Morning / Afternoon / Evening All
I am a single father (I hate that term) for the last 18mths to a boy and girl under the age of six. I care for these two full time (ie: no shared arrangements ... I work a full time job as well) and have no family within about a 1,000km of us. I am very blessed to have a small number of very close friends who step into the breach and help where they can.
I guess I had a couple of questions that I'd appreciate some opinions on. Firstly, being the sole carer of the kids and working full time as a dad, I tend to find that a lot of people (in fact - in my experience most if not all) at school and daycare give me a very wide berth. For example, a child's birthday party that my 5yr old daughter is invited to. I turn up with both kids and I notice three distinct groups at the party. There are the 'society mums' (married mothers with the 'perfect life') who huddle together and talk about ... well to be honest I have no idea what they're talking about but as soon as I walk into the group and introduce myself to them they become quite odd (which is disappointing as I'd really like to get to know how they manage their families and how I can do things better for my kids). Usually I find they brush me off as some sort of leper ... not sure why as once upon a time I was socially acceptable.
The second group are the dads. Let's be honest, in most cases they do try a little bit and as long as the kids don't infringe too much on their lives and their standing game of golf on Saturday morning they are awesome parents. I can say this because I was once upon a time this kind of guy. Nowadays at said party these guys usually give me a wide berth as well.
The last group are the most confronting. These are the single (and at times quite damaged mothers) group. I don't say confronting in the sense of less than me in any way shape or form. I mean confronting in the sense that I look at these women and I then look at my daughter and realise once upon a time these women were little girls with hopes and dreams and somehow life (or a partner) managed to beat the stuffing out of them. I find myself talking more to this group than any other because they are the most accepting - but at the same time I am constantly on my guard with them as in some cases they are certifiable and I am really reluctant to open my life (and by proxy my children's lives to them).
I guess my point is this .... how do I find normal parents to ask questions of? I guess this is why I am here more than anything. Hopefully they are here. How do I learn what little girls do and think (I grew up with no sisters so I have no idea how to raise my daughter beyond making sure she knows she is loved and that there is nothing in this world that she couldn't do nor would I support her to do ... except for being a mercenary).
Anyway, bit of a rant ... hopefully I don't come across as a crazy parent. Just a bit of a lonely road when you're a single dad.