When you’re a single mother…
- The Centre for Social Justice bring our reports bemoaning the rise of single parent families and talking about “disposable dads” – as if you deliberately went out and tricked a man into getting you pregnant, then ditched him once you had your grubby council flat.
- Weekends are just two days when everyone else is busy with their partner and you are alone with your child.
- You go to sports day and school plays and feel terribly alone because all the other mums brought their husband with them.
- People assume you got pregnant just to get benefits. If they’d ever tried depending on benefits themselves, they’d realise what an absolute joke that assumption is.
- There’s nobody to help if you’re ill or tired or you’ve injured your leg and your toddler wants to be carried around the shops. Bad back, hernia, stomach bug. Life goes on. You’re on your own!
- People assume you’re scamming the system/benefits scum/dragging your child up/spending your money on booze and fags. Meanwhile, single dads are “such a great dad” and “doing such a good job” if their kids turn up to school in matching shoes.
- When your child is ill again and you have to leave work again to collect her from nursery, your boss asks whether there’s nobody else who can collect her.
- Everyone asks you if there’s someone else who can help out.
- It’s socially acceptable for people to just come out and ask you personal questions about your relationship status, your finances, and anything else they want to know.
- On Mother’s Day and Christmas and your birthday, there’s not much hope of a big boquet of flowers, and no point in writing a Christmas list. You’ll get the card your child made at nursery, and that’ll be it.
- Because there’s rarely anyone else around, you have actual, proper conversations with your child on a daily basis.
- You get to do things based on what you and your child fancy doing, not on whether someone else is interested
- You can have your child in bed with you and cuddle them all night, without anyone else complaining about getting kicked in the back or losing their pillow space.
- Because it’s just the two of you, that bond is so strong and all that love, all those cuddles are just for you.
Just so you know, that last point cancels out everything in the top section of this post.
Becoming a single mother has been the best thing that ever happened to me. Every day I look at my daughter and marvel at the wonderful person she is. When she says “I love you lots mummy” my heart explodes. I am proud of her, and I’m proud of us. We’re a fantastic team.