A dad who was put down by a client for bringing his daughter to work is highlighting the hardships of single fatherhood.
In June, Richard Miley, 28, moved from Florida to Texas with his 5-year-old daughter, Ashtyn, to take over his sister’s power washing business. He’s had full custody of Ashtyn since 2017, and when day care got too expensive, Ashtyn started coming to work, sitting with her father while he bid for jobs or supervised workers, and passed out business cards. When Miley does the power washing, Ashtyn sits in their parked car or inside a client’s home.
Miley says his customers seemed OK with it — until last week, when he booked a new job.
“I arrived to wash [a woman’s] RV, Ashtyn knocked on the fence, and she came outside,” Miley tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “She looked at me like I was crazy and said, ‘Will your daughter be with you the whole time?'”
Miley answered, “Yes, she’s normally with me,” adding that the customer allegedly snapped, “A man needs to work and you need to learn that,” and waved him away.
Thirty minutes later, Miley posted on a community Facebook page. “First, off, it’s not my fault my kids lost their mother, it’s not my fault my youngest took it pretty hard and acts out too much to be in a daycare consistently. But I do my best every day to provide for my children.” (Miley’s older daughter is temporarily living with her grandparents in Florida.)
“And I don’t need praise for taking care of them,” he wrote, “it’s what I’m supposed to do. I just want everyone to know if you do choose All Seasons Powerwash, for any of our services, my 5-year-old will be with me!!!”
That partnership works for Miley’s new customers — his power washing services are now in high demand. Ashtyn starts kindergarten in the fall, so her apprenticeship is short-lived.
A business owner wrote, “We will send you our power washing jobs and if a client doesn’t like it they can deal with me! We take our daughter on jobs too. There’s nothing wrong with them learning about work, responsibilities, and money. I’m proud of you for being a good dad and making her 1st whether the client likes it or not!”
“People assume single dads don’t need as much help,” Miley tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Child care is hard for guys, too.”
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