Connect With Their Teenage Daughters

Cooking as a Single Parent

There are food delivery services like Home Chef that can help you plan meals, or you can meal prep. There are so many delicious recipes that you can make on a budget and with limited time that your kids will love. 

A ground beef and pasta skillet is a no-brainer for kids and an easy way for you to sneak some vegetables into their diet. Add mushrooms to the sauce or ground beef to encourage your kids into healthy eating. 

Related: A Single Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Kids to Love Cooking

Navigating Custody Arrangements

Single parents often must deal with custodial issues like visitation and child support that other families don’t. Dealing with a divorce or continuous conflict between parents can be difficult for children. It’s essential for kids to feel seen, supported, and heard from both sides. Pay special attention to how your words and actions affect your child. They may not know how to voice their emotions or concerns as well as you’d like them to, but they have feelings that likely need to come out. 

Ensure they have the support they need and encourage them to speak to someone they trust, even if isn’t you. There are counselors available to help — reach out to the counselor at school, church, or even a family counselor who can help. From extended family disruptions to parents entering new relationships to less time with one or both parents, children with separated parents must deal with a lot for their age. Ensure they have a healthy outlet for expressing themselves, such as sports or other extracurricular activities.

Related: The Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Co-Parenting

Single Father Challenges

Although single parents face many difficulties, single fathers face additional challenges than their counterparts. However, they can also have the most fun. Overcoming obstacles will help you learn and grow as a person and a parent. 

Becoming a Single Father 

While being a single father comes with unique challenges, pursuing having a child is one of the best and most fulfilling experiences you can have. You can become a single father by choice through adoption or surrogacy. 

Surrogacy allows you to choose an egg donor and build your family with a biological child. Adoption offers family-building opportunities, but surrogacy offers a more unique and personal approach. Having a biological child without a partner, the freedom to choose your egg donor, and the option to maintain a connection with your surrogate are all benefits that adoption doesn’t offer, but surrogacy does. 

Emotional Sharing 

In addition to being the sole provider for the child, single dads can struggle with emotional sharing. If they are a girl dad, they must learn how to navigate meaningful conversations and share information about female stuff. Without a maternal figure in the home, young girls might struggle to open up and learn from their dads about personal matters like periods and boys.

That’s why men must reach out and use available resources for guidance and support. Hotlines and counselors are available to help you and your child navigate everything under the sun. Be honest with your child about your feelings and encourage them to do the same. You are their sole role model and inspiration, so don’t take that lightly. Do whatever you can to be a positive influence on your child. 

Related: The 5 Keys to Mindful Co-Parenting After Divorce

Grow Together

Take care of yourself by nurturing your mental and physical health and modeling the appropriate behavior for your child. Don’t take their younger years for granted — it’s true, they go by fast. Use available resources and tackle each challenge with strength and courage. 

You and your child will benefit from learning from and leaning on one another as you navigate single-parent life. Your child will learn to value strength in adversity and your willingness to power through life’s most difficult challenges on your journey to be your best father.  

Related: The Challenges and Opportunities of Homeownership for Single Parents

Challenges for Single Fathers

Being a single parent is challenging in many ways, but it’s one of the most rewarding experiences when you accept help. It might not take a village, but help will take some pressure off and relieve some of the pressure you feel. Accept help when offered, and use the resources to guide you. 

Guest Bio:

Beth is the content manager and Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She writes about parenting, fitness, mental health, and nutrition. You can find Beth on Twitter @bodymindmag.