Opinion & Debate

Published on January 11th, 2014 | by Kelly Rose Bradford


Is being a single dad harder than being a single mum?

Is it harder for dads to raise their kids on their own? Do other people’s expectations, reactions or even interfering make it a tougher job for a man to be a single parent that for a woman?

The BBC reports today on an inquiry launched by the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee into whether single dads get a fair deal and if their ‘issues’ are different to those of single mums.

One dad told the Beeb: “When you’re a contact dad you’re just seeing your kid for these very fun things, but when you’re a full-time dad you’re dealing with getting your son up in the morning, getting him his breakfast, getting him dressed ready for school, getting him off to school.”

The dad – who has been looking after his eight-year-old son on his own for 18 months – added:

“Even going through the court procedures, I felt it was a huge hurdle for me as a man going through to seek custody and things like that. I’ve gone to classes where it’s dominated by women, but once you get over that, you know that fear of going into a room where it’s all women-orientated – it’s great.”

So what do you think – is it harder for dads bringing up their kids on their own? Do people assume your children will be with a babysitter while you work, or that your mum or other female relatives will soak up most of the childcare? Do people doubt your abilities with the practical stuff if you have girls – or assume life is just one long computer game/kick about in the park if you have boys?

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About the Author

Kelly Rose Bradford

is a London-based journalist and broadcaster, writing for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph, and a host of women's magazines. Her robust opinions and feisty debating skills make her in demand as a social commentator, regularly guesting on ITV's This Morning programme, and across many radio stations, including 5 Live and BBC Radio London.

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