Episode 41: Finding Healing and Growth Through Single Fatherhood: A Chat with David Williams

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Welcome to The Single Father Podcast, where host Kendall Donaker explores the unique challenges and joys of raising children as single dads. In this episode, Kendall is joined by guest David Williams, who shares his personal experiences growing up in a single father household and how it has shaped him as a person. The two discuss the challenges of dealing with his parents’ divorce, his son’s autism, and how he is coping with being a newborn daughter and being in a relationship. They also delve into the difficulties of making decisions about family members who are not behaving in a way that aligns with their values, and the importance of making choices that are best for oneself. Tune in for an insightful and honest conversation about the complexities of single fatherhood and personal growth.

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I spoke about a little about where I met with mine, and it’s funny because I go into that deeper in my next episode where I talk about how TV parents kind of shift my fatherhood outlook, watching things like Modern Family or things like that.

There may be something that would be way outside of her comfort zone and also maybe way outside of your comfort zone, but if she finds it worthy of pursuing but she’s scared, you want to be able to convey to her it’s uncomfortable.

The lines of communication needed to be open. And so for that, you could actually move forward in trying to figure out the solution for your grandmother. And you wanted to do that for a really long time.

That’s an amazing thing you just said, David. I think that’s going to help a lot of listeners as well. And then let me ask you something. Is that something that you figured out on your own or is this something that you actually learned from your parents?.

Again, communication, I think understanding each other in, like, what’s important for you as a parent and what’s important for your daughter’s mother as a parent, those things need to be expressed so that you guys can begin to formulate a plan to proceed in a manner that’s going to be best for your daughter.


0:00:00 The Single Father Podcast: An Interview with David Williams

0:02:26 Single Fatherhood: A Conversation with David

0:04:06 The Impact of Family Relationships on an Individual

0:06:22 The Power of Letting Go: How to Create a Better Future for Yourself

0:08:12 The Impact of Technology on Parent-Child Relationships

0:09:38 The Importance of Family: A Conversation with Kendall Donaker

0:13:31 Kendall and David discuss her upbringing and how it has affected his parenting.

0:15:25 Father-Son Relationship: The Importance of Communication

0:18:40 Parenting a Child with Autism: A Conversation with David Williams

0:20:30 David Discuss the Challenges of Autism

0:22:55 Parenting a Child with Autism: One Father’s Experience

0:25:03 The Importance of a Healthy Relationship with Your Partner

0:28:15 The Importance of a Healthy Relationship Between Coparents

0:30:23 The Impact of Divorce on Children: A Father’s Perspective

0:33:37 Parenting Conversation

0:36:17 Parenting Goals: Hardworking, Disciplined, Respectful, and Fearless

0:38:05 Parenting Styles

0:40:17 Collaborating for the Best Interest of the Child

0:43:28 Fatherhood: The Importance of Being a Good Role Model

0:44:56 The Power of a Good Example: How Parents Can Teach Their Kids to be Successful

0:47:34 The Power of Mentorship: How to Overcome Fear and Grow from Mistakes

0:49:10 The Benefits of Facing Adversity

0:51:36 The Importance of Confronting Adversity

0:53:11 The Benefits of Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone

0:54:35 Fatherhood Outlook: A Conversation with David

0:57:46 How to Move Forward After Resolving Family Conflict In this conversation, the speaker discusses how he was able to move forward after resolving conflict with his family. He talks about the importance of being intentional with spending quality time with family members.

0:59:22 The Relationship between Parents and Their Adult Children

1:03:10 The Importance of Systems in Achieving Goals

1:04:53 Closing thoughts, The Single Father Podcast with Kendall Donker: Episode with David Williams


Well, hello and welcome to the single father podcast. I’m your host, Kendall Donaker, AKA father DZ. Thank you for being a part of today’s show. And thank you for allowing me to vent with you. Guys, I have an amazing guest on today’s show. His name is David Williams. Um, you know, when him and I got in contact.

Uh, I read a little bit about his story. This is an amazing guy. And speaking to him, you know, put everything into a whole new perspective. Um, I said this to him, to his face that. He’s the type of guy that you would follow into a storm and just know that on the other side, you’ll be okay. Um, and he even has a little bit of a metaphor for that as well.

You know, we speak about his struggles with his parents’ divorce. His son with autism. And kind of how he’s been able to navigate that. With his own life and then with his own challenges and with his relationship and with his newborn daughter, , we speak about a lot. , we really get into it. This has been one of my favorite episodes. I’m happy that I had him on the show. And, uh, I know that this is going to be an episode that you guys will love.

Um, so without further ado, Thank you for letting me vent with you. Make sure you like subscribe, leave a review. Um, put us as your favorites. It means nothing to you, but. It means the world to me. Thank you guys. Here. Here it is

How are you? I’m good. How are you? Very good. I’m sorry for the delay my friend, but I’m happy I get to speak to you. No worries, man. Happy holidays. Happy New Year. Happy, happy New Year to you too. How was your Christmas?

It was good. It was good. You got look super festive where you’re at. Yeah. Yeah. , I’ve, uh, I’ve been so busy with my kid at the time to take it down and, um, if I take it down in front of her, I think it’d be like the whole thing. So, yeah. , luckily she’s at our mom’s right now. Um, what, what’d you do for Christmas?

Um, As we just had our baby girl. She’s 17. She’s 17 days. Congratulations. I’m old. Um, so I mean, it was really low key. Just ended up the grandparents, um, went to my mom’s. Just, just pretty, pretty low key. Congratulations. Thank you. A lot of it’s just been, you know, just navigating that. It’s been a lot of, um, not a lot of sleep lately, so.

Mm. . But yeah, that’s been, it was, it was nice. Everybody was excited to see her. Yeah. I, no, I don’t miss those days with the no sleep. Uh, that’s for, for damn sure. . Yeah. Uh, so David, I just wanted to like, learn a little bit about yourself. Um, tell me about you and, your family and kinda where you’re at. Yeah. So one thing that pulled my interest, uh, when I found your podcast, uh, like I said, being a single father, and that was one thing.

I’m 40 years old. I grew up in a small town, sand Springs, Oklahoma. It’s just outside of Tulsa. I mean, literally about 10 minutes from downtown. Um, and then going through my parents’ divorce and living with my dad, um, had a lot to do with I think like though it shaped me mentally, um, and where I’m at today.

But they divorced when I was either in second or third grade, so I was like seven or. . So a split household. And then like I said, having to live with him. Um, we didn’t really flip flop a lot in regards to sharing custody, so the mm-hmm. , I would say the majority of my younger adolescents and teenage years were coming from a single father, uh, household.

Um, and so what was really interesting about that is like filling emotions of. Confusion. I think for one, obviously as any young kid would, uh, not understand really like what’s going on, what’s happening and why, but, uh, having feelings of confusion, uh, having feelings of, um, resentment as I, I got older and I actually ended up, um, having to deal with a lot of personal and emotional.

I wouldn’t say shortcomings and things like that, but it’s like having to work through those. It, it affected a lot of, even with me and my current relationship, and Ceha, you know, she’s the mother of, of my two children, but we had to work through a lot because I, uh, because of a lot of my childhood, I wouldn’t call it trauma, but because of those situations and scenarios, um, I had a lot of working.

on myself that I had to do. And it wasn’t until, uh, I recognized that and really started to address it because in the past I hadn’t, yeah, I had com I had completely, uh, ignored it. Um, I had just, oh, it doesn’t really matter. It was such a long time ago, but still, it, it did matter and it was still affecting me.

And not only was it affecting me, um, growing as an individual, but it was actually affecting me in my. Relationships, my relationship, uh, now too as well. And that was something that I had to address and, um, have, and even like still today, still learning just how to become a better father, a better partner.

Um, . But that was one of the things that, that when I, when I found you and I saw you, I was like, this is really interesting. And so, uh, even the, uh, your last episode when you were talking about, uh, your uncle, right? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And, uh, was it, and it was your, was your grandmother or your aunt? Uh, my grandma, yeah.

Grandmother. Yeah. And like having to deal with family members and them, you know, some of the people that are the. Close to us or that we perceive, I should say, that what, that are the most close to us can really be not heading in the direction and the path that we want to go. And some of those decisions as you made, as you talked about, you know, some of those can be some of the hardest decisions.

And, and it’s like, we wanna hold onto those so badly. It’s like, ah, like I said, I was ignoring it. I was ignoring it, and I was ignoring it, and I was putting it off to the side, making light of. . And then when you finally said, you know what, I need to address this. You talked about how like you had this relief, right?

And I’m sure you two were probably wondering man, I was like, why didn’t I do this a long time ago? Like when I first started becoming an issue. So it’s like that’s why I wanted to talk to like people, whether it’s fathers, mothers, whatever. It’s like, even though that, are they, they may be blood, they may be family, they may be close to us.

That doesn’t necessarily. Give us the obligation to continue going down the same path that they’re on and the way that they behave and their lifestyle and their mindset. And if it’s not in alignment with who you’re wanting to be you, you’re not obligated to be, you know, metaphorically in the same boat with them.

And I thought that was really, really interesting. And I remember I was working out, I was listening to that episode and I was working. And you were talking about it, I was like, well, it was my family and I ha um, I can’t remember how you put it, but he’s like, it’s like it has to be this way or it has to be, and I was literally in the gym and I can’t remember exactly how you said it, but I verbally out loud.

I was like, no, you don’t. You don’t. And I was in there, it was probably, it was early in the morning, it was like 4 30, 5 o’clock in the morning. There was probably like four people in there. But I remember like vividly saying that out loud. And, and that’s even the thing is like, uh, for people is.

Going through life, being a single father, being a single mother. Mm-hmm. , um, like it’s going to be a ton of adversity. And that’s okay. Those are the moments and those are the lessons that are gonna serve you to become a higher, better self later on. When will that happen? We don’t know, but. , that was a thing with, with that, with that break in my parents’ relationship and me growing up in a, in a single father household, um, taught me a lot.

Uh, it gave me a lot of perspective. It made me very, very grateful. And, um, it showed me the importance of a relationship, not only between a father and a son, but a parent and a child, and Absolut. . And with that comes a lot of responsibility. And I don’t think that parents nowadays really understand the impact that they have on their children with technology.

iPhones, iPads, you know, people’s relationships are very, um, I wouldn’t say limited, but it is extremely different the the way that you and I. How old are you? Uh, 27. You’re 27. So I’m 40. Uh uh. And so we’re kind of on the fringe. When we were younger, we didn’t have that technology. So we were forced to , have, have relationships differently, and now everybody’s just in their screen.

Does that make sense? You’re absolutely correct. Um, you’re speaking really, uh, deep too. I I really love that. Uh, and there’s a lot to unpack there too. Um, no, specifically what you said about family, I, you’re absolutely right. My, my definition of what a family is, I don’t think I’ve actually like pinpointed what I would define it as, because there’s a lot of complicated aspects to it.

Specifically going into my last episode of where I speak about kind of letting go of a family member, um, and, uh, moving forward, going. Moving forward with, you know, my dad, who I’m close with, but I have a very complicated relationship with as a father and a family member, you know? Um, so you’re absolutely right in that, um, and it, it is complicated.

And in going back to when you were younger, so you lived in a single father house. And, and you said you had a lot of resentment. Um, what was that resentment built towards? Was it from, was it built towards your, your mom, your dad? I mean, what, what do you think that resentment was kind of triggered by? I would say not to, I would say to both of them honestly.

And it wasn’t, it wasn’t, uh, when I was younger, it was actually when I started to get into my teenage years. . Um, both, both of my parents have since remarried and they’ve, they’ve been married to their spouse, um, longer than my parents were married to the, to themselves. So they’ve both, um, obviously have, have moved on and things like that.

But as I was becoming a teenager, um, that resentment came from, like I said, I, I vividly remember thinking all the time. . He was like, well, if they didn’t care enough to figure it out or work on it, then I’m not gonna care as much either. And so it, that was, that was the attitude I started to take. And it wasn’t that I didn’t love them or I didn’t care for them or, or wasn’t happy to be around them.

It’s just that fracture took. a big toll on me mentally. Mm-hmm. , and, and like I said, is as you’re younger, it’s like you don’t understand. Mm-hmm. , you don’t know what was going on. And that’s even one thing. It’s like there’s always three sides to a story. There’s, you know, what one person says, what the other person says, and then the truth

So I just think, I think the valuable lesson, the valuable lesson, I think. I learned from that is even though people make mistakes, even though people, uh, are human and they’re flawed, um, you still want to be able to be solution oriented and move forward with the best intentions in mind. Absolutely. I know my parents didn’t have any ill will towards me.

Um, for whatever reasons they weren’t able to, you know, work their differences. . Um, and you know, here we are , so you know, obviously like seven, you know, thirties, 35 years later. And it’s just, um, I love them both. Still our relationships are, are growing. Um, and now it’s like now me being a father myself, I can see the importance of communication.

I can see the importance of compromise. Mm-hmm. , uh, , I can see the importance of selflessness, uh, are very, very important for the family to thrive. I, I like what you say because, uh, when you’re speaking about selflessness, I think that’s important, especially going to what you just said about, um, you know, saying, I don’t think my parents had any ill will towards me.

It’s funny because I would somewhat agree to that with myself. I don’t think my parents ever. such Ill will, like, it wasn’t just like, you know, fuck Kendall, right? But it was, it was more so, you know, being, uh, uh, the selfish behavior of kind of putting themselves first. And I speak about this a lot in, pretty much every episode is conditional love.

Uh, they had very conditional love. It was a boundary. , the, the love that they showed me. You know, it was, if you don’t do this for me, then, you know, maybe I’m kind of cold to you. And that was kind of the things that I’ve was raised by. And, you know, I have to watch myself sometimes. Um, I’ve never c I’m never ever cold to my daughter, but even certain behaviors that my parents have towards me, like even just yesterday, I was, you know, it was such an effort to get my daughter to clean the house.

and you know, at a cer I just kind of, at a certain point I’m like, God, you know what? God damn, I’m so, I raised my voice and I’m like, man, I don’t wanna be like this. You know, I’ve, because even as I raised my voice, I heard my dad in that and how like, uh, how uncomfortable it made me with his loud voice presence.

And I ha and I immediately apologized and just talked to her about it instead. And it’s something I have to watch. And I wonder what that’s like for you. I mean, uh, you know, having those experiences from your parents that you don’t like is, do you ever catch yourself in a moment where you’re like, oh, I have to, this sounds like my parents, let me tone it back.

Something like that. You know what I mean all the time? Absolutely. It’s, uh, you know, they have these, uh, saying. or just the things that you’ve heard them say over and over again and like their philosophies or you know, their cliches or things like that. And what you even talked about is like you, your temperament.

That was even one thing. It’s like for me now, currently, so my two-year-old, he’s autistic. Mm-hmm. , he’s delayed with his development. And so that’s been challenging and for me to. Number one, understand that he’s not going to pick things up, uh, mentally as quickly as other children would. It’s been a big test on, uh, my patients.

It’s been a big test on my temperament. Mm-hmm. . Um, there’s times where he doesn’t listen well. Now I don’t know if that’s, you know, him just being a two year old mm-hmm. , but, uh, I do, I do see myself. And so like in what you were discussing about, you know, you. acting out or doing things that remind you of your father?

I do the same thing. Um, and I told this with him. I actually spoke to, I, I, I spoke to him about this was he was very my way or the highway. Mm-hmm. very like authoritarian and. . Where he struggled was, and what I mentioned earlier, was his lack of communication. He had all the best intentions for me. Mm-hmm.

but he didn’t have the ability to communicate that they were the best intentions. It was just, no, we’re gonna do it this way. And if you don’t like it, tough. Right. And so that was, that’s where I, for one, want to improve. It’s like being able to convey, Why we’re going to do it this way and not this way.

Does that make sense? I completely agree with you. Absolutely. So, so he was, it was just, like I said, he had all the best intentions he had. He wanted me to be successful. He wanted me, um, to all parents want them, want their kids to do better than them in all aspects of life. Where I want to be able to improve upon that is being able to, explain to them in a manner that it will actually click rather than, well, if you don’t like it, tough, I’m the parent and you’re the kid.

Hmm. . Does that make sense? No, it does. Uh, and that’s, listen, I mean that’s legitimately what I, I struggles of a different word cuz it’s not like I’m constantly reminding myself of my parents, but it’s, it’s. . I do so much struggle with at times when I’m in a moment of frustration, kind of like how you mentioned and it’s like what you just said my way or the highway, you know, knock this shit off.

You know what I mean? Blah blah, blah. And I have to revert back cuz I’m like, I, I’ll be damned if I have this girl fear me. Like that’s not what I want. You know? I want us to have, you know, a father-daughter relationship where it’s communicative and look, there’s certain times as parents as you know, like you know it.

I think it does call for it because I said so. Right. But, uh, it’s, it’s been really difficult to find that balance sometimes between, you know, because yesterday was really kind of a, a struggle, like a thought provoking experience for me. This, I mean, she refused just absolutely clean, and I’m using every single tactic to try not to be.

uh, like a really demanding presence. You know, if you don’t do this, you’re going to your room. She chooses a room, and I’m like, okay, now what? You know? And now I’m like, okay, it’s not an option, like clean up. And you know, as she’s dragging her feet, it’s kind of like, oh, I’m so frustrated and it’s really hard.

and you kinda revert back What worked for me? Well, it was the cowardly fear that I had experienced with my father, but I don’t want that. And it’s finding different ways to kind of parent is, has been my interesting struggle with, um, kind of how I was raised. But I imagine it’s more difficult for you because you do have a son with autism.

And I, I’d love for you to kind of further explain on that too, because I imagine being a parent, um, It, that’s everything we just dis discussed is probably more amplified since you have, you know, a son who you know is learning a little bit slower than, uh, the average bear. And I would love for you to kind of explain that and how you’ve been able to manage that and what are you doing to manage that currently.

Yeah, absolutely. So the autistic spectrum, that, that, it’s a wide spectrum and that could be different levels for everything. And so even when they’re screened, there’s different categories that they’re. Um, evaluated on and for Zaman, um, whereas he’s delayed at is, uh, his speech and his social, uh, interactions.

Uh, there’s other categories too as well, but his specific one, so he’s two and a half. Um, he’s not speaking yet. And that’s, that’s, I mean, that can be common whether the person with the kid’s autistic or not, but he’s still not speaking and so that’s even the thing is. Just simple communications. I saw a pod, I saw a podcast, uh, the other day, and a gentleman was actually interviewing his daughter and she was three, I think it was, and they were just having a full on conversation like you and I, and I never got, I, and, and that hit me so hard because I was extremely jealous of that.

And I was like, oh my gosh. It’s like, that’s number one. It’s amazing for them. They’re able to do it. But I had never, I never realized and take. For granted, just being able to communicate with your child, uh, and have them express, you know, what they’re wanting, what their emotions are, things like that. But so he’s delayed in his speech and he’s, um, in regards to his social interactions, he still has no, like, full on awareness of what’s appropriate in particular.

Environments, restaurants, uh, out in public. I mean, he’s just, yeah, just, he’s just go, go, go, go, go, go, go. I’ll tell you, that’s every kid. That’s my kid. Yeah. Every kid. Yeah. . Well, again, and that’s even the thing is it’s like that’s, and he said what it’s been like for me, the most challenging thing is, I don’t know if it’s a developmental delay or if it’s normal children behav.

So me, same thing. It’s like I’m a little confused. It’s like, do I become more disciplined? Mm. Do I be more patient? And I’m learning as we go. That’s been the struggle for me is wow, is that because of he’s just a child and children don’t listen to as well? Or is, is he really just not comprehending, um, what’s appropriate?

And so I’m having to, I’m having to, um, Give them the, the benefit of the doubt, . And so that’s, that’s one thing that’s, uh, like I said, it’s been a big test of patience. I think that’s what the, any parent, um, for sure, yeah. Hmm. That’s, that’s deep, man. I, I, I can’t imagine what a struggle that must be for you, . Uh, I, yeah, I mean, that, that is interesting to be honest with you. Like you, you’re at a place where like, yeah, I can’t tell whether she’s just, or, or he’s just acting out, or if it’s just, you know, part of, you know, autistic behavior that must be really challenging.

Are, is there any like doctors or therapists that help you with that? Uh, with him specifically? Yes. So he’s in, he’s in speech therapy and occupational therapy. So he goes to actually three different sessions per week, um, that they work with. And, um, he does great. Uh, we’re seeing progressions and, um, he’s very, the thing was, I mean, he’s very determined.

I mean, with everything that he does. He’s very bold, he’s very courageous. That’s actually one of the character traits I absolutely love about him. But also simultaneously it scares me to death, uh, because. , like I said, he has no regards for, uh, other people in his own safety. Yeah. So again, certain things like that can be challenging.

