Written by the founder and director of the National Organization of Single Mothers, this comprehensive guide explains what nearly ten million American single mothers need to know to overcome the challenges of daily life with dignity, wisdom, and courage. "Provides a world of support for women who often feel alone."
With more than nine million American women raising children alone by choice or out of necessity, it is surprising that most books on pregnancy and parenting still assume that the two-parent family is the norm. These two manuals written by single mothers offer useful, practical advice for women raising children alone. They include information on medical care, financial management, legal matters, career planning, social life, support networks, and dealing with family members. The Tippinses' book deals only with pregnancy and the baby's first year. It is organized chronologically by pregnancy trimester so that women can be prepared for the child's arrival. It includes sample agreements for women using sperm donors and co-parenting agreements, as well as a bibliography and resource list. The budget-planning advice is excellent. Engber and Klungness, writing in the tone of self-help books, cover the same topics, but they place more emphasis on the mother's self-esteem and other psychosocial issues. They also include child-development and parenting information about older children as well as a bibliography and resource list. Both books are more comprehensive than Jane Mattes's Single Mother by Choice (Times Bks., 1994) and Caryl Walker Kruger's Single with Children (Abingdon, 1993). They are highly recommended for all parenting collections.Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., Cal.
"Traditional family" fanatics will hate this book, in which columnist Engber--founder of the National Organization of Single Mothers and "SingleMOTHER" newsletter--and psychologist Klungness offer other single moms some 400 pages of encouraging, practical advice on meeting the challenges of parenting without partners. In part 1, Engber and Klungness look at the various ways women "become" single mothers--through divorce, widowhood, adoption, donor insemination, or pregnancy outside marriage--and the special demands of each situation. In part 2, the authors focus on how single moms can handle pregnancy and birth, maintaining a household and maintaining their self-esteem alone, and in part 3, they talk turkey about the day-to-day difficulties of "raising terrific kids." They address in part 4 relations "outside" the family unit: with a supportive (or not-so-supportive) ex; with relatives and ex-relatives; with friends, other single moms, coworkers, "dates," and new partners. Full of helpful sidebars--checklists, do's and don'ts, tips on dealing with everyone from nosy neighbors to public agencies--and answers to questions from readers of Engber's newsletter and column, it belongs in most libraries.