If You're Thinking of Becoming a Single Mom

The benefits -- and the challenges -- of single motherhood.

Why Be a Single Mom?

In a perfect world, all babies would be born to mature, loving, solvent couples who wanted them desperately, and who had every resource in the world to care for them. Life isn't always this simple, however. Whether you've become pregnant by a partner who isn't going to help you raise the baby, or you're considering having or adopting a child on your own, it's important to remember that millions of healthy, well-adjusted children have grown up in single-parent homes.

If you choose to become a single mother, you'll have plenty of company: Cleopatra, Maya Angelou, Ingrid Bergman, Jodie Foster, Rosie O'Donnell, and Elizabeth Taylor are just a few of the high-profile women who have raised (or are raising) children on their own. To say nothing of Bill Clinton's mom, Sophia Loren's mom, John Lennon's mom -- you get the idea. In fact, current statistics place the number of children being born to single-parent households in this country as anywhere from 34 to nearly 50 percent.

This is not to say that it's going to be easy. Which is why the No. 1 piece of advice offered by experienced single moms is: Get support. Lots of support. The less money you have, the more support you'll need. If it took Hillary Clinton a village to raise a child, it's going to take you the city of San Francisco.

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