Coming back from the caravan, after a week of work, I was listening to Radio 4 and they were talking about how one in four families is now a single parent family with a mother around but no father. It makes me shudder the way that the government makes single parent families out to be something a great many of them are not but the thing is they have this in common - no bloke.
One of the hardest things in the world when you are alone with a small child is to find a suitable parent. Either the man doesn't like the child or the child doesn't like the man and we all have baggage. He may have children too. I once met a very nice teacher, when my daughter was eight, but he spent his weekends with his children who were both under five, so I scarpered.
It's hard enough finding a decent man. The good ones are married, apart from those who tell you they aren't married of course, single men who have been dumped by other women are a very difficult area. Men dump women for other women, women dump men because they aren't shouldering their responsibilites and/or are still behaving like they are twenty.
Then there are the men who can do everything, so what do they need you for, and the ones who can do nothing, so what would you want them for? And the hobbyists. My God, golf, painting tiny soldiers, shooting, fishing, sailing. It's okay if they regard this as a hobby but to so many of them they have work and a hobby and everything else is lost.
Some women have a tendency to hide their husbands. I can quite honestly say that although I have envied my married friends sex, companionship, somebody to help pay the bills and sort out the kids I have never ever fancied any other woman's husband. Marriage is not sexy, not to single people as they get older.
As for role models, there's not much you can do about it. The world is very unfair and for most women in many countries, men have taken everything and it's a fight even for decency, never mind education. So we bring up out daughters to get on with things and no point in hanging about waiting for a decent man. What you need is a good job with a decent income and some reasonably priced child care.
As for the single parent who is left alone once the children have grown up and gone -
the view I take is of the card I once bought - apologies to the genius who thought it up. I have no idea who it is On the front there is a very smiley old woman and the caption reads,
I have a computer, a vibrator and a pizza delivery man. I need never go out again!
Perhaps the future isn't so bad after all, out in the desert.