Because New Year’s Eve could produce the apocalypse for teenage sons.
On the website for Gingerbread – the single parents’ organisation – a page of statistics, based on government data, aims “to tackle the stigma around single parents by dispelling myths and labels.” The first fact itemised there is: Gingerbread acknowledge, however, that the only parents they have included in that two million figure are “those with residential care” – which mostly means mothers.
About 90% of the children of single parents live for the greater part of the time with their mothers.
Such unquestioned presumptions underlie the general attitude towards single-parent families that permeates our age - in which nearly half of all marriages fail and more than 50% of babies are born outside marriage: we act as if only one parent is entitled to be viewed as “the single parent”.
No matter how loving and devoted he may be or want to be, a father who does not live with his children will almost certainly find it impossible to be recognised as an equal parent and may have to battle to get information from, for instance, schools or doctors’ practices.
I can put my cell phone on silent while we slow dance in the den, but I cannot turn it off.