Being The Daughter Of A Single Father

Being The Daughter Of A Single Father

The awkwardness and misunderstandings that come with being the daughter of a single father

This topic hits near and dear to my heart as I am the daughter of a single father. I chose to write this because I know this can be a challenging situation. I love my dad and everything he does for me, but sometimes he just doesn’t understand and sometimes it’s just awkward. I know there are plenty of girls out there that feel the same.

First, I’m going to get personal, like I always do, and give you my story. Yes, my dad is a single father, but that does not mean my mother isn’t in my life. I love my mom with everything I have, and she is a great mother, but I live with my dad and spend 75% of my time with him. This article is in no way putting my mother, or anyone else’s down.

That being said, it has been just my dad and I since the summer before my 14th birthday, so right when a girl starts getting all those lovely puberty questions. To say things were awkward in the beginning would be an understatement. I had no clue how to approach my dad when I needed to buy pads, or even go bra shopping. Those are things you usually go to your mom and ask about. When I had to go to the store for pads I would just tell him I needed some feminine products because I felt weird saying I needed pads.

When I think about that now I laugh at myself because I am the youngest of three girls, so obviously, this wasn’t his first time in this situation. But when you are 14 and uncomfortable about the topic itself, you make it more awkward than necessary. Now, I just walk up to him and say "Dad, I need tampons" and he takes me to the store. So, if you feel awkward or weird about these topics with your dad, don’t. Even if you don’t have sisters like I do, your dad has been around women and knows what is going on. Just act like you are asking for food or something. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.

Moving on to the topic all fathers hate to think about when it pertains to their ‘little girl’: boys. Let’s just say I don’t have too much advice to give on this topic because I’m still navigating it myself.

I grew up with one sister that was boy crazy and another that couldn’t care less so my dad has had experience with both. I, however, took after the one that couldn’t care less. In high school, while I did think about boys and think that some were cute, whether or not I had a boyfriend didn’t matter to me, so my dad didn’t have to worry.

Now, I find myself at 19, living at home with dad, and in the dating world. Since I am a poor college student, I sadly don’t have my own car, so I rely a lot on my dad to take me places.

So, that begs the question if I want to go to a guy’s house and he can’t come get me how do I get there? Well, I take the cowardly way out and tell my dad to take me to a “friend's” house.

My advice here really should be to just be honest and as long as you’re not 16 dating a 20-year-old all should be fine. Just bring it up casually I guess. My dad and I kind of just joke about and wiggle around the topic of my dating life.

Now, comes a biggie. Sometimes dads just don’t understand. I find myself in this position a lot of times because while I am so similar to my dad, I am also so vastly different from him and even from my sisters.

Growing up, I was and still kind of am, overweight and that was never an issue they had to deal with because they all had monster metabolisms that worked at the speed of light or something. When they could sit and eat a double cheeseburger and not gain a pound, I would gain 5 just by looking at it.

I know my dad always means well and just wants me to be healthy and live a long life, but he doesn’t understand that how he says things can be hurtful. I know I just need to exercise and that would be half the problem, but sometimes exercise can be brutal especially if you are heavy chested like I am.

He doesn’t understand that sometimes I have to work twice as hard than most people just to get rid of a fraction of the weight. I know he wants what’s best for me, as all fathers do, but sometimes they just don’t understand enough to word it correctly.

Another prime example of this is when every woman’s ‘favorite’ time of the month comes along. Guys don’t like to hear about it because it’s gross and trust that we think the same as well, but it’s a natural thing that happens.

I know this is more of all guys and not just fathers, but they don’t really get it either. Those days that you are just huddled up in bed with the world’s worst cramps and they say it can’t be that bad. Or how about when you are so fatigued because it literally drains you? They tend to think we are being dramatic, and yeah sometimes we can muck it up, but most the time it really is a problem.

I have kind of gotten through to my dad on this front. I get serious cramps and aches and am just irritable to the core, so he knows I’m not feeling well. Obviously, with every woman this is different but if you have issues and you feel like your dad just isn’t understanding how bad it is. just talk to him. I know it’s weird and awkward and neither one of you wants to talk about it, but if you don’t let him know what it is truly like for you he will never understand.

