The cost of single parenting

I have said this many times before, and I will say it many times again – I have HUGE respect for single parents. Being a parent is damn hard work. But when it comes to doing it solo, it’s a whole other level.

Move over misconceptions

What truly gets me about single parenting is that there are still so many misconceptions around it. Isn’t it time we moved on from the idea that all single mothers have been left destitute and living off welfare, for example?

I know so many amazing single mothers. Single mothers who have chosen to be single and that are out there, in the working world, doing it for themselves. They are amazing strong women.

And let’s talk about the popular belief that their children are going to turn out a hot mess. Rubbish! Every single one of their children floors me with the way they are. They are incredibly happy, adaptable, resilient, capable individuals. More so than their peers in pretty much every single case.

Why are single parents being penalized?

But do you know the really crazy thing about single parenting? It’s just how much single parents are penalised for being one.

For example – did you know that many family discount packages are unfairly penalising families with only one adult? Case in point – a family rail ticket is twice as much per person than if you’re a single parent. And a day out at many of the big UK attractions costs more for a single parent with two children than a two parent family. What’s more, single parents are still paying more for holidays – which is utter folly! How can this be when there are less of them than a two parent family?!!!

You can take a closer look at some of the comparisons in the #CostofSingleParentLiving campaign. The mind truly boggles at how unfair the discrepancies are.

It’s time we brought things up to date

All this against the backdrop of the struggle single parent families face with childcare costs.  Where I live in London, the cost of pre-school childcare is barring 50% of single parents in London from going to work, according to Gingerbread, the charity for single parent families.

For such a forward thinking nation, there is something that feels grossly backwards about all of this. With 1 in 4 families in the UK now a single parent family, isn’t it time these costs were revisited to make them fairer and more palatable for everyone?

Are you a single parent battling with the unfair costs of being a single parent? Do leave a comment below.

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*This is a collaborative post

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