Cheryl is reportedly feeling the effects of being a single mother in the wake of her split from Liam Payne.

The Fight For This Love singer was seen stepping out with 18-month-old Bear for the first time last week (ends23Sep18) since splitting from the tot’s father as she attended best pal and former Girls Aloud bandmate Kimberley Walsh’s birthday party.

While Cheryl was initially said to be “doing fine” after parting ways with the former One Direction star, sources close to the 35-year-old have now revealed the reality of being a single parent is starting to sink in.

“Cheryl is a really hands-on mum and motherhood has been everything she’d hoped for,” a close pal shared with British magazine Closer. “But friends know the collapse of her relationship was painful and she never expected to end up as a single parent. They wouldn’t be surprised if there were times when she felt lonely and sad that things hadn’t worked out the way she planned.”

The singer has reportedly been leaning on best friend Kimberley for support since the break-up and allegedly has her eye on a $4.9 million (£3.75 million) pad in north London to be closer to her pal.

However, Closer insiders have suggested Kimberley’s happy family life with husband Justin Scott and sons Bobby, four, and Cole, 20 months, might be adding further salt to Cheryl’s wounds.

“Although it makes her happy to see how loved-up Kimberley and Justin are, obviously it also moves her a little bit as she wants that too,” a source explained. “In an ideal world, pals know Cheryl would have wanted that happy family life to work out. So to now be co-parenting her son with Liam isn’t the dream she hoped for.”

Cheryl and Liam, 25, announced they were parting ways in July after nearly two years of dating, confirming the news in joint statements posted to their Twitter accounts in which they admitted their new focus was Bear’s wellbeing.