And he was born during Covid. Mm-hmm. So for that first year, year and a half or so, it’s like we weren’t, I mean, we were quarantined like everybody else, so we weren’t out with other parents and their kids, so there was no interactions between. Yeah. Yeah. And so that was when, and like I said, this whole thing has been just one big puzzle.

Of, okay. Is it, is it the, the developmental delay or is it just normal child behavior? Did you need more interaction? Is it da da da? And it’s just like, we just have a lot of questions mm-hmm. , um, that I don’t have definitive answers to. And so I’ve had to, yeah. I mean that I’ve just had to really, really practice, you know, my patients and just trying to understand and be solution solution oriented, one step at a time.

People, the people who don’t have idea, they’re like, man, how do you deal with that? How do you deal with that? And it’s just, honestly, it’s like we’re so, I mean, we’ve gotten used to it. It’s just him. It’s just, it’s just how it’s, we don’t, I don’t look at him as being different. I just look at him as, as him.

And so we’re just having to adjust accordingly on what’s appropriate. And just like I said, it’s just like I always say, he is like he’s on his own timeline. Yeah. So when he starts to, he starts to figure things out, he’ll start to figure things out. But you know, as a father, it’s like you want the best for them.

And he is like, still trying to figure out like what’s going to love him to death. I mean, that’s a, that’s a big thing, but it’s again, just like we wanna, I wanna, when you asked about like, does your, does my father come out and me? And you’re like, absolutely. And he’s like, I don’t wanna be. My way or the highway, I want to be like, it’s, this is the best way and here’s the reason why.

Love that. Does that make love that? Yeah, that perfect. Yeah. It’s always, uh, the second sentence, uh, one of my , one of my, uh, trainers who used to work with me, Sheel lives out in California, but she always said, David, you need the second sentence. And, and I said, well, what do you mean? It’s like, well, people will say something to you, but then if they don’t elaborate, Y it’s like you either a tend to ignore it or it’s like it, you just don’t comprehend it.

So it’s like, and she was a school teacher, that was her actual full-time job, and she worked with little kids too as well. She said it’s like, this is what we feel is best and here’s the reason why. And I was like, daddy dumb. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. You’re absolutely right. That’s, that’s so deep. Uh, David, and, and, uh, I agree with you because it, uh, um, Man.

I mean, look, look, as I said, although I do think there’s times that require, uh, because I said so, I’d say 99% of the time, I always try to explain why. Because look, my daughter’s a curious girl. All she wants to know is, why can’t I touch that? Why can’t I do that? You know, she doesn’t know. . And so it doesn’t really benefit her from me screaming at her and saying, because, you know, I try to explain why, Hey, this is not safe, because it could hurt you, you know, this is blah, blah, blah.

Because, you know, so I, I completely a hundred percent agree with you. Um, that’s a great way to parent and I really commend you on that. I can already tell you you’re a great dad. Uh, how I, how, let me ask you this though. How important is it, you came from a divorced household, how important is it to you?

that you maintain a healthy and positive relationship with your, your partner because I, I remember probably the most disappointing aspect of my fatherhood career is, is per se, is me breaking up with her mother and. That’s not to say that I think we should be together because I don’t, but at the same time it was so heartbreaking for me because I, you know, you look at your parents and you’re like, never, never will I ever be you.

And then you kind of fall into a pattern of where, okay, I’m you. And, and sometimes it’s even hard taking advice from my dad cuz I’m like, look, I feel like you did things the right, wrong way. , I’m not at all saying this, but it’s like sometimes you, you go in your head, I’m like, maybe you’re the reason why, you know what I’m saying?

And I, it’s hard for me to accept that. Like, I’m so disappointed that I don’t have my daughter every day have a one week on, one week off. I am so disappointed, disappointed about, you know, being in a situation where I have to split custody with a relationship, have a, a complicated relationship with her mother.

We talk out on parenting app. It’s just so not what I am envisioned for myself being a parent. And there’s grace in that. There’s beauty in that. And I can talk about all the benefits of, um, you know, the positives of being a co-parent, but it’s just obviously you don’t go into a situation having a child and being like, Hey, I wanna co-parent.

Right? And so I wonder how is important it is for you to maintain that relationship with, with, with your. extremely. I think number one, first and foremost is like having a, a child isn’t, is a huge, if not the biggest responsibility that you can have, and, uh, for people to take that lightly, um, they don’t really understand the magnitude of like, you’re creating a life and you’re responsible for, uh, that.

And so again, it comes back to being selfless versus being selfish. Mm-hmm. . from their, from my upbringing, from a split household. Like I said, that happening led me to become an extremely selfish individual. Extremely, I mean, for all the way up into my twenties, all the way up into, uh, I would say practically around like my, my mid thirties and, um, with Sasha.

Uh, , it’s extremely important for us to have a healthy relationship, and that’s even the one thing is like I had to become less selfish, stop thinking about myself and only my wants and needs. Mm-hmm. know that for this to be optimal. That’s the thing. Is this for to be optimal is that it’s a, it’s a team now.

We all have our wants and our. . Um, I heard a message a couple weeks ago and it’s like, like, oh, the father has his roles and the mother has his roles, and it’s like, I don’t know where we all got that. It’s like we have like general roles, but it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s each other’s responsibility to be the absolute best for the family.

And as both the mother and the fathers, they have to, they, you can’t be 50% in the, the actual, the way you said it is like 50. Commitment on one hand and 50%, um, responsibility just leads to 100% disappointment. Mm-hmm. . And so you just, it’s work, right? I mean, it’s work. There’s, I know that there’s things that you wish that you may have done differently.

Um, but again, again, those are where the lessons are, and we’re always gonna go through life making mistakes and not learning from the mistake is the mistake. Mm. So even if you have, so with my parents, even if they split, it’s like they could still do the best that they can do, even though that you’re not with, you know, your daughter’s mother.

It’s like that, that has no bearings on how you act today. It has no bearings on how you act tomorrow, end of the years to come if we just continue to focus on, and that’s what I, that’s where my mistake was. I was still so focused. . Well, why didn’t they figure it out? Well, why didn’t, why couldn’t they work things out?

Well, why did it? It was like, I was just still just wondering, wondering, wondering. And it was like, instead of me just focusing on, no, Dave, you have your own family now. And it’s like one thing that you don’t wanna do is to repeat those same mistakes and affect your child. So it’s extremely important. It’s a lot of work.

Um, and again, as it’s like, it’s like you have to be selfless. To get the best out of the relationship. If you’re only gonna just focus on you and your needs and your wants, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of pain. Um, and so how is that gonna, what can you do to make it better communicate? . And that’s a, that’s a skillset in itself.

And most people, most people, I would say 80% of people, their communication sucks. And especially now, we all communicate through our devices. We’re texting, we’re emailing, there’s less face-to-face. Uh, cancer culture is running rapid. Like people like is Yeah. Communication skills and human beings are completely just deteriorated.

And I know for a fact that’s also leaked into like how people treat other people in relationships and it’s a sad thing. Um, I don’t see it getting better either. Does that make sense? Absolutely. It does. But, uh, you know, I think what you said is so true because. , you know, in the beginning, um, you know, I kind of being traumatized by my parents’ situation, you know, being in a courtroom with them and being in a courtroom with, you know, my child’s mother.

It was really kind of traumatizing for me and I was kind of crippled by that a little bit, and I felt myself being like, disconnected and, and you’re absolutely right. It, it, it shouldn’t have like what I do now. is what’s important, you know, moving forward with, with my child and being a supportive father, even being a supportive co-parent.

One of my goals from the very beginning of when we broke up was to, um, make sure that my daughter grows up as normal as possible, is not a normal situation, but I’m not going to have her come to my house, feel uncomfortable about talking to her mother. I, I, I, I hope, and I’m pretty sure it’s vice versa, but, you know, I, I wanna.

You know, it, it’s, it’s beyond me now. It’s kind of, it is kind of what I think you’re saying. It’s like, you know, it’s, you know, we’re family and we figure this out and, and that’s kind of what my goal is for my daughter. You know, it’s not about my selfish. , you know, your mom this or your mom that. It’s about me being supportive and caring and making sure that my daughter grows up as normal, as comfortable as possible.

Um, but, and I commend you for, uh, that with your, your wife, because that’s, I think that’s a big deal. You know, not taking the elements that you learned from your growing up and passing them on to someone else. And that can go, you know, both ways too. It can be like not passing on to your kid or not passing.

some things that you learned onto your, your partner as well, um, and, uh, with this new child that you guys have. Congratulations again. Um, w w I mean, have you learned anything a little bit from your son that you want to take on with your daughter and like, how do you, how do you parent? Like what’s your.

What’s your, yeah. What, how does David parent, how do you parent? How do you pair it? All right. How do you parent? Oh man. Well, because you know what I learned in my, cuz my friend’s having a baby, and this is just my opinion, there’s so many books out there that tell you how to parent. Mm-hmm. . And I feel like, to be honest, you kind of figure it out based on your kid’s personality and.

What you have going on in your, in your life and your household. You know, I feel like you kind of just figure it out. Um, and I listen to those books and I listen to those parenting podcasts and all that, but that’s kind of how I parent. I kinda just figure it out and try to be the best dad possible. But yeah, how do you do it?

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So this is great. I love it. We’re talking about this, so there’s a, there’s, you’ve probably heard this, and not even parenting books, but just even self-development I is having. core tenants having core principles. How do you want this little child to act? And B, right? Mm-hmm. . So it’s not necessarily a blueprint like, oh, here’s step one, here’s step two, a, B, C, D.

I don’t think that there’s ever a right or wrong like path for Zon and Lenny. Here’s what we want them to be

hard. , disciplined, respectful,

and not have fear. Mm-hmm. , does that make sense? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Those things. And so with those things, and SA and I have talked about these. and, and that may, and so that, that list may even evolve as time goes on. But these are like four things that we know that we would want to mold them to be as an individual, as a human again.

So it’s just like, uh, hardworking, disciplined, respectful. and not have fear. And what I’m, what do I tell me when I say don’t have fear? So like, as a child, it’s like, what, what it is like at one some point, whether it’s middle school, high school, college, whatever, it’s like people get so scared of pursuing X, Y, and Z.

People wanna lose weight, but they’re, they’re afraid of failing. People want to work towards the promotion, but they feel that they may get passed over people. Uh uh, the dude wants to go. The chick out, but he’s scared that he’s gonna, you know, get rejected. So there’s a fear. Fear, fear. Fear. Fear. Right. And that’s one of the biggest things is that we wanna teach them is like, go for it.

If it doesn’t work out like you want it to, again, what did you learn? And then how can you apply that knowledge moving forward so that you can be more successful in the future? Mm-hmm. , those are the four things that we want to instill in them. Now how do we do that? Well, we will see as how do we parent, how do we parent a way to instill those four core tenants?

I don’t know, but we know like that’s the direction that we want to mold them in. Mm-hmm. Coming back into, he is like, even reflecting in my childhood is like my father was very like black and white. He was very conservative. Um, he’s very spiritual. Um, he had really strong beliefs.

he wanted to convey those to me. But again, like I said, where he, I think where, where the opportunity for improvement for him was, was in the way he communicated to those. So for him it was like, don’t wear your hat backwards. Always look nice, dress nice, smell nice, uh uh, you know, just all these, like I said, all those cliches that you talk that she talked about, but there was a reasoning in a method as to why.

So do you and your, do you and your wife ever disagree on different parenting styles? All the time. Yeah. , because that is the one aspect that. . I mean, obviously I’ve, I have, you know, co-parenting disagreements, but it’s not really in my face, you know what I mean?

It’s kind of like, at my household, it’s this and her household. It could be that, and we try to agree on certain things, but I always wondered what it’s like for someone being in the same household, you know, day in, day out and having different parenting, uh, disagreements or stylists. Like how do you handle that and what do you.

what do you do to kind of create a, a, um, what do you call it, a, uh, a settlement of that? Like what’s, how, how, how do you, how do you express that with your wife? I think the best way, again, so there is no, there’s no gonna be a, a b abc 1, 2, 3. Just follow these steps. I, I’m at a point where I realize that again, for.

for it to be optimal for Amen. And for Lenny is that Seha and I have to collaborate together. Mm-hmm. . So even like with, with your situation, uh, being a single father, it’s like whether you like it or not, there are certain things that you are limited at doing for your daughter. There are certain things that her mother is limited.

Doing for your daughter too as well. Right now you guys can still collaborate, but it will look different than, uh, than a family whose parents are obviously the same household. Very true. So your question was like, how do No. So how do we collaborate again, communication. I think understanding each other in like, what’s important for you as a parent.

And what’s important for, uh, your daughter’s mother, uh, as a parent, those things need to be expressed so that you guys can begin to formulate a plan to proceed in a manner that’s gonna be best for your daughter. Mm-hmm. , if she’s having two different mixed messages. Or if Mikey’s there too. Do this. Well, dad says this, and when mom says this, well, then Dad says this.

And when mom says this, like it’s, it’s just gonna be chaotic. They there Yeah. They don’t, they don’t know what to do. Right. What’s right, what’s wrong? This ain’t, and so it’s, it’s, it’s very, it’s gonna be imperative that the parents. , uh, express to each other. It’s like, okay, what is gonna be important for her or for him?

Well, again, this is gonna be important. This is gonna be important. This is gonna be important. This is gonna be important. Okay, what do we need to do to ensure that those things happen? And she or he becomes that, well, we need to start. And then you start to formulate a plan. . Now, again, the way that happens, it may, you guys may not agree and that’s okay.

We’re not always gonna agree. But the thing is like if you guys always have in mind like, what’s going to be the best for the daughter, it’s like somebody will compromise. Um, or they won’t. And so like you’ll have to cross that bridge when you get there too as well. But I think to do it from an optimal way of doing, , you have to be expressive.

You have to communicate, you have to share thoughts, you have to share ideas. And then from there, you guys can start to formulate a plan that’s gonna be suitable for whether it’s the same household or different households. Again. So like for your daughter, you want her to be safe, you like, you have this whole list of things that you, that you want to occur.

And you guys, I know that you guys parents need to be on some sort of same. Playbook, . Yeah. For lack of term. For a lack of better terms, yes. For that to accomplish. Does that make sense? Absolutely. It does. Absolutely. Again, communication. Communication, and that was even one thing. What the, what you said a while ago, he’s just like, how do you parent?

I don’t know. It’s just like one day at a time, but these are the things that we want to happen. How are we gonna make those happen? You set a course of action and, and, and you move forward with that, but here’s how you do it, Kendall. I said I once aim him to be, you know, disciplined, respectful, uh, hardworking, not have fear for him to be that I, as a father, have to be that.

Mm wow. It’s not just gonna happen. I have to be respectful. I have to have a strong work ethic. I have to be disciplined. I have to go through life with not fear, with no. , if I try to teach those principles to him without me having those own principles, like in myself, it ain’t gonna work. Mm-hmm. , David. That, that, that blew my mind.

You’re so right. Um, you, you, you know what, just the other day I was driving with my daughter, she’s in the back seat, uh, and we’re just pulling outta the driveway and she can buckle herself and I try to get her to buckle herself now on, just be more responsible and. as I’m pulling outta the driveway, she’s like, well, your seatbelt’s not buckled, so I don’t want to Exactly.

And, and it, and it just reminded me of what you just said. Like, you know, you have to set the example for your kid to follow, follow your example, you know, and I like that. That’s, that’s an amazing thing you just said, David. I think that’s gonna help a lot of listeners, uh, as well. Um, that’s, And now let me ask you something.

Is that something that you figured out on your own or is this something that you actually learned from your parents? Yeah. , uh, no. Everything. No, no. That one thing about, so have I learned on my own, um, that I learned from my parents? So the, the best thing, so both, both of my parents are extremely hardworking, extremely hardworking.

Mm-hmm. . Um, I think my work ethic has definitely come from both of them. For sure. For sure.

I think the work ethic was instilled by both of them. I think the discipline, uh, was instilled by both of them. Uh, the other two is like, uh, not having fear. I had to learn that elsewhere. Um, both my parents are very traditional. Go to school, get an education, get a solid job, you know, just basic traditional things.

And I’ve completely, you know, entrepreneur, business owner. Completely different from , how they, how they thought it would go. Yeah. Um, and the, and the respect thing. Uh, I would actually think I learned that most from Saha. Uh, she’s Hispanic, so they’re extremely family oriented. Extremely like family above all else.

Absolutely. Like, absolutely with them and for me, coming from a broken, uh, I wouldn’t say dysfunctional, but just definitely just fractured. Paradigm of what family means. Mm-hmm. to have getting around people who, it’s like family above all else, learning to be respectful. Um, I’ve had to continue to improve that because I won’t listen to you if I don’t respect you, period.

Uh, and that’s something that I’ve had to work on because you can always learn from others whether they. Doing better than you, or not doing better than you if you just freaking listen. And it’s like you can still learn things from everybody. And that’s one thing is as I get older too as well, it’s like even if you can pick up a little nugget from this person or this person on what to do and also on what not to do, um, I think it’s like that’s gonna be very, very, very important for, for an individual’s development now.

What? I don’t know. Just like I said, it’s like how did you shape who became who you are? Life, right? ? Absolutely. This circumstance, that circumstances, it’s like by making mistakes. I think that’s the biggest thing is like that, that fourth one, don’t have fear of making mistakes. Don’t have fear of failure.

You’re gonna mess up, you’re gonna fail, you’re gonna fall short. It’s going to happen. So stop trying to avoid it. Just. . And then if and when it happens again, apply what you’ve learned, take those valuable lessons and then get better and, and do better next time. And then you’ll fail again. And then just repeat that same process and then you’ll fail again.

And then repeat that pro that that same process is like, don’t go through life just being totally afraid of messing up. You’re gonna mess up. You’re going to mess up, but don’t let that hand, but don’t let that like handicap you. Does that make sense? Absolutely. Absolutely, man. David, you. You, this has been an amazing conversation.

You, you are, are just so informative the way you speak. I mean, I would follow you into a storm and know on the other side I’m gonna be all right. That, that is, uh, I, I, I think you’re your an amazing dad and you know, when, when your son is old enough to speak, I think you guys are gonna have some amazing conversations.

The storms are where we grow. Absolut. . That’s the thing. It’s, and that’s what we, just, what we just talked about, people are so worried about like, oh gosh, what if this happens? What if this happens? No. Like, that’s where you want. You go into it. Go into it. You’re gonna come out the other end eventually.

Mm-hmm. eventually. Now, when is that? Who knows? It doesn’t really matter. But it’s like you, you see those obstacles, you see that adversity, you see those trials, you see those tribulations, you see those, the uh, those hard times in your life, like go face. go face it. And, and it’s like you’re gonna come out the other side eventually.

It was the same thing, like you said in the last episode you talked about with, uh, your uncle. It’s like you’d wanted, you wanted to do that for a long time. Absolutely. And, and you kept putting it off and sweeping it under the rug and putting it off and sweeping it under the rug. And then when you finally did it, you said it is like there was this instant relief and it wasn’t about how he react.

Right. It had nothing to do with him and how he, how he was going to react. You knew something down his side. It’s like, I need, again, I needed to communicate and express what I’m feeling, what I think, like what’s going on. It was like what, like the, the, the lines of communication needed to be open and so for that, it’s like you could actually move forward in trying to figure out the solution for your grand.

and you’d wanted to do that for a really long time and putting it off and procrastinated only made the problem bigger. You’re absolutely right. Um, I mean, yeah, David, that’s, it Couldn’t be closely, more closely than truth. I, I, you know, with him and, you know, my dad, those are very contentious relationships that I had that felt very.

you know, um, even with my dad, I, there’s an episode I, I did with called my father that I, I wanted to talk to him about something that happened when I was younger and I felt like, you know, we’re kind of growing and this will be the one time that I feel like if I speak to you about this, it may open a new door for our relationship, but maybe we can go even deeper than what we have right now, which is kind of just like a kind of a friendship.

I spoke to him about it. It didn’t go well. And at that point I, I, again, was kind of relieved cuz I said, well, you know what, at least I know where we stand. Right? I’m never going to regret not speaking to you about this. I spoke to you about it. It went pretty much how I, I expected it to go and that’s completely fine with me.

I needed to do it. And you’re right. Same with my grandmother. I mean, like, like you listened to it, you know, my uncle has a. Presence to him. And, but after I did it, I felt so much better. Uh, despite his reaction, I felt better knowing that I, I I crossed that path. Um, it gave you more di gave you more direction.

