How to be a HAPPY Single Parent

By Rebecca Cox & Zoe Desmond
Piatkus/Trend Paperback £16.99
ISBN 978-0-349-43601-2

You are not alone is one of the key early passages here which examines the word single and the associations that have grown up around its use in the simple but emotionally charged word single-parent.

‘When I learnt that one in four families are single-parent families, I realised that single-parent families are everywhere.’ A powerful statement from Zoe who galvanised herself to meet others and created the Frolo app that subsequently introduced her to co-author Rebecca.

The four principal causes of becoming a single-parent are introduced and much later the word stigma is introduced and looked at through the history of cinematic representations, newspaper headlines etc.

So what is a happy single-parent? There are many answers but the authors suggest that the responses include those who have accepted thir lives and created a new ‘norm’ for their family and to evolve.

The subjects here look at negotiating financial and legal challenges, amd there is a lot on dealing with an ‘ex’. Naturally there is a considerable amount spent on balancing work and parenting. No easy fixes here but the elephant in the room is addressed.

One section is entitled ‘retrain your brain’ – it sounds scary at first but give it a try.

Throughout comments/experiences from people other than the authors are given which are highlighted sometimes in boxes, though confusingly not all the time. Key things are boxed or are included at the end of a secion in bullet points.

So far only Zoe has been mentioned but this is not a solo effort, a mere extension of her succesful app, as Rebecca is the one with the writing/journalistic beackground. Together they have created not a handbook but a reminder that you don’t have to live a life based on a narrow definition and that anyone can be happy. It may be written by two women but men’s experiences are not ignored either. There are experiences recounted here and a few pitfalls to avoid if possible, but above it all it lets you know that single is not alone.