PARENTING
10/10/2017 09:21 am ET

16 Must-Reads For Single Parents

You're not alone.

Being a single parent is inherently challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and powerful. We’ve gathered our favorite single parent must-reads from inspirational quotes to heartwarming personal stories to celebrities sharing their experiences. 

 

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When you’re a stressed-out single parent, you need every reassurance that you’re doing right by your kids. Sure, raising them on your own is fulfilling, but it’s also totally exhausting. With that in mind, we’ve gathered 10 relatable quotes from HuffPost bloggers to remind you that your kids will be fine. (And that you’re definitely not the only who really needs a kid-free day off!)

We’re all familiar with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but did you know there’s also a National Single Parent Day? In 1984, President Ronald Reagan officially designated March 21 as a day of acknowledgement for the hard work of single parents nationwide. Three decades later, too few of us are aware of the holiday, including most single parents themselves. In a new heartwarming ad from Angel Soft, single dads and moms are told about the holiday and share what it’s like to raise their kids without any additional help. 

Let’s clear some things up about single moms: They’re not desperately lonely, they’re not living off their ex’s dime, and sorry, but they aren’t dying to date just anyone. HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers on Facebook share these and a few other frustrating misconceptions about single motherhood. Please take notes. 

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The next time you come across a single mom’s selfie with her kids, go ahead and press that “like” button: As writer Jessica Ashley explained in a HuffPost blog a few years back, if single parents didn’t take selfies with their kids, they’d have very few pics together as a family. With Ashley’s heartwarming essay in mind, we decided to ask HuffPost readers to share their #singlemamaselfies.

Being a single mom today inevitably comes with challenges, but one frustrating issue is the preponderance of harmful stereotypes and misconceptions. Australian mom and blogger Constance Hall takes on this issue in her latest viral Facebook post. On Facebook, she shared a parenting selfie, along with some “single mum myth busting.”

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Nothing can fully prepare you for raising your children as a single dad — but getting advice from dads who’ve done it themselves certainly helps. Here, HuffPost Divorce bloggers share 12 things they wish someone had told them early on.  

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Being a single parent can be isolating in so many ways. Well, we’re repping for solo parenting by collecting some relatable quotes from celebrities who are (or have been) single parents. Of course having a couple of nannies and a load of disposable income can make things a little easier, but some feelings are universal. Hopefully they’ll serve as a reminder that even though you’re a single parent, you are definitely not alone. 

According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, divorce is one of the most stressful events people go through in a lifetime, second only to the death of a spouse. In the hopes of making the process a tiny bit easier, we’ve compiled 15 reads for anyone going through a marital separation. Take a look below. 

Taylor Myers was at the end of her rope. The single mom was exhausted and trying to get through a grocery shopping trip while her 4-year-old daughter with ADHD threw yet another tantrum. But the kindness of a stranger helped Myers get through a low point and reminded her of the power of “the village.”

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It’s been nearly eight months since Patton Oswalt became a single father. His wife, true-crime writer Michelle McNamara, died unexpectedly in her sleep at only 46 years old in April, leaving Oswalt to parent their young daughter Alice alone. Before the clock wound down on 2016, the comedian wrote an an essay in the December issue of GQ magazine to reflect on his “Year of Magical Parenting,” in hopes that his experience might resonate with someone reeling from the death of a loved one.  

Parenting is a hard job for everyone, but Jennifer Weedon Palazzo recognizes that some people’s circumstances are more difficult than others. The blogger and mom of two recently posted a video to the Facebook page MomCave TV in which she gave well-deserved props to all the hard-working single moms out there for all that they do. “Holy shit, you are doing an amazing job,” she says.

In their kids’ eyes, single moms are basically superheroes — but hey, we’re guessing even Wonder Woman needs a nap every now and then. Raising kids alone can be exhausting. Here, real single moms share 10 things they know to be true about the hard but rewarding work of single parenting. 

Tom Garden worked in his family’s business for 10 years, staying on to help the company transition after it was sold in 2013. When he left, he realized the job to which he had devoted so much time had never made him truly happy. As a man in his 40s, he had expected to have a family by now, but instead he was single with no kids. He was tired of online dating and hadn’t met anyone he connected with on a deeper level. He figured his chance to have children was over. Then, he learned more about IVF and surrogacy.

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“I craved motherhood, and I was incredibly invested in it. It’s not easy to adopt, even when you’re a celebrity,” she told Elle Canada last year. “But when I held my children in my arms, I was happier than I ever expected to be. Today, motherhood is a source of joy every single day, something stronger than everything else, more powerful than my career.”

Tiana Sheehan was 9 years old when her mother died after a long battle with lung cancer. “The first Christmas after she passed, my dad had five quilts made out of her pajamas ― my mom LOVED pjs ― and gave them to my sisters and my nephew, along with letters my mom had written all of us before she passed,” Sheehan told HuffPost. He also took on the tough job of handling both the “mom” and “dad” roles, including dealing with “girly” things like periods and leg-shaving.

“CSI: NY” actor Hill Harper is sharing with the world what it was like becoming a single father via adoption. Harper’s son, Pierce Hill Harper, was born in December 2015. Harper told “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts that he left the set of the Tupac biopic “All Eyez On Me” to catch a plane so he could be in the delivery room when Pierce was born. He even cut the umbilical cord. In his interview with Roberts, the actor and philanthropist described the experience of becoming a father as “the biggest role” and “biggest blessing” of his life despite all the difficulties. 

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