Parenting isn't easy—and it can be even tougher when you feel like you're going at it alone. Moms and dads need support, and as one man's viral post on Reddit went to show, there's no shame in saying it.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, a Reddit user by the name of The_local_unknown11 shared his dilemma on the Unpopular Opinion section of the site. "Being a single dad with half-custody is just as hard as being a single mom," he wrote, "but I don't have a rally cry of support behind me."
He went on to explain that while his ex "has women telling her on social media how amazing she is for raising kids in her own and how strong and independent she is for picking herself up after the divorce," he personally gets "none of that."
"It's not that my friends don't think I'm a good dad," he clarified. "[It's] that as a society, we have made the single mom a sort of unsung hero. What about single dads? We do the same s--t. I work and take care of my kids the same way but I don't get celebrated like I'm doing something amazing. I just get the recognition that almost all dads get...nothing."
The frustrated father's post was met with understanding messages of support from other parents. "I went through this and it's annoying," wrote one dad.
Another chimed in that he "hate(s) the stigma surrounding dads and only being 'moderately aware of the small humans in his house' or 'Dad comes home, has a beer, and the mom does all the parenting.'"
"Single dads are amazing," added yet another user. "And part of it is because they aren't recognized."
Of course, there are plenty of single moms who don't feel recognized, either. Parenting can feel like a thankless task, and that's all the more reason why we should be lifting each other up—whether that's in real life or online.
In response to the original Reddit post, there was some criticism (it is the Internet, after all), but for the most part the consensus was that single dads—like all parents—deserve support and encouragement.
The original poster thanked the Reddit community for "all your support and for making me feel like I'm doing good as a parent." He wrote that while it "may have sounded like I wanted credit for some s--t I'm supposed to do," this was "not the case."
What this dad wanted—just like many other parents—was some acknowledgment that raising kids is hard work.
After his original post went viral, The_local_unknown11 added a comment that summed this particular experience up pretty nicely. He wrote: "As has been repeatedly pointed out, I know I'm not a full time single parent. I'm still a single parent for a week at a time and sometimes its bad ass and super rewarding cause my kids are the sh-t."
"Sometimes its hard," he acknowledged. "Just like it is for parents in a couple, part time custody, or full time custody. I can't imagine doing it completely on my own 24/7 and those people get major props."
We'd like to give major props to every parent out there, because we know it can be overwhelming. It's important to know, though, that you're not alone, and there are resources available to help you.
If you're feeling anxious, depressed or unable to cope with the stress of parenting, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, For more information, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.