By Alicia Harper, REDBOOK
Charlize Theron recently adopted a baby boy. She's not married, so this means she will be parenting solo. And she's not the only female celebrity who recently made the decision to become a single parent. Sandra Bullock, Jillian Michaels and Connie Britton have all opted to become single moms by adopting a baby without being married.
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When I first heard the news, I was with a friend, and we were catching up on current events (a.k.a. celebrity gossip). She couldn't fathom why anyone would choose to be a single mom. She "gets" that relationships are complicated, which is why sometimes couples with kids break up, leaving them as single parents. What she couldn't understand was how anyone could want to be a single parent, she couldn't understand.
I didn't choose become a single parent. In fact, when I became pregnant unexpectedly, I couldn't even imagine being someone else's mother. The thought of taking care of another person all day-every day-protecting him from all harm, guiding him through life, and leading him to make moral decisions scared me. When my relationship with Aiden's father was ending, I was even more scared. Just the financial aspect of raising a child alone made me nervous. Sure, there's child support, but those funds tend to be few and far between for this single momma. As you can see, it's hard-financially, emotionally and mentally.
Certainly celebrities will have a different single mom experience than I (and other non-famous single mothers) do. Our struggles will not match up-not by a long shot. We don't have the disposable income or nearly as many resources as they do, so our realities will not be the same. Most single mothers cannot afford a full time nanny, don't have the income to send our children to expensive nursery schools, and need to save for a long time to be able to afford a vacation.
While many of my single mom friends can't understand why someone would voluntarily become a single parent, I think I can. Now that I'm a mother, I totally understand the desire to want to be a mother: to love, nurture and care for a little person. I see how someone could want to dedicate her life to someone else, to usher them from infancy into childhood, the teenage years, and then young adulthood-that yearning is real. I now know that out of all the things I accomplish in life, out of everything I do, nothing will be greater and no feeling will be more wonderful than being Aiden's parent.
That I get. For that reason, I applaud these celebrities. I wish them nothing but the best.
Alicia Harper, M.A., Ed.M. is a single mother, freelance writer, blogger, and recent graduate of Columbia University who's now a mental health therapist. Her life is filled with all things pink, except for the one bit of blue-her rambunctious 4-year-old son. Together they make a great pair, and Alicia chronicles the trials and triumphs of being a young, single mother living in NYC at Mommy Delicious. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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