There is a new column in the lifestyle section in the Guardian by Charlie Condou where he writes about his family. This family is a minority one, where he and his male partner are raising their children, and will raise their future child, with single mother Catherine. There’s something about it which feels quite personal because it talks about a single parent and a couple.
My little girl is being raised a little like that at the moment but not quite. There are two of us in my household but we are not a couple. Her father and I are single parents, separately.
The second column was published on Saturday and I had been looking forward to it all week. I realise that they also have an unorthodox setting but it feels more normal than mine does. Their babies have been planned and born into loving households. The babies have been living with the two sets of parents from the start.
There was a paragraph in the second column which stood out for me.
Today was the all-important 20-week scan, the one where we find out if everything’s OK. This is the pregnancy halfway point where we get to check that everything’s developing normally and, should we choose, to find out the baby’s sex. We all went along, Catherine lying on the examination table while my partner Cameron and I squashed into the space that would usually be occupied by just the one loving husband, taking it in turns on the single chair.
That sentence seemed to say that they were unorthodox compared to the typical family which consists of a husband and wife. He was right to the extent that the most common type of household in the UK is the married couple (68%), this still leaves a lot of unmarried people. In fact the percentage of married couples fell from 72% in 2001. 15.3% of couples cohabit and 16.2% of families are lone parents.
I thought it was interesting that the ‘other’ to which Condou compares himself is a married couple while for me it is any loving couple. I went to my 20 week scan alone (with the baby for company, of course) and I thought how wonderful their visit sounded with the three of them together.
Either way, the column is fascinating no matter what family situation you are experiencing.
The Three of Us by Charlie Condou in the Guardian.