I recently read a statistic, where the number of families with kids under 18, headed by a single-parent, increased from 8.2% to almost 32% from 1960 to 2015. Between 2000 and 2015 the share of two-parent families declined by nearly 5%.
When I married my spouse in 2010, she already had two children. We quickly added our third. I was a stay at home father, while my wife, Emily, worked full time. For the first year with our infant son, Emily was able to work from home and take some of the pressure off this first time father.
Over the years, Emily and I did a fantastic job of raising these 3 wonderful children. I was there to roughhouse, teach them how to play sports, card games, and fish. Emily was there to nurture them, tend to the boo-boos, show them how to cook and bake, tie their shoes and brush their teeth.
In November 2015, I almost became part of that single-parent statistic. My wife was involved in a car accident and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. I was informed by doctors, that Emily might not survive, and if she did, she may live in a vegetative state. At that time, the boys were 4 and 11, and our daughter, Leah, was 12 going on 16. If ever there was a period in life, where a girl needs her Mom, it was then.
Thankfully, my wife survived, and made a remarkable recovery, however, over the course of the two years that followed her accident, I was that single father. This “Good Dad”, had to also learn to be that patient, nurturing “Good Mom” as well. Looking back on that period, all I can remember is how exhausted I was, all of the time.
Today, Emily has settled back into her motherly role. I can now be the “bad guy” from time to time, and the kids have her to run to. My daughter, now almost 15, has someone to shop and do hair and makeup with. The boys love playing games and reading with her.
I know I was a pretty good Dad as our family went through such a terrible event, but I’m positive that I’m at my best, with a “Good Mom” by my side.