The perfect man - Reader story

by Tina Louise

Yesterday morning I dropped the Z-Man (my three-year-old) at day care, raced off to work for a couple of hours, did the week’s grocery shop and collected two lay bys (neither containing any goodies for me I might add). I also paid my GP a visit, cleaned and tidied my house, did two loads of washing and vacuumed the floors. I then rested my weary bones down on my office chair and emersed myself in work for another three and a half hours, before quickly changing the bed linen and collecting my boy.

Apparently his day was a hit, as he nearly knocked me over with joy and kisses when I arrived. How did I get so lucky? Here is a man who loves and adores me and is genuinely happy to see me every day!

It gets better. When we got home, he walked around the house saying “Oooh, good cleaning Mummy! Very good vacuuming! What a good Mummy you are!” And there you have it, finally, a man who appreciates me. A male who actually notices the effort I put in just to keep the cogs turning. What a relief. I have finally found the perfect man (even if I had to birth him to do it).

Has my son become the husband I always wanted? Is this what it’s come to? In an age where women can have, be and do anything that they want, have we decided that it’s easier to let go of our own romantic dreams and make it right for the next generation of the sisterhood?

Perhaps not, but it certainly sounds easier, doesn’t it?

The endless search for love for a single parent is a mind numbing experience that is exhaustive in its entirety. What I have found, is that although I’m not actually actively seeking a partner, my friends, some family and even (former treasurer) Peter Costello seem to think that the best (and correct) thing, is for Australian society today to take a little step back in the time machine to the 1950’s (where women were women and men were men). Women, looked after the house and the children and Men brought home the bacon and nobody wanted more than they had, because life was perfect and single parents were spoken about in hushed tones (as we were clearly all scarlet women, with no sense of responsibility or decorum).

These days the generalisation hasn’t changed a great deal (except that we are now being forced back into work with no safety net and no partner to help out when the going gets tough, or tougher as the case may be).

The reality for the single parent today, is that we are not all women, there are many men bringing up their children alone and we are as ambitious, competent, responsible and parenting savvy as anyone else. In some cases more so, because the buck stops with us, there is no fall guy (or time-out) when Dad walks in the door.

I may not be married to the perfect man, but I am woman (hear me roar) and whatever society says (or doesn’t say), I know that the perfect man for me, is a three year old who likes apples, dancing to The Wiggles and cuddling his Mum. Perfection is closer than you think. Take that Peter Costello.