Lifestyle Sex and Relationship 18 Jun 2016 Flying solo: Single ...

Flying solo: Single dads and their stories

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ANISHA DHIMAN
Published Jun 18, 2016, 12:00 am IST
Updated Jun 18, 2016, 12:04 am IST
Bringing up a child is never easy.
Cristiano Ronaldo and son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr
 Cristiano Ronaldo and son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr

There’s a debate currently on — do single fathers get enough credit? They keep their jobs, handle the day-to-day activities, pay the bills, make the school run and still find time for some fun!

But what makes single dads so special is their unwavering belief that they don’t want to be part-time dads.

 

The start is not always easy. One Brad Kearns from Australia wrote about his “mum-for-a-day” experience and that note went on to become an Internet hit. His life had changed in a split second after a text. “My liver has failed,” wrote his wife. And as he rushed home from work, reality struck.

Kearns is a working dad, one who gets “respite for 40+ hours per week under the socially-acceptable rule, ‘supporting the family’, while mum continues doing what women seem to so effortlessly do”.

He writes: “Sit back, relax, grab a drink, some popcorn, clear your schedule and hold onto your bootlaces because I’m about to take you on a ride that could only be likened to a backwards 100 mph roller coaster that takes you through waterfalls of vomit, shit and lots of tears. And once you’re finished with yours you will move onto the children’s.”

 

The struggle’s real.

Single dads and their stories

Aditya Tiwari is a 28-year-old software engineer based in Pune. He’s also the youngest single man to have adopted a child in India. “Every day is an adventure,” says Aditya, who has been on a two-month adoption leave from work. “Parenting is always challenging, but the bottom line is love, care and affection.”

Little Avinash has Down syndrome and a hole in his heart, but Aditya has been able to travel now more often than before. “When I was working, my parents would take care of Avinash till I came home. But now that I have a lot of time, we have both been travelling a lot together.”

 

Dr K. Prashant, a consulting clinical psychologist at Yashoda Hospital, explains why it’s so hilarious to watch single dads go about their day — and why things often go wrong.

“Mollycoddled throughout our lives, men are at a disadvantage when it comes to fulfilling the nurturing and emotional needs of a family member.

“I have observed during counseling that single dads become like little kids. If the child complains about something, the father’s retort is, ‘You did that’. So they end up fighting like little kids.

 

“Most men feel ill-equipped to take care of a child, so when they are thrust in such a situation, they don’t perform as well as their counterparts,” says Dr Prashant.

However, he adds that support groups online — such as Single Dads in Hyderabad on Facebook — are a blessing for dads who need all the advice they can get.

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