My name is Nathan and I’m a single dad by choice. By this, I mean that I am a single man who chose to become a father knowing I am the only parent this child will have. This choice was made possible through the gift of egg donation and surrogacy.
It took me 8 years to finally meet my daughter Nanette with the help of 6 surrogates, 3 donors, and 5 fertility clinics in 3 different countries. By using surrogacy, I was able to achieve my goal of being a single dad, by choice. Looking back, this has been one of the bravest and best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life.
Parenthood is a journey, and when you travel it alone, it forces you to build strength and resilience. My experiences have pushed me to develop skills and patience which I would have thought unimaginable before. There’s something so empowering about being a single parent, and I am excited to share the trials and tribulations that come with it. I hope to inspire other single parents to crush it.
The Highs and Lows
So far, the first year has been the hardest. Between being the only one to clean up, change diapers, and midnight feedings, it’s a lot of hard work. Being on 24/7 means that there is no one to pass the baton to when you are having a “bad parenting day”. It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges of raising your kids alone, and there’s no shortage of negative portrayals of single parenting in the media.
In 2018, about 1.64 million single-parent families were living in Canada, compared to 1.56 million in 2010. Obviously, single parenting isn’t an easy feat, and it’s not for everyone. It’s being accountable for the entire responsibility of caring for this tiny human. You’re getting up alone every night for feedings and nightmares. You are completely responsible for their upbringing and overall growth, and that’s a lot of pressure! The best part of being a single parent though? You get all the cuddles, all the affection, and admiration from your child. There are compelling aspects to both sides of the coin!
Not many choose the single-parenting life but having strangers in your life and on social media realize and tell you that you’re a bit of a badass for choosing this life can be affirming, and I definitely need the reminders sometimes! I’ve learned a few tips and tricks during my journey, and I would like to share them with you.
For a long time, I felt bad because I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to for my daughter. But I’ve realized as a single parent that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You get credit every time you do something, even if it isn’t everything you’d like to do.
I can’t give my daughter everything because I just don’t have the money, time, and energy to do it all. The key is to do what you can and give yourself credit for it. My daughter does not get to take all the lessons, I can’t give her all the parties and play dates and vacations that I wish I could, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Don’t just survive, THRIVE!
I believe that we can all live a fulfilling, thriving, happy, and empowered life. Yes, EVEN as single parents! Being a single dad is honestly such an empowering feeling, you’re accomplishing what some would consider a multi-person “job”. I’ve always been told it takes a village to raise a baby, so let’s find us a village and empower ourselves to tackle the selfless decision to raise a wonderful child alone, but together!
I went through intense changes to prepare for single fatherhood, and I want to be able to help others achieve their dreams of having a family without feeling the societal pressure of having to do it in a “traditional” fashion, because let’s be honest, in 2020 almost nothing is off-limits, so why should single parenting by choice be a taboo subject?
Being a single dad by choice comes with its own unique challenges, things are rarely black and white. The most challenging situations in life can be the most rewarding because it is only after succeeding at something that demanded our best that we can encounter true happiness.