Myleene Klass on single motherhood: ‘I was so frightened of the stigma’

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  • Myleene Klass has opened up about life as a single mum after splitting from husband Graham Quinn in 2013.

    The 38 year old, who is mum to daughters Ava, eight, and Hero, five, admits that coming to terms with life as a single mum wasn’t always easy.

    ‘I remember the first time someone said: “How does it feel to be a single mum now?”‘, she told The Guardian. ‘I was so frightened of the stigma of the title, but it’s the best club I’ve ever been in. I feel very privileged – I know how hardworking the members of it are, there is a mutual respect.’

    During an appearance on Lorraine to discuss her new ITV documentary, Single Mums on Benefits, which airs tonight at 9pm, she added, ‘(Mum) is the most powerful word in the world and we still don’t use it in the way it deserves to be… we always say “Do I look a bit Mum?”‘

    Myleene tells presenter Fiona Phillips about her new TV show, Single Mums on Benefits

    ‘[When talking to other single parents] there is that understanding. You know what that person’s done to be there… You have a real sense of achievement.’

    However, despite her positive attitude now, Myleene explained that there’s often a sense of ‘failure’ associated with the role.

    ‘I felt like I had failed my children,’ she said to OK! magazine. ‘When I became a mum I remember thinking, “This is an amazing job and I finally understand what my mum went through”.

    ‘And then you become a single mum and think, “Oh my god, I’m gonna have to find superpowers here because there’s just not enough hours in the day”.’

    Throughout the course of her new documentary, Myleene meets single parents from all walks of life, including mums in severe debt, teenage mums, and even single fathers, and says she was amazed at the stereotyping many of the people she spoke to faced.

    Myleene pictured with her two daughters

    ‘I went around vox-popping in a certain area in London: what are the first words that come to you when I say “single mum”? We had to move areas, because nine times out of 10, people said “teenage mum”. But the average single mum is 37,’ she added to The Guardian.

    ‘So already that’s given you a completely different view of what a single mother is. What I could not believe is that the two teenage girls on the show who are single mums aren’t entitled to claim benefits because they’re deemed children in the eyes of the law. It was as if the record player stopped.

    ‘There is no such thing as a teenage mum on benefits, unless you’re talking about only 19-year-olds. They don’t have any options other than begging from their friends or going to their family. That idea of teenagers having babies to get council houses is completely insane. Most single mums are like you and me.’