Bright Side

6 Things Men Have to Face When They Become Single Dads

From not knowing how to braid their daughter`s hair, to people saying their kid would be better off with their mom, to strangers thinking you kidnapped a child. These are the stories Reddit users shared, and these are the kinds of things that single fathers have to deal with.

We at Bright Side couldn`t believe some of the things that happened to single dads! Here are the hardships they have to go through.

1. Inequality and stigma

  • I had a woman tell me that a man can’t really raise children by himself. @bmccr23

  • In the boy scouts, the moms were far more celebrated that the dad’s. The moms were always shown so much praise: “Thank you so much for supporting your young men in this important stage in their life...” When, for most kids, the dads did 100× more than the moms. Strange. @THENATHE

  • Assumptions and treatment from others. When people find out I am a single father, they usually assume I caused the divorce of my marriage. This is actually not the case. There is no sympathy from others the way that single mothers seem to be supported. @unknown

  • My ex-husband has almost equal time with our kiddo and is a great parent. Also his schedule is more flexible, so often the responsibility of picking her up if she’s sick at school, etc. falls on him. They have all of his contact info, but they always call ME. I’ve asked repeatedly that if they don’t get me, to try calling him. They don’t. It’s absolutely ridiculous. @Bubbielub

  • I am currently a single father. I was a stay at home dad getting an engineering degree who made $1,800 a month from the GI bill, which was more than my ex was making working full-time. People always praised her for supporting the family and I got dirty looks. @Cpt_Tripps

  • After a difficult doctors visit for shots, where my daughter fought off the doctor to avoid the shot, the nurse suggested that in the future I should get the mother to arrange the next visit. Constant little niggles from people somehow making me feel like I was going to be inadequate as a parent because I was the dad. @tsvjus

  • Women reacting with incredulity when I tell them that I’m a single father. Women asking what I did wrong to end up a single father. Women laughing at your struggles because, “now you know how it feels!” Women implying that I’m in this situation because I’m not a “real man.” Women implying my daughters will need therapy because of the inevitable emotional damage that occurs as a result of being raised by a man. @Twuntz

  • It’s OK for a woman to be tired and overwhelmed when she is the single mother of 2, 5-year-old twins. Apparently, this is not ok for the single father of the same kids. @Tenth_10

  • Sexism. I’m the custodial parent, and when my son broke his arm, he had a female doctor. I’m the one who called his mother and told her which hospital to meet us at. Every single question I asked the doctor, about after care or his medication or the procedure, the doctor would listen to me, then turn to my ex and answer the question, as if my ex had asked it. @Sisyphus1066

2. Not knowing how to deal with girly stuff

  • I have no clue how to do my daughter’s hair. I’ve gotten advice from female friends, my female hairdresser, and the internet, but my daughter’s hair permanently looks like she was dragged through a haystack. @maxd
  • I lived with just my dad and brother since I was 10, and going bra shopping is always an absolute delight. My dad makes it his mission to point out the most obnoxious bras in the store. He also uses a million euphemisms to refer to tampons and, last month, pretended he didn’t know that word, leading to me yelling “TAMPONS!” in the middle of Publix. @lilarb

  • My dad became a single father of 3 when my mom passed away. I was the only girl, and I remember how much he struggled when I got my first period. He had to call my aunt for help. She lived 5 hours away, so she had to try and talk to him through how to help me. He did his best and we made it thru. He was able to be strong for us but humble enough to ask for help when he needed it. @hotmesssketch

  • One day when my daughter was 11 her best friend’s mom called me and said, “I don’t mean to intrude, but have you noticed that your daughter has breasts.” I was kinda shocked and told her no, not really in the habit of looking at my kid`s chest. She suggested that maybe just this once I should. My first thought was, how did I miss those. I took her to a really nice store that night to get her fitted for a bra. She was super embarrassed, but handled it with a minimum of fuss, and was happy that we went. @Blu64

3. Unpleasant situations

  • Strangers saying things like, “Oh, is it daddy daughter day?” or “Giving mom a break today?” are tough in our situation (mom is deceased). I handle it fine, but my little lady still gets upset more often than not. Can’t blame the strangers though, they don’t know. @SomaParticular

  • The constant pity from everyone who somehow discovers you’re a single dad — idk about the rest of you but after losing my wife in childbirth, the icing on the cake was the look you get from literally everyone and also the mentions of “he needs a mother.” @BattleCow808

4. Problems with bathrooms

  • Most men’s rooms don’t have baby changing tables. @backrightpocket

  • Traveling alone with your young child, when you really really need to use the facilities. You have to take the poor kid into the men’s room with you because you can’t leave her outside alone. She has to keep her eyes closed as you take care of business, plus you don’t want her looking at the guys at the urinals, and you sure as hell are watching out for any of them that might be weirdos. @OxfordBombers

  • I have a 5-year-old daughter, I used to take her to male public restrooms with me when she was younger because, for the life of me, I could never find a family restroom. Now I stand at the door while she does her business in the woman’s restroom. We need more family friendly restrooms and or daddy/daughter, or vice-versa, restrooms in public places. @scoutg13

5. People thinking single dads are creeps

  • I have an 11-year-old and he worked really hard at reworking and painting his room over the weekend, so I brought him out for pizza as a reward. When we were there an old man came up and started interrogating me, asking if he was actually my son. @myoclonicdorck

  • I have 3 daughters and get weird looks or employees asking me what’s going on, when I’m just waiting on them to get out of the bathroom. @floodflart

  • I had an older woman accusatorially ask me if I was the father of my little girl when we were trying on dresses in a department store. If she would have payed attention for more than 10 seconds, she would have heard her calling me “Daddy” and our discussion about if the family will like her Christmas dress. @Dreams_In_Digital

  • My dad constantly got stopped by people when he was out with baby me and my baby sister. It doesn’t help that he looks nothing like us (blonde hair and white, while we have brown hair and are very tan) or is covered in tattoos. One time a lady tried to take us from him because she thought he had taken us from the park and when he wasn’t having any of it, they called the police, who then had to get my mom out there to say that he really was our dad. @Criostoir_97

  • Women asking me if I am the girl’s father. Extra points for when I respond, “Yes,” and they immediately turn to my daughter(s) and ask, “Is this your daddy?” Triple points if they follow that up with “It’s okay, to tell the truth.” @Twuntz

6. Women hitting on single dads

  • My dad raised me alone from age 11 onward. ALL my friend’s single moms aggressively hit on my dad. It made him SUPER uncomfortable to the point he stopped coming to parent-teacher conferences, or anything school related. My friend’s moms would even just “drop by” my house to “say hello to me” but really try to see dad. It was messed up and made me and my friends super uncomfortable. @Zebra_Song

  • The thirst from single moms is real. It’s gross as hell. My dad was not looking and made it pretty clear, but that didn’t stop the mother of a kid from my school from coming to our house in the afternoon and knocking on the door. With an absurd and out-of-character amount of makeup on. “I was just on a jog through the neighborhood. Is your dad around?” @anonajn

Do you know any single dads or are you one yourself? What difficulties have you experienced? Please share your stories in the comments!

Preview photo credit 3boys_1goal / Instagram