“I am learning to be proud of who I am as a mother” – Katie’s single parent story

Posted 13 June 2022

I suppose I consider myself a more ‘unusual’ single parent. I am gay, and also a mother who doesn’t live with her son.

My son is now 2 and a half and, very sadly, I separated with his other mum before he was born. It has been a turbulent few years but things are finally settling down to our new normality.
My son stays with me regularly, including during the week and alternate weekends. We are just about to go on our first little holiday to Cornwall together, which I can’t wait for!

Learning to be proud

For me one of the most difficult things is not being able to talk to other parents in a similar situation about my circumstances. Being gay and a mother not living with their child is certainly not commonplace and so it can feel very isolating at times despite having amazingly supportive friends and family.

When I talk about my situation to other parents at groups, it sometimes feels like they don’t quite know what to say and often it is easier not to go into details. This then can make it feel more isolating and that you don’t have things in common with ‘normal’ parents, especially mothers.

As time has gone on, it has helped me to slowly start being more open about my situation and learning to be proud of who I am as a mother to my little boy. Just realising that there are lots of different types of families out there is very reassuring- there is no ‘perfect’ family!

Just the two of us

When I’m with my son, I love planning nice things to do; either going to groups or special times just the two of us. These don’t have to be extravagant and expensive- it’s lovely going on little coffee and cake dates together and exploring our local area.

It really helps me when I’m not with him to think of what we can do when I next see him. I’ve even started writing a book for young children in LGBTQ families!

Finding a community

I think Gingerbread is an amazing platform for single parents but unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be LGBTQ representation. I really hope that sharing my experience might encourage other parents in similar situations to reach out and share their stories. LGBTQ single parent groups whether virtual or face to face would be invaluable for a lot of parents to feel less alone and to normalise what they’re going through.