Tag Archives: kids

How I became a single-dad by Jason Evans

TDP Jason Evans

Jason and his kids.

From a young age, I’ve been around children a lot. When my parents split up, I went to my mother’s work with her because she didn’t have a baby-sitter. My mom is a Labor and Delivery nurse, and I would hang-out with the nurses in the nursery. Even after I joined the navy, I would still occasionally watch my buddy’s son for him. I soon learned that “for a man” I was very good with children.

When I got out of the navy, I met a woman in San Diego – I was stationed there and she had grown up there. She said that she was moving to New York to meet her real father. Because I am from New York, I told her that if things didn’t work out for me in California I would come to New York to see her. About a month later, she called me and said that she could get a place if I was going to move out there with her and help pay for it. I said yes and we moved to New York. We lived together as friends for a little while and then I got her pregnant. I told my boss at the time that I didn’t love her and I wasn’t ready for this. I chose to stay (which I felt was my only choice) and take care of my daughter. 13 months later, she was pregnant again. When my son was born I named him Jason Jr. (JJ).

When we were together, we were always the ones that our friends came to when they needed help with their kids. I always loved to have a lot of kids around. But I soon realised that I was living with someone I didn’t love. I started to drink. One day, while my family were up north at my mother’s having a baby shower (my son’s) I got arrested for DWI – and another a week later. After that, I quit drinking for a little over a year. Then I started drinking just a little bit now and then. She left for about 8 months after a couple arguments about money and some other things and she left me with the kids. I was quick to find a girlfriend, but one day, in an argument, she hit me and so I asked her to leave. I then called the children’s mother and begged her to come back. A couple of months after that, the work ran out where we were living. I got an offer to work for someone that lived up north, close to where my mother lived up north. So we moved into my mother’s house, and lived there for about a year until we saved enough and found a place of our own. Still not being in love with her, I started to drink heavily and do bad things again. I got another DWI and crashed my car. I should have died but I didn’t have so much as a scratch. This woke me up and made me see what I needed to do. I left. I moved back into my mother’s and went to rehab. When I got out of rehab and started working again, I found a place.

One day, my ex asked me if she could start dating. I said, “I don’t care, but if you’re so worried about your social life, then give me the kids.” She just said ok. So I took the kids and I love having them around so much. I have been granted joint custody with placement and say-so of visitation. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. I have done more things with my kids in the last 8 months than I have ever done. They are my blessing. I have been clean and sober for just over 9 months now and I am doing great. I take care of my kids all by myself and wouldn’t have it any other way. I inspire to be someone that my children will be proud of throughout  life. There is no bad blood between their mother and me. I never talk badly about her. Everyone has their own problems and I like my life the way it now is. I am now happy to do it by myself, but when the kids are older, I hope I find someone to spend my life with. Thank you for listening

About Jason: Jason Evans is a 34 yr old single father of two. His daughter, Brianna, is 10 and his son, Jason Jr., is 9. He’s been in construction for over 15 years, was in the Navy for 4 years, and was first vice commander of Seneca County New York American legion. He currently resides in upstate New York and admins on facebook at Super Crazy Super Parents.

Click on the links to find more of The Double Parent on facebook and Twitter.

*I have created TDP – Your Stories as a safe space for readers to share about life as  double parent.  I’m calling this space “Your Stories” because I hope many of you will be share your stories, questions, inspiration, struggles, tears, triumphs etc so that we all may glean from and contribute to the collective wisdom. Please feel free to comment and if you would like to share your story then please contact me by clicking here.

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Compromise by Jen Papp

Jen Papp

Jen and her kids.

*While together as a couple, my ex and I rarely agreed on anything and our relationship was not much of a relationship. We weren’t friends, we didn‘t relate, and there was no give and take. We eventually realized that after trying all types of glue nothing would hold us together. We had two beautiful children who, at the time, were aged of 2.5 and 4, and we both felt that it was better go our separate ways before the kids got any older. Our split was very amicable and there was no abuse or trauma involved, so it was relatively easy. We verbally agreed to equally share custody since we both wanted to see them the same amount of time. It seemed to me that the lack of relationship that had caused us to part had started to come together.

