Hollywood's single mums' club


  • Children
  • Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016

Negative criticism: Winslet says that single mothers are negatively judged by society, making it harder for them to parent alone.

Even in the ritzy, moneyed streets of Tinseltown, famous single mums have to deal with the ups and downs of parenting alone. From Madonna to Kate Winslet, these super mums pencil in play dates, supervise homework sessions, and tackle temper tantrums, all while living in the limelight.

How do they do it?

With lots of love and patience!

1. Madonna

Doing it her way: Madonna poses with her daughter Lourdes (L), sons Rocco (R) and David Banda in central London in 2006. - Photo: Reuters
Doing it her way: Madonna poses with her daughter Lourdes (L), sons Rocco (R) and David Banda in central London in 2006. Photo: Reuters

The Material Girl was in the news a lot because of a rough custody battle for son Rocco from ex Guy Ritchie. She has three other kids: daughters Lourdes and Mercy James, and son David Banda. Her brood jet set around the world with their mother, often snapped by the paparazzi exiting airports and on holiday.

But it’s not all glitz and glamour. In 2012, the glamazon had this to say to The Sun: “I’m not going to lie - it’s hard working having four kids and doing all the work I do.” Sometimes, she “feels like her head is going to explode” and that life can be “a struggle”. She even wrote a song about single motherhood - I Don’t Give A.

2. Sandra Bullock

Like many single mothers, Bullock didn’t plan on single motherhood. While married to ex Jesse James, they adopted a son Louis. After the divorce, she raised the five-year-old on her own. The adorable duo are as thick as thieves, decked out in matching costumes every Halloween. Late last year, she welcomed adopted daughter Laila, three, into their family.

In 2013, she confessed to Parade magazine that she wrestles with self-doubt: “Every single second of every single day...don’t know if I feel like a bad mum, but at the end of the day I’m always plagued with, ‘Did I do enough? Should I go in a different direction?’.”

Negative criticism: Winslet says that single mothers are negatively judged by society, making it harder for them to parent alone. - Reuters
Negative criticism: Winslet says that single mothers are negatively judged by society, making it harder for them to parent alone. Photo: Reuters

3. Kate Winslet

Following her split from director Sam Mendes, Winslet became a proud member of the Single Mums’ Club. Though she is now married to Ned Rocknroll (not his birth name), for a few years prior she had to raise kids Mia, 15, and Joe, 12, on her own.

She said that society’s negative judgment of single mothers made the job even harder, telling Time Out magazine in 2013: “Single mums do come in for a hard time. Society is incredibly judgmental. I know this. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got money, whether you’re famous or not. You have to carry on. And you can, because you have to.”

British actress Driver says that the experiences of single mothers are quite uniform. She is a single mother to son Henry. - Reuters
British actress Driver says that the experiences of single mothers are quite uniform. She is a single mother to son Henry. Photo: Reuters

4. Michelle Williams

Williams is a single mother to daughter Matilda, 10, with ex-partner Heath Ledger. After his sudden death in 2008, she and Matilda were hounded by the paparazzi and the press. Stoic in the face of her loss, she continued to parent by herself.

But it was a struggle. In 2010, she told USA Today about life as a single mum: “You make it work. You keep getting out of bed. Sometimes it’s just because you know there’s a cup of coffee downstairs.”

5. Minnie Driver

The British actress, known for her mop of black curls and lantern jaw, is mother to seven-year-old Henry. From a single-mother home herself, Driver grew up in the shadow of her father’s first marriage.

In her most recent TV series, About a Boy, she played a single mother, revealing to HuffPost Live that the role paralleled her life: “I think the things that a single mother faces are pretty uniform.

It is really challenging to be by yourself, to be the breadwinner, to make sure your child is having a complete and lovely childhood - and it’s all on you, sort of, on the day-to-day.”


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