Help dating a single mother
Single moms often hang in limbo waiting for child support that never arrives or paying attorneys to pursue what should be paid.There always seems to be a little less in the checking account than what your kids need.But with an estimated 42 per cent of marriages in the UK now ending in divorce, this cannot always be the case. After all, one's fate can turn on a sixpence (or, say, the discovery of an unwelcome text from their husband's mistress). My children have advantages in other respects (not least a house stuffed with 10,000 books and a table deeply etched with laughter and conversation). She said the most difficult thing about being a single parent was when she was angry with her son.'If I lose it with him, he hasn't got his dad to turn to,' she said.'When parents are together, so often one is bad cop, the other good cop, so the child never feels quite so alone in the face of one parent's anger.' So while I'm not as isolated as I might be, it's still me solo with the boys 24/7.
It could be the school telling me one son has a detention, or the ambulance service informing me another has had an accident.
Another crisis came when my eldest fainted and fell in a gutter one Sunday afternoon. I had to go with him in an ambulance to A&E, desperately issuing instructions on my dying mobile phone to the others to be good and sensible. While I have the most fabulous friends, I hesitate to call upon them in circumstances such as these (even though they beg me to), because I never want to use up my Brownie points. While we are lucky and my sons' father visits about once every three weeks, his visits don't necessarily coincide - how on Earth could he plan them so they did?
- with times when the teenagers are pushing boundaries and you are thinking on your feet. A friend - a single mother since her husband got his secretary, and her, pregnant at the same time - summed this up perfectly.
That's why I find it hard to imagine that many sensible women decide to go it alone on purpose - except, of course, those who find themselves single in their late 30s and then choose to take advantage of scientific advances, opting for the sperm bank rather than waiting for Mr Right.
Sitting on her sofa, surrounded by sleepy toddlers, the self-dubbed 'Welfare Queen' revealed her benefits added up to £26,000 a year, although she says she now intends to get a job.
But she's a modern phenomenon - single mothers like her didn't exist 30 or 40 years ago.