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what does 'single parent' mean to you?

(19 Posts)
quirkycutekitch Sat 28-Jun-14 01:26:45

I've always thought it meant bringing up your child(ren) single handidly. But some one posted on her the other day 'I'm not a single mum i have a partner'. So does it just denote your relationship status. So you could have bought your kids up on your own for 10 years then as soon as you get a partner you're not a single parent anymore? Or you could have 50/50 access and still be a single parent? Was i just wrong?

Isabeller Sat 28-Jun-14 01:29:48

Good question. I seem to be inhabiting undefined territory. It is different from when I was a 'classic' single parent though.

HillyHolbrook Sat 28-Jun-14 01:54:18

I think it's when you're alone, raising a child alone. My DM, to me, was a single parent between leaving my dad and only meeting DsDad, but after moving him in and him being a parent to me she wasn't one anymore. Having a boyfriend who isn't hands on and doesn't pay bills or buy school shoes and do reading books etc doesn't count to me.

sezamcgregor Sat 28-Jun-14 03:58:54

To me, single parenting is not having a DP living with you.

If you have a man living in your house, paying half your bills and giving you live-in emotional and financial support - then you are no longer a single parent because it isn't just you against the world.

If you don't trust new partner to help you with your children or if he's not there for you emotionally - I would question why he is living with you.

If you were on your own for 10 years bringing them up single handed and then you met new fantastic DP who you then moved in with - no, you are not a single parent any more, you were a single parent past tense

sezamcgregor Sat 28-Jun-14 03:59:55

I say man, you could easily be gay or the father may have full custody

Meglet Sat 28-Jun-14 04:15:37

Caring for children without the other parent / a partner living in the same house.

FellReturneth Sat 28-Jun-14 04:59:29

To me it means that you are not married or living with the mother/father of your children, and you are not living with anyone else on a permanent basis who is recognised as their stepfather and takes some responsibility for parenting them with you.

Just because you are a mother and you have a serious boyfriend, doesn't make you not a single parent, it just makes you not single.

FellReturneth Sat 28-Jun-14 04:59:58

and yes obviously it could be a man or a woman who is the single parent.

deerkitty Sat 28-Jun-14 05:54:49

I class myself as a single parent. I'm by myself and bring the children up alone. If I had a partner that was involved in the caring of my children and we lived together. Then I wouldn't be a single parent.

I don't class my exp as a single parent. He lived with someone and has the children every other weekend that to me isn't single parenting.

kim147 Sat 28-Jun-14 05:59:01

If you have shared custody, does that make you a single parent? When you have the chance for "you" time during the week and weekend, when you can plan to go out, not worry about collecting DC from school etc.

I can imagine that the life of a single parent who has no one to share parenting is very different to someone who has shared custody (and not just every other weekend). Having your DCs 24 / 7 and it's just you must be incredibly demanding.

KeithTheCat Sat 28-Jun-14 06:45:32

I was a single parent. I lived on my own, no partner.

when I met now-DH I was still a single parents as we weren't living together. when we started living together I was no longer a single parent.

I wouldn't say DS's bio-dad is a single parent. he's single (afaik) but doesn't do any parenting, just visits occasionally.

AmItooselfish Sat 28-Jun-14 07:36:05

I always thought single parent was e.g. someone who was not living with the father of their child or a new partner, but had shared custody with the father and the child spends some time with the other parent.

For me, a lone parent would be where the other parent is not around at all (death, refused contact, unknown).

KeithTheCat Sat 28-Jun-14 08:58:48

I always though lone parents and single parents were the same thing, but that kinda makes sense.

lemonwelly Sat 28-Jun-14 10:26:15

I was discussing this recently with a friend who classes herself as a single parent. Her and ex partner have joint custody of child they work it that ds stays with dad 3 days and nights a week and 4 with mum. So she has 3 child free day/night a week to her self.
Our other friend has a dd who's father has no part in her life mum has no support off anyone has dd 7 days/nights a week on her own. Financially struggles.

Yet they both get classed as a single parent!! I don't think they are. I think one is a single parent and one is 2 parents parenting apart.

flappityfanjos Sat 28-Jun-14 10:38:33

To me, a single parent is someone who doesn't have a partner around to help with the work of caring for their children (which could also include work to bring in money and keep the house sorted). If custody is shared and neither has a new live-in partner, they are both single parents.

Being a single parent with no shared custody must be bloody relentless at times. But that just means that different single parents lead very different lives, just like everyone else. Being a parent who is single makes you a single parent.

JustALittleBitLost Sat 28-Jun-14 10:45:03

Lemonwelly: as somebody who is single and a parent with shared custody, yes of course it is miles easier when you have some time off each week.

But don't forget that even if you have shared custody, you still have to deal with all the stress of running a household alone - financially and emotionally.

Nancy66 Sat 28-Jun-14 10:59:44

I think of an unmarried woman or a divorced mother or father.

'single mother' always makes me think of a woman who never married though

Deftones Sat 28-Jun-14 10:59:59

single parent to me suggests that they are single in marital status, but may have an ex who Co parents. I considered myself a lone parent which is raising a child alone completely.

I'm no longer a lone parent but I was.

I'm a married single parent. My H left me for OW and takes the children one night every other weekend.
Never really thought about "lone" parent but what a PP said makes sense

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