When it comes to parenting, the challenges will be much the same, whether you are same-sex parents or not. That said, there might be additional concerns for same- sex parents as they can face problems regarding being accepted into society, and feeling supported. Family Lives does recognise that this is improving as same-sex families become more recognised as part of today’s society, but there is always room for improvement.
If you are in a same-sex relationship but had children in a previous heterosexual relationship you might have concerns about losing custody, or fear that the courts will look favourably towards heterosexual parents. If you had children through donor insemination you might have the additional worry later in life when your children...
When a parent goes to prison, it can have a devastating effect on the family that are left behind to cope with the aftermath. The parent that is in prison may feel as though they are the ones left in a difficult position but unfortunately the pressure put upon the parent that is left to care for the family is immense. Parents in prison often cannot see how their sentence impacts on their family. They may be suffering with emotions such as guilt, frustration, anger and regret. They might also feel inadequate as they are not able to fulfil their parenting duties because of the limited contact. However, the time they spend in prison might give them the opportunity to reflect on their situation and take responsibility for the consequences on the family as well as...
Becoming a parent is hard work, and it can be even harder without family or friends around to support you. You may be worried about how you will cope financially or how you will continue to study or afford childcare while looking after your baby.
Family Lives is available free 24/7 if you need someone to talk to: 0808 800 222.
Some parents can get help with childcare costs by claiming Tax Credits. Single parents must work a minimum of 16 hours a week, while couples should both work at least 16 hours a week. Further information, such as how to claim, can be found...
By starting a bedtime routine, your baby will begin to associate certain activity with bedtime. Fit it in with your family's routine and decide roughly what sort of time you want to start putting him to bed. The most important thing is that your baby is getting the opportunity to have a good long night-time sleep, as well as his daytime naps. A routine can be a combination of things which signal bedtime is coming:
- Final Feed
- Wind down - dimming lights, soothing voice
- Place in cot
It is recommended that you put your baby down awake if possible. This is to encourage your baby to find ways to get himself to sleep rather than being dependant on you. Then say your "goodnight" and turn out the light. This will help him...
Over recent decades dads have become more involved in pregnancy and raising children. When once they were excluded from the labour ward, now there are antenatal appointments, parentcraft classes and presence at the birth. We don’t just pace up and down outside waiting to light the cigars anymore. And so, when a baby dies, there’s a deep impact on many dads but it‘s one that’s not always recognised by society. Men are expected to be ‘strong’, to get things done. Does that mean they’re expected not to care? If so, it’s totally unreasonable.
It’s sometimes said that men grieve differently from women. This is open to question. What’s certain is that men do grieve. Grief is an individual process but it is also totally natural. People move through it differently. Whether that’s...
By Nick Duerden
Ten to seven on a Sunday morning, and the plaintive wails from the kids' room tells me that Evie, my youngest, is hungry. I stagger down to the kitchen, spend 30 seconds yawning in front of the microwave, then take the warmed milk up to the room she shares with her sister Amaya, who is also now stirring.
By the time I get there, Evie, now 17 months, is upright and expectant, happy to see me. Right now, to her, her parents are one and the same, interchangeable, mother and father here only to serve her. But with Amaya, three and a half years old and possessed already of an archly manipulative disposition, that is no longer the case.
On this particular morning, she awakens in a hurtful mood. The left eye pops open, she sees me and...
Nick Duerden had a struggle to get keen on fatherhood, as he explains in these extracts from his book, The Reluctant Father’s Club*. “Don’t worry if you don’t like other people’s kids,” I’m told. “Nobody does. Generally speaking, other people’s kids are horrible little b******s. That doesn’t mean you won’t like your own. Your own are something else entirely.” “I’m not sure if it’s morning or night…it could be Thursday, Monday, or we may already be into the weekend.
We are in the bedroom, curtains drawn. Amaya is wailing in her cot…Elena is dressed in the same nightgown she had on in the hospital and which she seems to wear all the time now. There are dried breastmilk stains on its front, alongside other stains too: snot, saliva, upchuck…the crying stops, at which point Elena...
by Nick Duerden Early on in our experiences as parents, my wife and I quickly came to inhabit very specific, and separate, roles. She soon asserted herself as the strict and sensible one, while I was the more laid-back, the one far more inclined to clown around. The first real sentence my daughter had any command over was, "Silly Daddy", which I like to think she meant as a compliment (though I could of course be wrong...)
Anyway, I still pretty much inhabit that role today with both my daughters, Amaya, almost four now, and Evie, 18 months. When I am alone in looking after the both of them, our days take on a more relaxed tone than they would if there were two parents around. There is less structure to our single-parent days. It's almost as if, with teacher out...
A new baby is a bundle of joy and a bundle of work! Although newborn babies may be cause for celebration, adjusting to the demands of a newborn can be emotionally and physically exhausting, especially during the first few weeks. Life will never be the same again. You will never feel the same again either. It will take time for you, and your partner if you have one, to adjust to the changes.
As well as having no time to yourself, relationships come under strain, and it’s easy to feel that you’re reaching breaking point. And as sleepless nights become the norm, you’ll probably feel snappy and grouchy - so expect your relationship to withstand a lot of turmoil in the early weeks and months.
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