It seems like every second cream brick-veneer in our neighbourhood houses a single-parent family. Single parent means a woman alone with kids. I don’t say single mothers, because as well as us unmarried mums there are divorced, separated, widowed ones and some who can’t quite figure out their marital status.
It’s a kids’ town, where life is ruled by the needs of our kids. Playgrounds, family entertainment and child health are the big topics of interest. School and kindy set the daily routine and the calendar, with each year marked by sports seasons, school breakup and christmas. A mum’s life revolves around shopping, cooking, laundry and getting children off to school.
And there’s romance – on the telly, in books, and maybe even in real life. You see, our only assets are ourselves and if we can make a good match, do a good deal, we sure will.
When I moved to this street, Alison took me under her wing and explained how we single parents survive. There’s a network of those mums who want to be part of it. The way she tells it, all the girls dream of meeting Mr Right. Maybe he’ll put a contact ad in the Sun, maybe friends will introduce you, maybe you just meet him in a shop. Mr Right being anyone with a steady job and no ties who you can get to make a commitment. The idea is that you please him so much that in his rosy cloud of arousal he takes to your family as well.
Only it never works out like that. You may find yourself doing the most outrageous things for that guy – and even enjoying them!