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define lone parent to me please.

(38 Posts)
stitch Sun 05-Oct-08 08:31:39

i'd like some clarification please. conversation n real life. friend says a lone parent is when the parents have eithersplit up, divorced, or one has died. but notif they are living apart for financial reasons.
i think that unless two parentsare there morning and night, at least five days a week, then the parent that is there is a loneparent.
specifically, the example is of a couple who simply dont get on, but are still living together. now he has to go work abroad, whilst she stays in th house with the kids. yes, he will be sending money back to her, but wont be coming to visit particularly often. i think this woman can be called a lone parent. my friend doesnt. who is right?

Yorkiegirl Sun 05-Oct-08 08:34:35

Message withdrawn

stitch Sun 05-Oct-08 08:38:41

good point yorkie.
in this particular scenario, hehas never been particularly useful when he was around. but i do get your meaning of no one else being around. rather than being two parents, they were probably 1.25 parents, iyswim. but now that he will be gone so far away, what can her really do, when yo get right down to it, when the elder one wont do his homework, or come home when he says he will? or wha twill th ekids do, when the mother completely loses it at them?

Yorkiegirl Sun 05-Oct-08 08:43:31

Message withdrawn

stitch Sun 05-Oct-08 08:46:21

thanks yorkiegirl. smile

PersephoneSnape Sun 05-Oct-08 09:01:30

for benefit purposes, they're a couple, even if he is outwith the uk. you look at things like financial support and whether they intend to live together when he returns, if he comes back for holidays etc.

CapricaSix Sun 05-Oct-08 09:26:20

I always think of myself as a lone parent, because I am a lone parent, dd's dad lives abroad (we were never actually together, but we are in good contact in spite of him living miles away), and although I do have a boyfriend he isn't parent or partner, he doesn't live with us, decisions are all mine, he can do what he likes, we are financially independent from each other, etc. However, especially in the last year or so, he is quite involved, spends most weekends here, and last weekend when he wasn't it made me realise how much he does to help. i have started calling him dp on here recently because I feel he's earning it in spite of not living here.

On MN, I've never really related to much of the lone parent threads (partly cos i don't have ex problems) I don't really fit the couply threads either, but relate to them much more.

So, would you call me a lone parent?

I think technically and financially I am, but emotionally I'm not.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 05-Oct-08 09:38:35

"i think that unless two parentsare there morning and night, at least five days a week, then the parent that is there is a loneparent."
There would be an awful lot of partnered lone parents under that definition. I certainly would have been one.
I am now separated from my H, in many ways I am lone, but there are alot of people who are more lone than me.
Why do we need to label these things?

trumpetgirl Sun 05-Oct-08 10:02:49

I don't really think that you can define 'lone parent' and think that it can be a state of mind as much as an actual situation.
I was in a 'relationship' with dd's dad for 4 years, but have always classed myself as a lone parent. We never lived together (but saw each other on a daily basis), he has never helped to look after her and I literally had to beg and manipulate him into looking after her for an hour so I could go to the dentist! Even then he didn't much bother with her, although I could just about trust him to keep her alive! It was all about the relationship between me and him, and I was expected to do all of the parenting (practically, emotionally and financially)
Needless to say, since we split up he has never bothered to come and see dd. Not so much as a birthday card or anything.
I would much rather have seen less of him, but have him behave as if he were a parent, and as if he wanted to be part of our family.

Tinkerbel6 Sun 05-Oct-08 10:16:38

A lone parent is someone who has sole responsibility for raising a child/ren, for benefit purposes someone can be seen as a lone parent if they don't live with someone even though they may have a boyfriend. Someone who's partner/husband lives with them but works away for a period of time or now and again is not a lone parent.

CapricaSix Sun 05-Oct-08 10:16:39

trumpetgirl. I am always so shock to read of those sorts of situations. My dp who isn't dd's dad does so much more than some partners I read about on here and he just can't fathom why some fathers don't want much to do with their kids.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 05-Oct-08 10:24:09

if it is someone with sole responsibility - then a large number of single parents aren't lone?
My children live with me, but see their father twice most weeks (overnights). I certainly don't have SOLE responsibility for them, although I do have main responsibility.

Liffey Sun 05-Oct-08 10:25:29

It can be a state of mind. I never felt so alone as when I was living with my x.

CapricaSix Sun 05-Oct-08 10:26:07

See, I DO have sole responsibility but I certainly don't feel "alone". I have people, (friends, family) not just my dp, that i can call on when i need help/babysitting/support etc. That would be the case even if I didn't have dp, though of course it would be a lot lonelier...

