My son, Lucas, wrote this a year ago when he was 16. I only just found it recently. I asked him if I could share this more broadly and he said he is happy to do this. Being a teenage boy, he only vaguely remembers writing it (if you have a teenage son you will understand this!), but I thought if it could help others see how it can be through the eyes of a sole parent child, it might help them understand us more.
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My mum was told by her doctor she couldn't have kids. Nine years later I came along. I was a huge shock to her. My mum and dad were just friends at the time.
He ran after my mum told him I was going to be here.
When I was 13 months old, he came into my life and shortly after moved in with my mum. She was happy we could be a family. Unfortunately, he only moved in for me and he continued having relationships with other women. My mum knew as they told her.
My dad’s family never accepted my mum too well. My dad’s sister was very mean to my mum. My mum began to have anxiety and major depression. But she really wanted the family to become just that - "family". She asked dad if I could have a sibling, as I would pretend I had kids to play with.
Dad said yes, so soon my brother came along. Not long after that dad asked mum to marry him. She agreed. She thought life would get better. It didn't. My dad would sleep or watch TV and never helped my mum.
She was tired because my brother was a real handful. Dad started going to work before we woke and would come home after we went to bed. On the weekends mum would stress if we made noise or if we were being silly. Dad didn't like it and would hit us leaving his big hand prints on our legs.
One day my dad had friends over. I was fighting with my brother and my dad took me inside and picked me up by my arm and throat and carried me to my room and threw me against the wall and onto my bed. That weekend my mum packed my dad’s things and told him to go.
We lived in peace finally. We saw dad only a few times that year. He was busy partying again.
The next year he met another single mum and all of a sudden he remembered we existed again. Mum wasn't happy, as all of a sudden he wanted to play happy families with another family when previously we hadn’t mattered.
Dad dragged mum through family court and nearly broke her emotionally and financially. My mum fought for us but it was like running a losing battle. My dad has been spiteful and has caused trouble throughout the nine years he has been gone. Screaming and threatening my mum at basketball in front of other kids and parents. He even hurt my mum at our house once in front of us.
I have been torn over the years to love my dad but he makes me so mad when he hurts my mum. Now I'm older, I'm starting to stand up to him. I tell him it's not ok not to pay his half of our school fees or hide his money in his business so he doesn't have to pay child support.
He built a big new home. I can see he has money but he chooses not to help us in life. My mum is working part-time and has taken us to basketball, swimming, little athletics, trampolining (and my brother gymnastics) over the years. Now we only do basketball and go to youth and my brother goes to boys brigade.
Our government tells my mum she needs to work full-time now. I don't want her to. I want her to be there for us so I can still go to basketball and youth and my brother, boys brigade.
She has lots of pages now on Facebook helping other single mums that are struggling. She wants our government to listen and see she and other single mums/dads do a good job looking after us kids. It seems that everyone thinks single mums/dads aren't worth much and, to me, that means neither are we.
I hope my mum and the other single parents can change things and people see we are important too.