Sunday, 1 September 2013

Today is Father's Day, and probably a timely moment to talk about what life is like as a sole parent.  Not as a single parent who shares parenting responsibilities with an ex partner (and I'm not for one second pretending that is without it's difficulties), but a sole parent where the child's other parent, for whatever reason, is not part of the equation.

I've been a sole parent since very early on in my pregnancy. How that came about is a long story but the fact remains that, not by my choosing,  the First Mate and I have been on our own from day one.

Being a sole parent is hard. Is it necessarily harder than being any other type of parent? I couldn't tell you because I don't know any different. But this gig is tough and I'm always on the hunt for ways to make it easier.

You often hear single parents talk about having to be both Mum and Dad to their kids. It's very common for well meaning people to bestow their pity upon me for having to play both roles to my son.

Image from

And for several years that's exactly how I felt. As though I had to try and be two different people, bring the same amount of love, energy, time, money, fun, attention, discipline, knowledge and resources into my household that two parents would be able to provide.

And I failed.

Because it's impossible.

I am only one person.

And while I'm busy trying to split myself down the middle to be best father to First Mate that I can be, I'm only able to be half the mother I need to be.

So at some point, I made the decision to stop trying to be a father. I will never, ever be able to do that.  Ever.

But I can be a mother.  First Mate deserves a whole mother, not half of one.  And I deserve to just be me, not half of me and half of some else. Because, believe me, that's exhausting.

So, to all the sole parents out there, give yourself permission to just be one person. It will help you become whole. xxx

The Captain. 
I love markets.

I mean, I LUUUURVE markets. Barely a weekend goes by that I don't visit some kind of market, fair, stall or bazaar.

There is something about food, crafts and good old  trash 'n' treasure that brings the community converging into a melting pot of culture and language. Professions and socio-economic status don't apply as we collectively fill a bag of snow peas for $1.99.

There is something about being at the markets that makes people happy. Everyone you meet has a smile on their face and an interesting story to tell.

I don't know if  it's the aroma from the coffee van mixed with freshly cooked gyoza……

I don't know if it's the stunning vibrant colours at every twist and turn…..

Perhaps it's that crisp, instantly recognisable but indescribable smell of fresh fruit and vegetables…..

What ever it is, there is something about this assault on the senses that has the power to make this battle weary mum think she can handle anything!

What's your favourite local market?

The Captain.