my education and experience are business-related. I have an M.B.A. and I’ve
worked as a professional manager/corporate ladder climber for a number of Fortune
Magazine ranked companies
in the United States. When my wife of 12 years passed away rather suddenly
after a diagnosis of advanced-stage breast cancer, my priorities changed. I
hung up my business suit and became a stay-at-home dad for my two daughters,
seven and five years old at the time, and my seven month old son. Then, I
started to write.
I’d written and
published a couple of children’s books, including Father Like a Tree (Matting
Leah Publishing, 2005) and The Three Pigs, Business School, and Wolfe Hash
Stew, (Matting Leah Publishing, 2007) when a girlfriend said to me, “Hey, you
seem to be doing pretty well as a single dad. Why don’t you write a book for
other single dads?” So, I did.
In 2012, I published
The Single Father’s Guide to Life, Cooking, and Baseball (Arundel Publishing),
which includes advice, support, and recipes wrapped neatly in sports analogies.
It was about that time I started to blog, “The Single Father’s Guide.” The rest
style and content of the articles I write range from informational to
journalistic to human interest to controversial. Not surprisingly, the
controversial and the human interest with a personal spin tend to resonate the
most with my readers. Lists, like “The Top 5 Songs About Single Dads” also do
very well. I think the readers of “The Single Father’s Guide” blog not only
seek advice and support, but they also want to know that someone else really feels the way they do. A great example is
my article “Mother’s Day for Motherless Children” in which I describe the first
time my son, who was an infant when his mother died, made a Mother’s Day card
for her. It was a pretty powerful moment for me, and I think my readers felt
I think, shortly
after I reentered the dating, I was a little overwhelmed. I’d been married for
12 years and I hadn’t really dated for some time prior to becoming my late
wife’s husband in 1992. A lot had changed in the world since I’d been a single
man, including the advent of on-line dating and changing attitudes toward
single father parenting. It was my continuing and often mind-boggling
experiences as a single father dating that spawned my article, “First Date Sex
and The Single Father.”
thoughts? Well, as a reasonably decent guy who takes his responsibilities as
man and as a father seriously, I and other men who find themselves in a similar
situation will encounter women who are motivated by a variety of
considerations. Some potential romantic partners may just want to have a little
fun. Others may have a desire to nurture. Still others may be motivated by
something else. The moral is simple. If you and your partner both know what you
want from a relationship and are honest with the other, then by all means,
enjoy your time together.
Well, one of the
“Single Father Golden Rules” in The Single Father’s Guide to Life, Cooking, and
Baseball refers to whether or when a single dad should introduce his romantic
interest to his children. This question is a real pickle. On one hand, if the single
dad wants to spend more time and get to know his romantic partner better, he
almost has to involve her (or him, as the case may be) in his family’s lives.
On the other hand, both the single father’s children and his romantic partner
may get the wrong impression. His children may start to envision dad’s romantic
partner as their new mommy or step-mommy, while his romantic interest may
prematurely imagine herself in that role.
To resolve this
question, I’ve suggested that the single father only introduce his children to
his romantic partner only if there is reasonable likelihood that the
relationship will be long-term. Every persons and every situation is different,
so I leave the definitions of “reasonable likelihood” and “long-term” up to the
I’d have to say the
best piece of dating advice I’ve ever received came from one Smokey Robinson,
who had a little help from The Miracles, who so fittingly crooned, “You better
shop around.” (I’m a big fan of classic Motown.)
At least in the
United States, about 94% of single fathers are single fathers because the
relationship he had with the mother of his child(ren) failed. Divorce. Break
up. Whatever. So, rather than to jump right back into a commitment, take your
time. Take advantage of your experience and maturity to find a life partner, if
a life partner is what you want. Spend the time. Be respectful. Be honest. But,
shop around and find the partner who you love and with whom you and your
children can live . . . happily ever after.
About Matthew S.
some other great writers, Matthew S. Field claims a Missouri river city as his
hometown. Among other things, Field is a father and an entrepreneur. He is also
the author of the illustrated children’s books, Father Like A Tree (2005) and The Three Pigs, Business School, and
Wolfe Hash Stew (2007),
the critically acclaimed mainstream fiction title, The Dream Seeker (2010), and the non-fiction, The Single Father’s Guide to Life,
Cooking, and Baseball (2012).
In 2011, he was voted “Best Author” by the readers of the Times
Herald-Record and won a
“Mom’s Choice Award” for co-writing the board book, Sometimes, My Dad and I (2013). Matthew S. Field lives with
his two daughters and son in Warwick, New York.