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Single Parent Life

This section is packed full of articles, features and interviews all about the everyday issues that affect single parent families like yours. We publish a new article every month, so put your feet up and have a browse.

The latest:

Love hearts

Why valentines day has no place in today's society

Ayse shares what Valentines day means to her and why she thinks it should have been left in the 18th century.

What she said

Valentines hearts

The good, the bad and the absolutely terrifying

Karen smashes some stereotypes as she blogs about her experience of dating as a single parent.

What she said

Lettice Fisher

Celebrating 99 years of working with single parent families.

In the aftermath of the First World War, more women than ever found themselves without a partner to help raise their children. Single parent families received little protection from government, and many faced a life of poverty.

Read about our beginnings


Most popular:

Finding love again

What not to say to a single parent

We asked single parents about the things they wish people wouldn't say to them or their children.

See the highlights

Finding love again

JK Rowling

Gingerbread President J K Rowling writes exclusively on stigma, welfare cuts and her experience of being a single parent.

Read her story


Linzie39 avatar
09 August 2017 20:13

Hey everyone im a single mum of 6 daughters ages 4,7,9,17,17 and 19 also have a grandchild and another grandchild onbtge way .been a single mum a long time .hoping to make new friends as i don't have a big circle of friends and don't get out much .evenings are the worst i find i watch a tv and go to bed .have no adult company or convo can be quite lonely sometimes even though i have my lovely girls who i wouldnt change for the world

Razz73 avatar
31 July 2017 20:34

Hello everyone, Im a mum to three beautiful girls11,9 and 5 and joined recently to meet people. Since my husband left me last year it's been a constant struggle with work, finding childminders and trying to keep everyone happy. The worse thing about your best friend leaving you after 21 yrs is the loneliness and although the girls keep me busy, the adult conversation is missed. However, I don't want to wallow in self pity, I just want to have fun and be positive as life is too short. So please don't be lonely, talk to me. I've got broad shoulders and a friendly ear for all xxx

jesssT1992 avatar
17 July 2017 11:15

sorry to read so many are feeling alone and lonely but i am gong through this as well more recently . i been a single mum for 4 and half years two boys 6 and 4 years old . i wasn't to fussed about the loneliness part till last few months where gets to an evening i feel lonely . ( such a rubbish feeling . but i am hoping to meet other parents male/female. i guess all we can do is stick together :D xx

Onethousandclouds avatar
27 June 2017 22:51

I'm finding having a baby and being single very lonely in the evenings, the rest of the time it's great, but no support out there in the evenings. It would be nice to have a single parents evening meal,group.

Kay85 avatar
02 June 2017 12:26

Hello everyone I'm very new to this. But here goes I'm a single mum of 2. I'm finding it hard this week as a lot as happen and the help and support I should be getting from my kids father I don't get. I'm doing my best but it's very hard being a single mum to 2 young kids and work as well. Don't get me wrong I love my kids and would do anything for them but on the other hand I just feel lost at time.

Surivior2017 avatar
13 May 2017 16:26

Hey everyone I became an offical single mum this January and although my husband thinks I'm not coping the reality is that I'm doing everything as I always have done =on my own just everything's so much easier as we're not walking on egg shells but I find it hard dealing with the fact that he's so intent on making my life hell even more then when we were together that my beautiful boys will end up suffering I'm trying my hardest to help them recover from living in our relationship and find housin etc whilst making sure no matter what his done to us I only praise and promote their dad as a good person I honestly thought he'd chanel all his energy in bettering himself for them I can't predict what he'll do next and have ended up feeling like a prisoner in his house,I'm constantly told my right to be here but I wish their was housing options for us because half his antics have been because it's his house and what's worse is were stuck living inside the bad memories unfortantly no room is without them . I'm really proud of myself for how far I've come since January without crumbling or retaliating and dealing with everything in a mature way but I'm constantly wandering when he will let go and just do right by his children?I've met many single dad's who say no matter how hard they found the split that the children took priority over everything and they woke up because of the split. I set up mediation immediately and he refused and now it's in court and it's devastated me the allegations his throwing at me .I have lovely friends and family but still feel so lonely because where none of them are single parents or they are but their partners don't have anything to do with the children I find I cant relate to them I strongly believe both parents should have contact but his behaviour is higlightin that both me and the children aren't safe I hope everyday he'll see the damage but I'd do anything to be able to move his lost me my business so I can't even approach private accommodation. The relationship was so unhealthy for all 3 of us I don't regret finally getting the courage to split but I can't help feeling I'm so much more vonrable now and have lost any independance in doing so please can someone tell me that the pratical side of single parenting ie finding your feet with work etc gets easier?I've never been on benefits before but I have full health and feel like I'm letting my boys down by not earning to provide,although I'm asking these questions I finally feel positive today and feel like I've achieved so much just can't understand how these few months have seemed to worn me out more then battling the 15 years whilst with him? I really want to move on and recover myself like my boys are but feel like every path gets blocked.I've received so much support from professionals but I'd love to feel like I'm making steps forward soon.Hope your all having a lovely Saturday I'm gona be naughty and order takeaway tonight as a treat :)

