Let me first recognize that being a parent is hard no matter what. And, that being a single parent (regardless of gender) is really hard. But, there are some unique struggles and advantages that come with being a single dad. Like play dates.
Kids love “play dates”. Funny, how I never had one of those growing up. I just hung out at a friend’s house until the street lights came on and then had to get my little butt back home. That was my small town life experience. Living in the modern big city world we don’t want our kids out of our sight. For good reason, but it creates extra pressure on us to coordinate time with other families to play. Scheduled play time?!
So, just finding time on any given weeknight or weekend is hard enough between all the extracurricular activities that our kids are scheduled in (especially when you have multiple kids). The other difficulty becomes actually scheduling with the “scheduler”. I have good dad friends and I’m friends with their wives, too. But, I don’t communicate daily with either. It could be somewhat awkward to be texting someone’s wife on a regular basis. Both for me and my buddie’s wife. That’s one. The second thing is guys and gals just communicate differently. I never really noticed before having kids, but watching two or three moms standing around chatting about stuff I could care less about, they might slide in a comment about having an unscheduled Sunday afternoon. A rarity for sure.
And, there it is. The unconscious/conscious need to schedule every minute of the week. And, it was as natural as dandelions in my yard (yeah, I need time to throw out some weed and seed in between making dinner and wiping butts). This is no dig on the moms, just the natural course of how they operate. When I talk to the dads of aforementioned moms they can never commit to anything without checking with the “scheduler” a.k.a. the Mrs. I guess the takeaway here is I need to brush up on the latest reality TV show, latest fashion trend and maybe the latest celebrity gossip because I’m guessing they aren’t going to get caught up on muscle cars, woodworking, football and camping equipment.
It’s not all bad. I’ve just had to “adapt, improvise and overcome.” Darn it, I need some new movie quotes, they aren’t too likely to know that quote from my boy Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge. Maybe something from Legally Blonde? Ugh!