So after reading about Seeing Rainbow’s blog post about being a single parent (which you can read here) I thought that I would do my own – maybe from a dad’s perspective. This is where writing the blog acts as therapy!
1. It is the best job in the world – I think that is the quite self explanatory and goes without saying really, regardless if you a single parent or not. However, it still needs saying 😊
2. It is the most tiring job in the world – Again, every parent comes across this. However, when you work full time and come home from work and have to do everything on an evening without the support of anyone, that is the time when it is tough.
3. Where is the manual? – Again, one for all parents I think!!
4. Toilet problems – As a single dad of a (hopefully) toilet trained 3 year old, I have the decision about which toilets to use for her!! Generally we use the men’s and hope/pray that it is quiet in there for everyone’s benefit, but ideally, we try to use the separate disabled toilet block. This way we don’t run the risk of having embarrassing toddler comments and there is enough room for me to go as well – normal cubicles are not big enough for 2 (and associated bags!)
When we were still in nappies, nappy changing facilities were sparse in men’s changing rooms, however, we only had one time where we had particular problems.
5. Nothing is ever perfect – It is a perfect storm of doing the best for your own child AND doing your best for someone else’s child. Generally the two are different even though the child is the same…
6. Stress levels rise beyond belief – Linked to the one above. However, with the stresses of looking after a child come the stresses of the fallout from a failed relationship and all that brings to the table
7. It’s like being a big kid – Going out and about and seeing the world through the eyes of a child is a wonderful thing. Make the most of it. It is special.
Being in control and being able to choose what to do and where to go is also very empowering!!
8. People want to help – Generally it is shop assistants and the more elderly members of society who want to help when out and about. If you get the offer for help, it will save you the little bit of energy you might need later on!!
Also, don’t be shy about saying you’re a single parent. Because we go to the same places/people and it came up in conversation, these places/people are more open to helping and even asking “How are you getting on?” – that little question means a heck of a lot and so if you know of a single parent, ask them. It will mean the world.
9. I am not daddy day care – I know it is a bit old fashioned but still…!!! The number of people who still say it and I really feel like saying back to them:
“Yes I am looking after my child. It is called being a parent. I also work full time and have her every moment that is available. I am not doing this because mum wants some time to herself, I am doing this because it is what a parent is all about”
10. I have my best friend – The bond between a child and parent is special. The bond between a child and a single parent is even more so, because you are close knit team:
You laugh at silly things.
You go through the down times together because there is no-one else to turn to.
You are stronger for it
You get your best friend in the world
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