Written by Jey Young
As a single parent, you learn to change, overcome and adapt to your new life as a single mom/dad. For single dads, there is a huge learning curve to navigating the uncharted "single dad sea."
I have been divorced and navigating this sea for over two years, and the roughest waters are behind me, and it's more or less smooth sailing ahead. The waters, honestly, looking back, weren't that scary, but did they feel like I was sailing through a stage 7 hurricane, which for reference, "A storm of this magnitude would most likely have winds between 215 and 245 mph, with a minimum pressure between 820-845 millibars”. That is precisely how it feels.
This brings me to how you go from 245 mph winds to being on the other side of it and enjoying a cool breeze that gently pushes your sail forward. How about a few things I did, and you can go from there?
1) Embrace the quiet. Seriously, the calm is going to be hard at first. For me, the silence was deafening and was a reminder of what was, not what could be. Once you embrace the silence, lean into it by using that new time for self-care: gym, writing, gaming, hiking, camping. Really, do something you love and enjoy and find yourself again through the silence. Remember, an empty cup can't pour into any other cup. If you are making excuses and not putting effort into filling your cup, you will struggle immensely.
2) Get your crap together. No, seriously, get yourself together mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. With an intentional focus on mind/body/soul, you become that best version of yourself. Some simple places to start are S.M.A.R.T. goals, small steps, planning, proactive vs. reactive, going to therapy, and assessing every aspect of your life.
3) Get over yourself. I know, rude. Now think about this, stop thinking about yourself, and remember what's important: your kids and their health, safety, and well-being. Stop making mountains out of molehills because I promise that brings nothing but heartache. Sidebar here: please, don't join a dad's group on Facebook to bash your ex. What purpose does that serve? Remember, friend, it's not about winning. It's about creating a stable, reliable, and positive future for your children. Don't make your kids either be motherless/fatherless because you want to prove a point or get even.
4) Let it go. I mean not to tell Alexa to play this song on repeat. You have probably heard it enough on the T.V., especially my girl's dads know what's up. Of course, letting go is easier said than done, and I will be the first to admit how difficult it is. However, why would you keep giving a crap when you could give a crap about literally anything else that is more important and self-serving. It's easier said than done, so let me give you a concept to try. I call it to bless and release. When you go through that old box or "that stuff," you say, "I bless and release *item*, and then you simply throw it away.” The next concept is similar to going on a hike or down to a body of water or making paper airplanes. You write down what you want to let go of the item, and then you throw it, far and hard.
5) Forgive yourself, those who hurt you, and then yourself some more. Truly forgive and let go of the hate, the hurt, the ill feelings, and all that pain you're holding on to. God or the Universe, whatever you believe in, wants to give you something better than what you had; there is more in store for you. But you have to open and have your heart, mind, and soul ready for what's to come.
A parting thought here, a wise friend of mine uses an analogy where your life is like a board with a bunch of holes, and each of those holes has a stopper or peg in it to close it up. You must be willing to pull the old peg or pegs out to let the River of Goodness and blessing run through it and connect to the Single Dad Sea so you can put the newer, better pegs in all those places.
Your story is not over.
Thanks for reading; if you like what you read today, head to www.ballboyblog.com and check out all of Jey's writings and creations. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Ball Boy Blog, and Young Dad Podcast. Also, now you can enjoy my new book, A Baseball Game with Dad! find it on Amazon.
And Happy Father’s Day!