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Slummy Single Mummy

I’m Jo and I am a single, work-at-home mother to two gorgeous, spirited girls. Bee is 17 and Belle is 10. Bee was born when I was 17, and by 19 I was a single parent for the first time.

What's the biggest misconception people have about single parenting?

That you must be single because no one wants you! Heaven forbid it be through choice. Or that you must be somehow a 'scrounger' - not working out of pure laziness and taking advantage of the benefits system.

What's the most rewarding thing about being a single parent?

Getting to take all the credit when your kids do something great of impress people with their good behaviour!

What's the most important thing being a single parent has taught you?

That you CAN do it on your own. Parenting alone doesn't mean that your children are only getting half what they need. It's tricky, but it is possible to be good cop AND bad cop!

What special skills do single moms have that new moms would benefit from knowing?

Slummy single mummy

One thing I struggle with as a single parent is consistency. When there are two parents, you get to do the good cop bad cop thing – one of you can be a bit of a softie, safe in the knowledge that the other can take a firmer hand. When you’re on your own, you have to play both roles at once – you have to be the understanding friend, and at the same time the disciplinarian. This can be difficult for everyone. My advice, (although I’ve always found it hard to do myself!), is to be really clear both with your children and with yourself, on what exactly your role is, what you want your parenting ethos to be, and then to try and be consistent in your approach. This is hugely important for single parents but also for couples - being clear and consistent and presenting a united front as parents is crucial. Of course as a single parent with a million things to juggle at once this isn’t always easy!
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