Okay so I have almost 20 years of parenting under my belt. Well let me tell you that pretty much means shit! Oh I’m decent at making it look like I got this figured out and I have more or less successfully raised 2 pretty awesome kids who are now 18 and nearly 20 but I know that I have skeptics. People in my life who look at my 3 littles and think what the heck is he doing. And not just strangers but close friends and family members. I thought raising my first two on my own was challenging enough but I liked a good challenge anyway. And besides that, I felt like super dad and it was fantastic. Now that I am back in the boat of single parenthood I figured hey I got this. I did it once of course I could do it again. WRONG! These 3 littles are nothing like my big kids and let’s face it I am not in my 20’s anymore. No, I don’t have the energy that I did back then but I also don’t lack the patience that I did as a young parent and I’d like to think that I am significantly wiser over a decade later. Although I am still faking it I have some advice to offer you young parents who are trying so hard to be the best you can be and still feel like you’re failing daily.

Top 3 tips to raising kids

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff

I’m telling you right now dad, until your kids are preteens its ALL SMALL STUFF. If you want to have anything left to give your kids by the time they reach 9 or 10 then relax and enjoy them while they are young and don’t miss an opportunity to stop and hold them because before you know it they will be too big for you to carry them and a simple kiss from you is not going to be enough to take away their pain anymore.

2. The days are long but the years are so very short

Believe me, I know how long your days are right now, I’m enduring them right along with you. My littles are 5, 4 and 3 as I am writing this. But I come from a place of knowing that the years fly by at lightening speed and I refuse to miss out on the joy of my children because I just want them to hurry up and get out of this insane stage of life and yes I still have so many days where I just want them to hurry up and get big before I lose what small amount of sanity I have left, but I also know that soon enough my 3 preschool babes will be preteen babes and we all remember what we were like as preteens so I am just going to sit back and enjoy my babies while their problems are still as little as they are.

And last but certainly not least,

3. Ignore your critics. Trust your instincts Dad.

These are your children, no one knows them like you know them. I’m not saying that there isn’t good advice from very well meaning people but there’s also a lot of useless judgments from other parents, maybe even your own, or from people who don’t have kids but know exactly what you are doing wrong. Don’t doubt your abilities and don’t make your parenting decisions based on the judgment or even perceived judgment of others.

As a veteran dad who is still in the trenches, I promise you that you are going to have to fake it til you make it. Although those delightful humans of yours will constantly throw you curve balls, always remember, you’ve got this!

From one single dad to another - you got this

*Disclaimer – this post was originally written and published in 2017

Fake it til you make it…pretty much my parenting style

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3 thoughts on “From one Single Dad to Another – You Got This!

  1. Another great one Dean! As a single mother, I know how hard it can be. Not just raising the child on your own but putting up with judgments and criticisms, from family especially. I will never understand how people think that belittling someone would have a positive effect. Things are hard enough as it is, please keep your comments to yourself! Whatever happened to ‘if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all?’ I think you’re doing great. Your children are beautiful, smart, happy and thriving. My respect to you. Stay strong!

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