17/09/2010 09:35 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Semi-Detached Parent: Cogitation

I'm having to re-think my 'need to know' approach to telling people about my relationship status.
My parents know, my close friends know. My parents close friends do not know, because they are too ashamed (probably) to tell them. My brother, and most work colleagues know. My son does not, and nor do my school-gate mum chums or the school staff. And that is my current problem.

A good friend, a sensible, level-headed one, whose advice I value, has implored me to tell my son's teachers about the state of play at home in case it is impacting on him in some way at school.

I am torn because although I know she is right, I am reluctant to have my son – or indeed me – 'labelled' like this. To be honest, the life he has now is no different to how things have ever been for him; rows, musical beds, parents who cannot speak to each other without raised voices, door slamming and flouncing. To label his home-life in some way seems wrong to me, because it is, as sad as it may be, his 'normal'. And, to my mind, probably not that much different to that of his peers.

It does hit home, though, that this thoroughly modern 'separation' is not the 'best of a bad situation' I thought it was going to be. I am starting to think that life would actually be a lot simpler if we lived properly separately. In different houses. Because really, how long can this charade continue without some kind of major fall-out?

What do you think?
Do you live as a family unit with your ex partner? What are the rules for making it work?
Or should separated mean just that?