A great way to learn about your family and yourself is to take a trip. Trips are a great way to spend family time and they don’t have to be expensive. You can take a tent and go camping for the weekend, or you can do something more elaborate like going to Disney or taking a car trip across the country. The time spent together talking, complaining, and laughing and enjoying each other’s company all lead to the memories that we, both parents and children, treasure forever.
JR is a a single dad. He had full custody of his daughter and is a very entertaining writer. He has a background in sports broadcasting and writes his blog SexAndTheSingleDad.com about both his experiences as a single dad and a guy who is dating. One word of warning JR would give you is that he uses some offensive language so if that offends you, you’ll probably want to avoid his blog. That said he is an excellent writer and he shows a lot of heart as a dad when discussing his experiences with his daughter. You can find JR on twitter @SxnSingleDad.
Kevin: So what’s one of your favorite experiences with raising your daughter?
JR: I don’t know if there is a favorite experience. Summer of 2009 we drove from Toronto to California, just the two of us. That was an interesting week. Not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. We got about halfway to California, probably just hit Denver, and from the back seat she says, “Who is having more fun on this trip you or me?” Well, let’s see, “Who’s got the little portable DVD player?” “It’s me.” I said, “Who’s got books they can read?” “Me.” “Who can fall asleep if they want to?” “Me.” I kind of paused and she goes, “So does that mean I’m having more fun?” Oh, God. “Yeah, I think it does. I really think it does.”
I don’t know. I just like going and doing stuff with her when she gets in the right moods in those non-dramatic kind of moods. I don’t know if I have a favorite experience with her. I took her to Disney World when she was eight for a week for her birthday. That was pretty cool.
Kevin: What would you classify your biggest success as a parent?
JR: I think just doing the whole thing that I do as a single dad trying to raise a daughter. This is not a slight at all to single moms raising boys. I still think just being a single parent period is just a crappy thing. I think, in a way, it’s a lot of times easier, in general I’m speaking, for moms to raise boys than for dads to raise girls on their own. Socially it’s a lot more acceptable. I get the dirtiest looks from other people when I hang outside the dressing rooms whenever my daughter is trying on clothes. It was extremely awkward when she got just to the age when she really shouldn’t be going in with me to the men’s room, but she had a hard time going by herself in the ladies room.
One time, I was asked to leave Kmart because she needed help in trying something on and they wouldn’t let me go back there. They just said, “Sorry, this is a women’s dressing room.” I said, “Well, but here is our problem. You wouldn’t let her go with me in the men’s because she was a girl. Now you won’t go help her. So what’s she supposed to do just walk out here with half a pair of pants on?
Kevin: Somebody like you who is doing the best that they can as a single dad raising a daughter and societally we do a crappy job of supporting you.
JR: I’m not having a little pity party. Could it be better I think? Yeah. But do you know what? I’m dealing with what I got and I’m making the best of it.
Kevin: Yeah. I mean, my opinion is that’s what we do as men.
JR: I used to get it all the time when she was younger. We’d go out to dinner like on a weeknight and I’ve occasionally gotten comments from people that it’s so nice I’ve taken the time to spend a weeknight with my daughter. What the?
Kevin: I’ve gotten that too.
JR: I don’t wear a wedding ring so I’m not married. But do you know what? Don’t lump me in with all the guys that don’t have custody of their kids. Does that mean they’re all bad dads? Absolutely not. But do you know what? Dads who are divorced can be more than just the once a week, every other weekend kind of thing too.