It did. It did. That’s what I was saying. And I said it’s like we come against those storms, we come against that adversity. It’s like the worst thing you could have done was continue to ignore it. Cause you knowing where he stood now opens up an avenue in a direction on what’s. Amen. That’s the biggest thing is like face the problems.

It’s going to be hard. It might not turn out like you want it to, but now that you’ve done it and you have a result from that, it will give you direction on what’s the next step for you to solve the problem. Amen. Solution oriented thinking. And so let’s just think going into those, like those are. Those are, those are hard conversations.

Um, obviously that, you know, there, there’s, there are all kinds of emotions that go into having those. Um, but you, the, the reason that you needed to do that is because there was something that you needed that you felt that you needed to address, right? And it had nothing to do with how he felt about, it’s how you felt about it and, and ignoring it only made it worse.

So now that you did, it’s like, okay, here’s where we are. that was now. Now what do we do now? Right. And so, absolutely. That’s just the biggest thing. And I, I would really, um, I would really like even like for your daughter too as well, it’s like, cuz there’s gonna be times. when she’s gonna be scared. Da, daddy, do I apply for this or this, or this?

Hey daddy, there’s this, uh, uh, thing that I want to do. Hey, dad, there’s this team, this ball club that I want to try out for. Hey, there’s this da da, da. Hey, I wanna start my own business. Hey, uh, I really feel like, you know, going to a foreign country and, and starting a da da, I don’t know, whatever the scenario may.

There may be something that would be way outside of her comfort zone and also maybe way outside of your comfort zone. But if she finds it, uh, uh, uh, worthy of pursuing, but she’s scared, you want to be able to convey to her, it’s like, do you, is It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? She’s gonna be like, yeah. It’s like that’s where you need to be.

You need to step into that discomfort cuz that’s where we grow again, the. Step into that storm because that’s where the growth is going to be. Is it gonna be difficult? Yes. Is it gonna suck? Possibly. But it could also be absolutely amazing and you could get some additional answers. And like I said, it’ll give you more direction on where you wanna move forward from there too as well.

Absolutely. Um, wow. David, I, what, what is an inspiring conversation? I, I love this. Um, yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s so. . Um, you know, speaking of parents, I think one of the last things I wanted to ask you is kind of where you’re at with your parents. Um, I, I spoke about a little about where I’m at with mine and it’s funny cuz I, I go into that deeper in one, in my next episode where I talk about how, you know, TV parents kind of shaped my fatherhood outlook.

You know, watching things like modern family or things like that. Um, and I wanted to ask, you know, where are things at with your parents? And if you could just explain kind of how you grew from the, a little bit of the reassembly you have when you were younger to now being a father and having maybe potentially a different perspective.

Yeah, absolutely. We may have to say this for the, for the next episode. Uh, , that’s totally fine. The resentment, I actually ran away twice. Um, so when I lived with my father, um, like I said, both my parents, they both got remarried. I had a really hard time adjusting to that dynamic with my father and my stepmother.

Um, Really, really hard time adjusting to that. And my father was very, like I said, he was very conservative, very hardworking, very just my way or the highway. Well, it got to the point where I chose the highway and uh, I was 17, I was out. So I don’t, I decided, like I said, I don’t know if I have time would go over on this episode, but, uh, I ran away and, uh, he.

Told me, he is like, you better come back home. Or he was like, I will send the cops out. I will have you picked up and I will send you to juvie. Okay, well, don’t want to go to juvie. So I, I came back home. Fast forward, uh, another year, uh, when I turned 18, there was a situation that occurred and, um, I decided to leave and leave for good.

And this time he couldn’t do anything about. . And so after I had turned 18, there was a situation that happened and uh, and I bounced so I ran away at 18. It wasn’t until I was 36, 37. This actually happened on Thanksgiving. Three years ago, it was either, yeah, about three years ago where I had gotten to the point where, uh, I was tired of the emotional discontent of that relationship.

I got to a point where I just told myself and then I told him, it doesn’t matter how I feel about this and what had happened. , what does matter is how I feel about what I want to happen moving forward. Mm-hmm. , and that’s what, and that’s what I expressed to him, is like, it doesn’t matter what happened.

What happens is now, today and moving forward. And I said, I told him, I said, I am done being angry. I am done being resentful. I am ready to move forward and whatever we need to do for that to happen, I’m willing to do it and I wanna do it. And that was three years ago on Thanksgiving. Morning and, uh, it’s been getting better and better ever since.

Uh, I haven’t talked about my mom a lot. Uh, my mom, uh, she was there for me as much as possible when my parents divorced. Um, she lived, she stayed here in Oklahoma City. I had moved back to Tulsa. She had made, uh, she had made as much visitation as she could. She came to all of my games, uh, in high school and throughout college and, uh, growing up.

Um, I didn’t have a ton of time spent with her, so I don’t have a ton to like, reflect on, um, in regards to being raised and things like that. Uh, and that was one thing that I really want to. Work on making sure that all those opportunities missed, that I, again, I can’t control what happened. All I can control on is like what happens today and moving forward.

So we’re always trying to, um, or I’m always trying to like, make time where I can. I’m obviously extremely busy, uh, with my own business and now obviously having two kids, but it’s like being intentional with spending quality time, whether that’s simply going out to dinner or whatever it is. Um, but my relationship with my parents is, Very good.

Um, uh, I’m, I won and I expect it to continue to grow and get better too as well. So I kind of condensed, um, almost condensed, almost like an 18 to 20 year sequence in, in that answer, but it’s, it’s going well and it is, like I said, the, I both love them very, very much. Um, I forgive both of them for not figuring it out.

Uh, what I was angry about and, and like I said, it doesn’t matter. what matters now is like what, where we’re at today and what we want to happen, uh, moving forward, not only for my family, but in my relationship with my children, but also my relationship with my parents too as well. Hmm, man, David, uh, that’s deep.

I, um, well, I’ll definitely have you back on the, the podcast for sure. If you’ll, if you’ll, if you’ll come on, but, . I, yeah, I, I gotta tell you, I think we’re a lot alike in, in a lot of aspects too. Uh, you know, my relationship with my mother is, uh, you know, pretty much nonexistent. I, and I kind of hear what you’re saying about ref the reflection at this point.

And I, I might have spoke about it last episode, but at this point, I, I, I think I’ve spent more time not in her life. than I have in her life. Mm-hmm. . Which, which is kind of interesting, you know, and, you know, it, it’s, it is just a peculiar aspect for me when speaking about family and, and parents and all that.

And, and kinda like you said, Hey, my relationship with my dad is good, but there is some boundaries there, you know? Um, and. It, you know, it’s uncomfortable for me sometimes because sometimes I see things that trigger me about certain aspects that he does, and it makes me kind of wanna push away a little bit.

And, um, because I don’t want to relearn anything and, you know what I mean? So it is complicated and I completely hear what you’re saying. It’s, uh, Hey, it’s good and I hope it grows. But, uh, yeah. , kind of what I’ve been trying to express since I’ve done this podcast is I think sometimes even with the family, there needs to be some boundaries for your own personal growth and, and just healthy characteristics.

You know what I mean? Boundaries and expectations exactly. . Exactly. That’s one thing that even like, like for my clients and my students, that’s one thing that we talk about a lot is having boundaries and expectations, um, and having boundaries and expectations for yourself. Having boundaries and expectations for your family.

Um, all, all that. It’s very, very important to, again, it’s like having a, a clear vision on what it is that you want to have, what it is, who you want to be, uh, and what it is where you want to go, because without. without that, it’s like you’re just, what? We’re just, you know, flickering around in the wind, like, okay, well this is life and whatever happens, happens.

It’s like that’s, no, it’s like you want to have direction on what it is that you want to accomplish. It’s like, I want my children to be able to do this, do this, have this, have this, accomplish this, accomplish this. Like there’s gonna be, if that’s the end. And if that’s the goal. Here’s one thing. This is the biggest thing that I tell my clients too, as well.

I can’t take credit for this. One of my coaches helped, helped me with this. Help me understand it. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, doesn’t matter. You need to have a system in place for you to move toward that result, period. . So it’s just like I deal with a, I work in the, the health field, uh, wellness, fitness, all that stuff.

And it’s like whether somebody wants to lose 10 pounds, whether somebody lose, wants to lose 50 pounds, it doesn’t matter what the number is, unless you have a system to behind and like support that, it, it ain’t gonna happen, period. If you want your child to be hardworking, Disciplined, respectful and not have fear.

Like there needs to be a system behind that to support that individual into growing into into that. So your relationship with your mother, your relationship with your father, I’m assuming maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but you know where you would like to see it be and where you would like to see it.

There needs to be a system behind that to work towards that. It may happen next month, it may happen next year, it may be the next decade. But the thing about it is like you have an idea on like, man, this would be really nice. This would be really cool. This would be really awesome if this X, Y, Z happened.

Hmm. Okay, well how are we gonna accomplish that? Hoping. Hoping and wishing does nothing. Man, I would love for my relationship with my parents to like to thrive. I would love my relationship with my parents to, to get better so that my daughter would be able to da, da da. And it’s like, like, okay, that would be awesome, but hoping and wishing ain’t gonna do anything for it.

What are we gonna do about that to move us closer and closer and closer and closer and closer? There needs to be, there needs to be actions. There needs to be expectations. There needs to be boundaries. There needs to be a system behind that because without that, it’ll never happen. It’s just a hope. It’s just a dream.

It’s just a wish. It’s just a want. Not gonna, it’s not gonna happen. I agree with. Wow. Um, man, this is, uh, this has been an amazing conversation, David. Um, I sincerely hope you’ll join me again for another episode. This has been one of my favorite conversations that I’ve had on the podcast. Um, you know, I feel like we have a lot of, like, in some ways, and I feel like, um, even today I’ve learned some things with you, which is kind of what this is all about.

You know, learning and growing and sharing experiences together and. And I, look, I’m happy that I got to share this with you today. Um, so thank you for being, um, I guess on today’s episode. Thank you very much. No, thank you. Um, if you, if you want, uh, where can people find you online and you mention health and fitness, I assume you want people to come to your business.

So give, please give a little shout out to yourself. On Instagram, you can find me at free Falco, f r e e f a l c O. So that’ll be the first, uh, my Facebook and, uh, my Instagram and Joint. So it’s David Williams on Facebook and it’s free Falco on Instagram. Those are the best places. Uh, that’s it that you can find me to as well.

So, and you’re a personal trainer? Yeah. Say it again. You’re a personal trainer. Yeah, it goes a little bit more that, that, I mean, as a profession, yes, but it’s more necess, not necessarily about personal training, it’s more about personal development. Mm-hmm. I can see. Yeah, so it’s just like the, obviously, uh, health and fitness is a tool.

It’s one of our main tools that we use because I I, if you’re not able to control like the easy aspects of your life, so we’re talking about like big, big, big things, solving family dynamics. Raising our children to become, you know, uh, individuals in, uh, that are respectful in communities. Like these are big challenges.

If we’re not able to control the small things in our life by like the time we wake up to, uh, the foods that we eat, to how we treat our body. If we can’t master these simple little bitty things, like I said, how are we gonna be able to do these bigger things? Racial? Does that make sense? Absolutely. It does.

Absolutely. So those are, yeah, I mean, it’s like we can, yeah, we can get all of that like later, but it’s just, yeah, this has been great. Um, like I said, when I listened to, uh, to the previous episodes, there’s a lot, there’s a lot of you. that I resonated with a ton. Um, and like I said, the, the feelings that you talked about, the emotions that you were expressing, the thoughts that you were having, the, the simple dynamics between you and just different family members, I was like, man, that’s the, it sounded so familiar mm-hmm.

And, um, it took a lot of, and I wanna commend you. It takes a lot of courage to go online into the universe and be able to. These, uh, uh, thoughts, feelings, and emotions out. Not very many people are brave enough and courageous enough to do that, so I want to commend you. Um, it resonates. It resonates a lot.

Thank you, David. Uh, yeah, I look the, the main purpose of this podcast is just to help some people out and to grow together. Um, and I, I think especially today, I think this, this episode is definitely gonna resonate with a lot of people. I know. I definitely resonate with you. . Um, David, thank you very much.

Uh, I will text you shortly. Um, this has been a pleasure, um, and, uh, . Look, man. Yeah, I, I learned a lot from you and I thank you for that. Uh, you’re gonna be an amazing dad. Congrats on little girl. I, I hope you guys had an amazing, uh, Christmas and again, cuz I’m sure I’ll get requests for you. I, I hope that you’ll.

I love it, man. Hey, happy new year. Um, let’s go make 2023, like the best year you get. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. . All right, brother. Uh, good talking to you. And uh, I’ll you soon. All talk to soon. Bye-bye.

Episode 39: My Family Thanksgiving

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In this episode:

In this latest episode we talk all about the joys and challenges of celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. Tune in to hear about my tensions relationship with my relatives, the precious moments I shared with my toddler daughter, and the new memories we made together.

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Well, hello and welcome to another episode of the single father podcast. I’m your host, Kendall Donica, AKA father DZ coming here to help make life a little bit more easy. We talked about the joys of challenges of raising kids on our own. And join us for inspiring stories, practical advice, and to healthy dose of humor. As we navigate the ups and downs of single fatherhood.

Together. Follow us for the latest episodes behind the scenes content and a community. Of fellow single dads. Like you. Let’s vent. Together. All right, guys. Well, thank you for allowing me to vent with you today. Um, Like I said, we’re trying to get back up and running, going back to weekly episodes, giving you amazing content, hopefully some amazing guests and hopefully some amazing stories I can share with you about my life and where it’s going, where it’s headed and where it’s been.

You know, when we’re talking about relationships on this podcast, sometimes it can get emotional. Sometimes I can speak about the love of my life, the hurt in my life, the challenges in my life. But most of all, I like to talk about the true family in my life. Most of all. When it comes to the relationship with my daughter, I love to talk about that specifically. It being a single father podcast. So I want to talk to you guys about my journey with this little girl.

But I also wanted to talk about a holiday that we just had. That’s also been a little bit challenging for me with my family, and that would be Thanksgiving. You know, when my parents got divorced. Celebrating holidays like this Christmas, Thanksgiving, et cetera. You know, it wasn’t really a big possibility.

I remember every year when I was younger, our family got together, whether it was with extended family or with our own. We always got together and made this big, fantastic meal. It’s like the meal you guys are imagining right now, maybe for some of you, it’s your favorite holiday? For me, Tom lane. But.

You know that meal, I’m talking about, I’m talking about the home cooked meals. The, the macaroni and cheese that Turkey. The freshly baked ham, the stuffing. All of the favorites that you have on Thanksgiving. I’m talking about that. I’m talking about That.

And by the way, I’m ethnic. I come from an ethnic background African-American so the food that comes my way on Thanksgiving. It’s amazing. No offense to anyone who’s not ethnic. I’m just saying it’s been my experience that, uh, some of you don’t season your food. But with my family, it was absolutely amazing.

Well, my parents got a divorce. It was almost kind of like a. An episode of game of Thrones.

It was like a choose of side type of thing. One side, went with house mother. The other side, when we went with house father.

Me and myself, I kind of lean towards house father. And for anyone who’s been following me for quite some time knows the reasons why. But then. Shortly after that, it was kind of house on my own.

And for many, many years, I didn’t celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving. And rainy other big holiday with any of my family, let alone, even really myself. And what I mean by myself is. I chose not to celebrate it even when I was alone, because I just had no one.

To celebrate it with besides myself, if that makes sense. So. Each and every holiday. Thanksgiving year after year. It wasn’t celebrated. Especially within our family. After my family got a divorce was a very fractious environment. And anything that anyone would try to do to fix it. When it came close to the holidays, intentions and feelings were rising. It could never be fixed.

Now a couple of years ago, four years ago to be exact, I had a daughter. And one of the best things about having my daughter is I felt I had the chance finally, within my grasp. To have a family once again. Get back to those old traditions. Get back to the things that I loved within my family. I thought.

I mean, I raised my daughter in the air, like move fossil from the lion king and I thought this was my. Ticket. My key. To getting my family back together. And if not that then making a family of my own.

But shortly after that, I fell into what seems to be like a hereditary. Type of curse within my family. And unfortunately.

Her mother and I ended up breaking up.

And that dream my ad. For a family. To get back to the way things were. They ended with the signature of a finger by a judge.

And with that. So did all of my ambitions to get back to the way things were.

Well, my daughter was one years old. On Thanksgiving.

Really wasn’t celebrated. I mean, Hey. There’s one, right. No reason to. Technically celebrate that. One of the things she’s eating is baby food. When she was too.

Yeah. I had some family around, but. It wasn’t Thanksgiving. It wasn’t celebrated.

When she was three.

I didn’t even have her for Thanksgiving. She was with her mother.

Now my daughter is four.

We all grown a little bit.

And as house mother. Was so much out of the picture.

How’s dad and house myself was still very much in the mix.

We bonded. He had a daughter. A new one. I have my daughter.

And this year. My grandmother. My Nana. She comes to me and says just like every year. I’m not going to celebrate it. But me, your uncle and his kids. We’re all going to the buffet for Thanksgiving.

We’re going to go to a buffet and. And just enjoy ourselves for Thanksgiving, right?

I said, that sounds great. Hey. We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in our family anymore. I’ll come with you.

But then I asked my dad what he was doing.

He said, um, Oh, I’ve got no plans.

I asked his mom, my grandmother, but she was doing. She said she has no plans. Those are the only family that lives in town. Right.

And then I saw an opportunity.

I could’ve gone to the buffet with my Nana and my uncle. And probably had a good time with my daughter since I had her for Thanksgiving this year.


I could do something different. Something. Unheard of within our family.

I could bring our family. Together.

So I decided to do just that. I called my Nana. I said, cancel your plans. You’re coming over my house. I called my uncle. I said, cancel your plans. I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year. I called my dad and I said,

You have somewhere to be. You’re coming over my house. I called my grandmother. I said, guess what you have somewhere to be. You’re coming over my house.

Went to think, went to Costco, got a whole bunch of stuff for Thanksgiving.

And then I Googled or Edward. Or should I say one on YouTube and learn how to cook a Turkey? On a warm Southern these things up. How to, how to serve a proper Thanksgiving dinner.

I cleaned my house immaculately.

This was important to me. This will be the first time. And God. I don’t know, maybe eight years.

And my family can be together.

All of us together.

In our own way. You know,

So I get all this stuff together.

And then comes Thanksgiving. I bought eggnog. About beer. I got, I bought wine about apple cider. I bought turkeys, macaroni, everything that I loved. From when I was younger, I bought it. I got it.

I wanted everything to be. How it was when I remembered it.

And then came the big day.

My family.

My family comes over.

I mean instantly just start laughing.

And enjoying ourselves and talking amongst ourselves, I had the Christmas day parade. But showing in my living room, I had everything together on the tables. I had little snacks, little board that I put out on my tables. Everyone gets snack on it while. Well, things are getting together. My Nana comes over, realized that I had one Turkey ready. And the other one that was far, and I mean far from actually being done.

I tell her I’m Nana. Oh my God. I just can’t be everyone’s counting on me. I didn’t. She’s like, don’t worry. Give me a pan. This is, this is a true. A black woman trick right here. I feel like no offense. And I really mean this. No offense, but I feel like only a block. Only a, an old school, black woman could think of this.

She says, don’t worry. Give me a pan. I’ll have it done in no prime. I give her a pan. She put some butter in the pan and she starts cutting the Turkey with a long night for. Uh, serving knife, right. She starts cutting the Turkey, put some insane. Cuts it into individual pieces. Put those pieces on the pan. She starts cooking the Turkey and real time.

And she says, it’ll be ready in 10 minutes. Get the rest of the stuff ready.

I said, oh my God. She saved me. I wouldn’t have known how to do to do that. I would’ve just put it back in the oven and say, sorry. Uh, we’re going to extend it another two hours, I guess. But no, she saved me. She saved my Thanksgiving.

And then.

Something amazing happened. There was absolutely no problems.

Everyone’s laughing. I have a VR headset. Everyone’s playing VR. We’re playing UNO. We’re drinking eggnog. We’re getting drunk. We’re having a great time. My daughter’s happy. My daughter stuffs her belly. She falls asleep. Everyone says how cute she is.

My cousins are over. I’m playing with them and learning new things about. Nintendo’s and things like that.

Everyone’s pleasant. Everyone’s happy. And we shared some really beautiful memories that day.

But no one was more happier than me.

Because for the first time, in many, many years, I got to celebrate. Thanksgiving. With my family.

And believe me. It was a fractious family.

I would have loved my siblings there. I would’ve loved my mother there.

Maybe in another world, I would have loved my daughter’s mother there.

How would I love to have a significant other there?

But I had my family with me.

