Ultimate Guide to Being a Single Parent

While single parenting has its hardships, there are rewards that come with it, too. See more parenting pictures.
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If you're a parent and single, you're not alone. About 30 percent of homes with children in the United States are single parent households. For parents raising children on their own, it can seem almost overwhelming at times, but if you glance across any crowded bus or restaurant, you're probably be looking at more than a few strangers with whom you share the bond of single parenting -- the good and the bad [source: U.S. Census Bureau]

There are thousands of single parenting articles, single parenting tips, parenting support groups and helpful friends willing to offer strategies about being a single parent. The reality is that you'll need to develop a flexible approach that will function as an outgrowth of your personal style and values, as well as the unique alchemy created between you and your child. Regardless of what brought you to this point in your life, you're the one with the know-how to make your family work. What you don't know how to do today, you can learn and apply that knowledge tomorrow.

Single parents aren't presented with an operating manual or a guarantee that the going gets easier as you move through the process. Even though the prospect may be scary now, the day might come when you realize that having the responsibility -- and the freedom -- to raise your child alone worked out better than you ever expected. The Peace Corps' "Culture Matters" training manual refers to service with them as "the toughest job you'll ever love." Single parenting is like that, too. Raising a child alone can be a frightening, entertaining, exhausting rollercoaster ride, and when it's over, you'll be sorry it ended so soon.