I have an affinity with single parents, especially since becoming one myself. My circumstances have created openings to meet some dads whose whole being is put into being a dad.

Of course, there are a few dads who ought to lift their game; however, I tend only to mention the dads that do great things because, for me, they are a starting point for what I might achieve. I like to be inspired by wholesome dads who devote themselves to their kids.

Challenge Your Children

Experience has demonstrated that there are single dads who gently challenge their excited daughters by pushing them just a little beyond the point their child screams “STOP!” I have met dads who get their children to school on time, uniform all in order and plunge into lots of hands-on time doing homework.

Some dads have big guts that might, in fact, be the engine room for building thunderous laughter loud enough to knock their toddler off their feet. I have seen dads rough-and-tumble their delighted daughters at football and gently engage in teddy-bear time among a pile of beanbags with their boy.

Another dad is a cat-lover (which I will never understand) whose dedicated devotion to his feline pet sets a solid example to his children of respecting all creatures great and small. There are tall single dads whose children stand to skyscraper proportions when given a shoulder ride on their old man.

Single dads who embrace their teenagers in you-are-the-greatest hugs are my heroes. The dads going it alone under all sorts of pressure who still make time to duck away from work to cheer their kids on at school carnivals challenge me to do just as well.

Those dads flying solo who are courageous enough to prompt and demonstrate the best of care for other women receive a hearty, affirming pat on the back from me.

I picture the recently separated dad who perseveres with his formative cooking attempts and knocks together healthy school lunches as wearing a halo. Good on you, all you great single dads who front up time after time to do the right thing by your children.


Yet, I cannot stand the tag “single dad”.

You see, I was witness to my partner’s sojourn through the macabre mechanics of the Family Court. Her lawyer mentioned “single mum”, to which the grumpy judge launched into a tirade about there being a dad, so therefore there was no “single” to it because they should be parenting together (even while separated).

I still believe he was asserting his white-wigged authority and chose a semantic opportunity to do so; however, I reluctantly admit, he has a point. By the nature of being a dad, there is most often a mum.

Just because I am separated does not mean that my ex-wife disappeared. So, I ask myself, “Can I legitimately be regarded as a single parent if the other parent is still on the scene?” I keep prompting myself, “Surely, if I am not a single parent, then I can hardly be regarded a single dad?”

So, I am commencing my own crusade to kick my single dad status. From here on in, I am Dad or Daddy. My intent is to live up to the title of Super Dad (a title inducted on me by my partner and children when they gave me a Super Dad number plate at Christmas).

More informally, I have a heart-spilling-over moment when my children gleefully express, “Dad, you are awesome.”

The single dad label is holding me back. Right now, I have my sights set on super-awesome dad!


Photo by Tatiana Syrikova.

About the Author: Greg McInerney

Greg is the father of two daughters.

One Comment

  1. Kaylene Emery June 19, 2022 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Great article Greg n I agree with the comment made by judge.

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