And that was good enough for me.

And when I realized. Is, I don’t need.

I don’t need anyone specific. To make me feel like I have a family.

I just need a hand few. A handful of very few.

Give me that feeling.

And I realized at the end of the day,

My daughter. Is all the family that I need.

Because. I think when it really comes down to it. I didn’t get everyone together. Just. Because I think I did it from my daughter.

To give her the memories. I was missing.

To give her those moments. That I loved. And I cherished from when I was younger. To her, for her to think of the macaroni and cheese, the Turkey, the food.

I have no doubt that she would get that her mom’s house.

I wanted her to get it with me too. I wanted to share those moments with her. And for her to share them with me.

I wanted her to feel like she has. A family.

And it was a beautiful time.

Now I wish I could end it there.


Much like any other family.

There are the things that.

You wish were different. The things that disappoint you, the things. The emotions that come up.

The irritate mints, the. The bad part about your family? I should say.

This one is a little difficult for me.

For many years, my uncle. As always been the type of person that can really.

Well, you can really grind your gears. He’s a very macho. Man’s man. But he doesn’t show that subtly. He very much shows it with great extravagance. And on a grand scale. You wants to let you know of his mantra. Because of his manlihood. Of is don’t fuck with me behavior. It’s not thuggish, but it’s very in your face.

He’s the type of man that. You would think potentially is a little bit of a narcissistic. He’s very self absorbed in. And. At times arrogant.

And I don’t mean to speak any badly about my family, but. I want to give you guys the context to his personality.

I love him very much. But throughout my life, I can only speak the truth and the truth is. That I’ve always been somewhat intimidated by him because of this.

Because that type of personality that very in your face persona. It illuminates. Right. You can think he is a larger than life character, but when people say larger than life,

I don’t know if they always mean it in a good, good way. I think that can also mean in a bad way as well. And I’m not saying his persona was necessarily good or bad. But I will say that his persona was very much intimidating.

It made you uneasy. It made you very tentious. I gave off a very tentious nature about being around him or with him.

It was always known within my family that he’s a bit of a hothead and. And to be quite honest, there’s always been known. There has been in mental health issue in our family.

Now who has it or. You can speculate all day long. But. It’s a known fact.

With my uncle for many years, there’s been. A very tenuous relationship with him. And I do know his persona and also due to some things that. My mom has said about him in the past, too. Nothing. Crazy the way you think, but. You know, I remember when I was younger. And I don’t remember the context, but him and my mom had a very big fight.

And I remember her telling me. That she was quite afraid of him.

You know, He was quite. She was quite fearful of him.

And I remember being young. And that’s one of these key moments in your life that you just remember because it kind of haunted you.

It was nothing. Sexual or any of that nature of abuse that she was referring to, but it was mostly just. Fear.


I remember I was laying in bed with my mother, mother when I was young watching TV.

And then we heard a knock at the door.

She looked who it was and didn’t answer.

And then we heard the door open.

He walks in the door.

Goes, halfway up the stairs. And him and my mom have this verbal argument. I remember. She specifically told him. Do not come any closer.

I remember my uncle’s face thinking. I mean, I can see it clearly. And his face. Thinking that she was being ridiculous.

I remember how baffled he was with my mother’s behavior. Or reaction to his presence.

But to be quite honest, I was so young. I don’t really remember the context of what was being presented to me.

I remember after that there were many years. I didn’t speak to my uncle. Mostly because of my mom’s. Um, wishes, I guess you could say. Or influence on me.

I was very protective of my mother back in the day. And I knew that whatever that was.

I felt that he was wrong.

Now, again, anyone who’s followed this podcast for awhile, you know that now I have a very tenuous relationship with my mother.

I see her very differently.

And when I think about that day, I think about. How my mother reacted. And I think about my uncle’s face. And how he thought that she was being ridiculous.

They often say truth and madness lie in the same stream. I don’t know what was said that day. I don’t know what was done. Until this day, I don’t know who was wrong.

To be fair. I’m not sure if it was, I don’t know if it was that much of a big issue. Before I do known that for many years. I didn’t speak to my uncle after that.

After a while him and I reconnected.

I think when I was a teenager. This is when we started to reconnect more.

You started opening up to me about. Um, a lot of things.

And it was really when my parents got divorced, that he really became very involved in telling me all the things that I needed to know.

Some things about my mother. Some things about my father. Some things about my biological father. And some things about maybe the way she acted when she was younger.

None of them want to go into it all as of right now. I mentioned it on previous episodes, but. There were a lot of things that my mother has done. And if people have told me. That makes me. Needless to say very disappointed.

And. Throughout that process.

I reconnected with my uncle when about many things. Introduce me to my love of comics. I love of superheroes. My love of collectibles. And fantasy movies and. Animated cartoons.

One of his favorites were. Batman the animated series and I loved it. He gave me a whole bunch of CDs to watch with him.

And it felt so awesome. Just. Connecting with someone on a nerdy level. They always say, girl, doesn’t go, go for a nerd. And I had really. Not only that, but I had no friends around me to nerd out with.

Introduced me to one of my favorite shows of all time, Smallville it’s about how Superman was raised before he became Superman. My favorite show. I really bonded with him.

But the other thing is. Every time I was around him. See, I bonded with him in person. And I mean, I bonded with him over the phone. But in person.

It’s like.

Riding a bike almost. In person. It was like, he brought me right back to that tension.

He brought me right back to feeling uncomfortable. Do you feeling uneasy? Every time he’d give me a hug. He smacked my back. You know how you give a hugs? When you smell you pat someone’s back, you would smack it with the force of Zeus.

Every time I spoke to him, he would make me come out in the backyard with him and he, while he had a cigarette and I hated the smell of smoke.

Get a very commanding.

Presence in his house. And yeah, he’s the man of his house. Right. But it was. I could tell it made everyone feel uneasy.

I hated it.

Now my Nana. Again, For anyone who’s. Listen to me for a very long time, know that my Nana is like my mother.

She’s my she’s my mom’s mom, my uncles, mom. But she really took me in after my parents got divorced. She adopted me, got me through high school, put me up in college, like. She’s my mother, you know, she’s protected me, guided me. And it’s kind of true what they say that.

Woman. She took me in high school. I was very angry, angry child, and I was such an asshole. I was angry at the world, angry at my parents, angry at everything. I had so much regret how I treated her during that time. Every teenager does. But. I regretted it.

I love her so very much, but I’m very protective of her. She’s my Nana is a very sensitive person. She comes from a very. She’s an impressive woman, but she comes from a very, um, deeply black rooted. Cultural background. That’s. Um, consistent with racism and discrimination. In. Um, a degrading aspect towards women.

You know, she. Puts herself in a high standard when it comes to being a woman and being a woman of color. But she’s also very defiant, but she’s also very, uh, defensive and. Sensitive. You know,


But I’m very protective of her. Because I always said if there’s one person in this world that I know for certain loves me. To be honest, as of right now, even more than my daughter. I know that. Even more than my own little girl that she loves me more than anyone on this earth.

I’m not even, and hear me on that. I’m not even sure if my daughter loves me as much as my Nana loves me. I know that the woman loves me. She would do anything for me. You ever have a family like that? Where you know that no matter what you do, no matter what you’ve done, there is nothing you could ever do.

That would ever come between your guys’s love.

She loves me.

Just like how I love my daughter. And I know that because the love she feels from me. I feel from my little girl.

I say that. Because. Once, and for all, I have to explain this woman. Is my mom.

And for many years, I would see my uncle come up. And treat my Nana.

With. Someone of. Uh, misguided disrespect.

And I hated it.

I hated it because it was, it was very.

It’s a type of disrespect that you don’t even know that you’re doing it. But yeah, everyone sees it.

I would see him come up and visit, visit my Nana’s house. My Nana has. You know, a one bedroom. Um, No senior apartment.

And she has a pull-out. She’s a pull-out, uh, uh, couch. Pull up mattress couch.

So every once in awhile, I’d see the whole family sleep on the, on the pullout couch.

And I’d see my Nana sleeping in her bed. But more often. I would see a pillow and a blanket spread out in her closet.

And I’d say, Nana, what? What is this? And she’s like, I sleep in the closet when they’re here. And my Nana would brush it off a side, like, oh no, no, no, no. I don’t even, it doesn’t bother me, but it holds what the fuck it bothered me. Uh, but, but. I thought she was joking. There’s no way my Nana actually sleeps in the closet.

But then.

I started noticing it more and more. Year after year. Year after year. Multiple times a year, this one would sleep in the closet. And the older manana got a more started to bother me. Mike she’s a 66 year old woman. She’s a 70 year old woman. And this year. I’m like she’s a 72 year old woman. Sleeping in a fucking closet.

I remember a couple of months ago, I started to talk. With my uncle about the way he is treating my Nana and this and that. Not giving her this bubble ball of that.

And I remember he got so defensive at me. And we didn’t talk for maybe like two months.

But this time, this year where I wanted everything to be perfect. And my Nana’s saying how sad she is about, you know, The state of our family and things like that. This year. I think. It just boiled up and boiled up and boiled up. Where I couldn’t take it anymore.

I started with Thanksgiving.

I asked him to be at my house by one o’clock. I called him beforehand because Hey, black people are always late. Okay. I get it. But I called him beforehand and I said, look, man, I really need you to be here by one, in any Montana to help me with this Turkey. Is that. Okay. No problem. He didn’t come from maybe like 1 45.

My Nana tells me he was just laying down on the couch and took a shower, took a long, long shower.

And that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about. The personality trait, everything revolves around him.

It comes over my house. Like I said, everything was perfect. I let it go.

The next day, my Nana calls me. Uh, practically crying about. Him. Putting her down in front of the kids. Things like that.

Asking her for some money after he gambled and.

And, um, Her sleeping in the closet.

And I think. I just had it at that moment, you know? I think I just said, look, this is, this is it. And what have you ever been so afraid to talk to somebody even as a grown man I’m 27 years old, but even I kinda. I don’t tell my dad everything. Right. And what I mean by that is I don’t tell him everything I feel. I mean, we don’t have that type of emotion thing. Right.

And so I was, there’s so much tension between me and my uncle sometimes.

But I called him.

And I say, hang on, call Matt.

Like you can’t be having Nana sleep in a closet. Next time.

Come stay with me. No problem. LOL. I texted him at first. Then he calls me. And heart races. Because I already knew.

So I took a deep breath and I said, you know what? I’m 27 years old. I’m a man.

So I answered the phone. She says, Hey man. I was up at that text. Let me say, Hey man, well, you know, Nana has been telling me that. She’s been sleeping in a closet. Next time, stay with me. He says. Yeah. So you’re telling me. What like are you trying to come at me in some way? It’s a no. I’m looking out for your mother.

My mother. I don’t appreciate that she sleeps in the closet. I said, oh, really?

So what you. You you criticizing me or you, you trying to teach me a lesson here or what. I said, look, man.

Relax. All I said. What’s the next time. Stay with me. I got a two bedroom, big ass condo here. He’s like. Oh, you didn’t offer us to stay with you. Did you? And I said, no. But I, I, I just didn’t think you’d. Let Nana sleep in a closet. He’s like, did you even know that? I didn’t know. Let’s just sleep in the closet.

And I said, look, man, I.

I don’t see how you didn’t know she’s been doing it for years. Every time you come. And he said, well, where else are we going to sleep? 10. Listen, I don’t know.

But I just didn’t expect a 72 year old woman. Your mother. To be sleeping. In a closet. On the floor.


He said, all right, man. So we’ll just want to say.

And I said, please don’t ever have my Nana sleep on the closet again. You said, let me repeat what you just said. You said don’t you ever let my Nana sleep on a closet again? And I said, no, no, no, no, no, buddy.

You’re just. You’re emphasizing it. I say, please. Don’t have her sleep on the closet again.

And he said. You know what. And I said, look before. Listen. Before you say whatever you’re about to say.

I’ve heard it so many times before in so many different ways, in so many different fashions from this family. And it’s fine.

I’m just looking out for your mother. My Nana. And if you don’t appreciate that, then say what you got to say.


I stand by what I said.

He says, guess what? You don’t have an uncle. Things up the phone.

And, you know, what.

It really didn’t bother me. I mean. In some. Way bothers me, I guess, because I have to be bothered by it because it’s my family, but.

I’m going to say something to you guys that.

I don’t think I really would say to a lot of people just.

I guess what I’m trying to say is. I don’t really have a value.

For family. Like you guys might.

And it sounds weird, but maybe in some way you can kind of interpret what I’m saying.

I don’t really value. Family and the way you might think. My family. My family.

My family has always been fractured. My family has always been broken.

My family.

Has always been conditional. Love. Not unconditional.

My family has always been defensive. Critical. Hurtful. Painful.

And I, at a certain point, I think you say. My family.

I don’t want any more of my family.

I want my own family.

A family of my making. A family of my choosing.

An unconditional. Love.

My family.

That’s what I want.

So at the end of the day, After he hung up. Yeah, I didn’t. I didn’t really care.

And it was because my family.

I don’t know if I ever really cared that much about.

My family.

Because they haven’t been.

My family. In quite some time.

And that may sound. However it sounds.

But I’m going to be honest. That’s the truth.

And I may reword that differently down the line. I may. Change the verbiage of that down the line. But.

When it comes down to it through and through at the heart of it. That is my truth.

My Nana.

She’s amazing. She.

Holds a lot of. Things together.

In our family.

She brings people together. She helps people. She’s kind, she’s loving.

She values. Family.

And she would be disappointed to hear me say that, but.

But it’s.

Not really my family.

I feel like I’m trapped in my family.

Itching to get out. Influenced by the behaviors of my dad. Who was. Horrible. To my mom.

Influenced by my mom. Who was. Manipulative and deceiving.

Influenced by my uncle.

It was.

Bold arrogant. Intentious.

Influenced by my Nana who’s strong.

But easily hurt.

I just want to get away.

Now I will tell you.

And my family. My daughter. My Nana.

My dad and my grandma.

I love them all.

But when I think about my family,

I think about the one I have yet to build.

So, yeah.

That’s my family.

The fractured. Unorganized.


Conditional loved family.

But it is my family.

I just hope I build a new one, one day.

I look.

In truth. I did a lot of venting with you guys today. I don’t know if that’s how I really feel. More if that’s how I feel now.

I don’t know if those were my true words or just the words I’ve. Chosen to choose.

I don’t know if that’s the way my heart feels or just the way my heartbeats.

But I can only say what the truth feels right now.

And that’s my truth.

And that’s my family.


Would that being said.

I hope all of you out there. It had an amazing Thanksgiving. And I hope that whatever family you have. Whatever thing you’re going through or whatever. Family member is challenging your thoughts or.

Breaking your heart.

I hope that. You get to build the family that you want to build.

Keep the family that you want to keep. And distance yourself from the family that needs a distancing.

I hope that love finds you.

I hope that peace surrounds you.

And I hope that comfort consumes you.

I hope that you’re happy.

And to all the people. Or allowing me to vent with you today.

I hope. That we can vent together again soon.

All right guys. That’s the episode. I didn’t have time to get to the questions part of the episode today, but we will do that next week or I will answer. All of your questions that you might have for me. Listen, if you guys want a guaranteed question, by the way, there’s a section of our podcast called mailbag mailbag. We do at the end of every podcast episode, and I’ll answer some of the questions I get brought into us.

And you can do that by emailing me at hello. At vent pack. Dot org and in the subject line type of mailbag and just type the question that you want to be read on the show. If you want. Uh, guaranteed. Answer to your question. If you want a question guaranteed, to be read on the show. Then join our Patrion. It’s the price of a cup of coffee, just about five bucks a month. It’s a patrion.com/a single father podcast. Make sure you join the Patrion and you’ll have your question guaranteed to be answered as long as it’s, you know, somewhat appropriate.

Um, I will guarantee I’ll answer that in the show and I’ll do a little shout out for you at the end of the show as well. Um, or if you just want to take your chance and ask some casual questions, you can just email me with the mail bag. Uh, if you want an opportunity to vent with me on the show, if you want to be a guest and have a little venting session together, if you have a family member that you want to talk about with me on the show, well, guess what you can do that you can join our Patrion patrion.com/a single father podcast, and join with the tears where you be able to vent with me on the show.

And I look forward to venting with you very, very soon. Make sure to follow us on social media, which is just pretty much everywhere. The single father podcast, Instagram. Uh, Facebook, YouTube. Um, Eventually, um, you know, I’m not sure the timeframe on it, but eventually I’ll be doing video podcasts where I’ll be uploading those to YouTube, just to make sure you stay tuned for behind the scenes content, et cetera.

And guys just thank you for supporting me. Um, most of all, be sure to like subscribe, share, leave a review. Really helps. Allows us to. You know, Um, bring more content on the show, gain more notoriety, get more guests. Um, create better episodes for you. Um, if you just want to support the podcast again and go to our Patrion, just to be a supporter.

Um, if any of this resonated with you. Let me know Dami, follow us on socials. Follow us on the podcast. I look forward to venting with you guys very, very soon. So with that being said, I don’t think I’m missing anything. You guys have a great holiday. And, um, May, I guess I’ll be giving you the details after Christmas. We’ll see how that goes until next time.

I’m Kendall Donica, father DZ. Bye-bye.

Episode 33: Taking Responsibility For Your Happiness

Available Everywhere You Enjoy Podcasts


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In this episode:

  • I talk about my struggle in adapting to changing times
  • My conflicting thoughts on being single
  • How depression snuck in without realizing it was there
  • What triggered me the past few weeks

Let me know what you think about this episode on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thesinglefatherpodcast/

Sponsors and Attributions:
-Music sourced from TuneTank.com.
-Produced/Edited with https://www.descript.com/
-Sponsored By: https://www.thekeys.ai/

The Single Father Podcast is brought to you by VentPack. Visit VentPack.org for show notes and more information on the organization’s mission to combat challenges of single fatherhood with resources, digital products and mental health support.


Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thesinglefatherpodcast/support


Welcome to the single father podcast. I’m your host, Kendall Donaker. This podcast is dedicated for anyone out there who’s dealing with mental health and fatherhood, you’ll hear about my struggles, my defeats my victories, my highs, my lows, my triumphs, my tribulations and everything in between. I like to call this a collection of journal entries into my struggle and adapting to single fatherhood. Without further ado, let’s take a look inside my journal, the single father podcast.

Well, hello, ladies and gentlemen. And otherwise, it is your host, Kendall Donaker. Thank you for joining me on today’s episode, I have to admit, today’s episode is going to be a little bit challenging for me, because I titled it taking responsibility for your own happiness. And it’s a little interesting for me, because lately, I haven’t been feeling too happy at all. And you know, I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is. Well, I will tell you, I don’t think I’ve been handling the fact that my child’s mother had a baby with someone else. I don’t think I’ve been handling it too well at all. In fact, and I know all of you right off the bat. And when you’re all like, hey, you know has nothing to do with you. It happens all the time I get it, blah, blah, blah, I get it. It’s just, I don’t know, I’m not handling it too well. And I think it brought me down a spiral of thinking that maybe I’m not handling a lot of things. Maybe I’m just not handling a lot of things that well. And maybe I need to rethink and examine a lot of things in my life. Most importantly, how I got here. You know, I I just think it’s maybe it’s time that I take responsibility for my own unhappiness. I have to and you know, I have to face the challenges of why I’m unhappy. And won’t I won’t bury the lead here. I’ll talk about the biggest one. The first real thing that’s bugging me, is my child had a baby. I’m sorry. Wow. The first thing that’s bugging me, is my child’s mother had a baby with someone else. That’s the real problem for me. I thought I didn’t care, you know. And if you were to ask me, if I care, I if you held me to a lie detector test, I think I’d pass and truly say I really don’t give a fuck. But subliminally I know it’s bothering me. And I can’t tell what it is about it. That’s bothering me, because I’m not in love with her anymore. You know, it’s weird guys. It is. I just been having these visions, these images in my head. And, you know, sometimes I’ll walk into a room. And I’ll just imagine me, her and our kids just playing around a room together and just, uh, smiling and looking at our family. It’s almost like this alternate parallel universe. And shit. Maybe it is. I don’t know if you guys believe in that sort of thing that sci fi parallel universe aspect. But it it just I’ve been, I’ve been seeing it so clearly in my head sometimes. And it’s just like a walk into a room and I’ll see another crib there. I’ll see a house of me raising a whole family and it’s not really there. And before you guys think it schizophrenia, and trust me, I know that it’s not really there. It’s just, you know, you know what I mean? You walk into a room and you just envision something and you just wake up and think

the hen house a nice day dream, wasn’t it?

