The Channel 5 show Spray Tan Mums: Single & Proud follows the lives of various single mothers as they try to raise their kids while they try to make time for themselves.
One of them is 33-year-old Jo who lives in Knowsley, Liverpool, an area dubbed by locals as the “capital of single moms.” While there are plenty of men, these women claim they don’t need them as they just result in too much drama.
Jo works as a part-time health care manager. As a single mother, she struggles to pay her bills on time although she doesn’t seem to have any problems getting her nails and brows done or to go clubbing.
Jo has four sons. Twins Isaac and Zachery, one, and Gabriel, two, have the same dad who she split up with six months ago while Oliver, 12, is from a previous partner.
She reveals that she was slapped with a £990 ($1,100) that she can’t afford to pay.
She says, “Finances have been a nightmare. To work you need the children to be in nursery.
“You’ve got a car, the house has got to be heated so the bills are astronomical.
“So they sent me the letter and I sent it back to say ‘I’m disputing your claim completely.’
“They’ve sent me a letter here to say they haven’t received it so they’ve gone against me. Kiss my a***.
“They want it to be paid in seven days. I’m not paying, I haven’t got it. I’ll have to phone them, but I’m not happy.”
Three out of every five families in Knowsley has a single parent. But the single mothers all have each other to lean on in this tough life.
Jo, who benefits from tax credits, shares her troubles with fellow single mom Danielle, a part-time beautician who works on Jo’s brows.
Jo doesn’t seem to have any trouble forking out for beauty maintenance (including her nails) each month.
Jo says, “Can’t wait for my brows to look better. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I’ll go ‘no I will go get my brows done or nails or my whatever.’
“I think I work all month so why shouldn’t I?
“Those are the little things, I might be sat in the house but those are the things that make me feel better about me.”
Danielle replies that there’s no escaping the fact that bills need to be paid.
The mother-of-three said: “You’ve just got to look on the bright side because there’s always a f***ing bill. You’ve always got to pay your bill.
“You are always biting your tail. You’ve got your bills. Trying to do all that on your own and working, I sometimes think I’m working for nothing.
“You’ll have a few when you are late on things.”
Luckily for Jo, her parents are able to scrape enough to clear her energy bill for her.
Chris, Jo’s mother, said: “You are on your own with four kids and heating a three-bedroom house, it’s going to be a lot isn’t it.
“What can you do, I can’t see you with no heating and no food for you and the kids?”
A grateful Jo gushed: “You do buy the clothes, the food, pay my bills sometimes, lend me money.”
To which the generous mom replied: “Well it’s got to be done love doesn’t it. I’m glad that I’m able to do it.”
Jo is forced to admit she’d be “screwed” if her parents weren’t there to help and they also help her “get more even.”
The single mother admits: “There comes a point in your life when you think ‘fricking hell’ I don’t want to be asking them. I don’t want to be struggling for them to have to do it.”
There’s another reason Jo is grateful her parents are there as she needs a babysitter so that she can go to town and go clubbing with a friend.
Jo said: “I can’t wait. This is the first night in a long time where tomorrow I don’t have to get up with four children.
“Mom, what doesn’t she do for me? Everything. If I want a night out she’ll come and have the children so I can have a night out.
“She literally does everything.”
After a few shots and working the dance floor, Jo said: “You’ve just got to go and have a laugh and be wild. Play big or go home isn’t it.”
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