I am a single father and I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…I’m Batman!
Every parent, whether lone or in a relationship knows that feeling. You have to be everything and anything to this little person, you GET TO BE everything to her. The car breaks down, you fix it, a toy splits in two, you put it together, she’s hungry, you provide food, she’s sick, you provide medicine, she cries, you provide comfort. You hold your baby until she feels better and all the tears have dried up and her one toothed smile re-appears.
To her, you are the single most powerful being in the universe, the one with all the answers, the one who carries all her stuff like a pack mule, the one with the silver coins that are used to obtain goods and especially the one with all the tasty snacks.
Your utility belt contains calpol, nappies, wipes, breadsticks, petit filou, oranges, cauliflower cheese, brocoli, spaghetti and all the major food groups (that you don’t even eat) but for her, you provide everything.
Your biggest weakness is your heart, the way it breaks when she’s teething and you know there is nothing, with all your power and might, there is nothing you can do to soothe her, you can only hold her in your arms and share her pain. The only thing you want from God is to be granted the ability to take away that pain even if it means transferring it to yourself just so that your baby doesn’t have to suffer anymore.
Your neck stiffens when you’re at soft play and the bigger kids are running very close to her, nearly knocking her over, it takes every ounce of patience you have to fight the protective impulse coursing through every fibre of your being but you can do this, you’re a dad, her dad, you have to set an example.
You are the first man she knows, you are the unachievable standard that she will set for her future partner/spouse and who she will use as comparison when she sees TV dads & her friends’ dads. If you you are in a relationship, your daughter will see that as the standard of how things should be. How I treat that woman, how I speak to that woman, how I hold that woman will register in my daughter’s mind as ‘normal’, as ‘standard’ therefore Dads must be conscious of our actions and words, for our baby sees everything we do and will inevitably copy it. She must not ever see a person undermined because of her gender or her looks or any other characteristic. Instead our daughters must see us celebrate the women around us,for their achievements, their triumphs but also during the harshest of times, when our partner is suffering, our daughters must see us holding them and helping them through it.
For that is the kind of man you have to be when you are a father. Your legacy won’t be the house/car/savings that you leave behind, your little girl can get all of that on her own, your legacy will be the way you lived your life and the way you treated those around you.
I don’t fight crime but I fight other battles in everyday life. I win when I see that smile when picking her up from the minder after a long day at work. She doesn’t care for my suit, my car or my gadgets, she just needs me to be there. I am grateful to be able to feed and clothe my child and that she has not once seen me cry while I look at my bills and think of how I will cover them this month.
So dads and mums, treat yourself when you can, remind yourself of how good a job you’re doing and ignore those that would put you down.
You are Batman!