Chloe and Tom are my pride and joy and I sincerely don’t know what I would do without them. Though they often drive me insane with their crazy ideas and boundless energy, they give me endlessly more than I could ever give them in return. Being able to look after them and watch them grow is an enormous privilege and I am often painfully reminded that many dads are not as lucky as I am. Lucky and privileged would certainly not be the words I would have used to describe myself at times, especially in the days leading up to my divorce, but we have come a long way since!
Thanks to the seemingly endless love and support of my parents, we have been able to move on and leave those painful times behind. We pretty much share our lives with my parents who are always there to help. Tom and Chloe adore their grandparents and I am eternally grateful to them. For them, it seems, Tom and Chloe just brighten up the world and I know that they love spending time with the kids. There is nothing like the vibrant energy and sense of fun of a child or even of a bunch of children. Regardless of how my day has gone at work, what obstacles my parents may have had to deal with, Tom and Chloe just have a habit of making us all forget about our little worries and drag us off to have some fun.
I don’t really like to talk about the dark days, the days when my ex wife was drinking heavily, but I have had to come to understand, that burying your head in the sand just doesn’t work, especially when there are children involved. Alcohol addiction is a very serious issue and the problems that arose around my ex-wife’s drinking were such that breaking up became the only method of survival. There is a common misconception that divorce is the easy way out, when in fact in cases like mine, it was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. Taking kids away from their mother is the very last thing anyone would ever like to do, and you only do so, if there really is no other way. In our case, breaking up the family was the only option left and I knew deep down that, unless the kids and I started a life of our own, we would all just be too badly damaged. It was excruciatingly hard but absolutely necessary for our survival.
Thankfully, once it was just the three of us, everything got a little easier and with my parents’ loving help and many hours of conversation with my psychologist, I have been able to put those dark days behind me.
Every once in awhile, I look at Tom and Chloe, just to reassure myself that they are ok, that they have come out the far side with me and are no longer suffering. Whenever they laugh or joke or indeed drive me mad, I feel a great sense of both relief and gratitude, simply because I know that we have come through and are happy now.
It was my psychologist that suggested that I would start a blog to process all of the feelings and emotions running through me during the tough times and I must admit that the writing process has been cathartic and brought me a lot of healing and closure.
The response to my blog has also been an eye-opener, I would never have thought that some many men are in similar positions and may just not want to talk about it. Men’s rights in relation to kids are often ignored and I know of many dads who do not get to see their kids and suffer greatly as a result.
My blog and website have thankfully been a support structure and of course a meeting place for single dads.
They say, men don’t like to talk about their feelings and I say, let’s do it anyway!