9 February 2012

Rosie Scribble - Single Mums' Story 8

Today we welcome the eponymous Rosie Scribble to give us her amusing account of how, sometimes, being a Single Mother can be so mis-construed.   
She is 38 and has a daughter, nicknamed IJ.  They live in Nottinghamshire, although they are planning to relocate to Yorkshire later this year.  She has a business degree, a CIM Professional Certificate in Marketing and a CAM Award in Integrating Digital Media and Branding. She works from home as a freelance writer, advises small businesses on how they can gain exposure online through social media and is currently in the process of setting up her own consultancy.  
Rosie has been blogging for over four years.  She is blogger ambassador for UNICEF and her work has taken her as far a field as Africa and Israel.  She writes about health, parenting and lifestyle issues, incorporating a documentation of her daily thoughts, opinions and experiences of life as a single parent.  When she's not blogging she can usually be found on Twitter or watching Lost on DVD.

Ladies and Gentlemen, La Creme de la Creme:  

Rosie Scribble.

Several months ago I spent an afternoon in the offices of a marketing agency. One of their clients was about to launch a low-priced range of frozen food. I won't go into the details, it’s probably confidential, but what I can say us that they were looking for ways to promote it.

They had drawn up a typical customer profile for the brand’s target customer and it turned out to be single mothers.

So they asked me to put myself in the shoes of a single mother. And they very kindly
gave me some help with this to make the task a little easier.

Apparently here a few facts about single mothers:

They regularly buy frozen food.
They love celebrity gossip.
They watch soap operas.
They read magazines like TV Quick.
There are interested in the tales of footballers wives.

Really? All single mothers?

Here are a few facts about me:

I rarely buy frozen food.
I have little interest in celebrity gossip.
I haven’t watched a soap opera in over a decade.
I’ve never read TV Quick.
I have no interest in the lives of footballers wives.

I’m also a single mother. Perhaps I should have mentioned that to the marketing
agency but their outdated stereotype threw me a little.

Obviously there’s nothing wrong with buying frozen food or watching soap operas or
any of the above, it’s all down to personal choice. What I do have a problem with is
the assumption that all single parents are exactly the same.

We’re not. Mothers - and fathers too - end up bringing up their children alone for a
whole variety of reasons that are often too complex for an outsider to understand. I
won’t go into my own personal circumstances here but you only have to look around
you to realize that no family is the same regardless of size and family set-up.

My daughter is eight and I’ve been a single mother for eight years. I went through a
pregnancy alone in a small flat with no one to turn to for support. I wouldn’t wish that
on anyone. An unmarried mother in a strict Catholic family was never going to be
well received, and outdated beliefs are difficult to change.

But I now have a beautiful daughter and a happy life. It did take some time to move
on from the dark years spent wondering how I would cope and what our future would
hold. It hasn’t been easy and it is a difficult time to reflect on, but life moves on and I
have too.

My days are now spent working from home and looking after a very lively daughter
who is fast approaching her teenage years. We’re incredibly close and benefit from a
very strong relationship. We’re busy planning a house move and I’m in the process of
setting up my own business, all things I never thought possible even a few years ago.

But above everything else, my worries about money, about the future and about
raising a happy child on my own have all been worth it. We’ve had our challenges
and we’ve both felt the isolation of a very small family unit at times, but we’re a great
little team and I count myself as incredibly lucky. I know many women who would do
anything to be able to call themselves Mum.

As for the marketing agency and their low-priced frozen food. I wish them well. Just
don’t assume I’ll be buying it.

Find other Single Mums' Stories here -
Kairen (Confessions of a Single Mum) Varker
Annie (Mammasaurus) Spratt.,
Ellen (In a Bun Dance ) Arnison,
Katy (All Sweetness and Life) Horwood,
Sarah (St Bloggie de Riviere) Hague,
Mel (HerMelness Speaks) Fargo.
Anonymous friend