I didn't used to know many single mothers. Or if I did they were the ones here on this estate with double buggies. But recently I have been meeting impressive single mother after single mother.
Only last week I met a single mother who runs her own film company. We're going to live together in London. It was very much like an internet date. We got married after two coffees and will soon live in what will be Single Mother House and hire a Manny She's great. She has an amazing laugh and smile. Jack gets on fabulously with her daughter. She is very much like my good friend Dillon. I imagine that we will will crack up a lot because she has a very cheeky sense of humour. (Though Dillon if you are reading this you are not replaceable darling, ever.) She wants us to make a documentary about our year together. With the kids filming. I'm not sure about that. I look pretty sometimes, and pretty much like a snarling hound the rest of the time.
Then I bumped into my old childminder. She was wearing incredibly short shorts over her incredibly tanned long legs. When I first knew her she was a rounded housewife and baked dough dollies with the kids. Now she is one foxy mama. I stood over the other side of the road, and shouted our conversation - because I was in clothes from the night before, having slept in them at Prince's city centre pad where I spoke a lot of drunken twaffle, kipped on the sofa, then climbed into his bed for coffee and toast in the morning *. She is no longer a housewife and childminder. She sat four A-levels in one year and is at university studying pyschotherapy. Nice house, good car, fab figure, promising career, two kids and no husband. She has everything.
(*Is it wrong for aged 30 something adults, of the opposite sex, to sit in bed eating toast and sipping coffee like teenage school friends? Will Prince and I still be doing this when he is 60 with a wife and grandkids?)
Other single mothers I know: regional head of a television channel, manager within NHS, head of marketing, lawyer, journalists, writers... and yesterday a Latvian academic about to become single foster mother to an eight year-old boy.
So the point I'm making is single mothers used to have a bad name. According to the Right they just wanted a council house and to claim benefits. But not now. Now they are ambitious, educated, sexy and smart.
Some prick years ago changed Single Parent to Lone Parent in a fit of political correctness. I hate the term 'lone parent' it's so negative... so lonely... so poor poor me / poor poor kids.
Single Mother, Single Father... it's much more changeable isn't it... much more open to possibilities.