Meet Richard

Richard is a single father of two beautiful kids. “I wasn’t really around when they were growing up. I thought the best way to be there for them was to be a provider, so I worked two jobs to support them.” After Richard and his then wife divorced, he shares that he lived for himself. “I was living like I didn’t care and wasn’t worried about anything.” But Richard soon had his perspective changed when his son came to live with him. “I realized I needed to be a role model, stop acting foolish, and live as an example to them.” Soon Richard also gained custody of his daughter. “I got to be there to tuck them in at night, to read bedtime stories together and make breakfast in the morning before school started. I realized what I had been missing out on before.”

Richard has found a huge source of strength and support in his mom and a family friend who always helps when he needs it. “My mom raised me, my sister, my nephew, and my niece so she knows. She has been very supportive and helps me out with anything I need. I often call my mom to ask questions because my daughter is 15 years old, and I’m lost!” With Richard’s son having autism, his daughter having epilepsy, and him becoming disabled nearly ten years ago, they have many challenges that they have learned to navigate together. “I sometimes have called my mom to say, ‘I don’t know how to do this,’ but she always reassures me. She’s good at giving positive feedback and always telling me I can do it.”

Even with some of the challenges they face, Richard and his kids know how to enjoy life. His greatest joys include being able to go places the kids have never been and watching the looks on their faces as they experience something new. “We went to the movies years ago. It was a 3D movie, and they were amazed! I loved watching their faces! I probably watched them more than I watched the movie!” Richard also enjoys drawing, coloring, and doing puzzles with his daughter and cooking with his son. “I love to bake and cook, and he loves being in the kitchen with me.”

As many single parents understand, Richard knows the challenges of wishing you could be in two places at one time. “My daughter and son would have things going on at the same time but in different places. One time I called up a few friends and one of them came with me to my son’s event and the other went with my daughter to be with her. We both recorded everything and then sat down later in the evening and watched everything together.”

Richard would encourage single parents not to give up. “It can be rough at times. And to any single parents with special needs kids, never give up. It will get better. There will always be bumps in the road but look forward and know that it will get better. We have to do both roles of parenting at the same time, but we get just as much joy out of it. And you end up learning more about yourself and your kids than you probably would otherwise.”

Thank you for your transparency, Richard. We admire your perseverance and celebrate the work God has done in your life!

Published September 2022

The views conveyed in each of the Featured Family and Reflection Stories found on our website or any other media from Single Parent Provision (SPP) are based solely on information given to SPP by the parent sharing as they perceive it to be true. SPP is not responsible for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or opinions expressed by the parent in sharing their story.

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