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“I look at the way my daughter looks at me, I see how she’s always watching for how I respond to life and its challenges; I see how she laughs at my lame dad jokes; I see how she loves me unconditionally and how, frighteningly; she wants to be exactly like me. That’s just how it is in the world of dad’s we’re larger-than-life, we’re heroic in nature and funny as all get out, in short, I’m HER hero, as my dad was mine, I’m HER example, I’m HER example for right and wrong, for strength and compassion, for safety and affection, just as my dad was, and still is to me “  

Who Knew? by Michael Ray

Michael is a wonderful dad based in Australia, who is a great advocate for fathers and equality.

So proud and excited to share that Michael’s book on his experience of being a single parent has finally been published. Below is his own personal review of his book.

Imposter syndrome had never hit me as hard as it did before I pushed the send button on my final rough copy of ‘Who Knew?’, I knew that as soon as it hit the shelves, I opened myself up to naysayers and critics. I started to question if it was good enough, if I was good enough, if I really had something to say and if I did why anyone would want to read it.

I then remembered how the journey started with Charlie and me.  I’m a single parent, Charlie’s only available parent and I am 100% responsible for her needs (about 87% capable on a good day). Not being allowed backstage with Charlie at her 4-year-old ballet because I was male was the catalyst that necessitated me taking a stand! It was about Charlie being made to feel different from the other children because of our family situation. The thought of Charlie not having my support as her parent to share the excitement and her pride, broke my heart.

While situation and circumstance has resulted in me having the opportunity and awareness to advocate for others this was only ever about my daughter having the same opportunity as any other child to have their parent present and involved in all aspects in her life.

Welcome to an inside look at how Charlie and I have made it through the first nine years of life. My clarity through crisis was real. After the initial diagnosis of Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism discovered when I collided with the unfortunate tree that fateful morning and the subsequent treatments, the separation and the lack of time I had with Charlie cleared the fog of indecision. Like a ray of sunshine, the thought of my daughter not growing up with me to have tea parties with, to paint nails and do hair, to not go on adventures with or lie on the couch together watching cartoons scared me, scared me to the bone. It made me realise that I had the power to make the changes in my life that would allow me to be able to create these memories.

I am humbled and grateful that I am able to share this journey with Charlie, and with both being really new at this father- daughter thing and me thankfully being consciously incompetent and blissfully ignorant of what to expect the journey has unfolded exactly as it has and exactly as how it should.

In case you missed the panel discussion he contributed to last year, here is access to a recording