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.
Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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To My Parents

Thank you for providing me with such a fun and memorable childhood

As I am about to start my second semester of freshman year, I am very thankful for all that my parents have done for me. They were my rock as I navigated through the ups and downs of the first semester. Without their help, I definitely would not be able as successful. Being over 2000 miles away from them is so hard.

My parents are first-generation immigrants from China. They worked tirelessly to get where they are today. They never gave up no matter how difficult times were. All they wanted was to allow my sister and me to have experiences they never had while growing up. They did everything in their power to ensure that our lives were not as hard as theirs and always put us first. They have made countless of sacrifices.

They taught me everything they knew and provided us with every opportunity to expand our knowledge by signing us up for dozens of extracurricular activities. During all of these, they were my unwavering support system. Even when I was ready to accept defeat and did not believe that I could do it, they motivated and continued to believe in me.

My parents were very involved in every aspect of my life. While I was growing up, they were very overprotective and strict at times. Occasionally, they could be a bit too overbearing but it was only because they wanted what was best for me. Sometimes, I would disagree with them but in the end, I discovered that they are always right. If I had listened to them the first time, I would have saved so much time and effort.

Each inspires me in different ways. My mom is very strong, determined and genuinely kind. On the other hand, my dad is very independent, brave, and caring. From my mom, I learned how to take care of myself and others. From my dad, I learned how to be resilient and face obstacles with grace and confidence.

My values are because of them.

They instilled in me my work ethic and perseverance. They taught me to always put myself first and never give up. During my childhood, I was definitely not spoiled. Everything I wanted, I had to work for.

In addition, they taught me how important it was to connect to my roots. Almost every summer, they brought my sister and me back to China. During our one-month stay, we visited our relatives and explored the country. I had the chance to improve my Chinese and learn more about my culture. Even though they immigrated to America over twenty years ago, my parents are very proud of their heritage. At home, they speak Chinese to us to try to maintain a connection to the Chinese culture. We also celebrate all the traditional Chinese holidays such as Chinese New Year.

They have successfully combined both American and Chinese traditions and holidays to allow us to have the best of both worlds.

Most importantly, I want to thank them for providing me with such a fun and memorable childhood. It was filled with so much joy and laughter. I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for me and my sister. Mom and Dad, thank you!

Cover Image Credit: Tingting Bi

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A Letter From My Father, 4 Years Later

Never take your time for granted.

My father is a lot of things. He's kind and patient. He loves others well. He is a skilled leader and communicator. He's humble and carries himself with a sense of humor that is contagious.

He is first and foremost devoted to his family and Christ. He is a hard worker and a patient person. He has a way with words that touches many people's hearts.

And so, there is a multitude of people that look up to my dad for those very reasons.

I am one of them. So, you probably know that I hold my Father's opinion, trust, love, and advice in the highest regard.

My dad has always been known for his speeches or letters that he has written upon special occasions in our family life or his work events, as he is very sentimental person and is in touch with his feelings regarding the things he values most.

Consequently, over the years I have accumulated a series of letters and notes from my dad.

A few days ago, I came across a birthday note I received from my dad via email while my brother and I were traveling Europe following our high-school and college graduations. I was turning 18 and getting ready to move away to college, and my dad recognized that this was a major life transition for him, my mom, and I (especially since I was the youngest and my parents were about to become empty nesters),

Me? I didn't foresee all the change that was headed my way. The good or bad.

But coming across this letter he wrote me almost four years later really hit home for the way I've been feeling lately as a senior in college.

He knew our lives were going to change, and he voiced how crucial of a role college was going to play in my life.

Guess what? He was right.

So, I hope after reading the letter he wrote to me that you recognize how valuable words are years later. And how crucial it is to realize what you have while you've got it because life has a way of throwing unexpected change at you.

"Anna -
It’s already your birthday in Denmark, but not yet here in Huntsville. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!! I am so proud to be your Dad, miss you like crazy, but am thrilled that you’re spending your 18th birthday on a trip of a lifetime with your cool brother. For my 18th birthday, I went to Captain D’s in Alabaster. You may have to eat fish like I did, but at least you’re in an exciting place.
You’re my princess. I miss my little girl with the long pony tail that I could never tie up right. I miss my little soccer girl who learned to be one of the best defenders ever. I miss my The Voice partner. I miss seeing you when you come in late from work to tell me about your awful experiences. I miss my princess.
I’m excited for this time of your life. Time to go but not yet time to leave. This next year will be one of the best of your life with new friends, new surroundings, and new experiences. In college, you will make the best friends of your life and create the best memories of your life. You will say that you miss Mom and Dad, but you really won’t - you’ll be too busy working hard and too excited about too many new people and activities. So I’m OK with all of that. I just miss my princess.
Keep having fun on your trip. Watch after your brother. Remember I love you. And have a Happy Birthday.
Love,
Dad"

Love your parents and your time with them. Never take your life for granted because people love you and cherish you from afar. Value where you are and where you've been because sometimes when you're looking back on it all you'll realize what you didn't fully appreciate things you should've.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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