FullSizeRender (5)Cheryl Prudham – the controversial mother of 12 has done it again. Her outspoken nature has taken her from our screen starring in ‘Benefit: Britain’s Most Shameless Mum’ To the settee of ‘This Morning’ directly in front of the lovely Holly Willoughby and silver fox Philip Schofield. And what a fuss it has caused.

Holly and Philip both with their agenda. A tv crew in front of them and no doubt the remit was to shame the newly single mother. Can I say I thought she looked pretty good considering the amount of children she has had. Personally I think if I had any more than my 3 I would not be sat on the settee looking so groomed and polished. Most mothers who are single or have experienced being a single mother no doubt sat with their heads in their hands as they watched the show.

Cheryl who originates from Kent but lives in Skelmersdale has been boasting how she wants to find a sperm donor for baby number 13!!! This starting point is where I question and I really question:

WHY DOES ANYBODY WANT 13 CHILDREN IN THE FIRST PLACE?

We often talk about the difficulties of raising children. Most of us doing the talking do not have 12! We have 1,2,3,4… possibly 6! But I certainly don’t know any with 12. I think this is something that we need to remember. Large families who are in receipt of large amounts of benefits and deemed as making this a career choice are not a lot  in the entire of the country (you are always going to get pockets of areas) than the media portrays.

I’m not even thinking about the benefits at this point. I’m thinking about the handicap. The difficulties getting out of the door on time. The constant juggle.  Making sure everybody is clean, fed, haircuts, Dentist appointments, Drs appointments, homework, housework, keeping up with schooling, hobbies, interests, quality time with each child and the list goes on and on.

Yet she sat on that settee with no doubt in my mind that she can cope. She has chosen to have them so I guess she must cope. She has proved spending large quantities of money on her children. That is money on her children. I guess that’s better than not spending on children. I couldn’t help but think ok so it’s shameless to keep having children when you can’t afford them, but is she some sort of super human being? I think with that brood of children, I’d never manage the family food shop. Where does she keep it all? How many shopping trolleys does she have to take?   How many children cling onto the trolleys? It all sounds a bit like torture to me – than a luxury lifestyle.

Not only does the majority of the country despise her and she knows it. But she isn’t hiding away either. Showing a ton of strength when many of us would have crumbled. While we cringe into our coffee cups and stare open-mouthed, there has to be an element of admiration for such balls. She genuinely doesn’t care what people think about her. Or does she?

Is her attitude a fight back from prejudice and discrimination?

What has led her on the path to have so many children?

She says she loves having children and is addicted. Is that through feelings of wanting to be loved? While everybody hates her does she see her family unit of love and protection? People do things for a reason, what is her back story? I can’t help feeling that there is much more to it than a business plan. After all with such a ballsy attitude there is no doubt in my mind that the girl is capable of earning money in many other ways, ways that don’t have such big out-goings.  Has she ever been told that she can do more in life?

Times are tight. Single parent families struggle. Families struggle. We’re all trying to survive and I don’t doubt that Cheryl Prudham is trying to survive. Maybe she thinks her outbursts will give her a celebrity status? Maybe if I was her I’d be hoping for just that. It’s certainly one way of coming out of the benefits system.   Her survival is shown through the fact she is working 16 hours a week so that her benefits are not capped. With 12 children I don’t know how she has the energy to get out the door for 16 hours a week.   But then again, it’s a way of escaping the chaos.

Cheryl Prudham’s biggest fall down is not her single parent status or the hours that she works as she doesn’t make up the rules. Therefore she is right when she says that she isn’t doing anything wrong. Single parents where the youngest child is under the age of 13 are not expected to work outside of school hours. It limits choice of job options but that is the current guidelines. Those guidelines are there for a reason and they are there for protection of a single parent and their children. After all, as I’ve said before, life is more than the now. It’s about the future and raising our children the best we can with the choices we make and have. It is more the fact she wants more children when she can’t afford to have more.  Her fall down is that she wants to spend a vast amount of money on a boob job.

But as most of us single mothers/fathers or mothers/fathers who have been single know. It isn’t like that.

  • We don’t pop out more children when we don’t take care of the children that we have.
  • We do the best we can to work the hours feasible.
  • We take into consideration how our work hours will impact on our homes and care over our children.
  • With our limited funds we try to stretch them by being resourceful, shopping in charity shops, bargain shops, bargain supermarkets and generally struggle to make ends meet.
  • We don’t have oodles of money in the bank, we probably don’t even have the luxury of an investment/mortgage for our future. We’re living for the now and providing for the now.
  • We juggle our jobs while attempting our own DIY and try to live thrifty.
  • Our battle is to try to parent our children as though we are a two parent family with a job. Ultimately the choices we make is for the benefit of our children. We want to raise children who are of sound mind and emotional intelligence.

All a single parent is trying to do is make the best out of a difficult situation.

Therefore I feel pity for Cheryl Prudham as I wonder what has taken her to a point in life that there is no getting away from.  She’s 33 and if she has another child she’s likely to be dependent upon the benefit system for many many more years. That is stilted ambition.

This Morning have given us the opportunity into the insight/snapshot of a person’s life.  However, it’s time to stop focussing on the negative side of single parents and to start focussing on the positives. It would be wonderful if Holly and Philip brought to their couch a single parent who they can praise. One in receipt of some benefits many are and indeed many double parent families are too yet trying very hard.  But then again, that wouldn’t cause such propaganda.

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