I am a father of a 21-year-old. I understand the struggles as a single father with limited income and experience. It isn't easy.
Photo by Jakob Owens of Unsplash
A responsible father who was fully aware of his unfortunate life circumstances refused to be a parent. Sometimes it's best to improve your situation first before taking on the challenges of a kid. Kids are likely to learn bad habits and take on the struggles as their fathers did. Wanting better for your child sometimes means that you have to give them up to a guardian that is more fit as a success of life.
He was a bouncer at a secret rave nightclub who found trouble within a group of college kids. Over time, he did four years in prison for drug trafficking at the age of 27. After getting released from prison, the college kids moved on and all he was left with was the horror memories from prison, a damaged police record, and a friend who let him crash at his pad until he found a job. He met a girl while landscaping for his friend's uncle. She had a baby with him but he still was in bad shape in his life.
His name was Ronny. After getting released from prison he immediately went on a job hunt. The only job he could find was with a landscaping company that paid him $13.50/hr. He worked as a lawn care specialist for about eight months before shaming his low wage and deciding to get back into the crime life. He was arrested for possession of stolen women's clothing and did another seven months in prison. By the time he was released, his child was four months old.
Ronny moved in with his girlfriend. He didn't have a job or money. She demanded that he find a job to provide. Luckily, the lawn care company hired him back; he built a great relationship with one of the managers. Unfortunately, two months in, his girlfriend passed away - a hit-and-run accident while coming from a restaurant for lunch. She was just 28 years old.
Ronny could barely afford rent, he would only have $75 left after paying all of his bills. Taking care of his kid would be impossible - babysitters, food, toys, clothing, insurance, the list goes on. Besides monetary limitations, Ronny continued bad habits - smoking cigarettes and marijuana, cursing, hanging out and about being up to no good, deceiving people, and plotting criminal moves. He would rather use his $75 on partying. At times, he would skip out on a bill or two to accommodate his extra-curricular activities.
Ronny's friend lived a quite successful life. Married with two kids, he was a Banker at Wells Fargo. He had enough money in his savings account for his family to last at least four years without working. Both of Robby's kids are honor roll middle school pre-teens and well-mannered.
Ronny met his friend in high school; they both played on the soccer team. Ronny's friend was one of the best halfbacks in the county, while Ronny was just an average fullback. Outside of school, they would visit each other's homes for video games. In secret, they would bring girls to the friend's house whose parents were out. They never lost touch even though they both went opposite directions in life after high school.
While mourning the loss of his girlfriend and feeding his child mashed carrots, Ronny knew he couldn't continue as a father under his current unfortunate circumstances. He picks up his phone and dials his high school friend for a favor. He asks for a long break away from fatherhood until he gets all of his ducks in a row. Ronny realized that he's a loser and has to get his life in order if he wants to raise his son to do better than him in the future. If he doesn't hang with a more positive crowd of people, quit the drugs, and find a way to result in more extra cash after all bills are paid, his kid will suffer severely and he'll likely be faced with painful regret as his offspring is restricted by a life of trouble.
After Ronny asked, his friend didn't hesitate. "ABSOLUTELY!" His friend and wife loved Ronny's little child and looked forward to the addition. They didn't care how long the care would last; however long it took for Ronny to get himself together, they'd support him. They both knew the potential Ronny possessed to become a champion in life and was happy that he wanted better for his kid.
They sensed that Ronny really wanted to find a better way to give his kid a joyful life and offered Ronny a plan - his own landscaping business. Ronny, without hesitation, says, "ABSOLUTELY!" His friend would give him the money needed to get started.
With a landscaping business, Ronny can earn over $60,000/yr as an owner, more than enough to provide for his child. With guidance, dedication, and experience, Ronny can definitely turn his attitude, mannerisms, and focus around to a more acceptable advantage. With a $60,000 + salary, Ronny should fly in the opposite direction of crime.
Two years later
Ronny stuck with his guns on running his landscaping business for two years through all of his ups and downs. There were so many moments of lost revenue and unacceptable employee performances that Ronny was an inch away, numerous times, from throwing in the towel. But, with the guidance from his friend, and not wanting to let his friend down after such generosity, he felt obligated to make the business work, and he did.
After two years of figuring out the business, he brought in a consistent $1400 per week for seven months straight - he figured it out. He was able to obtain and contain loyal customers. After being confident with his income consistency and spending almost no time with bad influential associates, he knew he was ready to take on the responsibilities as a father. His smile was brighter, his clothes were newer, his hair was shinier and he even cut back on cursing. He left the drugs alone and now enjoys attending car show events versus hanging outside being up to no good. He's a changed man. Amen!
His child will be three in a few months and the two will move into a split-level townhome next month. Congrats! His friend, and the family of his friend, are extremely excited for him. They can't wait to throw him a housewarming party.
How often did Ronny visit his child while transitioning?
Ronny made sure to spend at least 30 minutes a day with his kid. He spent much of his time learning how to run his landscaping business - attending seminars, reading literature, attending lunch meetings with other entrepreneurs, etc. Once he transitioned his behavior and outlook on life, he had more to contribute to his kid, he would extend quality time with his offspring by hours, more towards the end of the two-year separation from his kid (roughly the last four months).
Did Ronny start dating again?
Ronny found another lady that he was fond of. She was a single mom, recently divorced, and very high-spirited. They met at a gym just three months before bringing his son back home. She's extremely busy with work as a middle school teacher and part-time yoga instructor; their schedules frequently misfire when scheduling dates. However, they have a good chemistry that can go a long way if they work hard at their relationship.
However, Ronny still struggles with the death of his former girlfriend and this new girl is very understanding and sympathetic. Not to mention, her kid is also three years old and spoiled out of his mind. So far Ronnie feels like she is a good fit to start a family with but not jumping to conclusions.
What type of woman was Ronny's kid's mother?
She was a loving, caring, and sweet woman who was a registered nurse at a hospital. Although Ronny had his ups and downs, she stuck by his side and believed in him, constantly stuck by his side, even when he went away to prison. Because he was hard-headed, she was hard on him, never letting his bad choices go without a "nag", as he would call it.
Many fathers take on a tough burden of taking care of their offspring on their own. As tough as men may think they are nothing can pierce the heart more and put a man more at a disadvantage than knowing that they're no good as a person and struggling financially to take care of their offsprings. The heartbreak for a caring man is deadly.
For the men without the privilege of a good, supportive friend (or family), they can either struggle to survive or have to live on welfare (or even both). And, if the man wants to change and become a better human, he would have to do so as he's in the process of full-time fatherhood versus being able to take a couple of years break and coming back into the picture as a freshly changed man.
Wanting better for your kid when you have the resources to do so is a smart choice. Ronny took a two-year break from full-time fatherhood but still spent time with his child every day; his kid still has to know who his father is. Ronny could've continued as a father and struggled while raising his child with bad habits and attitudes and learned how to become a better man on the way. But he didn't trust himself. He knew that he'll eventually land his kid in the gutter, especially without the positive and relentless support of his girlfriend.
Giving up your kid when you're down on your luck is what Ronny decided. Many single fathers would rather keep their kid and go through trial and error, even if they have resources (a supportive friend), sometimes it's pride or distrust for another to raise their kid. Ronny wanted his kid in a great environment to keep his kid from the sunken world that he knows. Until he rose above the pits, he didn't want to be responsible for someone he loved. Today, Ronny has his kid and can laugh brightly, spend frequent quality time, and even tuck his kid in at night with a bedtime story. His past life of crime is behind him and he's a successful entrepreneur who's motivated to get up out of the bed in the morning to do right by not only his kid but himself.