ChasingSquirrels Sun 05-Oct-08 10:28:38

no, I don't feel alone either - I sometimes feel lonely, but that is different and I could fine someone to be around at those times if I wanted to.

Tinkerbel6 Sun 05-Oct-08 10:56:03

But you are still a lone parent CS whether you think of youself as having sole responsibility or main responsibilty, don't agree that someone can't be a lone parent because they share some kind of responsibility, thats where the parent with care comes into it, whether its the mum or dad.

I am lucky because I do have friends and family close by, so if I do want to go out or catch up then I am able too, I do feel for anyone who doesn't have anyone for support.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 05-Oct-08 11:27:49

I'm not sure I agree with that - I AM a single parent, but I am not my children's only parent - therefore I don't think I am a LONE parent.
You talked about SOLE responsibility - I don't have that.
But it is all semantics really, I am nore sure why people are bothered whether their life is harder than other peoples (not necessarily what this thread is about, but a common theme on this type of thread).

Liffey Sun 05-Oct-08 12:34:44

I see what you mean CS, to the outside world you may appear to be a single parent, but if your x is co-operating and you share important decisions and he is there in an emergency and he helps out financially... then you are co-parents who live apart (such precise terminology!)

I am a lone parent strictly speaking, but luckily I don't walk around thinking "I am a lone parent" all the time.

CapricaSix Mon 06-Oct-08 13:04:09

Liffey - "your x is co-operating and you share important decisions and he is there in an emergency and he helps out financially... then you are co-parents who live apart "

None of that is true about my ex!! In fact he's not even my "ex", he is just dd's dad, we had a one night stand blush. He lives literally on the other side of the world (don't want to be specific here), the only father role he has is to keep in regular email & phone contact, and send birthday & christmas presents. I don't want any more than that from him.

My dp, who isn't dd's dad, is wonderful, but he doesn't share decisions or help out financially. He would be there for me in an emergency if he could be, but wouldn't be able to drop everything instantly in the way a father would.

lostdad Mon 06-Oct-08 13:47:13

`but if your x is co-operating and you share important decisions and he is there in an emergency and he helps out financially... then you are co-parents who live apart (such precise terminology!)'

The only way I could cooperate with my ex would be to vanish off the face of the earth, but the child maintenance kept going into her bank account per month. I have, since my ex left intended to co-parent where my son is concerned, but my ex has tried her best to shut me out.

She no doubt tells everyone about what a hard life she has being a `single mother' (despite living with a boyfriend).

Liffey Mon 06-Oct-08 15:10:28

Lostdad, if there is a court order for maintenance, is there a court order in place for access?

do you have any access ??

Von73wirral Mon 06-Oct-08 20:40:03

I class a lone parent being as others have said "alone" with no support from another parent and who raises their child/ren alone.

my kids of course have a dad whom they never ever see and I am the one who gets them up in the morning, sorts their washing out, makes their beds, goes to school when there are problems.......take the abuse from them..........wipe up their mess and with no help from anyone.

Therefore I class myself as a lone parent.........and its not an easy job. Underpaid but overloved.

Rosasmum Mon 06-Oct-08 20:53:53

My dd sees her father for 3 hours midweek and 3 hours at the weekend. He pays £5 csa per week. He does nothing else to support his daughter and has never offered any help above his contact times. He doesn't ask after her or attempt to talk to me about how she is 'parented'.

I class myself as a single/lone parent. When her time with him increases I will still class myself as a single/lone parent as I oarent alone. I have nobody in the house to talk things through with or ask their opinion about ow to parent my dd. I do have good friends and family for support and advice but at the end of the day the buck stops with me.

solidgoldskullonastick Mon 06-Oct-08 20:58:34

I call myself a single parent as I am not in any kind of coule-relationship: when I refer to DS Dad I sometimes use the term co-parent, because he is an excellent, involved father, sees DS at least twice a week, looks after him when I want to go out, gives us cash, and he and I are on amicable terms (to the extent that we spend a fair bit of 'family' time together) - but we are most definitely not a couple and never will be.

ChukkyPig Mon 06-Oct-08 21:07:09

Isn't about how the person involved defines themselves. Some people will not feel "lone" if they have a support network but no partner, some people will define themselves as a lone parent if they are separated, even if the other parent still sees a lot of the DC and contributes financially. It's about how people feel as much as anything.

I think the definition of "two parents are there morning and night, at least five days a week" is a little extreme. My DH hasn't been here for the last 7 nights - he works shifts. I consider myself happily married and very lucky - not a lone parent by a long shot!!!

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