Soaring Solo: On the Joys (Yes, Joys!) of Being a Single Mother


Celebrating the ups and downs, joys, and triumphs of being a single mom. Perhaps the most important thing a single mother can have is reassurance. Wendy Keller has the ability to look at the ordinary and see a message of wisdom, comfort and reassurance, and she shares these messages with compassion and grace.
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Soaring Solo: On the Joys (Yes, Joys!) of Being a Single Mother

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Celebrating the ups and downs, joys, and triumphs of being a single mom. Perhaps the most important thing a single mother can have is reassurance. Wendy Keller has the ability to look at the ordinary and see a message of wisdom, comfort and reassurance, and she shares these messages with compassion and grace.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In Keller's previous book, The Cult of the Born-Again Virgin (Health Communications, 2000), she promoted celibacy for divorced and single women until they have carefully explored their future options. Here, she expands on that theme to reassure single moms that they are capable, talented, and certainly not alone. Her tone is motivational and feel-good, almost Chicken Soup for the Soul-like, though the message wears thin after several chapters. Many of her anecdotes are also disconnected, some sounding like fables only lacking a "And the moral is..." ending. Some references to interesting books need updating as well (one is out of print, and another is listed by an inverted title). Keller opens each chapter with a funny quote, but will her readers appreciate her "joys" of being a single mother? Somehow, this misses the mark. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781885171603
  • Publisher: Council Oak Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.01 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A Word about Motherhood

The greatest love is a mother's, then a dog's then a sweetheart's.
—Polish proverb
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
—German proverb
The foundations of eternity are laid in the nursery. —WK
Before I had children, I had six theories on how they should be raised. Now I have five children and no theories.
—Ronald Kelly, minister, father

The very word "motherhood" conjures up a thousand pictures in our heads. The famous portraits of Mother and Child, the ideals we had for our children when they were small, the plans we made for our beloved child when we were pregnant, even sometimes ideas we had about what motherhood would be like from the vantage point of our teenage years.

    Some of us swore we'd do it differently than our mothers had, and others wanted to be similar in our style. Some of us wished to marry and have babies when we were grown ups, and others wanted to postpone babies, maybe indefinitely, while we cured cancer or made millions or showed men how powerful we really are.

    Our attitudes about motherhood change as we have children and with the circumstances of their births and lives. You may be finding that the ideal life you'd planned to provide your child is a little harder to provide than you'd hoped, or even that the childyou got isn't quite the child you expected. You may find, like most of us do, that motherhood and parenthood in general are experiences beyond description, so much better and so very different than anything you'd planned on.

    Motherhood is mysterious, magical, a whirl of drudgery and joy, carpools and kid caresses, sleepless nights and peak moments, the greatest joys, and the deepest sorrows. It is every emotion in the spectrum and every thought of selfless love that ever existed in the universe. Some say it is the closest thing to pure love that exists on Earth.

    But isn't it funny how life turns out? I wanted a ballerina and I got a tomboy. Megan up the block was sure she'd get a singer, and instead she got a budding actor with almost no musical skills. Barry's son was supposed to follow Dad into the law. At twenty-seven, he shows no signs of following. They're their own little people, aren't they? So what does that make our job?

    Remember when your mother wished on you a child just like yourself? Maybe you got that kid, and maybe not, and maybe that was a blessing from your mom, but maybe it was a curse. Either way, here you are, in the circumstances of your life as it is today. Here you are with your kid(s) in your house with your job and your life, and if you are doing this alt alone, then it is all up to you.

    Like everything else, that's a blessing and a curse. You have the liberty to craft the mind, heart, self-esteem, and virtues of the child entrusted to your care. You also have all the responsibility to provide structure, discipline, meals, clothes, a roof, and a warm bed for this little person.

    When life doesn't match your expectations, when the "Happily Ever After" ends and the next chapter of your life begins, it's easy to forget the most important things. It's easy to forget there is joy in the simple fact that you are alive and you have a good mind. It's possible to forget for a moment that you are in control of your circumstances and that at any point you can create a whole new kind of tomorrow for your family. In any moment, there are things to be sad about and things to rejoice about. Your quality of life will be enhanced by remembering to celebrate the joys of single motherhood and soaring above it on the wings of your sometimes-angelic children.

    Motherhood is a brief and precious time in our lives. Ask any woman, married or single, who has raised a family and watched each child fly the nest. She'll tell you it doesn't really last long, it just seems like it when you can't sleep through the night that first year, or when you and your child wage daily skirmishes. The period from birth to college or their first apartment seems like a long time, but in retrospect went like a flash. This little human being we've been given, with all her or his uniqueness, perfections, and imperfections, is ours to hold, ours to mold, for such a little while. Cherish that time!

    You've heard "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." Your child's destiny is in your power. Will you craft a neurotic little being who is a tyrant over the other people in his life? Will you indulge a spoiled child who grows up to embarrass you? Or will you set the plan, stay the course, be there with an open heart and open arms, nurturing, supporting, and loving this person who has been given into your care?

    The time when we have influence over our children is terribly short. It's a solar flare on the timescape of our existence. The foundations of eternity are laid in the nursery. The kind of mother you are capable of being at your best is precisely the kind of mother your child needs. Here's to you, for caring enough to be the very best.

Excerpted from Soaring Solo by Wendy Keller. Copyright © 2001 by Wendy Keller. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

A Word about Motherhood 10
It's a Dog's Life 14
Tiffany's Mother's Box of Love 18
Lizzy's Hair 21
The Amazing Mrs. Kenna 24
Motivating the Troops 27
Balancing Act 31
Givers Gain 35
Teetering on the Totter 37
Starry Eyes 40
Penelope and the Guilt-O-Meter 44
Am I Doing This Right? 47
Green Rivers of Cash 51
Mrs. Potash, The Martyr of Maryland 56
The Power of One 59
Single Dads 63
For the Love of Money 66
Rocks for Sale 69
The Surprising Return 72
Graduation Day 75
Knocking Up Opportunity 79
Dark Night of the Soul 82
Cash onthe Barrel Head 86
The Road to Truth 89
A Blizzard of Bliss 92
Instant Parenting: Just Add Water 94
Squid Factor 99
One Who Kisses 103
Parallel Lives 107
I'll Leave the Light On for Ya 112
Time to Fly 115
The Wedding Dress 118
Crying in the Dark 121
The Hamster of Happiness 126
The Collection 129
Finding Your Creative Spirit 132
Loving Your Body 135
Just Say No in Minneapolis 138
Less Is More Toast 141
Homework Wars 145
Small Moments 148
Flow, Names that Cannot Be Pronounced Easily, and Doing
Things You Hate To Do 151
Christmas Cookies 154
Good-Bye, Happily Ever After 158
One More Push 161
Secret Wishes 164
Starting Over, Again 167
Finding Joy 169
Brave Heart 172
Sleeping Beauty 174
Sleep Softly and Carry a Big Stick 176
Boarding School Blues 180
Tick, Tock, Biological Clock 183
I Like Myself! I Like Myself! 185
Yellow Cab 188
Dealing with Dear Old Dad 191
If It Ain't Dirty, Don't Wash It 194
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun 197
Me and the Boyz 199
A Little Bit of Sunshine 202
Daddy's Gone 204
Dating Again 207
On Living Single 210
Flab, Stretch Marks, and Me 214
The Sky's The Limit! 218
Bibliography 222
A Note from the Author 223
About the Author 223
About the Press 224
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