Single Parents Day: A dad’s story
Read Scott’s blog on why he is one of many #ProudSingleParents celebrating Single Parents Day (21 March) 2020.
I’m Scott, 28, from Edinburgh and I’m a proud single parent to a 17-month-old Princess called Zara. I regularly attend the One Parent Families Scotland Lone Fathers project in Edinburgh.
I love being a single dad and showing the world that dads can do it too!
For a long time, single parents have been looked down on, and even more when it comes to being a single dad. From people going “oh, are you babysitting today?” or being forgotten about at music classes and referred to as “mums do this this now” while you’re just sitting there. We’re just as capable to be a single parent, if not better. We can do it too!
I’m proud of what I have achieved on my own. I am doing a brilliant job and my little girl is loving life every minute of every day – well maybe not bedtime, but who likes bedtime? Before I became a parent, I didn’t even know how to change a nappy or even what a steriliser was, whereas now I could do both blindfolded. I have come a long way since the beginning, and I am a changed man, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
We do everything together, from Baby Ballet, Music and Book clubs, Playgroups to everyday messing about and playing in the house. Yes, there are days when I feel like everything is too much and, yes, I’ve cried on two hours sleep, but all I have to do is to just look into Zara’s eyes and see her smile and realise that everything – even if it is hard sometimes on your own – is worth it just to give her the best start in life.
There isn’t much out there for dads in Edinburgh, even though in this day and age we are just the same legally as mums. When was the last time you saw a father and toddlers session? Ha-ha! One of the TWO groups is Lone Fathers with One Parent Family Scotland. We meet on Saturdays with a wide range of activities from visiting parks, castles and most recently we did some baking in the “Great Dads Club Bake Off”. Obviously we had the best cakes, or at least that is what I am going with.
Scott with Brock at City Chambers
Scott's powerful powerful testimony of support for our work with dads and kids with Councillors at Edinburgh City Council ensured that they reconsidered recommendations which did not reflect the needs of single parents.
It’s great to mix with other single dads in similar situations as myself and just to talk and realise what we are doing is worth it and we do matter. Before the group I could count on numerous hands how many single mums I know but would struggle with even just one single dad. Granted there isn’t many and we may only make up 9% of lone parent families in Scotland, but we certainly make up the other 91% in everything we do for our kids.
One of the best things about being a single parent is that you are both parents rolled into one. You could say we are some type of superhero. Well that’s what I am telling myself that my little girl thinks. Even though she can’t talk I’m sure that’s what’s she’s saying…
No one chooses to be a single dad or a single mum but you are dealt the cards you are given and it’s our job to give our children their best life. No matter what we are doing we are doing a bloody good job! Our children are lucky to have us and we ARE superheroes no matter what anyone says.
If you’re a single dad and worry you can’t do it or feel the world is against us, all I can say is that if I can do it, so can you.
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We are working to bring about the change we want to see in Scotland:
A future where single parents and their children are valued and treated equally and fairly.
Providing vital support services that enable One Parent Families to achieve their potential.
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