People Debate Whether It’s Just as Hard Being a Single Dad as It Is Being a Single Mom

If you ask me, ALL single parents have it rough.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be to raise one kid or multiple kids by yourself, even if you do have half custody and the kids aren’t with you all the time.

And some parents out there feel very strongly about whether single moms or dads have it harder or it’s equal for them. Here’s what one single dad had to say about this.

Unpopular Opinion: Being a single dad with half custody is just as hard as being a single mom but I don’t have a rally cry of support behind me

My ex has women telling her on social media how amazing she is for raising kids in her own and how strong and independent she is for picking herself up after the divorce (that she caused with her affair) and being a mom.

I have none of that.

It’s not that my friends don’t think I’m a good dad, its that as a society, we have made the single mom a sort of unsung hero.

What about single dads? We do the same sh*t.

I work and take care of my kids the same way but I don’t get celebrated like I’m doing something amazing.

I just get the recognition that almost all dads get… nothing.

Here’s what people on Reddit had to say about this.

1. Exhausting.

“When my wife and I separated I got physical custody of our daughter. She was with me pretty much full time.

Now my daughter is unquestionably the highlight of my life and I love her more than should be possible, but god-d*mn it was exhausting to work a 10 hour day, pick her up from daycare, cook a good meal (I really tried in that area because she deserves so much more than McDonald’s), play with her, bathe her and put her to bed, all by myself every night.

By the time I finally got her to sleep I didn’t have the energy to do more than drink a beer and hit the sack myself. It was utterly exhausting.

Still I find myself missing that time of my life. She was such an adorable little 4 year old. Everything was new and magical for her and because I had her all of the time I got to share in each moment. The very best view of the world that I’ve ever had was through her eyes.”

2. Dad was a superhero.

“My parents split when I was 4 and let me tell you. My dad was a SUPERHERO. He cooked, he cleaned, he learned how to sew to make us dresses when times got hard (its 3 girls).

He coached my soccer and my cross country, he packed picnics and took us on bike rides, made sure we knew how to camp and hike, he did arts and crafts with me, he and I would read together.

My mother was a single mom. But if I needed her attention it had to go by her work computer. We were eating South Beach Diet with her at 4th grade. Summers were spent inside watching tv or playing with my sisters in the backyard—we didn’t go anywhere.

Yeah, my mom was career focused. My dad was too, but he did it when we weren’t around. He was Dad the week we were there, and he was packing heavy work hours on the weeks we weren’t.

Single dads are amazing. And part of it is because they aren’t recognized. I’m a daddy’s girl through and through because I was raised with him by my side, giving me all the happy childhood memories I could have ever asked for, despite not having a ton of money. I don’t really have those memories with my mom.

You can guess which parent my sisters and I willingly drive out to more often. Keep it up, man, your kids will appreciate it. And know you’ve got people rooting for you anyways.”

3. A different opinion.

“IMO, single parent with half custody isn’t nearly the same as true single parent.

And I think people tend to assume with single mom, dad isn’t in the picture, but with single dad mom is still around.”

4. From an adult child.

“I’m an adult child of parents who both had half-custody of me growing up.

I’m assuming you don’t have a lot of single dad friends who can relate to your situation. It must be hard to not be around friends who “get it”. Maybe you could check on facebook and see if there’s a group in your area.

I can kind of see the perspective of feeling like you’re a single dad. IDK you and your ex’s financial situation, but growing up my dad was the one who mostly supported me financially. He lived in the same house from the time I was 1 and he still lives there now, actually.

He was very overprotective, and I hated him for it. Hated him. But now as an adult, and especially after having my own child, I see how he was actually a great dad and did the best he could for me, and was my rock.

Life with my mom was tumultuous, and I would have had a lot more issues if he hadn’t have shown up and made an effort to be a great parent, always putting my needs before his own.

I don’t know why I’m telling you all this, but I think I should really tell my dad more how much I appreciate him.”

