By Hazel Larkin
**Originally published in the Fall 2006 Divorce & Single Parenting issue of The Journal of API
As the lone parent of two little girls four years old and two years old, one of the hardest things I find about doing it on my own is the fact that I am constantly “on duty.”
I knew an AP couple when I lived in Singapore, and I remember watching, with more than a tinge of jealousy, as they ping-ponged responsibility for their child between them. It was their daughter’s first birthday, and they were hosting a poolside party at their apartment complex. AS one parent moved away to tend to a guest, bring food, or tend to something else, he would call out the other parent that she was now “on.” For example, the mother would simply call out to her husband, “Peter, you’re on!” and he knew that he needed to keep an eye on their daughter. It was a system that worked beautifully for them, and one that I wished I could emulate.
Being attentive and attached to your children is draining, and when you never have a day off, it can be very tempting to just dump them in front of the television and make phone calls for an hour. As an attached parent, however, this course of action simply isn’t an option. I get through my bad days by reminding myself that I am in the privileged position of raising the next generation, and this is my golden opportunity to make a real difference.