Paul never thought he’d be a single parent, but five years ago he was thrust into his new role. “It’s still tough,” he says. “I take one day at a time. What matters most is that I’m a capable dad who loves his children.”
In 2008, Paul’s children, ages 7 and 10 at the time, went with their mom for a routine evening walk. But they didn’t return home. When a neighbor told Paul he saw the family pile into an unfamiliar car, Paul was beside himself, facing his worst nightmare.
Then, after six long, anxious days, his daughter called.
“Daddy, why don’t you want us anymore?” an angry young voice inquired. For reasons of her own, Paul’s wife had not only abandoned him, but convinced the children that Paul was the ‘bad one.’
Winning his children back became the most important thing in Paul’s life. He worked hard to ease their fears and false beliefs. Months later Paul and his children were living under the same roof.
While Paul embraced his new role as a single parent, it was a demanding and lonely road. Paul was multi-tasking and managing many different things, roles and responsibilities, all by himself.
One of the most significant challenges Paul faced was trying to make ends meet financially. Then when Paul was unable to work due to a back injury his situation was grim. “After rent and food there was nothing left over,” says Paul. “I couldn’t even buy bus tokens.
“Sometimes society attaches a stigma to single parenting and that makes it hard to ask for help,” Paul continues. “But when I reached out to The Salvation Army I realized how supportive and understanding they were.”
From furniture to clothes to food to Christmas help, and even just a listening ear, The Salvation Army in Moncton relieved a lot of pressure from Paul. “Single parenting is overwhelming,” says Paul. “But with help from organizations like The Salvation Army you don’t have to go it alone and it can be done.”