What is a lone/single parent to you?

(75 Posts)
IneedAsockamnesty Wed 22-Jan-14 16:21:11

Meaning, to you what exactly does the term mean?

I define myself as a single parent because I'm a single person and a resident parent.

I recently had a conversation with another parent who described themselves as a single parent and it confused me a bit as their child is resident with the other parent not them.

Totally up to them how they describe themselves but I was quite interested in how the term is perceived by others.

tiredandsadmum Wed 22-Jan-14 16:27:34

I am the same as you; I am divorced and live in a 1-adult, 1DC house. So I am a single parent. My ex (who does pay maintenance) goes white hot with fury when he hears me being referred to as a single parent and has told me categorically that I am not as he is involved with DC. I fit a government definition and it was his choice to leave me to be a single parent.

So you are right it is interesting how people define what I always thought was quite a straightforward definition.

BornToFolk Wed 22-Jan-14 16:28:22

I define myself as a single parent because I'm a single person and a resident parent.

I agree and I also think it would be a bit odd to describe yourself as a single parent if you're the non-resident parent (unless you have your DC 50/50).

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 22-Jan-14 16:32:01

I've also seen a few threads on here with posters describing themselves as lone/single parents when they don't have 50/50 or anything even remotely close to that.

I thought it was odd as well.

Ragwort Wed 22-Jan-14 16:36:11

I'm not really sure if I think hard about it grin.

Is a single parent someone who parents entirely on their own, ie: no contact/involvement with the other parent confused - would that person need to describe themselves differently from someone who does have contact - both financial and sharing some of the 'residency'?

And how does the single person who is a parent but doesn't have residency 100% describe themselves?

It's a minefield if you think too hard about it. grin.

3xcookedchips Wed 22-Jan-14 16:41:29

Define resident?

Monetbyhimself Wed 22-Jan-14 16:47:02

I am a single parent and have a residency order in place. So my children reside with me and my Ex has contact. He doesn't provide any financial support.

Serobin Wed 22-Jan-14 16:58:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DollyHouse Wed 22-Jan-14 17:16:46

I define myself as a lone parent because I raise my dd with no contact with her other parent or his family and have had no one else look after her for about 18 months now. I find it hard when someone who sees their child once a fortnight describes themselves as a lone parent but at the same time I try to respect that that is how they see themselves, the same way a lone parent who has a new partner still describes themselves as a lone parent or someone who has the child at the grandparents a lot describes themselves as a lone parent. Lone parent means a whole lot of different things I think. I do think this thread has the potential to be hurtful to people who see themselves as lone parents but are not seen in the same light by the majority though.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 22-Jan-14 17:23:51

Define resident?

The child lives with you mostly or mainly or solely or at the very least 50%

Obviously this is just my opinion.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 22-Jan-14 17:30:58

Serobin,

I seriously was not meaning from a issue or competitive struggle thing,not at all.

I would just assume if someone described themselves to me as a lone/single parent that their child lived with them 50% of the time or more.

I would find it funny and odd for a parent who had EOW to describe themselves in that way just because to me in implies more than that.

Serobin Wed 22-Jan-14 17:38:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

3xcookedchips Wed 22-Jan-14 17:47:07

residency is a legal term w.r.t. a court order and has a few subtle implications beyond where the children live.

In the absence of a court order children reside/live with whoever they are with at any one time, surely?

I was just querying the term resident as a criteria for deciding on the obviously subjective label Single Parent.

This question is recycled quite regularly. However you wish to label yourself you'll get no argument from me.

Am I a parent, yes
Am I single, yes
Do the children live with me most of the time, no
Is there a court order where there is sole residence, no it's Shared.

DollyHouse Wed 22-Jan-14 18:00:25

That's one that I find confusing. "Single parent". Before I joined MN, I didn't realise that people used it to describe their relationship status rather than the parenting status. I'm a single parent with no partner. When I get a new partner, I would still describe myself as a single parent because I still parent as a singular whereas some people wouldn't as they are no longer single relationship wise. So now I say lone parent because I don't want make it a relationship thing.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 22-Jan-14 18:05:10

I'm meaning resident as where you reside long term. So not just in the residency order way.

Fairy1303 Wed 22-Jan-14 18:08:51

My DSD has always lived with her dad - mum does bare minimum including refusing to help with childcare when we were stuck, pays nothing. I once read a status of hers talking about difficult it was being a 'single, working mum' - I was incensed! I think it is being the resident parent, alone, that does it.

BronzeHorseman Wed 22-Jan-14 18:14:26

Well, I would dispute that a parent without the child living with them can claim to be a single parent - after all they are doing bugger all to help with bringing up the children, I mean a weekend full of treats means sod all when the other parent is dealing with all the upsets that happen when there has been bullying at school, sickness, stress because of exams and all that stuff. when it is like that the resident parent is the one bringing up the child and the other parent is more like a friendly aunt/uncle/grandparent/godparent who comes in and provides the treats and then brings them back to the parent for the job of parenting.

BronzeHorseman Wed 22-Jan-14 18:14:31

Well, I would dispute that a parent without the child living with them can claim to be a single parent - after all they are doing bugger all to help with bringing up the children, I mean a weekend full of treats means sod all when the other parent is dealing with all the upsets that happen when there has been bullying at school, sickness, stress because of exams and all that stuff. when it is like that the resident parent is the one bringing up the child and the other parent is more like a friendly aunt/uncle/grandparent/godparent who comes in and provides the treats and then brings them back to the parent for the job of parenting.

BronzeHorseman Wed 22-Jan-14 18:15:01

Sorry no idea why that posted twice.

noisytoys Wed 22-Jan-14 18:17:11

I'm a single parent. DDs dad sees them every day, 2 overnights a week and pays maintenance but they live with me full time and I don't have a partner. Therefore I'm a single parent. That's not to say I don't get far more support than a lot of single parents but it's a title not a competition of how hard your life is.

PerpendicularVince Wed 22-Jan-14 18:24:02

I think Horseman has a good point, the term single parent, in my opinion, should be reserved for the resident parent who undertakes the day to day parenting.

DidoTheDodo Wed 22-Jan-14 18:30:54

I'd rather avoid the term altogether and talk about the parent with whom the child lives, or the father or whatever. I say this as my DH has very complex living arrangements with his son (SN, in a semi residential school), has son almost equal time - especilly if you take into account respite care - and he is a far better parent than SS's mother.

Sadly, one phrase does not fit all.

Serobin Wed 22-Jan-14 18:31:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IneedAwittierNickname Wed 22-Jan-14 18:34:58

Interesting question. I am a single parent, as in I am single/patenting alone most of the time.
Ex has the dc eow, his choice not to see them more.
Part of me says, therefor he is not a single parent (well actually hes not as he has a new dp)
But what is a nrp parent then? surely they are still a parent who is also single = single parent confused

Dolly until I joined mn I never realised the 'single' part of single parent meant anything other than relationship status grin

Monetbyhimself Wed 22-Jan-14 18:36:26

Horseman I'd be donning yer flameproof knickers grin

We seem to have an interesting 'mix' of posters on lone parents at the minute. In fact, many regular lone parents seem to have taken flight to avoid the onslaught. hmm

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