Friday, 28 December 2007

Single/Lone/Stay-at-Home Parent (Delete as appropriate)

What is a single parent? Technically, and I haven’t bothered to consult the Oxford English, I guess it’s a person of either gender that happens to be single and is also a parent.

It is something I’ve laboured over, mainly to come up with the shortest possible title that explains my personal circumstances, without being too melodramatic or lumping myself into a stereotype.

Oh, those lovely stereotypes. People will think what that want and conclude what they will, regardless of the actual. Perception is reality, opinion and stuff.

It’s for those reasons I read with interest other accounts of people in similar vessels to mine.

As well as searching for hints, tips and inspiration I’m always interested to read how others have coped further down the road, and if they took a similar path to mine.

This piece stuck out, and I’ve now read it three times. At first I thought I’d found someone in very similar circumstances to myself, however with double the number of children and at a school age. An author to boot, writing titles that encompass being a single dad.

Brilliant. A possible idea of what’s coming my way and inspiration for my writing career.

Wrong. We're not living in the same world.

The article is essentially about men feeling the woes of being an empty nester. Not consulting the dictionary again, but I would have though this applied when children left home for University or to set up their own home, not when they opt to go to boarding school.

What works for one family won’t work for the next, and I’m not about to have a negative opinion on the likes of Hogwarts, but I can’t really see the sense in the actual piece. And this must be an incredibly rare situation.

I admire anyone who’s managed to balance life enough to give their children a sound upbringing and at the same time have their own sense of worth and successful-enough-career.

It’s all about choice and what’s best. And accepting what’s best even if those choices may not be your first choice or go against how you’d like your life to pan out.

In this instance it reads like boarding school was the best option for all parties, even if that comes at the expense of premature empty nest syndrome.

I can’t really see Max wanting to go to boarding school or me even being prepared to send him if he was. An au pair may be our solution, oh my god, could you imagine the stereotypes and perceptions with that?

Now I’m going to work on a hyphenated annex system for clearly identifying lone parents into their appropriate groups. Or should I just enjoy spinning a yarn once in a while? Share/Save/Bookmark


Cumulus said...

You can get male au pairs.

Also, you can get female au pairs who don't think a widower is trying to jump them. My widower uncle had several, mainly from Eastern Europe. They were great and really respected his position.

Great blog. If you want to read someone else's, feel free to stop by mine - I use the word mothering a lot, but it's about parenting really.
Will drop by again.

Single Parent Dad said...

Oh my god, could you imagine the natter if I got a male au pair? Might be worse than if I had a female assistant.

Thanks for your comment, have a had a quick pop over to your blog-looks good.

Please do come back and comment, I will hopefully do the same on yours.

TwoIfBySea said...

Happy New Year to you both. May 2008 bring all you wish for.

Single does sound rather final doesn't it. I suppose at one point a better title will be invented - then they can use that as a stereotype to flog us with! It isn't an ideal situation but it is what you make of it.

Single Parent Dad said...

Thank you and right back at you.

Absolutley. I think I'd rather be just a parent, than have anything stuck in front of it, with the obvious exception of good!

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