We also agreed on the amount of child support I was going to receive each month. I wasn’t aware that it was legally supposed to be much more than what we had agreed on, but the amount was enough for me at the time, and it was agreed that it would be discussed again after a while. Well, four years passed and the amount did not increase, not even after I made a few attempts to discuss this and I started to wonder if it ever would. Truthfully, I lived in a bit of fear wondering if I should rock that boat or not.  After all, the boat was floating nicely and no one was complaining of sea-sickness or even grabbing for a life jacket. The fear I had was fear of what it might do to the integrity of the boat. And let’s face it I could’ve rocked that boat. I could have sunk that ship. I could’ve been that bitch he was waiting for me to be.

Finally, the day came when I grew a set of balls and marched myself into a lawyer’s office and asked what my rights were as a single parent.  The lawyer told me news that I wasn’t all that surprised about and I was left to make a choice. I could either let my ex know that he needed to start paying me more or a lawyer was going to get involved and it wasn’t going to be fun. I confronted my ex and, needless to say, it didn’t go as I had hoped – which wasn’t really a surprise, now that I had woken up from my daydream.  I had pictured him handing me over a sweepstakes cheque a la Ed McMahon and then walking straight to the bank with all my money. That didn’t happen. After a twenty minute discussion with my ex, reality woke me up again, and I drove home wondering what to do. He said that he would think about things but that he had his own expenses and that an extra five-hundred dollars a month would not be something he could handle. 

About an hour later, I got a phone call from him – a really nice phone call. He told me he could help me.  He said he could do whatever I needed except for handing me over a cheque for the amount I quoted him. He said he could do whatever I needed in terms of helping out with picking up kids if I needed to work extra hours or giving me extra to buy clothes or food. And truthfully, this conversation started making me feel better. An hour ago I was seriously thinking that the next time we’d see each other would be in a court room. But did I really want to go down that road?

Things had been pretty good over the past 4 years. The kids were happy and they had everything they needed. They participated in activities, went on trips, and they weren’t suffering in the least. This thought of needing to get revenge or get what’s mine started to dissipate. That wasn’t what mattered to me. I teetered on that for a while, but when I looked at the big picture I knew the answer. To go through a huge stressful court battle that would only be a bad storm to weather was not something I was prepared to do, especially, when the situation was as good as it was or as it could be. I asked myself what mattered (to me) most. The children are happy and have what they need. That is all I need. And so we live on with our lives, and while we may not all be in one boat, we are sailing together without running aground.

About Jen: I am a mother of two kids. I have a son who is 5 and my daughter is 8. They live with me half the time and then with their dad the other. We’ve been apart for about 4 years but have come together in so many ways. We are still a family unit and help each other as best as we can. It’s not how I dreamed it would be, but our kids are thriving and very happy. I work as an Education Assistant to children with special-needs in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I am an amateur, self-taught photographer, an artist, and nature enthusiast. I love my guitar and also plan take up the violin! I feel like I am at a crossroads in life as I will soon be 40 – so many good things are happening and my interests are expanding. Life is just beginning!

Click on the links to find more of The Double Parent on facebook and Twitter.

*I have created TDP – Your Stories as a safe space for readers to share about life as  double parent.  I’m calling this space “Your Stories” because I hope many of you will be share your stories, questions, inspiration, struggles, tears, triumphs etc so that we all may glean from and contribute to the collective wisdom. Please feel free to comment and if you would like to share your story then please contact me by clicking here.

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Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. In his latest Ted Talk, Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

Why you should listen to him:

Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. It’s a message with deep resonance. Robinson’s first TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006. The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? “Everyone should watch this.” A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His 2009 book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is a New York Timesbestseller and has been translated into 21 languages. A 10th anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity and innovation, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, was published in 2011. His latest book, Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, will be published by Viking in May 2013.

To access Ken Robinson’s entire Ted Talk playlist, click here.

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