And you know, I think it just made me start to think about all the negative things that’s been going on, you know, in relation to having her have that baby. And I think it just opened up an old wound that I kept closing for so long. You know, like, how did I get here? Why am I single? And truthfully, I I thought it Be me by now that had a baby. I thought it’d be mean that started a family. I thought it’d be me that would be looking at her as a lonely one, the lonely single mother. But no, no, no, no, no, it just feels like, I’m the one racing to keep up. I feel bad. It feels sucky. It feels like I’ve, like I’ve done something wrong, you know, it feels like I’m, I’m not doing something right. And then, after those visions stopped, I started getting an overwhelming sense of regret, and just regretting everything on how I came to this point in my life. Regretting all of the sittin the decisions that I made when we were together. And again, to clarify, it’s weird, because it’s not like, I wish that we were back together, not at all actually. It’s just I often think of what could have been had things been done differently. You know, what I mean? tense, everyone that’s ever lived, I’m sure. But, you know, in my head, I think, if I would have just done a few things differently. Maybe she would end up a different person. Or maybe I would, you know, you just think of that over and over and over, around around in my head. Like, maybe if I would have took that poster off my wall, little things like that. And you know, it’s hard to explain my behavior during that time. It’s almost like I had an early life crisis instead of a midlife crisis. Like I had, I felt like I had a little bit of a mental breakdown during that time. You know, I was just finishing up college, we found out we were having a baby, I had to move 12 hours on my own with this big U haul. And this, you know, this, all of my shit in my car, I had to start a new job out in Vegas. I’m living with my parents at the time until I get into my new home. And then suddenly, she wants to move in with me. And in I hate my job. It’s a restaurant. And you know, it’s it’s just, I feel like, a lot of things were happening at once. And I felt like my behavior at that time was due to kind of the stressors around me that were going on, and I just wasn’t prepared to handle it all at once. I had no outlet. You know, I felt like it couldn’t. I just felt like I truly just wasn’t myself. And, you know, this restaurant that I was working at was probably by far the most stressful environment I’ve ever been at in my entire life. Any of you who’s worked at a very, very busy restaurant, who’s on your feet and dealing with rude angry customers, especially in the morning, you know exactly what I’m talking about. That awful feeling of dealing with the most awful people in the world. And I don’t know.

You know, I

want to see if you can back me up here. You know, when my kid was born, and I was working at the restaurant. I guess I could have demanded and I should have demanded that I took the day off after she was born. But any of you who’s worked at a restaurant, you know, it’s not that easy. You can’t just call off work, you can’t just cancel you can’t just say I’m sick and I’m not coming in a restaurant doesn’t work. A restaurant doesn’t function that way. You know, at least normal restaurants. You can’t just do that. So, you know, my child’s mother, my baby mama, she was a little bit uncomfortable about me leaving and I knew she was but you know, at the time she was cool about it later I found out that she wasn’t cool about it at all. But at the time, she was like do what you got to do and when my when my daughter was born all my focus in my head was keeping my job in feeding my family and making sure that everyone’s okay, you know, putting money on the table feet I got mouths to feed that’s what was in my head. So I wanted to man up and go to work. They won’t and I want to clarify it’s not like I wanted to do that. It’s almost like I felt like I had to anyone who’s worked at a restaurant you know that the busy nature of it the the the the function of it the I mean just you know I want to see if you guys can back me up here really? Email me at hello event back to Oregon tell me from wrong. You know that it’s not that easy to just cancel and as awful and rude as it may have been and on my on maybe a bitch move on my end or not? canceling it, I just I felt like I couldn’t. So I went to work. And she forever was so upset and really butthurt about that she was in and I didn’t know until much later, but she, I was just concerned about making the money for my family and I getting fired. You know what I mean?

But, um, yeah,

she wasn’t cool about it. I wish I handled it differently. And I wish I had done it. You know, but it is what it is. And, and, and, you know, that was that. And all of you know about me being uncomfortable. If you listen to one of my some of my earlier episodes, you know, about the struggles of me being uncomfortable about the whole pregnancy than nine months in general about me not knowing if it was mine or not, and blah, blah, blah. There’s a lot of controversies. Well, as you know, I say controversy is this, I was on TMZ. But no, there’s a whole bunch of drama on, you know, little affairs here and there. And it. I wasn’t comfortable. It just, there’s so much going on around that time that. Yeah, I did feel like maybe I wasn’t the best boyfriend. No, I wasn’t the best boyfriend during that time. But I had a lot going on. And I know, that’s no excuse for bad behavior. But if you if you would have known and saw what was inside my head and looked at it from outside looking in you like I feel like you could have seen why I was a little bit stressed or wasn’t myself during that time. Yeah, it was really hard. And even after that, I, you know, I wish I did things differently and make things better, but I fully admit that I fully admit that I was trying to keep my options open because I was afraid of everything that was going on, I was afraid that you know, you know, if I really broke down and committed in in did this and that, that I would end up losing everything and losing myself and in and I was afraid I was afraid of, of commitment. I was afraid of the love that was in front of me. And I made some terrible decisions during that time that I just regret. And ironically, those decisions ended up me losing my family anyway, at least my child’s mother and and although I wholeheartedly believe that she did some things as well that led to this system that I’m not so above and not less of a man where I can admit that I was wrong, and the things are definitely my fault. You know, I and I guess that’s why I’m having these visions because you often wonder what could have What could you have done differently? What would life have been like now? Would she still be the same person that I don’t recognize the same person that you know between you and I can’t stand sometimes are wish to be someone which would be that caring, loving person that I remember that the person with a beautiful soul on the I remember had this angelic voice that made me feel so soul so comfortable. I felt like she was the perfect match for me at one point, you know, I felt like she made me feel safe and important and valued in and saying all these things you wonder why I fucked it all up. But I don’t know she I really did love her at one point. I’ll tell you that. And it’s hard for me not to say that I still don’t love her. I see her all the time when I look at my daughter’s eyes. Which is ironic because I haven’t seen the woman in person in about 10 months. I only see her boyfriend. But I see her all the time when I look at my daughter and she helps me make my daughter so if I love my child, how can I how can I not still love her? You know what I mean? And I don’t know You know, I? The relationship part of it, you know like you’re like I’m over that. But I guess part of me is just this is punishing myself for the things that I didn’t do and the regrets that I have with me and I often wonder if that’s gonna haunt me on the way to heaven. Sometimes it’s just am I going to be buried down by all the weight of the regret and some of the shame that I have from my life so far, and you can think, Hey, dude, you’re only in your 20s. But man, it’s, it’s been. It’s been a tough go of it. You know, and I haven’t really had anyone to lean on besides Well, you guys,

this is one hell of a therapy session, right? And you guys would be heavily compensated if it wasn’t just a


And I don’t know how to make things right in my heart where I feel like, I feel whole and complete and completely. What’s the word healed of my anguishes and my some of my pain, but, and maybe I should speak to someone professionally. But I just know that I’m not handling that well. And I know that it bothers me a lot in I just feel like, I guess that I fucked up a bit, you know? Are you like, dude, you’ve been single for so long, and you had the opportunity to have this beautiful family and, and that’s the other thing, you know, the other thing that’s making me sad is just being single. Which is ironic, again, you know, hence the name of my podcast, but I mean, listen, it’s, it’s a tough game out here in Vegas. And Vegas is definitely not the place to, you know, go out and date and find the love of your life, you know, it’s Vegas is not a great place to meet people, it’s a great place to hook up and a party, but to meet the love of your life, your partner, your, your forever person, I don’t know, that’s a little tough. You know, I’m trying to work on myself and to read these books on how to find a better match and to, you know, read these articles and the girl that I am looking for, and the girls I should stay away from, which happens to be the ones that I match with the most but you know, I’m I’m definitely looking to find a woman that’s valuable and makes me feel valuable that we mutually find each other important and in funny and career oriented, and, and a beautiful match. But, you know, I at this point, it feels like that’s asking too much in Vegas is just nodded when it comes to that sort of shit. And you know,

you know, in, in

everyone who has listened to the podcast, and previous episodes, you know, that for often a long period of time, it felt like the only thing that I had to bring to the table was sex and laughter. I didn’t really feel like I had too much else. And I think that’s why I focus in a, I work so hard at my job, is I want to bring things to the table, whether it’s money, my career, the things that I have our own, you know, I want to, I want to be important to somebody, you know, I want to I want to be a valuable asset to somebody, he gives it, you know, it just feels hard at times. I know, some people look at me differently when I have a kid. And, you know, and I’m not apologizing for it at all I am. You know, I’m more so think of my daughter as like my partner in crime, like a literal, I mean, literally, she’s an extension of myself. So it’s like, you’re getting the best of both worlds. You’re getting, you know, me, and then you’re getting my mini me, she’s, she’s my, she’s my sidekick. You know, she’s, she’s everything to me, she’s so important. And I and, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m grateful to the ones who can look at that, and accept me for me and except that I have my, my partner in crime attached to me. And I’m also grateful to the ones who do not, except that, because it kind of helps me weed out the ones that aren’t a good match. It’s funny, because there’s a side note here, I keep matching with this girl every once in a while, who, I guess had a bad experience with me. We matched on a dating app a long time ago. And we spoke for about a day. And then the next day, I told her that I had a kid and she’s like, Oh my god, I can’t believe you would hide a kid from me. And I’m like, Look, I’m not hiding it. It’s it’s not on my dating profile. But you know, the first day we were talking it just didn’t come up and we were talking a little master. And I yeah, I just wanted to tell you today and she was weird. She got weird about it. She’s like, Hey, um, I’m not looking to be a stepmom. I’m not looking to be anyone’s mother and things like that, which I totally look fair, fair as fuck right. But I think at the time To be honest with you, it offended me. And I think I said something along the terms of like, hey, that’s totally fine. It just, it just helps me weed out the ones that aren’t the right fit for me. And I think it said something along the terms of, you know, I try to weed out the bad seeds with assumption like that. I don’t know what I said exactly. I remember it was a bit passive. And she had a really, that she then she got offended about it and blah, blah, blah. But it’s funny, because every couple of months, I keep rematching with her. And I have very terrible, awful memory. And, by the way, if any of you have this problem, please email me at hello of impact to Oregon. Tell me about it. And because I want to know, but I have a thing where I, I almost just forget people, if they’re if you’re out of my life for maybe like a month or two, and I will forget completely who you are. Like if we even had a conversation. So I keep rematching with her completely forgetting who she is. Every time she says you don’t remember me or we we’ve matched before you know that and she brings up the story and not forgetting and I remind myself and we match and blah. I don’t know why she keeps matching with me. Like I you could say the same about me. But I literally forget who she is. Every single time I don’t even remember her face now. The only reason I even remembered it now is because I was it because it was on topic. But whether her face her name, I’ve complete no idea who she is. Anyway, that’s just a little side note, I digress. But and if any of you have that problem, please let me know. But yeah, we’re so we unmatchable Bob, but you know anybody but you really helps me just to kind of weed out the ones that aren’t a fit for me. So I appreciate the ones who told me that entropy told, listen, I will fully admit now that as hypocritical as it may sound, I get it. Because I don’t even know if I could date someone with a kid. That’s, that’s I think it just I think it’s out of my comfort level, it’s a little bit of an extra extra step that I don’t think I’m willing to take. And again, as hypocritical as it is, like, it’s just all about what you’re comfortable with. I’m comfortable with my daughter, and I’m comfortable creating a new life and bringing new life into this earth. But when it comes to taking care of someone else’s life, some people can do it. And I hope that the the love of my life can then there’s some people who I don’t think can and who aren’t comfortable with that. And that’s fair, and I don’t think she’s shame someone for that. And I think I’m some of those.

I think I’m one of those people I I don’t know. But But yeah, I work hard. Because I want to bring stuff to the table, you know, I want to bring the extra goodness Yeah, he has a kid but he’s rich, he has a big blah, blah, blah. And he and he know he has some you know, he has he brings stuff to the table. You know what I mean? And I want to be valuable, you know, I want to have a lot to offer a lot to give,

you know, you know

some men look for what they can take but a true man look for what he can give us from The Lion King, by the way, but But yeah, that’s why I work so hard and and why buy so many things from my daughter’s because I want to feel valued. You know, I want her to feel loved. I want her to feel like she has everything that I can give her. I you know, and yeah, I just it’s hard because another thing that kind of really makes me unhappy is I feel like I have this persona. But I’m not a persona because it is me but it’s more of a sheltered version of me is just this, you know, kendal’s, the the happy, the funny guy, he’s the guy who makes us all laugh and kind of jokes about everything, you know, but some things actually don’t find funny in regard to my life, and in although I may laugh about it, sometimes it really does bother me. And it’s hard because of the person that I created for other people to see. The funny guy, it’s hard for me to have a serious conversation with people. You know what I mean? If you’re always the funny guy and you suddenly bring up a serious drop bomb, it’s hard to kind of have that feel natural or comfortable. Does it make sense when it comes into a natural flowing conversation? So, you know, I may laugh it off about me being single, but yeah, it hurts me and I’m like, Man, I I’m not it’s funny. I just had that conversation with my friend about this. I’m like, I’m, I’m almost 28 years old. And by almost I mean, I’m six months away, but you know, in my head, I’m a futurist I’ve always taken and I’m almost 20 years He’s old, I’m almost 30, you know, hey, I need to find the love. You know, I don’t want to match with 30 year olds, I want to match with 25 to, you know, to 27 year olds, of which of my age range, you know, I’m, I’m, you know, I’m just I guess I’m worried. And I know that and does that make sense? You know, I like I don’t always want to be the funny guy, I want to have a conversation with my friends, and not feeling like it’s uncomfortable. When I say guys, I’m actually really worried about me being single. And I’m worried about a lot of things. And I kind of want your advice. You know, I mean, I want that to flow naturally. But I don’t know how to kind of break the persona of me being funny. But then that kind of goes back to my own. Me being comfortable with myself and me not feeling like I have anything to offer besides being funny. You know, what do I have to offer my friends? If it’s not laughter? You know what I mean? Like, and it kind of goes to my own kind of self worth, I guess, you know what I mean? I, you know, and I remember back in the day, when I thought, wow, I just had sex. And I’m worried because I haven’t had sex and a few months that I’m never gonna have sex again. And then, you know, a few belt buckles, lower belt buckles later, and you say, well, now I’m worried that I’ll never find a girlfriend, and then you have a girlfriend? Well, I’m worried that I’ll never find a family. And then you have a baby mama, mom, right? I never have a kid and you have a kid. And, and I guess you just kind of go around around you go, I’m worried that I’ll never have I’m worried that I’ll never have I’m worried that it’ll never have. And you kind of play that over and over and you’re getting in your mind. And it doesn’t help manifest the things that you want. It does hold you back from the gratitude that you have when you actually do experience those things. Does that make sense? Like you can worry yourself into feeling like you don’t have enough. You know, I and I feel like I’ve done that to myself. I’ve worried myself so much that when I actually get what I want, it almost feels like it’s it’s nothing like it was given to me like it was a I don’t know the right word for it, but it just feels like I’m not worthy of it.

You know what I mean? Like,

I’m worried that I’ll lose it. Okay, yeah, hey, I got this. Now what I’m worried, you know what I mean, that’s kind of how it was with my baby mama. Yeah, I got a nice family. Now I’m worried I’ll lose it. So I gotta keep my options open. You know what I mean. And it just often leads to your downfall, if you think like that. And I’ve been desperately that I’ve been desperately trying to shift my mindset these last few years. And to change the way that I think about things and to be actually grateful and experience gratitude. When I get something that I’ve manifested for so long, or that I thought about for so long, is that feeling like I’m not worthy of it, or I’m instantly going to lose it to not feel so worried about the future? You know, what I mean? And you know, I don’t know, I want to, I want to ask, what’s next? Or someone that can actually help me give an answer? You know, I mean, I, when I’m thinking about what’s next, I want someone to be there and help me find an answer to these things. That’s collectively hours together. You know what I mean? I want my partner I want my person I want someone to connect with and grow with and to, to, to came my soul when I’m worried, you know, I mean, I don’t have that. And I feel like that’s what’s been bothering me about, you know, my child’s mother having this baby is I feel like she has that, you know, and I’m jealous. I’m angry by it. And, you know, she’s been asking me if I want to move to Colorado for a long time, she her and her boyfriend want to get out of Vegas and, and lucky. I’ve been against it, mostly because it’s easier said than done. I can’t just pick up and leave our career. It has to be you know what I mean? But I’ve been against it, because I’m like, I don’t this. I’m working on finding my love. Maybe, but maybe I do need to start fresh somewhere. I don’t know. I don’t know. And I think that’s the problem is I don’t know. I want to know, but I don’t know. And that’s always been my problem is just worried about what’s next. You know, I’ve never been able to just calm and take in what I have and enjoy. You know what I mean? I’ve never been able to just say Look at everything I have. And just be grateful for it. I’ve always just been afraid of losing it.

You know what I mean?

I want to experience that blissful relief, that sigh of breath that you take when you feel like I have enough, I have what I need. And I feel like I don’t have that as of right now. You know, I don’t have that mindset, I don’t have that person. I’m really striving for it, you know. And part of my problem with dating diddly The truth is, I don’t I don’t go, I don’t go out much. You know, I’m not meeting the people I shouldn’t here in Vegas. Because all of my friends are in relationships. If I want to go out, you know, I’ve tried going out single, just as a single guy going out to a bar, I’m trying to meet someone, it feels awkward, you know, you always feel more hyped up and confident when you’re, when you’re with someone with wit when you’re with your buddy, I had that in college, I don’t have that now, in the event, the main person that I had it with, and even he’s in a relationship, you know, and you, you know, you like Man, that was my wingman that was my buddy, I don’t have people that I can just go out with and wingman with and, and pick up girls with and you know, I don’t have that anymore. Everyone’s in a relationship. And, and although I could do that with some of my friends, now I could, you know, I could, but it’s always kind of difficult to, to kind of plan that together to have all of our schedules match up and, and to go out and blah, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda yadda. You know what I mean, it’s kind of difficult with everyone kind of being in relationship and scheduling and shit like that. So it’s rare that I have the opportunity to do that even with my buddies. So that’s the difficult part. The other part of it is I truly don’t even have the time to even be on Tinder and, and Bumble, and just sit there and swipe for a fucking hour a girls have it easy, it just new does have 1000s of men just swarming over you all the time. But me, it’s just kind of hard for me to just define the time just to be like, Okay, I’m not going to do anything, but just swipe here, because I get distracted all day. Here. I’ll swipe throughout the day. But listen, I don’t even want to be in bed and just swipe. You know, I mean, that’s my comfort zone, I you know, it’s just finding the time to do is just ridiculously hard. And so, you know, in a round and round we go, you know, I get matches, and it’s kind of like, you know, it’s not people that I’m interested in or it’s not it’s they say something off putting and I’m not interested and you know, and that also becomes my other issue is is like, on the times that I could meet up with someone, maybe I can’t do it because I have my kid and in although one week on one week off, helps me. It’s you know, it’s just all about timing. And listen, I hope that in time the perfect woman just falls into my lap. But you know, it feels like lately I’ve been a little impatient. I’m like, please, you know, God, like, I feel like it’s time I’m ready to settle down, I’m ready to be a committed man, I’m ready to fall in love. I’m really lonely out here. You know, I’m working on being a better man. I’m a girl, I’m working on growing, please allow me the opportunity to grow with someone.

You know what I mean?

