Loving a single mother can be difficult…believe me, I’m in the trenches.
I have a boots-on-ground understanding of how difficult it would be to walk into my world, and even consider taking on all that I have to offer.
Dating a single mother is fraught with chaos, pitfalls, and resistance. It takes a very special kind of man to take on the responsibility of loving and nurturing a woman like me, let alone the weight of loving children not his own. My single mother girlfriends say constantly that a man like that is a unicorn—often discussed but never seen in the wild, a man of mythical lore.
I am here to tell you that they do, in fact, exist.
My children have a father who is very much in the picture. Together we navigated the perilous storm of divorce, with as much mindfulness as one could muster given the circumstances, and we have emerged from the battle as friends. The ability to put our own issues with one another aside and act in the best interest of our children has created a home that is happy, and a relationship that affords us the luxury of still being a family, although we are no longer man and wife.
My ex-husband comes over for dinner regularly, and drops by to see the kids whenever he can. Most divorced couples cannot imagine a relationship like this, and I can tell you, it isn’t easy.
Parenthood never is.
I wasn’t looking for my unicorn when I met him. It was if the Universe opened up the sky and dropped him into my life, utterly unprompted and catching me completely off guard. The connection we shared was magical and indescribable. It seemed impossible, this love that punched me square in the face when I was least expecting it.
I was fearful of him meeting my children, understandably so. I knew the magic that I was enveloped in could very well be destroyed when he became aware of the entire picture. Love in the beginning is very much a view of our most perfect selves.
The reality of our true day-to-day lives is often disenchanting.
But this man, this incredible, loving, beautiful man could not have been more amazing when he met my children. Within minutes he instinctively picked my four-year-old son up and put him on his tall broad shoulders and took my daughters hand.
He so seamlessly fit into our lives that now, looking back, it seems like a dream.
I am still waiting to wake up.
Fatherhood is not about blood; it is about love.
I remember the first time that I witnessed my brother introduced his stepson Noah. He stuck out his hand to a dear friend of mine, and said “Hi, I’m Sam, this is my wife Kerry, and this is my son Noah.”
This struck me so deeply, that he loved and adored and considered this child his. Noah was not his blood, but he is very much his son. Love is a bond stronger even than that of blood.
Love creates a father.
This man considers my children in every decision he makes. He is concerned with their well-being even more than he is concerned with his and mine. He takes the time to nurture the relationships that he has with them, and loves them so deeply it is nearly beyond comprehension. He has no understanding of children, no history with kids of any kind, but he was born for the beautiful, heavy role of fatherhood.
My children are incredibly lucky to have two men in their lives to
nurture, love, and protect them.
The power of the universe has me in awe, and I am thankful everyday for my unicorn.
So, this is my love letter to all of the men who have loved single mothers.
To all the Unicorn men: this Fathers Day, you deserve all of the love and thankfulness and adoration that the world has to offer. You are a Father, too. Wear it with pride. It is the most difficult, most beautiful thing you will ever do. And we, the women who love these Unicorns, will never forget the magic and the love you have brought into our lives.
You will have our hearts forever.
Author: Ruthie Whiddon
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Anne Worner at Flickr