“I’M A SINGLE mum and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” 35-year-old mum-of-six Natalee proudly boasts as she performs a four-hour military operation to get her kids out of the house.
She lives in Knowsley, Liverpool, known by locals as the “capital of single mums”, where there are plenty of men but they don’t need them, boldly proclaiming the opposite sex is just too much drama.
Natalee with her children Elisia, 15, Maddie, turning 13, Gianna, 10, Riley, eight, Paddy, three, and McKenzie, nine months[/caption]
Natalee however is under pressure because she’s been saving her benefits allowance so she can throw her 13-year-old daughter Maddie a lavish surprise birthday party.
She’s determined to make it a bash fit for a princess, but she’s on a tight budget as she explains in Channel 5‘s Who Needs A Man When You Have A Spray Tan.
“I’m so excited, it’s so stressful and it’s cost me a frigging fortune. I mean a fortune. I’ve been saving for bleeding months for it,” she tells her beautician pal who pops round to top up her spray tan.
Natalee, who drives a swish black BMW, wants to spoil her teenage daughter because she’s gone through a difficult year, after she was taken her out of school for two months for reasons not mentioned in the documentary.
But it’s a tough juggling act both financially and mentally for the mum, who has six children to three different dads – Elisia, 15, Maddie, turning 13, Gianna, 10, Riley, eight, Paddy, three, and McKenzie, nine months.
In Knowsley three out of every five families has a single parent. But the impressive single mums who live there have each other – to laugh, cry and get by as shown in the series.
Natalee wants the perfect dress for her daughter Maddie to wear to her birthday bash[/caption]
“My current situation is I am claiming benefits and I have to budget. Some weeks are really tight but it’s me being creative.”
Natalee continues: “I am really good at budgeting, I don’t go out shopping buying things for myself, and the money that I would spend doing that instead goes into the children.”
Luckily when it comes to getting the perfect dress for Maddie to wear to her lavish bash, her dad Michael who lives in America is more than happy to chip in.
Natalee is on good terms with him and encourages Maddie to persuade him to fork over the £70 for the sparkly number, which he does after a brief chat on FaceTime.
“Michael will help when it comes to Christmas time and birthdays. He is really good like that,” the mum adds.
Even going dress shopping or to the supermarket can prove to be a complicated task, taking her up to four hours to get all six of her kids ready and out the door.
“Life with the kids is chaotic, if I ever want to go anywhere it is literally a military operation.
“I have to plan it out strategically, and even then the plans fall through.”
It’s a similar story for mum Danielle Allan, 33, who balances her three kids’ needs with the demands of her part-time mobile beautician job and vlogging.
She’s amassed a 17,000 strong army of online fans in the space of just 12 months, by keeping them up to date with her honest account of life as a single mum.
Danielle’s eldest son Marcus, 12, has ADHD and she believes he is on “the pathway to autism”, and says his younger brother Reuben, seven, is also showing signs of the disorder.
Danielle has to keep up with the demands of her three kids, her part-time mobile beauty business and vlogging[/caption]
The busy mum also cares for her youngest Isaac, three, who takes a starring role in some of her social media videos.
She’s keen to develop her platform as she isn’t making any money, but for now is happy with the freebies she receives in return for a Youtube post, like Botox from a local beauty clinic and a collection of scarves.
“I think vlogging and kids does mix, because my kids are a part of who I am and they’re a part of my life.
“I would like to provide for my children more so than what I am doing financially now. No matter what I’m always going to be me, and a working mum.”
Danielle faces a dilemma when Marcus throws a tantrum at the activity centre he is playing at while she travels for her free Botox treatment.
When the situation is resolved the mum can’t help but feel guilty: “I feel like s*** to be honest, I feel like it’s half my fault really. But he wanted to go, I will give him that opportunity to try it and it just hasn’t worked out.”
The series follows other single mums as they share an insight into their lives keeping up with the demands of their kids as well as making time for themselves.
- Channel 5’s Who Needs a Man When You Have a Spray Tan starts on Thursday 28 February at 9pm
Most read in Fabulous
How one mum hit back after critics ridicule the extravagant fox-themed first birthday party she threw for her son.
And the woman who let her homeless best friend move in only for her to steal her husband just like the Khloe Kardashian scandal.