October 12, 2011

Bubble Gum on my Beard: 10 Kilos of Confidence

You’ve waited long enough I suppose, Beard from Beard and Pigtails is back! Beard and I are doing a three part series, giving our opinions on single parenting from the angle of a single mom and a single dad. In case you missed part one, you’d better catch up here, with Part I: The Plunge into Single Parenting

So I’ve introduced Beard before, and did a really bad impression of him in a vlog, and said how great of a Dad he is to his little girl, Pigtails.  I’ll spare you again from all my gushing. But you, you should gush, and go directly over to his blog and read it…after you read his post here of course. Oh and by the way, my side of the story is over at his place today, so clicky...after you read his post, that is.

We decided part two would take a bit of a turn, and focus more on the single parent, than the child. We’ve been reading a lot of Single Parent blogs lately, and many were woven with common threads of hopelessness, despair, doubt, and the grand-dad of them all, why. Why am I alone? Why doesn’t he/she love me? Why did they leave? Why am I not good enough? Oh yes, there is a what; what’s wrong with me?

Hard to swallow right?  So what's so bad about being alone?  Not ideal, I agree, but society, friends and family are always pushing to get you back out there.  Maybe we don't need to get back out there right away.  I'll shush and let the dude speak...

Bubble Gum on my Beard: 10 Kilos of Confidence

A Doubting Dad Builds a Confident Daughter Builds a Confident Dad

Precisely .001% of single parents are confident those early days of grinding at it alone.

This might be especially true for those of us that are divorced. We were used to having a spouse there helping tame exploding onesies and a listening ear off which to ricochet life.

Then that went away.

Often, when your loved one leaves, so does your confidence.

I was friggin’ terrified when I became a single dad. Looked confident on the outside, but my smiling face masked doubt that I’d not be able to handle everything alone.

I'd failed as a husband. Would I also fail as a daddy?

I decided to do the right thing and be the best dad I could, regardless of my self doubt.

I loved my daughter and gave her the time she desired. Which built her confidence. And she hugged me back, which slowly confirmed I was doing a good job. Down in the mire, it was amazing how a tiny 10-kilo toddler juiced my confidence.

Before single parents can be confident in the dating pool, we must to be confident in our ability to be a good mom or dad. Alone. This is our primary responsibility.

We have to be careful not to reverse the order. It's a temptation to look for another to fill the gap in order to make parenting easier. Or because we think a date will make us feel better.

That angle's sure to disappoint and isn't fair to the other person.

Dates and Granola

I started scribbling down some junk on single parent dating, but two sentences later realized I'm no expert on the subject. In a recent #SingleParentsTalking Twitter chat, I mentioned Googling "date" to see what it means, and it brought back a picture of granola. So I'll share a couple quick thoughts, then go chow on a sack of fiber.

Beating the stick on what I said above, we should be a comfortable single parent before dipping digits into the piranha pool.

Allow time to heal our wounds.

And evaluate with honesty the shortcomings we made in our marriage or prior relationship that contributed to the split. In some cases, we did little to bring it on. But there are improvements all of us can make in prepping to move ahead.

Statics show second marriages fail at a higher rate, which begs questions on repeated divorces:

Did he learn from his mistakes?

Is she bad at choosing a mate?

Does he have issues with not picking dirty underpants off the floor?

If a beau hops into the mix and you're getting all flush and sweaty in places, please first consider the safety and well being of your children. I don't reckon it's a grand idea to introduce a date to the kiddos until after spending several months getting to know them. Little ones don't have the computer power to process a new face popping into and out of their lives frequently.

Plus, you want to be sure fresh meat is not a slob that fails to scrape dirty underpants off the floor.

 - - - - - - -

Thanks for letting me on your blog, Cari!

Now, here's the deal, leave a comment if you wish and skedattle over to Beard & Pigtails and read my rather short post which might involve a smidge of Jerry McGuire bashing.


  1. Thanks for your take on dating Beard. I always appreciate views from the other side.

  2. Very well said, Beard. Good point that we need to be great parents FIRST and then worry about dating. That is probably the biggest problem with single parent dating. We think we need to find a significant other first.

    And yes. takes quite a while to uncover whether the other person is worthy of meeting the kids.

    Thank you both for this.

  3. I love both your blogs. I cried when I read Mr. Beard's account of how he became a single dad. I am deeply touched by both of you and I have my greatest respect to you and all the single moms and single dads out there who put their families in the forefront. Hugs!!!

    I will he heading to his blog after this to read another beautiful account of his life.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and wishing me well for my health :)

    Hugs a lot!
    Ria C

    It's My Party
    Home is Where the Heart Is
    Red Lips and Pinky Toes
    The Travel Bug
    Handmade with LOVE

  4. It is amazing how the little people in our lies can make us feel on top of the world.

  5. @Starthrower - Thanks for reading and your support!

    @Mustache - I'm on the other side of the fence. Rather than desperate to find a mate, I'm a bit afraid and gun shy. Not sure how to get over that.

    @Ria - Much appreciated and I'm heading over to visit your 20 blogs now.

    @Nessa - Agree, that was one thing I didn't expect when becoming a parent...the way my daughter has been such an encourager to me.

  6. Such amazingly, honest, true words from parents who clearly have great perspective and priorities. Would you be willing to glove smack a few friends of mine about the chins?

  7. Great post Beard! Thanks so much!

    @Kara- I'll apply the smackdown, Beard is too nice.

  8. I confess that at some point, I did put dating above being a single parent. Shame on me! Beard makes an excellent point there.

    Good job, Cari and Beard. Oh, and I'm looking forward to the smackdown :)


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