The 24/7 Single dad

When my friend Paul became a single dad in his early 20s his life changed.  As soon as Paul’s daughter was weaned the child’s mother agreed that it would be in the best interest of the child if she stayed with his dad. Soon after Paul’s ex-girlfriend left the country to pursue her dreams.

Paul's parents have a clear policy: you make your bed, so you must lie upon it. When Paul became financially stable to support his daughter his parents gently pushed him out of the family home and encouraged him to rent a flat to share with his daughter. Because the parents had two other younger sons they reckoned if they treated their eldest with kid gloves they’d spend most of their golden years nursing motherless grandchildren.

I’ve gained respect for Paul as I witness him raise his daughter single-handedly. He gets no reprieve because he can’t leave the child with his ex-girlfriend because she's not available. Every day he drops and picks up his daughter from school, does the cooking and all other parenting chores. Everywhere he goes his daughter tags along.

Even though Paul lives in a society where fatherly hugs are rare he decided to be expressive for his daughter's sake. Paul’s world revolves around his daughter and every decision he makes is determined by how it will affect his little girl. Because there’s no one to babysit the little girl, Paul minimises the time he hangs around the boys.

Although he is a dedicated father, Paul confesses of the challenges he faces raising his daughter alone. Sometimes he worries about his daughter growing up and realising she missed out on having a close relationship with her mum. Paul feels he has no recipe for raising a woman. For two weekends a month Paul arranges for his daughter to stay with his parents so that Granny can act as a mother figure.

In spite of his concerns I think Paul is doing a great job. He decided to stay and love - a lesser man would have walked away.

Is there a parent you particularly admire? Comment below or mail us at
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