Okay, today I am going to have a bit of a rant. If I offend thee with my outspoken and possibly controversial opinions, I apologise in advance.
Reading the Daily Mirror today, I noticed on page 33 an article by Kelly Strange, entitled ‘When did it become wrong to take your kids to the pub?’ The article deals with the increasing phenomenon of single Mums being arrested for being drunk in charge of a child. Apparently, children in some cases, are actually being removed from the parent’s home and placed into care.
In my (admittedly humble) opinion, this is slightly unfair, sorry did I say unfair, I meant bonkers.
For the majority of single parents, every area of life is arranged and planned with our children front and centre. Our social lives are often virtually non existent due to the dual problems of lack of money (the ‘leccy’ won’t just buy itself) and the fact that overnight childcare can be pretty thin on the ground.
It is also a sad reality that a great many absent parents proclaim their distress at not being involved in their children’s lives but are, in fact, more concerned with their own schedule than remembering that children need to be looked after by someone twenty four hours a day and don’t magically appear groomed, fed and educated at pick up time every other weekend.
Yes, I am aware that a single parent knows before they pick up that third glass of wine that they are responsible for the children but come on people, being 100% responsible for anything 100% of the time leaves a margin for error of, well, zero. Is this a performance S.M.A.R.T target that would be realistically imposed in any other area of life?
How many married couples are imbibing on a regular basis? Is it perhaps time to start community doorstep breathalyser checks to establish which children on any given Sunday afternoon should be removed and placed into care?
Please understand I am not defending slurring and wobbly primary carers the world over but I absolutely defend the fact that they, like everyone else make mistakes and as parenting botch ups go, having a few glasses too many occasionally really isn’t the end of the world.
Persisting in this ‘ivory tower’ mentality when it comes to the view ‘de jour’ of single parents and their behaviour is getting a bit old and it is my firm opinion that it should always be remembered that a single parent is the one that stayed.