It gives me that, you know, give me the opportunity to have someone in my life. And you know, and I was talking to a friend about this to a really big issue is my issue. But a concern is I was talking to my friend about how hard it is to imagine having someone in my life raising my daughter with me. I mean, because I’ve always been a single father. I think I’ve spoke about this before in my previous episodes. Her mother and I, her being my child’s mother. My child’s mother and I we we we broke up I think a month after my daughter was born. So I have always been a single father, I’ve done it all. I fed her bottles and made the formula change the diapers, the rocking chairs, the strollers, all of it. I’ve done it on my own. No co parenting of course, but I’ve done it on my own. You know, with my daughter now being four years old. It’s hard to imagine someone you know helping me race or just feel strange. You know what I mean? It almost feels like there’d be too many chefs in the kitchen. Right? You have her mother her boyfriend and you’d have me and someone else It almost just feels a little strange. All you know all of The these pieces they’re trying to raise are that little girl, it feels a little weird, you know? And if any of you have advice, or some books or podcasts I should listen to on that, you know, please let me know, because I’d love to explore more about that because it does feel like a strange concept that I’m not used to or not fully able to. I don’t want to say open myself up to yet, but it’s I think you guys couldn’t do it. I mean, it’s weird. It’s gonna be strange. And I’ll let you guys know how it works out, if ever does work out. But it’s it’s a hard pill to swallow when that day comes. And I don’t know how Leila is going to react either. You know, the day someone tells her Hey, no, no, Leila don’t do that. You know, what an awkward day that will be, you know? And it you know, and like I said it, of course, you guys are saying right now, well, why not meet other single parents? Well, as I mentioned before, again, hypocritical. I just can’t imagine raising someone else’s child. As hypocritical and as selfish as that is. I think that’s beyond my comfort zone. But I’m not rude about it, while other people are saying, you know, for the week or something like that. No, no, no. You shouldn’t shame anyone. And you should love everyone. And, and this and that. But no, I’m not. I’m not a I’m not saying Never say never. But I think that’s a little bit of an extra extra step that I don’t think I’m able to take. And, you know, sometimes it just feels like I’m meant to be single, you know, have been single for so long that I’ve a, I don’t know, it feels like it. No, it will never come my way. And of course, everyone says that until they A week later, they meet the partner in love with her life, but I don’t know. I mean, it just, it just feels like it’s it’s just difficult. I mean, I’ve made a whole podcast about what I don’t like about dating apps. I mean, these days, you know, you have to speak to someone for two weeks on texting, before you can actually go out and meet them in person in real life or coffee. I’m so against that. By the way, I’m so much against that. If you really want to know someone, you should get to know them in person. But, you know, topic for another rambling day. But I just feel I just been feeling so lonely. And part of it is just my family. And when it comes to my family, you know. I think that’s a really big part of what’s been making me depressed. You know, and the lack of better words, the complete disappointment of my family, and where we are now as a whole and a unit. Is it just a huge disappointment. And I spoke about it before in in length and other episodes, but, you know, my family is so broken. You know, I recently went to Disney with my dad, my younger sister, and myself and my daughter, of course, and there’s a few instances where I felt the tension from my dad, that I that I felt when I was a young kid in high school. You know what I mean? By the way, Disney was a trip. First of all, it’s probably

excessive heat waves all through California and Nevada, right? We get my dad’s car. We’re driving up 3040 minutes out of Vegas. It’s so hot. We’re in traffic. I don’t know where smoke starts coming. We well first of all, he loses a C we drive for another like five minutes. Smoke starts coming from his car. Boom, it breaks down. Well, fuck. So he pulls over, loses his engine and she like dabble bla bla bla bla. And meet him just have a massive panic for just a second. Are like Holy fuck. What do we do? We are fucking 40 minutes away out of Vegas. His radiator just blew. And first of all, you don’t even hear about a radiator breaking anymore. That’s something old Joe Biden says in one of his speeches. Hey, oh, rock when the radiator was, you know, I’m trying to you know, but you don’t even hear about the

radiator. This was radiator fucking blew.

I have my tickets for Disney in the morning. You know, I’m freaking out. Like I think we got it’s hot as fuck. It’s about like 115 We got the kids in the car. And we just kind of slowly calmed down and we kind of figured a plan out. He called one of his friends up said hey can you come get us at this gas station. I’m going to try to drive them and try to drive my car put in neutral and kind of you know Coast my way to this gas station I can stop at under the shade. Luckily it worked. He puts he puts the card neutral coast to this get nearby gas station this friend comes and picks picks us up, you know, calls the tow truck company until it tells us tells him where his car is out, they pick it up, we drive back to Vegas. And we decided to take my car. And I was like, Okay, well let me get an oil change and I fucking in put coolant in my car real quick because I’ll be damned if it happens to me. So we drive out we drive out to Disney had a fantastic time and a magical time at Disney I really did. But you know, he was a little bit on edge about his car naturally about in and I understand that. But my dad is the type of person that and I’m sure you’ve guys had this near family, he’s the type of person that when he gets angry, everyone in the world can feel it. You know, I mean, he has a parents like that, or friends like that, that, you know, where if they’re angry, everyone can feel it. And I understood that. But I mean, like, it’s hard to it’s hard to tell someone to let it go when you’re in Disneyland. And in their very car could be 1000s dollars and you know, in the hole, but I get it. But I’m like looked at you know, your demeanor kind of almost traumatized me into feeling like I was back in high school, and feeling like you’re the boogey man again, you know, I mean, and I spoke about this before my dad and you know, it gets kind of took me back to some of the horrible things that he did, specifically to my mom and his actions when I was younger. And although I think he’s a reformed kind of better man. You know, there’s still tendencies in him and in tendencies in I hate that I have from him and in blase, blase blase, but you know, when I, when I felt his tension, it just made me extremely uncomfortable and kind of brought this back these traumatic memories for me, and it just made me it made me feel yucky. You know, I mean, we feel horrible. And, you know, and I don’t know. And when it comes to my mom, you know, she’s really disappointing as well, it’s really not worth talking about. I spoken length about her already. But you know, it just feels like the only person that I really have. That, I know would just do anything for me just just just die for me to give the clothes off the back for me, you know, I mean, give the last dollar to me is my Nana. And my Nana is like my mom, you know, and I think you guys have heard me speak about my Nana. I mean, she raised me after my parents got divorced. So she took me in, made me a better man and steal things into me that I felt were shitty at the time. But a couple years later, you realize that she was just so right. And I’m really sorry, to the way I acted to her. When I was a teenager, I was just so angry at the world that my parents going into foster care and a lot of other things in high school that I was just angry with, and hurt and traumatized by and I treated her so poorly when she took me in. And I was just just dumb, angry little kid, and I’m forever just ashamed of my actions. And it’s one thing I’m deeply ashamed of my greatest shame is when you grow older, you realize, and when you grow older and become a man, you just realize what a boy you were, you know what I mean? But she really cares about me she does it but you know, as she gets older, you realize that she’s really set in her ways. She’s very stubborn, an old fashioned black soul is very prideful, and it bothers the fuck out of me. But she’s very impressive. You know, she has all these PhDs and degrees, but I’m protective of my Nana. So I don’t want to speak too much into some of the negative aspects about her life. But you know, I often tell her, you know, hey, you need help you need these government programs to come and help you and things like that. And she has all these reasons for telling me no, and it makes me It upsets me and you know, I’m trying to help her and she’s stubborn about it. And

you know, when she gets really testy of certain things, if you if, if you can’t do something for her right in the moment where she needs it, it can almost be like the end of your relationship with her. She didn’t really take it personally. And you know, you’re just like, hey, Nana, there’s the world doesn’t work like this, you know, blah, blah, blah, you need to and you tried to lecture her in the lobby. She doesn’t just want to hear it. She’s just stubborn, stubborn, old black lady wishes and she’s my love. She’s my mother, you know, and

you know, and

In, she acts like she has conditional love sometimes, but she has unconditional love, if that makes sense. I know that she loves me unconditionally. It’s just she can act very conditional in some cases. And that really bothers me really does. And in sometimes you’re just like, God, you know. I just, I don’t know, I just don’t want to do this anymore. You just kind of want to just say fuck this. And you know, I’m done with the whole family. I don’t want to I don’t want to deal with deal with any of you. But you know, it’s hard to hold a grudge against 7172 year old woman and you feel like I’ll even have the time to hold the grudge. It’s harder to hold a grudge against my dad, a man’s almost 50 And you think about I don’t have the time to be angry with you. And, you know, it’s it’s difficult for me because you want to let go. And yet you. You. It’s not like I feel obligated to hold on but you feel a duty. That’s my family. You know, and that’s my family is horrible as I think my family is it’s my family. You know, and I don’t know. There’s nothing more of a stronger bond than family, right? At least that’s what you’re supposed to say. You know, my,

my Nana, you know, I I call her. I call

my man on my happiest moments, on my worst moments. She’s like, my best friend. You know, I tell her everything. And she always can guide me in the right direction, she can always steer me into a level of sanity to let me know when I’m wrong or right or to give me a different perspective on things, you know. And that, when it comes to what I just said, about holding a grudge against a 7172 year old woman, you think what happens when you’re gone? The thought of losing her and almost kind of like yeah, it just makes me lose words. I don’t want to ever lose her. Because you almost feel like, well, now what? You’re worried about the future. You know, I mean, like I said, I’m a father. And now what? You know, who do I have to lean on? Who do I have? You know? You just, it just goes back to just me feeling lonely? Like, I don’t have anyone. And one day, I will lose my nail. And um, I don’t even want to think about that day. But when that day comes, you just feel I don’t know. Then what do I have? You know what I mean? Who do I have? To keep me sane? Who do I have to give me a different perspective? Who do I have? To tell about my days to you know? Don’t know. I’m only then my baby mama had a baby. And she had a family and she’s happy and I’m not happy. And you think why aren’t you happy? I think is because I made myself unhappy. And I think because when we were together, I was a boy and God Almighty if I could go back and kick that boys as I would, and just set him straight. And it’s funny, because someone asked me recently, what would uh, what would a couple of years do? I said a couple of years. Anything could happen within a day, a couple of years. A couple of years can mean everything. It’s funny because I had my baby when I was 2223 I think and I’m 27 and that doesn’t seem like a big difference. But Oh god, I really is. I’m not a boy anymore. You know, I think more like a man. I regret the decisions I made when I was a boy. You know, and all of the things that you thought were unimportant are actually very important. Like credit, a Career Money, putting money away treating people with kindness, respect, treating people the way you want to be treated love all the things that I wish I valued more, you know, all the things that I that would have made me happy because the others sure as hell did not. The other things that I felt were important that all the women I messed around with, or I can count on one finger. How many I still talk to all the things that you thought were important at the time just a two A man you start to think, God, what a boy you were, you know. And as you start to grow up some men realize it just in time, and some men realize it too late. Some men can have it as a good roadmap for the future.

You know? It’s tough.

Just like those visions I’ve been having. When I walk into a room and see these little kids, it’s like a punishment, you know, you see your regret, and you visualize all the things that could have been. You see your mistakes, your pain. And you see the boy that you were the man that you had the opportunity to be. And now all I can hope is that I show my daughter what it is to be a man, and to show her what a man should act like. The kindness, love and respect she should get from a man. I regret a lot of things, you know. My biggest accomplishment though, was that little girl. But if I’m taking responsibility for my own happiness, I also have to find other things that do make me happy. Because as of right now, the only things that really make me happy is when I have my daughter, and I only have her every other week, you know. And I’ve been preaching to you guys to not let your past control your future. But the thing is, is when you look up into the sky, some of those stars have been been distinguished for 1000s of years. But their light is only just reaching us now. The past always has an effect on our present. And on our future. It just depends on what we do with that information moving forward. I don’t know who I’m going to be with moving forward, or how am I going to get there, how I’m going to meet this person. But I know that if I want to be happy with someone else, that I have to be happy with myself first. And also means making some changes, I just hope that I just hope to god, that part of those changes includes growing with someone on my end

I just really don’t want to be alone. I’ve been feeling down about it a lot. You know, I’m feeling down that I feel like at times I’ve had shitty parents and I have to put a shitty performance on about how happy and funny I am to other people when I’m really distressed or sad. I’m going feeling down that my baby mama has one up on me, you know. And if you guys have any advice that I don’t know, please email me at hello, I’ve impact org and I’d be happy to read your words and hear the support that you can share.

And maybe we can all figure it out together. So I’m going to take my happiness, my own hands and take responsibility for it. Yeah, I’m going to keep pushing forward. And I’m going to wake up with a routine. I’m going to drink some more tea, I’m going to go to the gym, I’m going to start doing meditation and yoga. I’m going to drink a boba. I’m gonna do everything I need to do to wake up and get back on track. This depressed feeling. It’s just not it. And part of it. I’ll tell you the truth. Part of it is these damn pills, you know, these antidepressants that I take. They almost just make you feel like you’re empty inside. And look, I’m not against antidepressants on principle. It’s just I just don’t like taking them just only taking extra pills in general. I don’t like at times the way they make me feel. And again, I’m careful to say that because anyone who does need it should go out and get it. Sometimes I wonder how actually more depressed I would be without

them. You know what I mean?

But I hate the way I feel when I don’t take them for two days and forget, and I have an electric shock spiraling through my body, I hate the way that sometimes it just makes me feel numb. Like, I feel nothing. Like, I feel like it changed me, you know? And like I said, granted, I’m not as depressed as I would be without them, but I know. You just feel nada. I don’t like that I don’t have a sex drive. I don’t have the desire to do most things. I just feel numb. And I guess, maybe that’s part of it. I just want to feel something. I just want to feel happy. Well, I digress. Thank you guys for letting me get that off my chest and allowing me to vent with you. I find know that was a very long eventing session. And I’m sure if you were a therapist, you’d be paid very well. But yeah, you’re not. I’m happy that you guys allowed me to share that with you. And I’ll tell you, I needed it. I want to tell you guys about the new segments that are on our show. One that I’m going to start just here in a minute is called mailbag. Again, mailbag is a session that I’m bringing up on the show where you can just mail in a question to me. So if you email me at hello at Ven, packet.org. And in the subject line, you type mailbag, typing your question, and if it’s appropriate, I’ll read it and answer it on the show. Another one is called venting sessions. If you want the opportunity to vent with me, if you want the opportunity to be a guest on the podcast and talk about anything in regards to relationships, or co parenting, or being a father, whatever the case may be, email, email me at hello at vent packed.org in the subject line type venting. And just type to me and what you want to vent about. And again, if it’s appropriate, and we have the time, we can schedule something where you can actually be a guest on the podcast with me. And we can have a little venting session together. And it’s fun. So I’m gonna go ahead and read some mailbag questions from you guys. The first one is from anonymous. What do you think the hardest part about being a co parent is? The hardest part about being a co parent is I say, having different parenting styles, I’m not talking shit or, or whatever the case may be in any way, shape, or form in any way, shape, or form. But I recently thought that my daughter was a little stressed out about, like, different changes in her life. And I, me and her mother, a while back had a big fight and in our communication kind of fell to an all time low. During that time, I felt like we weren’t really communicating on how we are parenting her. And I kind of offered to bring that back up again. And I said, Hey, I’m willing to share my parenting style with you. And she wanted her reply back really was just she wanted to keep a parenting style separate, which, in my opinion, is the wrong way to go about things. But you know, I can’t control other people. So that is probably the hardest part about being a co parent is oftentimes you’re not on the same page. And, you know, I don’t want any confusion or just any out of pocket pneus when it comes to my daughter, I want her to feel comfortable, safe and as normal as possible. Even though it’s not a normal situation. I want her to feel like it’s, it’s not hard, at least. And so it’s a challenge for me. Accepting that. So yeah. What, when you? Well, this question comes up a lot from anonymous. When you actually are in a relationship, are you gonna change the name of your podcast? Probably not. It’s probably not. The single father podcast is, I think goes beyond just me being single. I think it’s just sharing my experiences of being a parent and fatherhood, mental health and relationships. And you know, time will tell what happens in the future, but probably not.

Yeah. Next question.

What do you think the goal of co parenting is? Only for the goal of co parenting. Yes, that’s a good question.

I mean, it’s simple but

Maybe there’s a deeper answer there. I mean, on face value, the goal is kind of like what I just said, to make sure everything flows as natural and as smooth as possible, making it a very comfortable and seamless experience for your child. And making it not about your disagreements but agreeing. together collectively, when it comes to the well being and benefit of your child, the golden the goal of co parenting is just to if you can’t parent together in the same house, to make sure you guys have the same type of deal in outside of your guys, it doesn’t make sense. Now, is there a deeper answer there? Probably. But I’ll just give you the, I guess the simple one. Okay, the next one from anonymous. How do you think your mental health has affected your parenting? I tried not to let it affect my parenting. Because although I can complain about being being alone and sad, I have always, you know, I have this philosophy at work, I was telling one of my colleagues this at work, we I have this guy that I work with. And I don’t know if I can say a lot, but I have this guy that I work with who I feel takes his personality, which is great. But he takes person personal things from his personality and integrates it with his is his work over the phone in sales. Now. I think he shouldn’t do that. And it’s kind of hard to speak in detail, because I want to keep it private. But you know, he has a very bro personality, and you can’t have that brokenness or you can’t have irritate me over the phone when you’re trying to sell things. Right. And I always tell him look, every day I wake up in the morning, and I’m pretty much grumpy. And I’m a goofy guy. Right? So both of those things are simultaneously happening in the morning for me. I mean, they’re goofy, or I’m either grumpy, but none of those things show up on the phone with my clients. You know, and all of the anger or all of any bad day I had prior. I leave that out the door when I come into work. And I work from home. So the moment I log in, and I’m talking to everyone and I’m making my calls and doing checking up on everybody and everything like that. You’ll never know that I had a bad day, you’ll never know that I’m grumpy. And you might hear some goofiness, but the clients will never hear it over the phone. And the same thing kind of goes with my daughter, any shit that I have any baggage that I’m carrying around, she’ll never experience any of it. It’s always just me being a dad and me being a dad comes first above everything. You know what I mean? I put all my shit aside, because my daughter needs me. And, you know, that’s what being a parent is about. Because and when you’re a parent, you don’t get the luxury of putting yourself first you put your child first. It’s an extension of you, they will live longer than you you have to secure the bag. You know what I mean? I’m securing my child and making sure that her growth not only well exceeds mine, but I mean, look, she’s the very best of me. You know, anything she needs? She comes first. So yeah, I’ll read one more anonymous. Have you ever been in love? Yeah, I have been in love. It’s truly hard to say whether I was in love from not with my child’s mother just because of the way things kind of transpired and negatively went down. But you know, I was in love. Yeah, that’s not before. And I’m a romantic as bummed downtime today. Not a knock on him. But I didn’t really get to learn on what it meant to be romantic or be a man from my, my father per se. So everything I learned I learned on romantic movies and 90s rom coms and shit like that. So

it’s in my heart and that’s kind of how I was raised to, to be and to act and some women may disagree based on how I how I acted in college, this angry guy who was a angry at the world and his parents but in truly in my heart and the heart of hearts of who I am, it’s I’m a, I’m a romantic and and I just scrolled past your question. So I forgot what it was. But I hope I answered it. So yeah, that will be. I’ll have these questions more organized next time. When we do mailbag. We’ll always do them at the end of the podcast, just so you can only hear the questions. Again, if you have a question for me that you want to write in, or just a comment or whatever, just write it in that vent pack, or hello@impact.org. And in the subject line, right, mailbag. And, and I’ll be sure to read your question on the show. And just be sure to write it in and whether you want to be anonymous or username. So that is that guys, thank you so much for allowing me to experiences with you guys. And they’ll tell you, everything about my, my journey so far, and

in the kind of what I’ve been going through,

like I said, I’m not seeing a therapist right now. So it really helps just kind of having a community that I can speak to who, where we can support each other. In speaking of community, I started a Facebook group, it’s called the single father group, please go check it out. And if you are said, single father, and you need some support and need to vent to a pack, who has your back, vent, pack, join, join, join the community join the group, it’s called the single father group on Facebook. I’ll be on there every once in a while just popping in topics and she’d like to add in the help that they can grow and and I’ll be able to help more people because that’s really what I want to do in the heart of hearts of of who I am. I want to I want to be able to help people, I want to be able to have my experiences be maybe a roadmap or


guide or a comforting voice to some people out there that know that you’re not alone. And and yeah, and that’s really what it’s about. And it’s funny, just reading one more anonymous question here. It’s, it says, Would you ever would you ever want another kid? Of course, I bet. Not until I’m married. What the next kid will I’ll be a traditionalist, you know? I will, the same mistake cannot be twice to our I want to be in something where I’m it’s more of a if not ring on the finger. It’s more of a of a bond, a blood bond with each other before I have another kid. But yeah, thank you so much. Be sure to like, subscribe and share this podcast, leave a review. It really does help and allows the podcast to grow and to be better content oriented, maybe have some guest spots in and I have a lot of plans for the podcast moving forward, I still have this mental health app that I’m planning on getting developed. And I want everyone to be involved with the pack and be able to vent with each other and yeah, just have I just wanted to be a really a community. You know what I mean? So thank you very much. And yeah, be sure to like our socials, it’s going to be the single father podcast on Facebook and Instagram. I think if you type in vent pack on YouTube, you can check out the single father podcast on on the playlist there and get to experience every episode on YouTube if you wish. As the podcast grows, I plan to have video podcasts coming up soon. My setup is not built for that as of right now. So that’ll be kind of, you know, phase two, I mean, of the podcast, so stay tuned. Stick with me guys. Things will only get better. And yeah, as we vent together and have each other’s back. Thank you for being a part of my pack. Bye

Episode 32: 7 Lessons I’ve Learned From My Daughter

Available Everywhere You Enjoy Podcasts


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In this Episode:
It’s my daughters birthday!

