I came across an article on single father Michael Ray. Ray is 50 and he is the sole care-giver to Charlie, his 4 year-old daughter. In the article, Ray revealed the questions and comments he hears on a frequent basis. Some of the most common phrases include:
- “Are you babysitting today?”
- “Is Daddy in charge today?”
- “Do you want to call your wife and check?”
- “Who does her hair and nails?”
- “Every little girl needs her mum!”
- “You’ll need help when she gets to puberty!”
- “I bet you would’ve loved a son?”
Ray recently persuaded a Melbourne dance school to overturn a ban on men in the dressing room. The rule would have stopped Ray from being there with Charlie before her performance on 20 November 2016.
There was also a special rehearsal for mothers a couple of days before the performance. Being a father, Ray was excluded from the special rehearsal.
In an email to the school, Ray wrote: “I’m not sure if you’re aware of our situation but it’s just Charlie and I in our wonderful little family with Charlie having had no contact with her mother for over two years… [the ban] would leave Charlie as ‘the only child without the opportunity to share their excitement and nervousness with a parent.’” Ray was glad that the ban was lifted.
See: Ashleigh Davis and Brianne Tolj, “’Are you babysitting today?’ Single dad reveals the seven things he wishes mothers would STOP asking him as he raises his four-year-old daughter”, Daily Mail Australia, 20 November 2016
It is not easy being parents, much less a single parent in Singapore. Divorced parents who have sole care and control of their children get to live with them on a day-to-day basis. They are responsible for their care and upbringing. It is tough, considering that many of them have to juggle work and family.
Divorced parents who have shared care and control get to breathe a little easier, as they take care of their children for only approximately half the week. For parents who do not have problems working with each other, shared care and control may be a feasible option.
I admire single parents like Ray. It takes an awful lot of commitment and strength to be a single parent. One can only imagine the difficulties which parents like him have to go through to bring up their child.
I certainly hope the public can offer more support and understanding to single parents.
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