Available for Download: Feb 15, 2018
Soft Cover Available Mar 8, 2018
Leader of the Pack is the story of a man who, like many men, had been going through his life apparently content and positively clueless, who found himself tethered to a tornado as his marriage descended into violence and madness. Surviving courts and cops and chaos and a crazy-challenging-business, he unexpectedly ended up the only parent of five small children–ranging in age from only 18 months to 8 years old—at a time when most men didn’t even know how to change a diaper. It is my story.
In it, I detail the transformation I underwent from sole breadwinner to sole parent, from a beaten abused shell of a man to the strong, confident and spiritual person I am today; a nationally recognized spokesman for single dads and entrepreneurs.
Though the facts of my story may be different than some, the feelings are the same for single fathers everywhere. We are frustrated. We’re no longer just the backup parent; the ringer sent in when Mom isn’t available — though, that was all we had ever been trained for when it came to parenting. It’s not that we don’t love our children. We do, but that and $5 will get you a latte at Starbucks.
We are told by many voices (and silent looks) from counsellors, teachers, social workers, judges and our mothers, sisters and ex-wives that we aren’t as capable of raising kids as a woman. We may even feel that assessment is true. We feel helpless and undermined and above all, alone in this.
But we are not alone.
A quarter of all American households are headed by men who find themselves or choose to be single dads. We need to own that position, be proud of it, figure out the best way to make it work and above all, add our voice to a swelling chorus of support for our brothers who find themselves in our same shoes.
We must learn to parent like a dad and that does not mean being only half of a team. In my life, and in the lives of millions of men today, we are the parent. Where there were two, now there is one and we must be enough.
Lives depend on it…our kid’s lives.
We could win our kids, raise them to be happy and healthy people and manage to have a big, fun, and exciting life while we were doing so. Life wasn’t over for us. In fact, it was just beginning and beyond the doors swinging open lay a road we could never have foreseen—one filled with adventure and laughter and even sex.
I surely never would have believed it. On the day my life changed forever, I looked wildly around any means of escape, but all I saw were their pale and frightened faces, staring up at me. Five little kids, the oldest was only eight and the youngest still a toddler—my kids—all mine now. Their mother had staged one last violent, terrifying episode and left us forever. Where there were once two-parents, there was now only one.
It felt like something had torn a large hole in my chest and ripped out my lungs. I couldn’t breathe. Then the breath rushed back in and I heard the most heartbreaking crying. It wasn’t until later that I realized the sound was coming from me.