After eight years as a presenter on BBC children’s channel CBeebies, Cerrie Burnell has become a familiar fixture in the lives of millions of children.
What some viewers don’t realise is that Cerrie is actually a mum herself, to daughter Amelie, and she’s raising her as a solo parent.
‘I’m a solo mother rather than single mother… I prefer that term, I think it’s positive,’ she explains to GoodtoKnow.
‘Beyonce describes herself as a solo artist no one would say what she really needs is someone to duet with, or if someone said I’m going to sail the world solo no one would say “oh you need a man for that”.’
‘It’s the connotations. I think the thing to remember is that loads of single parents aren’t single they’re just not with the person they had the child with – they might be seeing someone and they’ve just not told the kids yet. There’s a massive spectrum of relationships.’
She goes on to add that there’s nothing wrong with falling in love, getting married and having babies, but also going it alone is okay too.
‘As a parent your relationship status isn’t anyone else’s business. It doesn’t affect your parenting skills.’
Cerrie during a Loose Women appearance this year
And don’t get her started on the term, ‘lone parent’…
‘It’s even worse! What does it even mean. It implies you’re alone, well you’re actually never alone – no not with kids!’
‘I want this ‘solo parenting’ title to catch on, rather than single parent. The term single parent is so negative.’
Since her time on the TV, the mum-of-one has made the move to start a new chapter as an author of children’s books, and nothing, not even a dyslexia diagnosis from the age of 10, will stand in her way – though, sadly her most important audience member, Amelie, isn’t a keen reader.
‘I mean, she loves stories. And I read with her a lot,’ she says of her daughter.
‘Amelie loves imagination and imaginative play but the actual reading she’s just like “come on”. She prefers to be read to for hours… I’m hoping at some point that changes.’
The former presenter also admits she doesn’t know what parents did before Internet: ‘I don’t know how mums coped without Google back in the day! When I’m asked, “so what is mercury?” I just admit I don’t know and we look it up together.’
What do you think? Does Cerrie have a point? Should solo parenting become the new term for ‘single mum’? Let us know in the comments box below.