So, being the daughter of a single father can be rough at times and downright awkward most of the other times, but it really doesn’t have to be. I mean there will always be things like your sex life that will never not be awkward to talk about with your dad, but the other stuff is child’s play. If you just take the time to sit down and communicate and have an open relationship with him, I promise you things will be a little easier.I say a little because let’s be honest you are going to fight with your dad, he’s your parent, it's gonna happen, but at the end of the day, you both love each other and I can promise you that he only wants what’s best for you.
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To The Family Who Stepped In When My Mother Stepped Out

Blood isn't always thicker than water, but sometimes it is. And for those times when it is, I am endlessly grateful.

It's no secret that my relationship with my parents has been rocky most of my life, especially as I entered high school and eventually started college. My parents were divorced before I could form a memory. I was always too much like both my parents for my own good. I got my dad's blonde hair, wits, and quick thinking. From my mother came my sass, sarcasm, and slightly rebellious streak. Like every tween and teen, I butted heads with my mother in high school quite frequently. Curfews, outfits, extracurriculars, the sky being blue, you name it and we fought about it at least twice. I always knew that she loved me and we butted heads because she cared. But then things changed.

Her second marriage went south and she started to care more about her social life and her soon to be ex-husband than her own child. And I saw this and I resented her for it. The door on our relationship was closing and I couldn't seem to get a good enough grip to keep it open. She took to alcohol and at 17 years old, I moved three hours away, as these were the only things we could come up with to fix the problems of our lives. Things continued to spiral out of control for the next three years.

I received my Aggie ring in the middle of April and my eyes were eternally yanked opened to everything I had been ignoring as I mourned the death of my relationship with my mother. Through it all, my father remained the perfectly strong and consistent rock. He supported me no matter how many times I forgave her and let myself get burned by her toxic flame. My stepmom did everything she knew how to do for me despite our differences and my personal authority issues. My aunt stepped up in ways I never could've imagined she could for me. My grandparents were and still are constantly in my corner, supporting me endlessly in every chapter of my life. I have a boyfriend who goes out of his way to make every day the best he can for me. I am surrounded by people who cheer me on to no end.

I never thought that losing the person whose job it is to support me would prove how much support I truly had in my corner. And to these people, I am endlessly thankful.

Cover Image Credit: @haillllss

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My Parents Let Me Drink Before College And I'm Better For It

You're wrong if you think your 18-year-old won't consume alcohol once they leave the safe bubble you've created for them.

Every parent has a different parenting style, you have helicopter parents who watch your every move and then you have the more laid back parents who still hold you accountable for your actions.

My entire life I had the laid-back parents who still held me accountable for my actions. It was nice to be trusted and have a later curfew because my parents knew I would (for the most part) tell them where I was going and who I was with.

I never started experiment with alcohol in high school until the very end of my junior, I was so dedicated to my athletics that I didn't want anything to jeopardize my chances of becoming a D1 athlete. My friend group knew I was passionate about my dreams and never pressured me to drink.

Once I did decide that I want to start socially drinking with friends I only did it at a good friends house and would never drive home. We would all stay in together and watch a movie, have some wine.

There was one instance that got out of hand and I was sick the entire next day, it was then that my parents knew I had begun to experiment with alcohol outside of our home.

This led to the conversation of "We knew you are going to do it, so be honest, never drive, and be safe". Having parents who didn't scold me for experimenting with alcohol and opened up a safe space to talk about the effects of alcohol.

I am now ending my junior year of college and I can honestly say that having my parents keep the lines of communication open about alcohol and drugs for that matter, really put me ahead of a lot of people once I came to college.

It was easy to tell within the first week of school who had drank before and knew how alcohol affects them and who had never had a sip before they were finally out of their parents' watchful eye.

After two years of reading about college students dying from over-consumption of alcohol, it's time for parents and students to change the way we feel about experimenting and understanding our limits before we are thrown into a situation that has limited boundaries.

I'm not saying that drinking underage is acceptable and that we have to do it. However, it is not realistic to expect your 18-year-old to know how alcohol affects them and how to be safe if they've never tried it.

College is a world of opportunities, and with those great opportunities comes the chance that you could be put in a situation that you have never been in before.

Parenting isn't just about restrictions and keeping your kids in these bubbles that they could do no wrong.

Parenting is accepting that once your child goes off to school there will be temptations and how are they going to respond to them. How are you going to teach them and let them experience those temptations within the controlled environment of your home.

I am less than 50 days to my 21st (but who's counting) and I know my limits with alcohol. I know how to handle myself, but more importantly, I know when too much is too much.

I'm glad my parents took the more untraditional route in raising Nate and I because I believe it set us up for the most success once we left the safe Johnson County Bubble.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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