After a very public and messy divorce and custody battle, Dwayne Wade is basking in the glow of single fatherhood.
In a new essay penned for Newsweek Magazine, the Miami Heat star says that he’s ecstatic to have the opportunity to raise his sons, Zaire and Zion, and teach them how to be men, just like his single father taught him.
I was seriously motivated to be a full-time parent for my sons. My mother and father weren’t together when I was a kid growing up in Chicago, and early on my mother fell victim to drug abuse. At 9 years old, I moved in with my father because my mother could no longer care for me. Looking back, I now see so many similarities between my own childhood and that of my sons. My father stepped in when I needed him, and that gave me the chance for a better life. That’s what I’m doing for my boys now.
All children need their fathers, but boys especially need fathers to teach them how to be men. I remember wanting that so badly before I went to live with my dad. I wanted someone to teach me how to tie a tie and walk the walk, things only a man can teach a boy.
Despite being solely responsible for his sons, Wade emphasizes that he has had plenty of help from his extended family, even his once estranged mother. Conceivably it’s the only way a professional athlete who is on the road for nine months a year can raise two children on his own.
Thankfully, I’ve gotten a lot of support from my mother, sister, and others in taking care of my boys and making their new living arrangements a smooth and happy transition. Going forward, I want my sons to have a healthy relationship with their mother, and that’s something we’re working on. I hope to have a great relationship with her one day too, because I know how much it meant to me to see my parents get along as time went on.
Wade has received a tremendous amount of love and support from the media and community at large. Many have commended him for stepping up and taking on the primary parenting role for his sons.
While I’m happy that Wade has taken on the responsibility of parenting full-time, I find it a bit ironic that he is praised for his efforts, while millions of women with far fewer resources are overlooked, devalued, and even demonized for doing the exact same thing—stepping up and doing what’s best for their children all on their own.
What do you think of Wade’s essay on single fatherhood? Do you think it will encourage more men to speak up about being fathers? Sound off!