Dear Single Dad Parenting after Loss,

I know this wasn’t what you planned.

Parenting after loss is hard enough without learning how to do it on your own…without your partner, the one you went through so much with. You both thought you could withstand everything together until you couldn’t.

You’re in unfamiliar waters now, treading along while you parent alone. None of this was what you expected, but let’s face it, nothing about parenting after loss is really expected. No one expects to lose a baby, and no one goes into this journey thinking he’ll do it alone.

Part-time parenting is heartbreaking. You miss out on so many special moments, so many firsts. Just like you missed out on all of the moments with the one who came before. He was here so briefly, and all of those memories you hoped to make were stolen from you.

You wish it were different, but this is your reality now. A Single Dad. You wear the title well because you are always trying, always learning, always doing.

You make each moment you spend with your son count because you have learned single parenting is all about quality time, not quantity. You’ve discovered how to fill the days you have your son with as many adventures as possible, whether it’s hide and seek, swinging on swings, or simply cuddling on the couch watching his favorite movie for the billionth time while eating ice cream.

This Father’s Day, I have a message for you from the single mom.

Maybe that relationship didn’t work out, but she appreciates you so much for being the father you are. She sees your love for the son you made together. She sees the playful way you scoop him up into a gentle embrace when he runs to you gleefully shrieking “Daddy!” She knows that when he is with you, you may not do things the same way she would, but he’s always safe because he’s your world…just like he is hers.

The single mom knows all of these things and more. For all of that, she’s thankful. For that, she’ll always care…because you share a beautiful miracle.

It’s not always going to be easy, but co-parenting rarely is. You won’t always agree. It’s different now, but she still sees you. She sees the man you are, and she sees the man you are becoming on your own. She sees the amazing father you are. She sees the role model you are. She sees the lessons you are teaching the son who is both of your worlds.

She’s so grateful for those things you do – the big ones and the little ones, both the things you mean to do and those you don’t even notice.

This Father’s Day may be different, but just know we see you. We appreciate you. And when you open that gift from your son, know that it was carefully picked out with you in mind. Know that regardless of what happened between the two of you, she still thinks you are the #1 dad in the galaxy… and your son knows it too.

Happy Father’s Day!
A Single Mom

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