Becoming a Single Parent: A Snapshot

This photograph was taken in May 2004, three days after becoming a single parent. I remember it being taken!

It was during the half-term holiday,and in a state of TOTAL confusion I had a work diary appointment to meet with a Church Architect on that morning. Their office was only 200 yards away from where I lived. Robert, the senior partner, realising I was late, decided to pop over to my house to see where I was and what was happening.

For some reason, I had woken up that morning thinking I would still be going to work?? On that same morning I had also decided that the thing to do was empty the living room and have a “mass clear out”. The girls, as you can see,  had clearly decided that this same morning would be “dressing-up time”.

As you can imagine, it’s a photograph that brings with it many mixed emotions. Robert, my architect friend and himself a single dad, said he just HAD to take a picture of the “madness”.

With hindsight I now realise that I was never going to be able to work that day, and in any case, what was I wearing?!

Looking at this photo also makes me realise that time passes quickly. My God, the girls look young!

…and I have to ask the obvious: What is Priya doing with a washing basket on her head…?

For anyone who suddenly finds themselves a single parent with little children, there is a message: Cancel all work appointments – forget the mess in the house – go to the dressing up box and play with your children.

They will need you more than ever!

About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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12 Responses to Becoming a Single Parent: A Snapshot

  1. mummylawyer says:

    They say a picture paints a thousand words and clearly here it does. I think it’s a natural human instinct to try to carry on as normal in the face of adversity but it doesn’t always work.

    It’s so good to have a photo of a seminal moment to remind you of that point and also so you can look back and think how far you’ve come!

  2. onlydads says:

    That looking “how far you’ve come” is a message lots and lots of people need to reflect on 🙂

    Thank you for the comment


  3. Kate Takes 5 says:

    Love that picture Bob! Netmums Blog are running a Single Parents Week next week and I’d love to add this post to the Linky on Monday if that’s ok?

  4. Mama Syder says:

    Brilliant post and good advice! Soooo love that photo!

  5. Diana Jordan says:

    This is also a lovely reminder always to put the little ones first, no matter what is happening in your life. I am currently trying to help a young woman who is having terrible dreams and flashbacks. Every little thing that was said and done on that dreadful day her father was killed in an accident is still etched indelibly upon her mind 20 years later; but the architect will have forgotten your broken appointment many moons ago.

  6. quentaris says:

    that photo tells me that you were exactly where the girls needed you to be.

    Great photo 😉

    • onlydads says:

      thank you – I did get to go to the Church with the architect later that day.I took the girls 🙂

      (Priya, as it happens, looked at our plans for renovation and transformation of this Victorian church building and told us they “were rubbiish”)


  7. It’s her crown of course!. She’s Queen Priya, with Princess A by her side. Dad has an Early Learning Centre bag in his hand, I bet that impressed the Architect! 😉

    Our daughter was 25 yrs old, when I suddenly became a single mum. Through her, I now have an adorable toddler grandson. As a single Nana, I have to say, your advice still applies.

    Re-discovering improvisation at 50-something, is one of the best gifts you can give to them.

    Cardboard boxes know no boundries!


  8. What a fabulous picture – you’re really there fo them – and, as you say, they need you more than ever!

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