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Yes you are, Love, yes you are

Since having my son, I have thought often about single-parent families. “I don’t know how you cope” is a common refrain that you hear from coupled-up parents, but I’m not about to patronise any of you.


You cope because you have to, because you love your child or children and they need you. I understand that. I saw my mother do it, and have single parents in my extended family and friendship groups.

Some of my best friends are single parents…..

16 thoughts on “Yes you are, Love, yes you are”

  1. Same here : my best two female friends both consciously went the single parent route. Luckily they’re both intelligent and had good jobs where they could work part time/at home and with helpful grandparents. Their kids are very bright, one is going to medical school.

    Neither owns their home, though.

    My parents divorced when I was 11, but then a family with the full complement in my school was distinctly in the minority.

  2. Hold on, have I read that right? She’s *only* *just* given birth, AND THERE’S ALREADY NO BLOKE?!?!?!?!?

  3. ‘ You cope because you have to…’

    Because the State is surrogate husband and the taxpayer foots the bill – and your progeny have a greater chance of low academic achievement, low pay employment or unemployment, more likely to commit crime, go to prison, abuse women, and leave a trail of children without a father in their wake.

    It is the rest of us who have to cope, because we have to because of stupid, selfish gits like you.

  4. and your progeny have a greater chance of low academic achievement, low pay employment or unemployment, more likely to commit crime, go to prison, abuse women, and leave a trail of children without a father in their wake.
    What?!?!. We’re talking Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett here. The sprog’s already been promised a Guardian column.

  5. @John B
    Sadly a large percentage of voters like the current state of affairs.
    Single mother worship is almost a religion in the UK. I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t use my taxes to give single mums expensive housing.
    (Speaking from personal experience).

  6. Single motherhood seems to be so much the cultural default now, that I actually get irritated when it’s tagged onto somebody’s introduction. “Mandy Everywoman, a single mother….” Yeah, what’s that got to do with anything? That’s saying “Mandy Everywoman, who is alive….”

  7. Ever notice they always focus on the heroics of the single mother and not so much on the well-being of the children?

  8. Dennis, Neo-Puritan

    The dumbest thing Cosslett’s ever written:

    To be raised by a lone parent can be a joy and a privilege.

    At once ignorant, uniformed and patronizing. The progressive’s trifecta.

  9. You cope because you have to…

    That isn’t a way to cope; it’s an empty platitude (and, as Tim suggests, a patronising one). Even if you’re an emotionally unshakeable stoic, what do you do if you’re bedridden?

    As with all things, the best advice is obvious but unpopular and often hard:
    1. Avoid becoming a single parent.
    2. If possible, keep the other parent in your children’s lives.
    3. Develop a support network of family and other parents. This includes the in-laws (or whatever you call them if unmarried).

  10. “a common refrain that you hear from coupled-up parents”

    That’s an interesting turn of phrase, isn’t it? I hadn’t heard it before, and it shows that we should be on the look-out for these little changes in the language. “Coupled-up” parents. As if they are a special category, something a bit odd. You know, they met, had sex a few times, and had a baby…as you do…and then they somehow got themselves “coupled up”. “Wow! how did that happen! We seem to have coupled up!”

  11. Dennis, Septic to the Masses

    That’s an interesting turn of phrase, isn’t it?

    Interesting? Perhaps. Patronizing? Certainly.

  12. It seems that there are women who want children, but not a relationship, and women who want a relationship, have childten, and the man decided to bigger off and impregnate someone else. There is a third group which is rarely mentioned. My daughter is (now) a single Mum, her husband being a soldier killed in Afghanistan. Rather than go the route of her son having a shed load of “uncles”, she tries to hold down a job while doing her best for her son’s interests. Unfortunately, many people only see what they want to see – a young woman on her own struggling to bring up a child, and having to apply for various benefits. It was only when she was photographed last Remembrance Day, with her husband’s medals pinned to her coat, and her son wearing his father’s miniature medals and his beret, that some attitudes changed.
    Not all single mothers are slappers, naive, or feminist political activists.
    Fortunately, there are groups offering support of various kinds, as well as bank of dad.
    Unfortunately, I am the only male mentor in my grandson’s life and, being in my 70’s, sometimes forget what a 6 year old boy’s priorities are.

  13. @ jgh
    No, she passes her baby over to husband in the middle of the night while she has a glass of wine …
    If she wrote for the UKIPgraph then some Grauniad columnist would be condemning her for drinking alcohol while breastfeed and potentially turning the3 baby into an alcoholic.

  14. When I was young the children in single-parent families were called “orphans” because their father had died/been killed in the War, so of course we felt for them.
    IIIRC, the War Widow’s Pension was 10s 6d per week: yes that was on top of whatever the poor woman could earn while looking after her small children. Despite that some of them turned out far better than RLC, one I knew got a State Scholarship to Cambridge.

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