tantrum 30 avatar
tantrum 30
16 March 2017 19:55

This is my third time been a single parent I was with my last partner 20years and had 4children together he was lovely. At first but as his diabetes. And health got worse he became very self absorbed. And controlling so the last 4 years were hell on earth especially. After his stroke .his family have never really been interested. Because I had other children.after I asked my ex to leave he choose to leave the day he was meant to be looking after our younger children while I was at day surgery. With my middle one taking marital bed tv and half the furniture and my wedding ring .even after that i still tried to be amicable,and offered him half the half term holidays and 2 weeks in summer and every other weekend and one evening a week which he didn't stick too.each letter costs 150.00 and he refuses to go to mediation or sign the divorce papers.which is all part of the control ,I dont miss him as a partner and I stayed way to long for sake of the kids.but sometimes. I wish we could be friend's

KelvindaleArt avatar
31 January 2017 10:42

Well sorry Elle but that position makes no sense at all. Three stories featured, two about single dads. Single parents overwhelmingly women. It seems like women shifting over to accommodate men, which is ironic considering the number of women in this position because of the lack of concern and support from men. Really off putting to be honest. No one said men can't be single parents, or expect support. But to be highlighting their stories disproportionately makes me think that Gingerbread is out of touch.

Elle - Gingerbread avatar
Elle - Gingerbread
20 January 2017 10:23

All single parents who are dedicated to their children deserve to be represented and supported, no matter their statistical representation.

KelvindaleArt avatar
19 January 2017 14:00

Wow! Didn't expect to log in and see Gingerbread promoting two stories about Single Dads when all the members' stories are about men abandoning them and their children! I'm all for inclusion, but the face of single parenthood is female!

cassiesmummy avatar
17 December 2016 13:59

Hi, I have just joined today. My boyfriend broke up with me 3 days ago. Although he wasn't my daughters biological father, he was the only father she ever really knew, we had been together since she was 3 months old, she is 3 now. This morning I told my dad that we had broken up and as I was crying, my daughter grabbed my hand and said 'don't worry mummy you can go to bed and lay down and Jordan (my now ex) will be here soon to pick you up' it absolutely broke my heart. She's grown so used to him and his family, we both had :(

Slowlybutsurely avatar
13 December 2016 21:04

It is heartbreaking. I split with my daughters father earlier this year. Prior to that he was a daily figure in her life. She is 3. She used to ask for her dad all the time. I would try to explain that mummy and daddy were not friends anymore. I would tell her that mummy loves her very much and that now it would be just the 2 of us. I don't have much family and no friends because of her father. She interacts with children at nursery but aside from that it's just me and her. It gets real lonely sometimes but I give thanks everyday that I have my princess. Out of bad came something good.

Redbinz avatar
23 November 2016 14:40

My daughter got all excited as her paternal grandmother was popping in to see her. She lives 10 mins away and hasn't been in contact with me since I contacted CMS due to non-payment from her Son!! She was due at 11.30am - she didn't show up or even call. Little one was so upset as another adult isn't interested in her life. So sad!!

p jay avatar
p jay
14 October 2016 07:49

I took my 11 year old to view a high school on open day. A lot of her friends went to it hit home again how it is just me with my children , no father input in their life not there on sports day , parents evening just not there never there even when we were together. Now he sees them 5 times a month and sees himself as a great father but rarely does anything with them . The agreed maintainence has reduced as he has financial difficulties. I feel he's got his cake and he's eatting it and I'm picking up the crumbs. Wish I'd chosen better for my children

Innasmith avatar
03 September 2016 19:01

Yea,is very sad.My friends families is normal,only me is single mom,so my daughter alwes ask me why I don't have a father? She is missing a lot.But how you can explain to a little girl the truth?...

Yesbaby43 avatar
02 August 2016 22:25

Never mind Hun my 31/2 year old daughter always asks me why daddy doesn't live with us. It's painful to hear :(. Assure the kids that you would be doing something fun and exciting soon enough. Tell them it's for a 'special' crew of you and them for now. Try to join up with another family crew around to make a larger unit if possible. My kids call a couple of my childhood friends auntie even though my real relatives are further away. I hope you do find the wisdom to tackle this dear, wishing you the very best :)

greenie avatar
27 July 2016 15:15

Today has been very hard I have three children and my middle child had a play date with his best friend at ours as the kids were playing his little mate told him that they are going on holiday. My son was up in the kitchen asking me about when we will go on holiday and how nice it would feel to have extended family members to visit I cried because I didn't know what to say. I wish for kids to have extended family members or even a father figure in their lives.

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