Last year I saw an interview with TV personality Fearne McCann. She spoke of her refusal to being branded a “single Mum”, about how just being a Mum should be enough and it made me think a lot about my own views on being a single mum.
I have no issue with being called a single mum. I’m a mum who is single so why should the wording bother me. What I do have an issue with is the stigma that surrounds this. Not for the first time there seems to be a spate of negative posts about Single Mum’s on social media. The generalisation is this, that we
“Sponge off the government and spend tax payers money on nights out and ASOS orders, while looking for a new daddy for our children while sitting around watching Loose Women in our free new builds”
The truth is, yes some single Mum’s do this but so do some married parents and Men and Women who don’t have children.
Believe it or not a lot of us never chose to be a single mum, not all of us popped out babies for extra benefits. I know girls who became single Mum’s at 17 years old who have worked their arses off the same as everyone else ever since. I also know girls who are on their 3rd/4th/5th kid without ever setting foot in the staff room of any job!
I would happily show my bank statements to anyone who thinks all single mum’s get lots of free money. The majority of what I have comes from what I earn at work, I pay my own rent, childcare and bills. I do get child support from my ex and some tax credits that top up what I earn but I don’t expect a medal for providing for and making sacrifices for my children, that’s being a parent, single or not. I’m not ashamed that I get help because of my situation. I save for nice things and am lucky enough to get some nice things from companies for a bit of online promotion now and then.
Here are some facts…
- Nearly a quarter of all UK families are single parent ones. Funnily enough some of the people posting these negative things were raised in single parent families, take a lead from the likes of Barack Obama and Adele and celebrate single parent upbringings instead of slating them.
- 68% of single parents are in work
- Yet 47% of children in single parent families live in relative poverty (it’s not all Disneyland and PlayStations )
Dating as a single mum is difficult, people have either that slummy single Mum view or assume you want to give them a couple of kids that aren’t theirs for life! My children have a Dad so that isn’t a priority for what I look for in a relationship. It’s great if someone can accept and fit in with your lifestyle but I aren’t looking to palm them off with a ready-made family after one date. That’s if you ever get the chance to meet anybody with said ready made family in tow at all times!
So feel free to call me a single Mum, to be honest there’s an awful lot worse I’ve been called! Just remember that we are very much like the rest of society…a whole range of people who are vastly different. Also if anybody would like to pay for me a Disneyland trip or my ASOS wish list I’d accept being called a sponger!