Single Dads Here's Why it's OK to Ask for Help

September 29, 2016

Things were much easier when your wife assisted you with the children. Now, you find yourself alone with a number of responsibilities you are not prepared for. You feel overwhelmed at times and you’re not sure what to do. You don’t want to admit it — you need help.

Many single fathers find themselves unprepared or unequipped to raise children on their own. Some feel as though they’re failing their children and they would like some form of assistance, but they don’t know where to turn.

First, you’re not a failure. The difficulty of being a single dad is often overlooked and underappreciated. In addition, you’re not alone.

In this article, we’ll take a look at single parenting with fathers in mind.

The Difficulties of Being a Single Father

Tears. Challenging. Lonely. Perilous. Toughest. Difficult. Tiring. Humbling. Hard Work. These are words fathers used to describe single-parent life in a Huffington Post article. Although the fathers enjoyed raising their children, the majority who participated described single-parenting as a laborious task.

Why? Most men don’t appreciate or participate in the work that mothers actually do. When these women are not involved, many men find themselves without basic skills required to care for their children.

Why Don’t Fathers Get Help?

Feel They Don’t Need Help

Lack of confidence in their parenting skills and shame play a part. Many men feel as though they shouldn’t have to seek assistance; when if they do, they believe it is a negative reflection of them.

Lack of Support

Fathers will often find themselves without external support. Many single parents support groups and books are often written from the female perspective as noted in a the article, “What Is It Like to be a Single Father” which also highlighted some uncomfortable situations that single fathers found themselves in — especially when caring for a newborns, not being to access the changing stations that are often found in female restrooms or having questions concerning feeding.

Feel it’s a Sign of Weakness

During an interview with One Parent Families Scotland, a father admitted that he didn’t seek help because he felt that doing so was a sign of weakness, he kept his emotions to himself and turned to alcohol before he found support.

The best thing that a single father can do is put their ego aside — for their child’s sake and realize that they’re not alone. They will need assistance and it doesn’t make you weak.

Where Should Single Dad’s Look For Help?

A article included a moving letter from a man who found himself the father of a newborn after his wife left him, possibly due to depression. He found support through an online group called Life of Dad and felt edified after reading the experiences of other fathers.

In the instance where you can’t find a support group in your area, look online or take the initiative to create one. Community centers and churches are a good place to get started.

Single Dad Advice: How To Do It

Be Cordial with Your Ex

In the event that you and the child’s mother have split, it may be in the child’s best interest that you try to be cordial in order to support the children’s needs. During the Kids In The House video above, one father mentioned the importance of having respect for his ex-partner,

“I have to show a proper example to my son in a family life, by showing respect to his mother, even though she is not in the home with us.”

Prepare for other Men not to Understand

Expect most men, who don’t have children, to misunderstand your difficulties. Don’t be offended by insensitive comments by men who are not fathers.

Open Communication with Kids

Allow your children to talk to you about anything. Most single fathers don’t communicate as well as mothers and often resort to physical discipline and this may add additional stress to the relationship.

Ask for Help

Planning and balancing your life can be extremely difficult for two parents. Single fathers should not be ashamed of hiring a nanny, part-time babysitter or request assistance from family members.

How to Deal with New Relationships

Your children will always come first, but as your parenting responsibilities normalize, you may find yourself interested in developing a new relationship. A Fox News Health article offered some tips when it comes to new relationships and your child.


Allow the emotional baggage from your previous relationship to heal, don’t jump into anything, in fact, if you’re hurting, try and focus on your children.

Be Selective

It is extremely important that you use patience when introducing new women to your children. A number of different women may cause some frustration for you and your child.

Be Honest

In the article, a therapist states that a father’s honesty about new relationships will be crucial in helping them feel secure in the father-son relationship and that keeping secrets can do incredible damage to the relationship even if well-intentioned.

Be Respectful of Women

Don’t vent about your ex or complain about women in general even if it just seems like harmless jokes. Children learn how to treat others from watching you. Speaking negatively about women to a son will teach him to look down on women and with daughters she may think that it is normal for men to treat women poorly.


Although single parenting has its difficulties, all of the fathers who persevered had a tremendous amount of joy. In the same Forbes article mentioned earlier, a father who spoke about the challenges said that he wouldn’t ‘trade it for anything.’

Difficult? Yes. But the rewards outweigh any obstacles you may have.

Looking for more articles like this? Check out the Advice for Single Dads section of our blog.

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