So, yesterday we talked about how hard it can be to conceive a baby and today we’re going to go to the other extreme of how flipping hard it can be to parent alone. In some respects I think I have always felt like a ‘lone’ parent. My boys’ dad was an absent parent long before we actually separated, working long hours and frequently working away. I had to learn to parent alone, thus single parenting came relatively easy to me. Luckily, I was a single parent for a relatively short period of time and Matt is an exemplary step-dad and male role model to my boys.
But being a separated parent comes with a whole new set of rules and, I found, new challenges. You have to learn to co-parent and longstanding followers of my blog will know that didn’t end too well for me and my boys who have had no contact with their father for three years. So, it’s fair to say that single parenting is an issue close to my heart. In this day and age, where people don’t stay together ‘for the sake of the children’ I have a wealth of friends and family who are no longer with their children’s father. Some co-parent excellently, others not so well, but when the dust has settled and they look to move on with a new partner I hear the same phrase over and over again; me and the kids come as a package. It’s a big issue, I think more for women but for men too; a new partner needs to accept an individuals’ existing responsibilities in their life. Which is where the inspiration for Hennie’s character came from, really. Hennie is a single mum to Zach, 8, and Tilly, 4. She split-up with her husband Mark when Tilly was coming up for 1 and moved back from their family home in Dubai to Clara’s in Cheltenham. She’s got her life back on track; she’s got a job as PR Marketing Manager at Cheltenham Racecourse. She’s financially independent but as Mark doesn’t play an active role as a father (living over five thousand miles away) she’s very dependent on help from Clara looking after the children if she wants a social life. She desperately wants someone to share her life with but she doesn’t want her children to suffer. When we meet her she’s decided to renounce men; the hot men don’t want to be bothered with the kids and she doesn’t fancy settling down with one of the dull ones. But then she hasn’t bet on meeting tall, tanned and tempting Guy…
Meet Me tomorrow to discuss another issue close to my heart (although I rather wish it wasn’t); cancer.