5. Here’s the situation.

“My ex got a free Christmas tree because she was a single mom. Have heard of other preferential treatments at places for being a single mom. She doesn’t work still even after divorce, I pay for almost all her life.

Nobody gives a d*mn that I’m a single dad who is not only doing my half but also working on top of it to pay her. Divorce is messed up for men.”

6. Interesting.

“I live in Alaska which has great benefits for Native Americans.

Mother didn’t work until the last year (my daughter is 6) and would complain all the time how she had it so hard despite us splitting custody and me paying her hundreds of dollars in child support every month while busting my *ss working full-time.”

7. Dads have it harder.

“I think single dads definitely have it harder. Single moms seem to have so much more geared towards helping them, while dads don’t have anything.

I’ve actually seen first hand discrimination between the two at jobs I’ve worked at, where moms have been given preferential treatment, but dads have been told to “tough it out”.

My hat goes off to all single dads.”

8. Hard times.

“When my I split up with the mom of my son we split custody 50/50 and she was a horrible b*tch to me and I was just told to be the grown up, at one point I paid a lot of money to her just so we don’t have to fight all the time. This was also in addition to me losing my sister to cancer, my dream job and then needing to work as a freelancer.

It was weird being treated like this by the person you loved for most of your adult life, but it stung that people told me that I have it better then her because I earn more money and she took the split harder.”

9. It’s equal.

“Doing anything alone is hard. Man or woman.

Keep fighting the good fight and be the best parent.

You can do it.”

10. Special needs.

“Speaking as a person who was Single Dad to a high special needs Son. No help what so ever from mom. She left the continent. 17 years now never been in the same room as him, or paid support etc.

I found the exact opposite to be true. For some reason I received extra credit because I was a single dad. Like somehow I had it harder then a Single Mom. Used to annoy the hell out of me.

The places I found it more difficult was in terms of access to various things and having authorities believe without explanation that I was single, and no mom wasn’t in the picture.

Best example I can think of is what we have here in Canada called the Child Tax Benefit (CTB). A stipend of money intended for lower income families. Well I discovered through my efforts to have it transferred from my Ex’s name to mine. There is something called the Female Presumption Rule.

It’s not written anywhere. But when a child is born the money is automatically put into moms name until otherwise notified. And to notify involves a bunch of extra steps that a single mom I had to explained to me probably wouldn’t of needed to jump through.

But in terms of society I seem to get more praise then that of single moms out there.”

11. Hmmm…

“I’ve never heard anyone refer to a shared custody as a single mom/dad. I’ve only ever heard it to describe a single custody parent.

Nobody cares if you’re single relationship wise. The single is referring to custody / responsibility. It means you’re in it alone, not that you don’t have a spouse.

People use it incorrectly to refer to their situation, to get the extra points or something. I know if my wife and I split up (god forbid), our daughter would have both of us. I would not refer to myself as a single dad…. I’d just be a dad, who is single.”

12. “Glad to know I’m not alone.”

“Right around the time my daughter was age 2 or 3 I had to take custody of her for a few months (her mom was living with an abusive guy, so I had to file for emergency custody).

I was dead broke, spent what little money I had on my lawyer and moving into a 2 bedroom place and even was still paying her mom child support because of the circumstances of the custody order/divorce. I think at one point I was living off ramen and trail mix, but trying to cook her a good meal every night…

I think I was working 12 hour days at the time, I can even remember picking her up from daycare when they closed and taking her back to the office with me until I was done. And on weekends we would walk to the park, have a picnic, whatever, it just had to be free.

I remember thinking it was the hardest most miserable time and I felt awful I wasn’t giving her a better life. She’s 11 now and I find myself missing those days when it was just me and her struggling to get by. It always seemed weird to me to miss that.

But thanks for sharing your story too, kind of therapeutic, glad I’m not alone.”

I’m sure people will have some very passionate replies to this one…

So tell us what you think about this in the comments.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!