A single dad from Australia revealed seven things mothers often said to him whenever he went out with his daughter, highlighting the double standards in today's society.
Do you know any single fathers? Seeing single mothers is more common compared to single dads. For that reason, many people find it odd seeing a man caring for his daughter alone in a public space.
Curious to find out why a man is looking after his daughter alone, people often ask annoying questions. The hero of our story also experienced something similar, so he decided to address the issue by revealing seven frustrating things other mothers frequently told him.
THE SINGLE DAD
Since 2014, Michael Ray from Australia has been single-handedly taking care of his daughter, Charlie, after her mother moved away. However, he had no idea other mothers would pass comments and judge him whenever they spotted him with Charlie in public.
Ray, a former boxer working as a personal trainer, never made Charlie feel her mother's absence. He styled her hair, helped her choose outfits, took her to ballet lessons, and taught her manners and skills that would help her in the future.
When the father-daughter duo visited malls and restaurants, he would accompany her to the toilet, catching everyone's attention. Strangers would look at him with eyes wide open, while mothers would comment about his parenting choices.
Ray's experience as a single dad taught him that some parents are biased against single fathers. He said they might be doing it unconsciously, but he felt the discrimination was more against single dads of girls. He said:
"Women are mostly supportive, but some say patronizing things, like 'how do you manage?' It's just the same as any single parent."
Ray also said that most women he met were very considerate, but many of them did consider his situation abnormal. He felt people should consider his case similar to that of single mothers.
Many parents were sure Ray would need a woman's help when Charlie reached puberty.
THE MOST COMMON QUESTION
While taking care of his daughter in public places, Ray has come across many parents. He revealed the most common question people asked him when they saw him with Charlie:
"Are you babysitting today?"
Hearing this question made Ray wonder why people assumed that a man taking care of his child was babysitting. He wished people understood that some men are their children's sole carers so they wouldn't ask such questions.
THE MISSING WIFE
As much as Ray loves taking Charlie to the hairdresser, he despises the similar questions other parents ask him there. He shared the "rude" question people asked him:
"Do you want to call your wife and check?"
Another occasion when people talk about Ray's wife is when they see Charlie rocking a beautiful hairstyle while flaunting her colored nails.
"Who does her hair and nails?" they would ask. Many people assumed Charlie's mother dressed her up, not knowing that Ray had watched several YouTube videos to learn how to make different kinds of braids.
Seeing Ray looking after Charlie like a pro felt unbelievable to many people. They would often ask him how he managed to take care of her alone and also said:
"Every little girl needs her mom!"
Ray disagreed with such comments and said that no one told single mothers their boys needed their dads. He revealed that he thoroughly enjoyed looking after his daughter, no matter if that meant he had to sit down and play with Barbie dolls.
Many parents were sure Ray would need a woman's help when Charlie reached puberty, but he disagreed. He said he shared a close bond with her, and if it remained the same, they wouldn't feel embarrassed discussing puberty-related issues. Some people asked him another question along the same lines:
"I bet you would've loved a son?"
While Ray was not sure where that question came from, he guessed people must have asked it because of his qualifications. He assumed people must think working as a trainer made him more suitable to raise a boy. Ray revealed that he often bought flowers for his girl, ensuring she knew he wasn't as "macho" as he looked.
In 2016, Ray faced another problem while raising Charlie as a single dad. He had to talk to the management of a dance school to change the rule that banned men from entering the dressing room.
After learning of the rule, Ray felt sad, thinking he wouldn't be there with Charlie when she needed him the most. He wanted to be in the dressing room with her before her performance at the annual ballet concert.
A worried Ray wrote his concerns in an email that he sent to a staff member from the school. He told them Charlie had had no contact with her mother for the past two years and that he was her sole carer, asking them to overturn their rule because he wanted to calm Charlie's nerves backstage.
THE AMAZING SINGLE DAD
Ray was delighted that someone finally understood his struggles when the school management changed their rule, allowing him to accompany Charlie in the dressing room. He said:
"It means everything to me to be this little kid's dad. I've never been so proud or happy since she came along."
Since it's not common to see single fathers, people unconsciously think such men don't exist. Ray's story reminds us not to judge men when we see them caring for their children in a public space.
If you know single dads like Ray who look after their children, share this story with them. They would relate to every question people asked Ray.
Click here to read another story about a man whose wife allegedly abandoned him and his five children, forcing them to live in a van.