21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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A New Paradigm

February 12th, 2009 . by 21st Century Dad


The day after Christmas, we said goodbye to each other at the Greyhound station in downton Knoxville. That was 48 days ago. That was the day I became a non-resident father.

We all have our good days and our better days. One constant is that I miss my truest of true loves. I still cry every day because I miss her. I know she misses me too.

I wonder what kind of litmus test it is if you’re doing something you never thought you’d be doing. I never thought I’d be separated from my child and her mother. I always swore up and down I wouldn’t repeat the mistakes made by so many couples. I vowed to make it work. I thought I was better than everyone else and immune to the pitfalls faced by blended families.

I spent a lot of time and energy being angry at Renee and Austin. Anger is a very effective mask to wear when you don’t want to feel pain. Sometimes, when asked, “so how are things going?” it was my cue to launch into a vitriolic diatribe.

The relationship that Renee and I have is evolving. We will always be mommy and daddy to this beautiful little girl, but we are living separate lives. We recently had what amounts to the “seeing other people” talk.

Forging Ahead

I chose the name “21st Century Dad” for my blog because I wanted to embody what a father is in the 21st century. Fatherhood today is a new paradigm too. Fathers share more of the parenting duties. Fathers today are more involved in their children’s lives. Many fathers today don’t live with their children. I don’t know what the exact statistic is, but split custody, visitation, and child support are commonplace today. I’m still a 21st Century Dad.

How many blogs continue with their originally charted course? Obviously, my life hasn’t taken the course I had hoped for, but I’m not complaining. There are  opportunities at every potential turn in life. This relief from the day-to-day responsibilities as a resident father is affording me great opportunity.

7 Responses to “A New Paradigm”

  1. comment number 1 by: Savvy Stepmom

    My heart breaks for you. I know what it’s like to have to re-write the future you had spent so long crafting for yourself, and it sucks. But you’ll get through it and I think you have the right kind of attitude to come out ahead. Good luck. I’ll be awaiting updates. 🙂

  2. comment number 2 by: Corina

    A change of course. Life sometimes does not hold for us what we had planned, but there are surprises still ahead for you, I feel. Write what you feel, write what you know. Trust me, you will be better for it. Good luck, my friend.

  3. comment number 3 by: Chuck

    I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve been where you are. Feel free to send me a note if you like. I’ve lived this role for more than 13 years and have hopefully gained a little insight here and there.

  4. comment number 4 by: fraizerbaz

    Hi. This is one of the hardest things to endure. I’ve been married and divorced twice.

    It takes some time (and I believe distance) to heal. If there is ever a time where you need a strong network of same-sex friends and family, now is the time. (I’m sure you know this.)

    However, and take this with a grain of salt, you may want to take a significant amount of time to refrain from pursuing a new relationship. Or any kind of dating. Many people try to put salve on this wound too soon, in thinking that it’s easier to get over someone by being with someone else. I have made some of the poorest choices in men because I was in a hurry to “get on with my life” when I should have been flying solo for a while.

    Not to mention, my most recent relationship deteriorated because he and I started dating just three months after his divorce. He is still in love with his ex-wife, and this of course impedes the chance of progress for any of his future relationships. (Unwilling to take any time for himself, he is currently mate-hunting once again.)

    Just my two-cents. (Jeesh, I just hate unsolicited advice, don’t you?) Sorry. 🙂

  5. comment number 5 by: 21st Century Dad

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement, whether it was offered publicly here or in private.

    @SavvyStepmom – yes, I am rewriting my future, but I’ve never been afraid to start something over, even after pouring a lot of effort into it.

    @Corina – For better and for worse, it’s been a journey full of surprises.

    @Chuck – see you ’round dad-blogs.com. Thanks.

    @frazierbaz – How did you know?!?!?!?! Right now, I’m just doing some guilt-free flirting.

  6. comment number 6 by: Vered - MomGrind

    “I miss my truest of true loves.”

    This is the most beautiful sentence I have read today.

    My heart goes out to you, and I won’t even tell you “you’ll adjust” because that would be silly and patronizing.

  7. comment number 7 by: Sara@My Sippy Cup Runneth Over

    I ran across your blog this morning after having the painful discussion of wanting “out” of this marriage. The fact is I know I’ll hurt the way you do and I DON’T want it to be like this. I love him and the kids.

    I don’t have any wise advice for you, but know that sometimes it’s just plain hard and healing must take over.

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