As reports today show our lovely celebrity mum Myleene Klass has put her 2.5m house up for sale, confirming her separation to husband Graham Quinn . Myleene and Graham had been together since 2001 when he was a bodyguard for her then pop group Hear'Say. They had only been married for 6 months when the split happened and now Myleene is facing life as a single mum to daughters Ava, 4 and 14 month old Hero.
Having a baby is a life-changing experience and children bring with them many responsibilities. It can be particularly challenging if you’re facing parenthood on your own. Even if, like Myleene, you never envisaged yourself bringing up your children alone, it's still possible to enjoy your time being a parent, partner or no partner. Relationship breakdowns are never easy especially when children are involved but sometimes it better to call it a day, rather than struggling in a toxic relationship.
Day-to-day duties for a solo parent often no different than they are for a married one: coping with sleeplessness, finding child care, paying bills. But... you're on your own. Even so, single mothers agree that even when overwhelmed, there's usually a way to work out problems. Here are some words of wisdom for single mums.
Call on friends and family
If you have separated from the father of your child, the chances are that you’re feeling quite scared and alone. The most important thing to do, as with any relationship break-up, is to surround yourself with people who love you -your friends and family. They will act as your support network, helping you to get through the tough times, and helping you and the children in the next step of your lives.
You can share with them your worries and fears about parenthood. Help and support from family and friends at this time is crucial to you all. With some thought your family can evolve into something new without too much emotional damage.
If you don't have family or friends around that you can rely on, there are organisations which can offer you support and advice through your pregnancy and beyond, like single parents website Gingerbread (www.gingerbread.com) or you could try www.singleparents.org.uk.
Sharing the responsibility
Try to share the responsibility of the children with your ex partner in order that the children know that they still have a mum and a dad, despite the fact you’re no longer together. Keep all their routines as normal as possible and introduce any changes slowly and talk them through what will be different. Reassure them that you are both their parents still and even though you’re apart it doesn’t mean that you love them any less and importantly do not put them in a position where they might have to choose between you and your ex.
Meeting other mums in the same boat
You may also find it beneficial to meet other people in the same boat as you. If you're feeling that no one knows what you’re going through, meeting other single mums-to-be might prove really helpful and reassuring. Look out for childbirth groups in your local area that are geared towards single mums.
Try not to dwell on your situation. Keep busy doing things that make you happy, whether it be going to the cinema with friends, taking the kids to the park, having a nice meal with your mum, reading a good book or just having a good old heart-to-heart with your best friend. Try to surround yourself with people who make you happy. Don't bottle up your emotions; it's normal to experience highs and lows and having a good cry can really help.
Remain positive; you are a parent and receive the unconditional love of a little person. If the children are not sleeping well or tantruming and you feel alone in dealing with it all, try to feel pride from the fact that you're completely responsible for your child and you are a good parent.
Build a strong family routine
If children are used to and familiar with their daily routines they will feel happier and more settled. If they are going to visit your ex partner it is nice for them to come home to something familiar and normal as they will be going through many changes too. Even if you always make sure you sit down for meals together and have certain times reserved for family time- this can be beneficial for the children in how they settle into their new life. It is also very important to be honest with children about the changes in their life. By keeping your children in communication with what is happening around them, it will help them to understand what is going on.
Try something new
Why not try something new? If you've always wanted to learn a new language, take acting classes or do a cookery course, now's the time to do it. I went back to university to study an MA, for example. This will really boost your self-esteem, as after a relationship breaks down it's easy to feel like a failure.
Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. The job you are doing right now is so important for your children and with the right support you can all enjoy life as a family together.
We want send all our support and gurgle thoughts to the beautiful Myleene Klass and her girls at this difficult time.
To hear about other celebrities that have recently become single parents, click here.
If you have recently become a single parent and would like to comment on your experience, please see below.
The information in this feature is intended for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your health, the health of your child or the health of someone you know, please consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional.