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Single Parenting Stories & Statistics

Read dozens of single parenting stories, told from the POV of real moms and dads who represent thriving families behind the latest statistics.

Thriving single parents: the stories behind the statistics.
 

By Jennifer Wolf, The Spruce

With nearly 14 million single parents raising their children solo in the U.S., single parenting stories are not uncommon. However, with so many different avenues by which single parents become single, a great many myths and assumptions continue to surround the single parenting community. The following single parenting life stories, submitted by our readers, provide a glimpse into the realities behind the latest single parent statistics.

 
 

More Single Parenting Stories & Statistics: 

Divorced Moms | Choice Moms | Widows | Single Fathers

Single Parenting Stories

"When my son Jimmy was just six-months old, my fiance and I split. He'd battled with a long-time addiction to prescription pain killers and I finally realized there was nothing I could do anymore. My son was my biggest priority, so at the tender age of 22, I packed up my stuff and became a single mum."
~Nikki Taylor

[post_ads]"I have been a single parent since my daughter was born, over 8 years ago. I was 20 when I had her, and had no idea what I was doing. Fortunately, I had the support of my parents, who let us live with them for the first few years, which really helped us out financially, as I was a sole support parent. However, this created an added challenge, as my parents and I have different parenting styles. However, we all managed to survive.

"During the time I was living with them I went to college, got a diploma in administration, and now have a job I enjoy at a local university. My daughter and I have a great apartment, and I am now back at school part-time, working on an undergraduate degree in English (something I've always wanted to do) with plans to teach in the future. It hasn't been easy, and I have made a lot of mistakes along the way, but with patience, determination and support (from wherever you can get it) I believe anything can be possible!"
~Rachel H.

"I am 29 with kids ages 8 and 10. Their father, by choice, is not involved with them, so I am really, really, flying solo. We've faced many issues, including: job losses, the loss or lack of adequate child care, scheduling, and school issues. So many things, it seems.

"After being laid off a second time (once in August '07 and then again in January '08) I decided to go back to school full-time to complete my degree. It's a little bit of a roller coaster ride, and we've had to temporarily give up some luxuries, but it's working.

"One of the things I did to help my kids cope was get them involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, which has been excellent."
~Nikki

"I used to be a party girl, but the moment I got pregnant with my oldest child (who's three now), I got clean and sober. For awhile, my boyfriend did, too, but it didn't last. Before I knew it, I was pregnant again, and he was back to the party lifestyle.

I became a single parent about a week after our youngest son was born, and my boyfriend was eventually locked up for drugs.

Of course, it's been hard. It's hard to date, hard to pay bills, and even hard to keep my sanity at times! But I've pushed through, and things are finally looking up.

One of the things that I'm really proud of is that I've found an inner core of strength that I always thought was missing in me. It was there, but it was buried, and now it's out for the world to see!"
~D.R.

 
 

More Single Parenting Stories: 

Thriving Single Parents | Choice Moms | Widows | Single Fathers

"Being a single mother to my three children has been very hard on me. I'm the process of separating from my spouse, and my children and I have lost everything, including our home and our car. But I'm proud to say that we are beginning to regain our emotional stability.
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"It hasn't been easy, and I do not have a big supportive family. In fact, I have no one but myself and my children. I also work full time and have a long commute.

"One accomplishment that I'm really proud of so far is that I've stuck with counseling, for myself and my children, which has been really helpful."
~Dannielle

"I thought marriage would heal the disappointment and doubt that plagued my adolescent years. When it didn't, I turned to heavy bouts of drinking. After years of wallowing in my own self-pity and loathing, I sought counseling and worked on co-dependency, anger issues, and self esteem. At the same time, I also quit drinking! Finally, I began to face my future with determination.

"However, when my therapist recommended that my husband and I seek marriage counseling, my husband was not interested. His response was "If you're not happy, then you know where the door is." At that point I knew that our journey together had ended.

"With a six-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter by my side, I returned to Pennsylvania, where I grew up. With my mother's support, I became a stay-at-home working mom and to built a successful home-based business.

"It wasn't easy. We lived in a seventy-two foot, single wide trailer. Meals consisted of TV dinners or macaroni and cheese, and child support was very sporadic. In addition, we incurred the extra expense of being in and out of the courts over a period of many years.

"However, our sense of peace and love for one another made those times more than worth it! Eighteen years later I'm still single, still sober, and have a successful business. Through God's faithfulness and grace, we not only survived, but we thrived. If I can do it by the grace of God, so can you. There is joy in the journey, and life is good!"
~Linda

 
 

More Single Parenting Stories: 

Thriving Single Parents | Choice Moms | Widows | Single Fathers

"Being a single mother to my three children has been very hard on me. I'm the process of separating from my spouse, and my children and I have lost everything, including our home and our car. But I'm proud to say that we are beginning to regain our emotional stability.

"It hasn't been easy, and I do not have a big supportive family. In fact, I have no one but myself and my children. I also work full time and have a long commute.

"One accomplishment that I'm really proud of so far is that I've stuck with counseling, for myself and my children, which has been really helpful."
~Dannielle

"I thought marriage would heal the disappointment and doubt that plagued my adolescent years. When it didn't, I turned to heavy bouts of drinking. After years of wallowing in my own self-pity and loathing, I sought counseling and worked on co-dependency, anger issues, and self esteem. At the same time, I also quit drinking! Finally, I began to face my future with determination.

"However, when my therapist recommended that my husband and I seek marriage counseling, my husband was not interested. His response was 'If you're not happy, then you know where the door is.' At that point I knew that our journey together had ended.

"With a six-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter by my side, I returned to Pennsylvania, where I grew up. With my mother's support, I became a stay-at-home working mom and to built a successful home-based business.

"It wasn't easy. We lived in a seventy-two foot, single wide trailer. Meals consisted of TV dinners or macaroni and cheese, and child support was very sporadic. In addition, we incurred the extra expense of being in and out of the courts over a period of many years.

"However, our sense of peace and love for one another made those times more than worth it! Eighteen years later I'm still single, still sober, and have a successful business. Through God's faithfulness and grace, we not only survived, but we thrived. If I can do it by the grace of God, so can you. There is joy in the journey, and life is good!"
~Linda

 
 

More Single Parenting Stories: 

Thriving Single Parents | Divorced Moms | Choice Moms | Single Fathers

"I became a widow three years ago at 29, the same as my mother did. I had been a housewife for five years and had a hard time re-entering the workforce and managing a household with my 3-year-old and 9-year-old girls. I have just re-entered college after a seven-year hiatus to finish an associate's degree."
~Brandi Farr

"When my son was three, my husband encouraged me to take a "temporary" job about seven hours away from our home, and to take my son with me. Within six months, he announced that the marriage was over, and within another month, he acknowledged that he was having an affair, and that he never intended us to return. I was devastated. We divorced, and a few months later he died as a drunk driver."
~Proud Mom in Midwest America
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"I became a single parent when my husband and I divorced—but I became an only parent when he died two years later. One minute I was simply divorced, and the next minute there was nothing simple about it."
~Amy Sue Nathan

 
 

More Single Parenting Stories: 

Thriving Single Parents | Divorced Moms | Choice Moms | Widows

"I went from being a not-so-involved father to being a residential single father of a 7-year-old girl. I had to learn a lot of stuff, from the 'trivial' ponytail to some less-obvious skills I needed to develop in order to communicate well with my daughter.

"At that point I was a graduate student and was finishing my dissertation. We lived on a budget with my ex at the time, and when we split I could not make ends meet, so I took an extra job. Finishing my dissertation on time, helping my daughter adjust, learning to adjust myself to being single again (after 16 years with my ex), and working the two jobs was a tremendous challenge, but somehow I pulled it off. "The most wonderful thing is that I emerged with a completely new attitude towards life. I laugh more—way more—worry less, and have become much more responsible than ever. When it comes to the divorce itself, I overcame a lot of anger and resentment towards my ex-wife (and vice versa)."
~Juan
 

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Lifestyle Magazine: Single Parenting Stories & Statistics
Single Parenting Stories & Statistics
Read dozens of single parenting stories, told from the POV of real moms and dads who represent thriving families behind the latest statistics.
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