  • Speaking about the different things my daughter has taught my over time
  • What love has taught me
  • How change will affect me over time

Let me know what you think about this episode on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thesinglefatherpodcast/

Sponsors and Attributions:
-Music (lo-fi vibe by cloudsystem) sourced from TuneTank.com.
-Produced/Edited with https://www.descript.com/
Sponsored By: https://www.thekeys.ai/https://apps.apple.com/us/app/keys-ai-dating-chat-keyboard/id1510154956

The Single Father Podcast is brought to you by VentPack. Visit VentPack.org for show notes and more information on the organization’s mission to combat challenges of single fatherhood with resources, digital products and mental health support.



Welcome to the single father podcast. I’m your host, Kendall Donaker. This podcast is dedicated for anyone out there who’s dealing with mental health and fatherhood, you’ll hear about my struggles, my defeats my victories, my highs, my lows, my triumphs, my tribulations and everything in between. I like to call this a collection of journal entries into my struggle and adapting to single fatherhood. Without further ado, let’s take a look inside my journal, the single father podcast.

Well, hello, ladies and gentlemen. And otherwise, I am your host, Kendall Donaker. And thank you for making me a part of your day.

Guys, I have a lot of really cool, exciting new things coming to the podcast.

I have announced a few of those on my social media, but I want to, for my listeners, my audience, I want to share those with you, as well. We’re introducing a couple segments to the podcast, which is going to be really fun. One of the segments we’re introducing is called venting sessions. And basically what that is, is you can have an opportunity to be a guest on my podcast. So if you want to come on the podcast and vent with me about whether it’s life, relationships, mental health, of fatherhood, parenting, whatever the case may be, then email me at hello at vent pack.org. And in the subject line, just type of venting sessions. And just, you know, write to me what you want to vent about, and if it’s appropriate. And if it’s something that I feel like we would both have a fun time talking about, then I will try my best to get you on the podcast, and we’ll make it happen. It’ll be nice to have a few guests that will come on and just regular old Joe’s who just want to vent about whatever, like I said, if it’s if it’s appropriate. And what I mean by appropriate is

I’ll tell you what the show is. And what it’s not the show is about really just me sharing my personal experiences about fatherhood, relationships, mental health, whatever the case may be in that realm. But it’s not a platform to

to be like Andrew Tate. So I’ve already I’ve already what I mean by that is I’ve already had a few of you email me that you were interested in being on the podcast, which I’m interested in having you on. But as long as it’s within the realm of

what the show is about. All right. So reading between the lines, I think I made it clear. Another segment that we’re introducing on the show is going to be really fun. It’s called mailbag. What mailbag is is basically, same thing, you just email me at hello at vent pack.org. And in the subject line type mailbag. And just email me any questions that you have. If there’s anything that you want to ask me, whether it’s,

you know, any dating tips, or what color’s my underwear, you know, there’ll be a few of those mailbag questions that I’ll be reading at the end of the podcasts. That’ll be, you know, kind of the end of the show segment where I’m reading you guys’s questions and taking it from there, I feel like it’d be a really fun, engaging, communicative way where I can just share a lot of

my experiences with you guys. And if you have any questions, and you want to learn more about me, or you have any thing you want me to answer, I’d be more than happy to just go ahead and email me at hello at vent pack.org. And in the subject line type of mailbag. And I’ll be answering those questions for you. Well,

today is also a very special day for me as well on top of those announcements. I have one more, and that is, today’s my daughter’s birthday. She turns four years old today. And she turned four years old today, and I’m really

I’m really, really, really just bittersweet about it. On one hand, that’s my baby and seeing her grow up so fast is kind of breaking my heart on the other. I’m so excited that it’s our birthday, right? You know, when unfortunately, I’m not really sharing it.

With her today, I saw her this morning. But you know, I do 5050 custody. The way our custody arrangement works is I have one week on one week off.

And then we kind of go year by year on birthdays and holidays and some shit

like that. This was her mother’s year to have her on her birthday. And

so she’s with her mom. But I celebrated with her yesterday. And this morning, we had a little

jump on the bed, happy cupcake,

ice cream filled morning, which was very nice. And I got really hyper up that it’s her birthday, she turns four years old. It’s kind of crazy. When I look back at other pictures of her, it’s just wow, my baby’s four years old. It’s crazy.

But so we had we had a great time this morning. We did. And I got her a ton of things. I’m so so I spent so much money on this woman. It’s kind of it’s unbelievable to even think about how much money I’ve spent on her, including Disney. We’re going to Disneyland on Tuesday. Here’s the thing about that.

Disneyland is almost unreasonably expensive. I’m only going for two days. And already those two days is cost me over a grand the hotel the tickets itself. I mean, good lord, it’s it’s gonna be pretty bad.

Not to mention the things i i I’m planning on buying for her there. Everyone tells me the food’s expensive and

my daughter’s kind of like my sweet tooth. Right. You know, anytime she, you know, putters, those eyes at me and asked me for something I sometimes don’t tell her mother, but I sometimes given Yikes, I

mean, don’t get me wrong, I rule by an iron fist. But

that girl can get me sometimes to do what she wants, which is very, very bad.

So I mean, it plus, you know, she turns four years old, I’ll do whatever that baby wants, at a reasonable price. But yeah, I’m really excited. And I thought, this podcast True to form, I thought I’d give a few of my thoughts on what I’ve learned from my daughter so far, you know, a couple bullet points and what I feel like I’ve learned from her. And, most importantly, the number one thing I feel like I’ve learned from my daughter is humility.

When you’re a dad, especially in the beginning, when people tell you all the time, to buy these books, to watch this movie, to listen to this podcast, or whatever the case may do parenting classes, all of it, people tell you to do it, right. And I’m one of those people who actually did it. I read a lot of the books, and I was preparing for

fatherhood. And, you know, I think, I think me and her mother only lasted I think, a month and a half until we ended up breaking up and I was doing it on my own. So I was, you know, a quote, unquote, full time dad on my own,

right out of the gate. And it taught me a lot of humility. Because a lot of the things that, you know, people tell you, you should be doing as a parent, a lot of them are true, but you what you come to find out is

you do it at your own pace, you know, you do what you do, it’s kind of like you, you fly by the seat of your drum, you know, you have a plan and you have an organism in organized to function in your house of, of how you want things to be done, and how you want the rules to be set. But overall,

I think you just kind of wing it.

And I’m sure

I share sentiments with people out there. But I feel like when you’re a parent, you kind of just winging it. I didn’t have everything figured out, especially when my plans on how to parent kind of fell through the cracks when her mother and I broke up. And

suddenly I’m a single father, suddenly, her mom’s not there and I had to kind of pivot and adjust. Right, and a lot of the things that I was learning about, you know, leaning on your other parent for help and things like that i i really, for the most part didn’t have that, you know, especially with our mom and I’ve relationship is very tumultuous right off the bat. It was it was very, very tension based. So I really had to kind of rely on myself. And it taught me a lot of humility, and made me a little bit humble. It made me

it made me kind of forgive myself for making some mistakes. You know

You, you sometimes can get jaded by looking

on Instagram and seeing these perfect families. But what you realize is, you know, sometimes it sounds weird, but sometimes I’ll look at like a family and they posted on Instagram. And I’m like, I wonder how many it takes that that took? I don’t know how many times they screamed at each other to make them smile. And maybe it’s none. But you know, and

I don’t know, I feel like you’re you kind of just winging it as a parent, right? Because

sometimes, Leila frustrates me, sometimes I want to cry. Sometimes she cries, sometimes we cry together. Sometimes she’s mad, sometimes I’m mad, sometimes we’re mad at each other. You know. And at the end of the day, you’re kind of just figuring it out. In the end, it’s kind of like a sitcom show with me and her. It’s like, you know, father and daughter just figuring it out. I mean, that’s kind of what it is. It’s me and her, figuring out how to communicate with each other, how to love each other, how to how to bond with each other. And that’s really Yeah, it taught me a lot of humility, because here I am thinking that I’m the going to be the best dad in the world. And although I do think I am, I think you can kind of get humbled a little bit by saying, Hey, I’m allowed to make mistakes, accidents will happen. Mistakes will be made.

I won’t get everything right. But as long as I try my best,

I think she’ll be okay.

So, yeah, it taught me

a lot of humility.

You know,

especially on the times where I,

you know, where I’m,

you know, I yell at her about something, and I see a look on her face night and I have to catch myself and say, I didn’t do that, right. Did I Leila?

And whether she knows what I’m talking about her now she looks me and says, No, you didn’t. And I said, Okay, let’s start over. I’m sorry. What are you trying to tell me? I will listen to you right now.

And I think that brings me to the next thing that she taught me is like, patience. Being patient.

Do it’s hard to kind of explain whether I’m a patient person or not.

In fact, I think I just figured it out. I’m not

when I get my mind on something I needed done. Right then, right now, no matter what. I’m not very patient. I like I it’s almost like I don’t tolerate it. For myself. You know?

Like, I’ll yell at myself for being patient. And I’m like, What the fuck are you doing? Get up, get shit done.

True to form. This is actually a true story. And it happened to me just today. I bought these lights for my TV. And I like it. They connect in with your the sound on your TV. I thought it’d be really amazing. So I bought these lights. I go to set them up. Come to find out it needed like a hub. Like it needed like a you know, a device hub that actually connects with the lights before they even work. So I’m like, shit, man, I’m really hungry. I guess like, I gotta eat real quick, but I’m like, no, no, no, man, I’m impatient. You gotta go get that hub right now. So I’m like, Okay, fuck. So I go out getting my car by the hub come back home. And I set it all up. And they’re like, Oh, well, no, no, no, no, the hub was just to set up the lights. If you want it synced with your TV, you need a whole different fucking thing. I’m like, I’m fucking hungry. Man. I just want to sit down and eat. I just want to relax for a second. Like there’s I don’t have to do this right now. But that little impatient voice came in my head and said, No, no, no, you got to do a right bucket now. So I go, I’ll drive 20 minutes by the box, come back home. And I think I didn’t eat for like two more hours until I set up all that and made sure it was all to my liking. And finally, to three hours later, I sat down to eat starving, literally about to pass out. But that’s how impatient I am. I cannot stop until the job is done. So I’m an impatient person. And the one thing that my daughter taught me that was really important is patience.

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I have to be really patient with her. Especially in the beginning, when she’s a baby. Like you, you’re an adult, right? So you think communicating with someone that they just get it? And obviously a baby doesn’t get it. But you’re like, Come on, get it right. Come on, sit up and come on walk. No, it’s Dad, Dad. Come on, say Dad, dad, you know what I mean? You, you get a little impatient. And when they get older, it kind of gets worse to because they don’t know better. Like, Hey, I told you for the last time. Don’t run in the street. I told you quit Mad Dog and people, you know, I told you know, like, or it’s kind of like that, you know that one famous meme out there? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? You know, you’re as they get older kids can really fucking test your patience.

But you have to stay cool, calm and collected. Because you know what?

They’re learning. They’re growing. And it’s your responsibility to kind of set the tone in the in the, you know, you’re the leader of the pack, right? They follow what you do. It’s true that kids are sponges, you know, they, they absorb everything you do. And if you think that, just because they’re so young, that they’re not, you know, comprehending what you’re putting out there, it’s so wrong. You know, they’re picking up everything. And little and even if they don’t remember what, you know, they’re

what it’s like to be four years old, little traces and reminiscences of kind of what you’ve put out into the ether around them, will always be a part of them as they grow up. Now, that is a very scary and daunting thought you’re like, well, anything I do, I could I could ruin my good, right? But, you know, if you if you stay patient, and you set the tone for your house, that really matters, you know, because anytime my daughter really tested my patience, I tried to just communicate with her. Say, Leila, you know, what’s, you know, what’s going on? Why are you having a bad attitude right now, or I tried to really communicate, I tried to never snap on her. Because I never want her to feel like afraid or she can’t tell me something or to feel like she did something wrong when she’s just asking a simple question. You know, because my daughter, let me tell you something. She is the type of woman where she won’t stop until you give her an answer. Should be like, Dad, that was cool. Right? Right. Right. And I’m fucking working in like to any parent, you know, that when your kid talks, sometimes they’re just in the background. It’s like background noise. But my daughter should move. I can stop. She’ll say, right, right. Right. Right. It’ll get louder and more aggressive. And just say, right, and I’ll turn around and be like, well, I’ll put the fuck what right? Dammit.

But you can you know, and that was one of the things I had to take a step back on as I’m like, Look, you you can’t, you can’t let her break your patience. Like you have to be patient with her. She’s just a little angel just trying to get your attention or saying something’s cool. You know? I mean, because think about it, how rude is it? Or how terrible is if she’s just showing you a picture and she’s like, look at it, look at it. And everyone’s busy, right? You look at it, look at it. But if I just turn around snap at her, it’s gonna make her feel so awful, you know? So I try to always keep my patients in the song. One thing that I feel like she’s made me truly better on is because I am not a patient person. But when you have a kid you just you just have to be you have to be you have to be patient with your child. Because, you know, like you said, you set the tone. You know, I want her to think of this house as like a safe space a safe environment. She’s not afraid to ask a question. She’s not afraid to tell me something. You know, she’s not scared of whether dad will snap at her for something that she just wants to show me. You know, and this is irritating is she may be sometimes and I’m not afraid to tell you my daughter can really test my limit. I guess test my patience.

You know, as far as I’m gonna tell you what, four years old?

Everyone says Tara

Well, twos are bad, terrible threes. And yeah, it was now that she’s getting close to four. I feel like she’s really starting to give me some fucking attitude. I really do mean it. I mean, she can really tell you off, you know, in my daughter, she’s the type of person who’s kind of interesting to, like, you’ll, she’ll be super lovey dovey towards you, right? But then we’ll be in bed together, and she’ll be like, Dad, I love you won’t be like, I love you to come cuddle me. And she’s like, No, don’t touch me.

It’s only she only does that when she’s super tired. Well, my daughter is tired. She does not like to be touched. She doesn’t like to be spoken to. She just wants to play on her iPad,

and be left alone. The weird thing is, she won’t leave me alone. I’ll leave the room. And she’s like data come here. Where are you going? I don’t want you to leave. I’m like, and I’m like, okay, baby. I love you. She’s like, don’t talk to me, though. I’m on my pack. And it makes me kind of afraid of her.

No, I mean, look, my daughter is growing up to be a wonderful, wonderful, beautiful woman. And I need to

be patient with her and in respect her boundaries. And I think that’s another thing I’ve been

trained to learn. Having a daughter as well is respect. Another thing that she’s taught me is respect.

When you have a daughter in law, I can speak for myself. When I had my daughter.

My respect for women went up. It just did. It’s not like I had a low respect for women. Not at all. But it went up to a whole new level, because that’s my girl, right? I now that I’m now I’m all about girl power to the max. I won’t let anything happen to my girl. I saw a TV show. Just recently that said, this mother was yelling at her daughter as she went to college. And she’s like, Hey, babe, just make sure to think of everyone as a serial killer until they prove otherwise. And I’m like, Well,

I mean, yeah, that’s kind of that’s kind of how I want my daughter to pitch if this sounds bad, but I’m like, I’m so protective of my little girl.


it’s like, as she grows up, how do I protect her

while still respecting her space and her boundaries and her wishes and things like that? You know, because

when you’re young, you think that you know everything, you think that you got it all together, but what you come to find out as you get older, is back. My mom was right. Fuck my, my dad was right. You know, all those things that they’ve been trying to preach to me all of these years.

They were fucking right. You know, they were just trying to keep me safe. They weren’t really disrespecting me. They were trying to keep me safe.

I think that’s one of the things that my daughter has and continues to teach me is respect.

Respect for her mom. Mostly.

Because my daughter, I mean, right now she’s four years old to do what I say. I think the more respect part comes for her mom.

And like, I have another episode coming up about how I’ve been dealing with these imageries and flashbacks of kind of the past. But when it comes to her mother, I mean, she just had another baby. Um, you can check out my previous episode called my baby mama had a baby. But she just had a baby. Now my daughter has a new sister. And I have to respect that, you know, one thing that I could I could have easily slipped into but didn’t was, you know, oh, what is your mom saying over there? I don’t like what your mom does or mean your mom does you just bad mouthing her mom. You know what I mean? Or making her feel bad to have.

Even a sister like, there’s so many things that you think in your head that you you want to say, but

it’s out of respect for her, myself and her mother, that I have to bite my tongue.

And you may think to yourself, Well, why the fuck do you have to respect her mom? Well, because that’s her mom.

And it’s still the mother of my child.

And as much as her and I don’t get along. I have to respect the fact that that is her mom.

So she had a new baby. All right, it’s weird, but it has nothing to do with me. And you know what? That’s her sister and I respect that. And so anytime that she wants to go

Come to my house and tell me about new experiences with her sister, even though I don’t like hearing about it, I will sit there and listen to every single word. Because I respect her.

And when her mom asked me for something, I will try my best to do it with a smile, because I respect my daughter.

And therefore I have to respect her mother.

And listen, that it’s very hard.

And I know some of your thinking, and respecting someone shouldn’t be hard.


I want you to think about,

and I say this a lot. But think about an ex that you had in your life. And think about how happy you are to never have them in your life again, and how grateful you are that you never have to speak with them. And

I’m not saying anything rude here, or that hasn’t already been said.

But being in a situation like mine, is a little surreal, because I have an ex, that mutually we rather never speak to each other again, and yet have to because we have now a four year old daughter.

And now I’m being left with all of these boundaries and these

limitations and these new experiences and these

different circumstances that are being brought into my life. Right now change

each and every year

is is subject to change.

Whether it’s change of my daughter getting older and being more intuitive with her words, her feelings, her actions, or whether it’s changed in regard to her life that’s outside of my house.

Her mother,

her mom’s boyfriend, her new sister.

There, there’s a lot of change that I have to adapt to.

But I must stay respectful.

And the main reason why is

I mean, how many of you out there who have parents who badmouth each other and

it just it makes you feel distant, it makes you push away, it makes you kind of disgust a little bit because those are both your parents and you love them each other, right? You don’t want to hear that shit.

And I guarantee if I was the person bad mouthing her mom all the time. And

it just,

I feel like I’d be doing my daughter a very big disrespect by doing that.

Because it makes sense. And it’s hard for me to kind of put my feelings into words because it is kind of all jumbled together. It is kind of confusing. It is kind of hard and weird and new and different. And, and I guess I’m just figuring it out with you guys.

But I have enough respect for my daughter to respect her mother.

The other thing that my daughter really taught me is just simplicity, to enjoy the simple things.


staying on topic kind of is like when her mother and I broke up. I almost felt that it was kind of a competition. You know, kind of fighting for our daughter’s love. And whose house is she going to want to be at more whose house is she going to enjoy more? Who does she want to be with more?

Is she happier with me? Do I have to have the bigger house I have to make more money I have to impress my daughter every time just shifts she’s over my house.

And I started to do that. I started to shower my daughter with gifts I started to take her every time I had my daughter we’d have to go somewhere you know we go back back to back to a park or an indoor playground or something you know how to be something I’d have to give my daughter something just to prove that I’m worthy of being her dad. You know?

Like still love me love me baby you know please love me.

It wasn’t until my daughter came home to my house. Like I just picked up from our mom’s house. She comes over the first thing she says to me when she gets in the house is what did you get me

in it threw me off the way she said it.

She didn’t say like in a rude like

she said I was just that she said how a kid would say it. What did you get me all excited.

So I called my

Nana, I was like my mom and I told her about it and she’s just like,

Mom, you can’t do it to yourself.

You’re overcompensating because of your guilt for you guys not being together. But I think it’s only going to make your daughter spoiled. Right?

And then at the time she was on, she was already an only child. So I’m like, How does this look, you know?

And she said, My nana told me just stay at home. Why do you guys need to go somewhere all the time? Stay at home, draw color, watch a movie. I guarantee she’d like that just as much as going anywhere else. And you know what? I bet you she even wants to stay home. Going out all the time. Ambitious, even like that. Stay home. Enjoy the simple things. Grab a beer, she grabs my ice cream.

That’s it.

And you know what? I tried that.

I feel comfortable. I’m like, Oh, I gotta go. I gotta go. I gotta go. I gotta get out of the house. I gotta, I gotta take her somewhere. She’s bored. She’s probably just bored of her mind. But you know, we ended up doing we ended up doing exactly what she suggested.

I brought up some crayons we colored and we laughed. And

we had a great time. Just being at home. Just hanging out. Both of us on the couch, just chillin going on a walk together.

Walking the dog, just me and her.

In that brought up, I think a new bonding relationship between me and her because it wasn’t just me and her going somewhere. It was just me and her side by side.

Watching a movie

coloring, playing me being forced to play Barbies. And her telling me that I’m doing it wrong.

