Two of my girlfriends have been brought up by single mothers. Even though they are already in their 30s, their mums are still excessively protective over them.
One of them, B, is dying to move out to live on her own. Her mum thinks she's being rebellious and wants to hear nothing of it. My friend ends up feeling resentful and frustrated.
I often wonder if I would behave the same way if I had daughters. Perhaps with girls, it is tougher to loosen the apron strings. We don't want them to marry the wrong man and end up like us.
Single mothers may also worry about dating again. Some choose to remain single for life. With daughters in tow, there is always the fear of abusive or exploitive stepfathers. It's something we often read about in the papers.
In a way, I'm glad both my kids are boys. When I brought my niece out last month, I watched over her like a hawk. Suddenly every man in the street looked suspicious. I grabbed her hand tightly and warned her not to speak to strangers.
On one hand, I urge B to just do it. Over time, her mum will surely come to terms with the daughter's decision. I have done it in the past. My mum wasn't happy at first but got used to it soon. We're best friends now.
Yet, on the other hand, I feel a little sorry for her mum. After struggling for 30 years to raise her only child, she is back to being alone again. Still, she must learn to let go.