Opinion: Allan Wu's thoughts on co-parenting, prioritising and being open with his children

Allan Wu
Contributor
Allan Wu and family. (PHOTO: Allan Wu)

Raising a child ain’t child’s play. There are no instruction manuals. We don’t require any sort of license or certification to attain the responsibility for the welfare of another human being. And a helpless one for that matter. The financial demand that comes with caring for a child will vary greatly but in general, a parent will make every effort (and sacrifice) to give their children the very best. People with children have always mentioned that becoming a parent is most often than not the biggest game changer in one’s life, and I couldn’t agree more. That being said, it certainly does not get any easier when parents ultimately decide that their marriage has run its course and to go their separate ways. 

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I myself am a single parent and just like attempting to prepare for the arrival of a child, you never really know how things are going to go after “Mommy and Daddy decide that they are not going to live or be together anymore.” When the inevitable day finally arrived for the mother and me to break this painful news to the little ones, I can honestly say it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. This is not something anyone can foretell, and there certainly is no way to properly prepare for it. On top of that, you have no idea how anything will go from here on out, and that thought is extremely daunting. 

However, there is one primary objective that I knew I had to adhere to and never deviate from – that the children’s welfare will always come first. As difficult and complicated as separation can be for a couple, this pact was the one (and most crucial) condition that both the mother and I easily agreed upon. I made it a point to stress to the children that what was happening with their parents was nothing of their doing. And most importantly, both parents will still love and cherish them the exact same even though the living conditions were about undergo a dramatic change. 

Needless to say, this news was not an easy pill to swallow for the children no matter how any adult decides to package and deliver it. Still, you quickly realise how resilient and understanding children can be. To the best of my knowledge, my children are doing well in school, socialising with their peers, open to trying new things, and most importantly, they are happy. As I mentioned earlier, you’ll never know how the terrain will be after you traverse from the comforts of a marriage to the unknown and murky world of being a single parent, but I would never let that define who I am and how I have raised my children. Just because a marriage has failed and the two respective parents mutually decide to not be together anymore, that does not automatically equate to “bad parents.”  We are defined by our actions and not by our status. Just because a couple is still married does not automatically guarantee that they are or will be good parents. Just like anything in life, we need to work towards that goal. 

Sure, taking the solo track to assuming the role of a single parent is certainly not the path that anyone would aspire towards. But if this single parent lays out all his or her priorities and is clear that his or her children will be the upmost importance, then this is a very positive beginning amidst a challenging environment. Yes, people who know nothing about you might scoff or look down upon you for what they believe is a failed marriage, but the love of a parent for a child will always transcend all the naysayers. Of course, it is absolutely not easier forging forward as a single parent, but I have always believed we are stronger than we realise, and challenges like these have been placed before us to prove just that.