I think I think that type of dynamic that we had with each other just worked better than going out somewhere all the time. I think that we had a great time together. And we continue to do that. And every once in a while, do I take her out somewhere nice. And do this do that. Yeah, I do every once in a while. But now. Now, hey, this is home.

This is home.

We’re just comfortable being home. We’re just comfortable just hanging out.

And she’s like my little

partner in crime. Now I take everywhere. Every time I go to a barber. She sits there on her iPad, and I get my hair cut. I’ve learned to pivot and not Not everything has to be

well, I thought, you know, the only downside about having her on my weeks, just me alone is I wouldn’t be able to get anything done. But then I just started taking her with me like she was my sidekick. And then it worked.

It was just me and her. You know, I enjoy the simple things now. I don’t worry. I don’t. I don’t overstress

I am good. I’m very happy with

what me and her have together. It’s just simple. It’s

just me, my little girl

said anyone who feels like they need to overcompensate or do something for the kid all the time just to make them happy.

Have you even tried just staying at home relaxing? Yeah, they might get a little stir crazy go on a walk. Other than used to be extravagant or exciting.

My daughter is just as comfortable

putting makeup on my toes or my face, then she would be at a park. I can guarantee you that.

Being a dad

I think it’s just about enjoying the simple things for the people you love.

The other thing that my daughter told me taught me is to listen.

Sometimes, my daughter just wants to be heard.

Like earlier when I told you that my daughter was just saying data, data, data data. Look at this, look at this. Look at this and I wasn’t paying attention. The only reason she gets upset is because I wasn’t listening to her. And there are times that my daughter needs to learn, hey, wait your turn. I am working. I am talking you need to be patient. Right. But I think another thing that I learned with her is just to listen to her. There are multiple times as a toddler, you’ll find that your kid can get really frustrated and they can.

They’re unable to really communicate their words the kind of communicate with crying or

acting out or just kind of bad behavior.

And what I learned to fix that

is, every time she’s crying or

upset. I’ll say before you cry before you get upset, talk to me first

to talk to me before you get upset.

And she’ll say,

okay, okay.

She’ll talk to me. And I’ll say, Lila, what’s wrong?

And sometimes, in fact, most of the time, she’s like, No, no, no, no.

And I have to, and again, that goes back to patience. Instead of saying, Tommy, what the fuck is wrong? That, you know, I’ll have to say, Okay, this

is a, a feelings heard, you know, go through a list with her. Tell me what’s wrong, before you get upset. Talk to me, tell me what’s wrong.

Like, so that goes back to being patient.

And I’ll just sit there. And I’ll listen.

And eventually, I’ll get the truth. You hurt my feelings, as you told me that after the doctor, blah, blah, blah, or something like that, you know, it’s always something so meaningless and silly. And they’ll talk to her about it. Say, Hey, I understand, you’re upset. But here’s why I told you to do that. You know.

And that can get a little.

When you’re in a pinch, it can get a little much when you’re a parent, when you have to sit there and explain with your child, you know,

because at the end of the day, you’re the boss, and you just like, do what the fuck do what I say, you know.


I feel like,

I feel like it would really work for you if you just communicate with your kid. And just find out why they’re upset. Instead of just accepting that they are upset. What’s bothering you talk to me. And it’s always what I told my daughter. Talk to me before you get upset.

Another thing that she taught me is laughter. Oh my god.

When I’m

when me and her have our moments together, where we get a little frustrated, mostly just her

I think the biggest thing that my daughter loves, and to get her out of any mood is just by laughing, I can get that girl out of any bad mood by just make her laugh. Maybe a little tickle little smile, whatever the case may be. It usually involves hurting myself. You know, she loves to see me fall or say ouch or something like that. And kind of like any kid, as long as you’re falling or hurting yourself in some way, physical harm to myself shall laugh. You know, I have to be like a cartoon character following up on a bouncy ball. And in you know, it’s crazy.

But I’ll do anything to make that little girl laugh. And sometimes

when it goes back to just enjoying the little things, sometimes we’ll just laugh together, I’ll put my phone down and for like, an hour or two, and we’ll just laugh and we’ll play and I’ll chase her. We’ll play tag and we’ll dance she loves we don’t talk about Bruno will dwell We’ll sing that all the time. And we’ll jump on the couch. And

you know, I’ll be a horse for her, you know, she’ll get on my back, and I’ll crawl around the house and hurt my knees really bad. And we’ll just laugh together and I’m laughing now. Because it really is just fun. You know, it’s just It’s the simple little things that just make you laugh and make you feel carefree and kind of bring that stress out of your life. You know, it really I think laughter really is the best medicine.

Not only is it a sure easy way to make my girl happy. It’s I think it’s a good stress reliever to me.

Sometimes we can be so corporate we can be so caught up in our own world. And how nice is it just to put your phone down and just have fun just enjoy little things in your life.

Like playing horsey and with my daughter.

Because you know what?

The last thing that she taught me

and most importantly is love.

Unconditional love that girl

I love her so fucking much.

She get

there’s nothing that she could do that would ever, ever make me from stopped loving her. She is just everything to me.

First of all, I think she’s gorgeous. I think she’s biased but think she’s so beautiful and she she’s so sweet. She can really make you

she can make him laugh.

She can even make you cry.

because she’s so caring, you know. And even when I was talking about earlier sometimes even that makes me laugh like, well, well again, we’ll be in bed together and she’ll say, Dad, I love you so much and be like, ah, can we give me cuddles and she’s like, cut off me.

And I was like, I’m exaggerating. Michelle really say that. But no, she, she’s my world.

And then

they don’t tell you that the love of your life can be your daughter. And every time I feel every time I feel in my heart that I’m missing something. Like I’m missing a relationship. I just look at that girl. And I feel like well, yeah, I am missing relationship. But I the emptiness feeling that I feel it’s gone. She just feels she fills me with so much joy, love. laughter

I just

for any of you’ve been listening to the podcast for a long time, you know that I have been on a journey and a mission to really change the way people see me and the perceived me and look at me.

Because I often, most of the time,

have been very

critical and how I see myself.

Sometimes I can really get to me, can make me feel

more depressed and more alone, than I’m used to.

In on the weeks, my daughter isn’t here, I would be lying if, if at times, I didn’t feel like I was

absence of meaning.

But when she’s around me, I just feel incredible.

Feel Love, I feel loved. I feel joy.

I feel like I have purpose.

She brings life in love into my heart into my house.

And I can’t thank her enough.

And she helps me, you know,

she helps me she helps me grow. Because all of those things I said are so true.

She’s taught me to be a better person. She’s taught me humility.

She’s taught me patience.

She’s taught me respect.

She’s taught me subtlety, just to enjoy the little things. She’s taught me to listen. She’s taught me to love. She’s taught me to laugh.

She’s taught me how to be a better person.

And that,

man, that is good gift.

So for my daughter’s birthday, the best gift that I can possibly give her

is by taking all those things I learned

and just being the best that I can be.

So those are a little bit of the things that I’ve learned from being a parent so far. And

being a girl dad. You know, I I love her with all of my heart.

I’ve learned to laugh. Even when I’m feeling angry. I’ve learned to listen.

Even when,

even when times are tough. I’ve learned to enjoy the simple things. And

even when I feel like I need to do more. I’ve learned to respect

you even when it feels

even when I feel disrespected.

I’ve learned to be patient,

even though it goes against every bone in my body. And I’ve learned to be humble and have humility to

know man I don’t even

I don’t even think I had a lot of that in my younger days. But

yeah, that’s basically it.

I want to thank you guys for

listening to the podcast. I want to thank you guys for allowing me to vent with you. I want to thank you guys for supporting me and

and being there for me and allowing me to share my experiences and open up like this. And

like I said, from day one, this is kind of like my own personal journal and I’m just sharing it with you guys.

Now it’s time for mailbag. I’m going to read off a few emails that I got from you guys.

By the way, please, I forgot to say this, but in the emails type if you want to be anonymous or not, for all intents purposes, I’m going to list these off as anonymous.

And then next time, just in the body of the email type, whether you want to be anonymous or not.

So anonymous writes

excuse me, anonymous writes, have you ever felt like you were destined to be alone?

Well, anonymous, I have felt that I felt that many times.

In. In fact, just recently, I was having a conversation with my friend about me getting a girlfriend, and he’s like, man, what the fuck is going on? Yeah, I feel like you’re about to settle at this point. And, yeah, sometimes it can feel like you’re going to be alone. But I mean, look.

I’m only 27.

Every time I feel like I’m going to be alone.

I just realize I’m young. And

there’s still a long way to go. And I know that I will find my one. I feel like we’re all living in a

we’re all living in a destined universe where the universe brings you closer to your destiny. And,

you know, some

times we get further away from that, and sometimes we get closer to that. And I guess, I guess I can only hope I’m closer than

closer than before. I don’t know. You know, I don’t really have a good answer. Just because, you know, it’s just, the answer is yes. I have felt that way. But you know, what, we’ll, we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. I’m openly looking. And if you know, anyone anonymous,

send them away.

I’ll even be like young gravy. I’ll take your mother at this point. Anyways, just kidding.

Next person anonymous.

How close are you with your baby mama?

Not at all. We’re not close.

I wouldn’t say we’re like, like, you know, Peter Pan and Katherine hook. We’re not enemies or anything, but

it’s hard to get along.

Especially now, and that there’s been

a change in the environment. And

yeah, I mean, I’m gonna I’m gonna speak about that a little bit more on my next episode.

But yeah, we’re not we’re not we’re not close.

Now, all right, next one. Anonymous.

What do you feel like the best thing about being a dad is?

Well, I really just answered that, you know, she taught me a lot of things. And

I feel like, the best thing about being a dad really is just seeing a reflection of yourself in her, you know, I see I see reflection of myself. And it’s kind of like the very best pieces of me and you want that to be you want to harness that you want to grow it and you want you want it to

manifest in

in every potential.

It could be you know, I’m

I’m happy I’m a girl that I’ll tell you that. She is just so amazing and makes me really happy. She’s

probably know there’s something about him being having being a girl that just makes it a little bit more special. I would love a son one day, I’ll tell you what, I do want another kid.

But you’re gonna have a girlfriend first so or a wife or something?

Would you ever adopt anonymous whichever adopt? That’s kind of ironic, because we’re just talking about that. Whatever adopt, probably not.

For no other reason other than I it’s a long process.

And I feel like it’s probably not there’s a lot of reasons but maybe the probably not

an honest what do you look for in a girl? Well, say, you know, there, there came a time of my life where

I’ll be honest, there came a time in life where I will,

you know, I was on fuckboys status, you know, interested in hooking up and girls and I mean, I’m Elena, you you.

I grew up a lot. This point of my life. I am

open to having fun, but I really want someone who comes in my life.

For a reason for a purpose, who’s there to stay.

And someone that I can rely on and build with and, and be a partner with, and to share these experiences with.

The hardest part I’ll tell you about introducing someone in my life is I’ve always been a parent by myself. So having someone in my life and sharing that dynamic with someone

will be very, very different for me. And that’s the only thing I don’t

I don’t know how that would be. But as far as dating, I mean, I look. I’m just, I just want someone in my life who has things going for them. I’ll tell you what, and I don’t mean to call out anyone here. If this is you, but I had someone reach out to me.

It was super cute. And we talked for a little bit, but the conversation kind of went like this. Hey, what do you what do you do for work? Oh, I’m not really working right now. Okay.

Are you in school? No, not right now.

Oh, okay.

Where are you living?

Come with kind of staying with friends and move back in with my mom. Not sure yet. Okay, cool. What do you wanna do for career? Oh, I have no idea. I think it just on a business. Okay, what business? I’m not sure.

Do you have any goals or ambitions at all whatsoever? You know, I mean, it’s like, I don’t want to call anyone out if that’s you. But it was so unattractive to me. It really was. I’m like, What the fuck?

You don’t have a job? You don’t have any ambitions. There’s nothing you want to do for a career. Like I mean, Fogg can like, at least say the basic thing that every girl says and say an esthetician. Like, come on.

It blew my mind.

And that’s the, the opposite of that is what I want my life.

Last question, and I promise is the first time I’m doing mailbag. So these will, these will flow better.

Anonymous do Kendall, I’m really happy that you were able to share about your experiences. And thank you for making everyone a little bit more comfortable about sharing mental health when they’re a male, I feel like fathers don’t really get to have an opportunity to have a platform where they can share experiences. But I really want to know what kind of brought you to make the podcast in the first place in the first place.

Well, anonymous, first of all, the next question after that is do you know you have a lisp? Well, I’m 27 years old. And I understand that I have a lisp, yes.

Fuck you.

Anonymous, that the why I started the podcast? Well, it really started out as an app, I have this mental health app. You can look more in detail about that on vent pack.org.

In the coming soon section, but I have this app idea. And

I tried to get off up and running in it and it didn’t go well.

It turns out, you need a ton of money to really create an app. So I kind of pivoted a little bit, and I’m like, what, what could I do to still have the same kind of vibe. But, you know, that allowed me to kind of save up for the app later. And

I thought about the podcast, I thought about, well, why don’t I just started a podcast, about mental health, about being a single parent and kind of sharing my

experiences with relationships, etc. And having a platform and an audience for that. Not only was it really cathartic for me to kind of share a lot of my experiences. But I felt like if I could just help one person out there, feel like they’re not alone. Like I felt for so many years. And that’s good enough for me. It doesn’t have to be extremely popular doesn’t have to be number one on the charts. All I got to do is know that I’m helping some people out there. And that’s good enough.

And I think, I hope, I think and I hope that has been the case. So

yeah, that’s basically it guys, thank you so much for being a part of the show about a part of the podcast. Please like and subscribe and leave a review. If you’ve worked tell me what you thought about the podcast.

You know, today I kind of just winged it and maybe I should be more bullet pointed. But yeah, I mean, tell me

What you thought, tell me what your thoughts are

writing questions to me to mailbag. Again, if you want to send me a question or comment or thought, email me hello at vent pack.org. And write in mailbag. And I’ll answer some questions on the podcast, please in the body of the email, right if you want to be anonymous or not, if you want your name used, I’ll use your name in the podcast.

And same with venting sessions. If you want to have a venting session with me. Same thing, email me hello at impact the org and in the subject line type of venting sessions and just email me what you want to talk about and we’ll take it from there.

Please like and subscribe our Facebook and Instagram pages, which are the single father podcast you can find us on Facebook and Instagram.

shoot me a message tell me what you thought. Thank you guys for allowing me to vent with you. There are more great quality content coming up more great episodes and more things to share with you guys about my life, mental health, relationships and otherwise. And if you have anybody who’s single, send them my way. I’m looking. Thank you very much, guys. Until next time, I’ll be back with you soon. Bye bye.

Episode 28: The Benefits of Being Single



Before becoming a single father, I didn’t realize how many benefits there were to being single. Now that I’m a single dad, I can honestly say it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. But let me explain more.

Let me know what you think about this episode on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thesinglefatherpodcast/

In this episode:

● Being single in Vegas

● The cost (literally) of night life and being single

● Pros and cons of being a homebody

● What it’s like to date a homebody or party goer and what kind of woman Kendall is looking for

● Kendall’s thoughts on one day getting married

Sponsors and Attributions:

-Produced/Edited with https://www.descript.com/

-Music (lo-fi vibe by cloudsystem) sourced from TuneTank.com

The Single Father Podcast is brought to you by VentPack. Visit VentPack.org for show notes and more information on the organization’s mission to combat challenges of single fatherhood with resources, digital products and support. — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/ventpack/support


Episode 25: Grief is Universal: A Single Dad’s Personal Struggle with Separation

Episode 25: Grief is Universal: A Single Dad’s Personal Struggle with Separation The Single Father Podcast


In this episode I talk about how I feel like I got my masters degree for co-parenting to only find out it was from a fake school. Do I really know anything?

Let me know what you think about this episode on Instagram @TheSingleFatherPodcast.

In this Episode, I vent about:

  • My Struggles dealing with my co-parent
  • My Pain in sharing custody with my daughter
  • Separation Anxiety
  • My disappointment on how things have gone backwards

Sponsors and Attributions:

-Music (lo-fi vibe by cloudsystem) sourced from TuneTank.com.

This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/ventpack/support

The Single Father Podcast is brought to you by VentPack. Visit VentPack.org for show notes and more information on the organization’s mission to combat challenges of single fatherhood with resources, digital products and support.


Co-Parenting: When civility is gone, control must remain.

By Kendall Donaker

To quote Star Wars, “between darkness and defeat, hope survives.” For those of you who are reading this feeling that hope is lost, hear me when I saw nothing lost can’t be found again. But what do you do when hope isn’t what is lost, but civility is?

I have been many things in my life, but the hardest role I have ever had to take on is being a father. Fatherhood comes with many challenges, not to mention the challenge of parenting from different households. How I parent from my house may be very different from what is taught at the other. Today, I experienced that fact all to well. My parenting style is very relaxed. Whereas I do not spank my daughter, I give her timeouts. Statistically, how many munities your kid is in timeout should reflect the number of how old they are. For example, if my daughter is three years old, she is only in timeout for three minutes. I am not a traditional father. My family is complicated and my parenting style reflects that. When I have custody of my daughter, I make sure she understands why she is in time out and emphasize how much I love and care for her.

However, her mothers parenting style is very different. We doesn’t believe in timeouts and only wants to communicate with her through words only. We agreed on never to use spankings or yelling as a punishment’s, but for the most part, we disagree on almost everything else. Small disagreements yes, but sometimes the smallest thing can have a big impact. Although this is a a specific situation, I know that many parents face similar challenges in their own lives. We are constantly reminded to give our children love and support, but sometimes it seems like we can’t even agree on the best way to do that. It’s important to remember that even though parents may disagree on some parenting styles, they have the same goal in mind: To raise strong, confident and happy kids.

I am writing this article to share with you what happened behind closed doors today. Her and I shared words with each other that are not going to easily be recoverable. I am hurt by this today because her and I lost civility with each other, and I am afraid of the affect it may have down the line. It is unfortunate that two people can be on the same coin but on different sides. Our parenting styles are just so different, and sometimes we forget that we equally parent and not one style is right over the other. We forget that love comes first. Today, I myself forgot that. Therefore when civility is gone, you must remain in control. Not control over your child, but control over yourself. We forget that when it comes to our children, we are both their parents. We often forget that the most important thing is to show them love, no matter how differently you may parent. Today, I have forgotten this. I took my frustration out on her, and I am sorry for doing so.

Being in control of yourself means being in control of your emotions. Sometimes being in control often means deciding some things are out of your control. I am reminded of a bible verse I tattooed on my arm to jog my memory in times like these. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I want to focus in on that word, wisdom. As I have gotten older, I have become wise to the things that set me forward, and understanding the things that set me back. Which is probably why as I was typing my negative response back to her mother today, I felt my thumbs wanting to stop, almost as if they were in pain. It was as if each letter I was typing out was like pressing on a needle, knowing I had to stop but moving forward anyway. After that I took a moment to pause, I regained control of my emotions, and understood the difficult situation I am in. Our civility may be gone, but I am in control of what I do next. Sometimes it can be hard to be in control of your emotions. During these times, it can help to stop and ask yourself whether you are making choices that will set you forward or back.

Do not let the lack of civility influence the lack of your control. Take control of your life, your emotions, your heart, and let the universe decide what happens next. Today was the first time in three years we have crossed a line with each other, and yet sixteen years still remain. My situation may have gotten harder but as I mentioned, between darkness and defeat, hope survives. Find hope and you will find control. The universe once told me, “I’m going to be your kryptonite. I’m going to push you further than you expect yourself to go and then some. I’m going to make you smile when you want to cry and I’m going to love you harder than anyone has ever loved you before.” Find the power to take control of your life and don’t let your situation get the best of you. With so many challenges we face on a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to have a bad day or feel like giving up. But when you find hope, it has the power to keep you motivated. In fact, it can make you unstoppable. When civility is gone, control must remain. Control—the ability to direct the outcome of events and actions, especially in a particular manner.

My message to her mother is this: We share our daughter but not our anger, we share our love but not our defeats, we may not share civility but we could share control. My nana once told me that the most important thing I could do for my daughter was to keep her fed, clothed and loved. The second was to keep her close. Over the years, other women have echoed this sentiment, with some variation. My greatest victory is being a dad, my greatest role is being a father. My only hope is that if civility cannot come first, then love can. If you’re a dad, then you know that being a parent is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. It’s also probably one of your biggest sources of pride. The challenge is that parenthood can be a lonely place. It’s hard to find the right support and guidance, especially as you get more experience under your belt. I am happy that I can share my triumphs and failures with you. My hope, is that instead of taking revenge, you take control.