5 Movies that Sum Up Life as a Single Parent

I couldn't sleep the other night. I flipped through the stations, and Jerry Maguire was on. It's one of my all-time favorite movies and not just because I'm a single mom -- I definitely like it more since becoming one, though. I laughed. I cried. I thought. I tweeted quotes. Tweepies RT'ed em. All alone in my bed. JD was sound asleep. It got me thinking about other movies with single parent themes and memorable quotes that get me in the gut. And heart. And head. Have a look at my 5 favorites, popcorn preferable.

Jerry MaguireJerry Maguire1. Jerry Maguire

Jerry (Tom Cruise): "What do you know about dating a single mother?"
Rod (Cuba Gooding Jr.): "Oh I know plenty. I was raised by a single mother."
Jerry: "Tell me, because it's been a month, and she's about to take another job in San Diego."
Rod: "First, single mothers don't "date." They have been to the circus, you know what I'm saying? They have been to the puppet show and they have seen the strings. You love her?"
Jerry: "How do I know?"
Rod: "You know when you know. It makes you shiver, it eats at your insides. You know?"
Jerry: "No, I don't know."
Rod: "Then you gotta have The Talk."
Jerry: "But I sure don't like that she's leaving."
Rod: "Well, that ain't fair to her. A single mother, that's a sacred thing, man."
Jerry: "The kid is amazing."

Why I love it: Purely for this line: "Well, that ain't fair to her. A single mother, that's a sacred thing, man."


WaitressWaitress2. Waitress

"Dear Baby, I hope someday somebody wants to hold you for 20 minutes straight and that's all they do. They don't pull away. They don't look at your face. They don't try to kiss you. All they do is wrap you up in their arms and hold on tight, without an ounce of selfishness to it." -- Jenna (Keri Russell) on feeling like a single parent-to-be, even though she's married to a goon that treats her badly.

Why I love it: I'll let you in on a little secret. All parents have hopes and dreams for their kids. For single parents, those hopes and dreams … reflect their own. Sniffle.

Related: 20 classic movies you should watch with your kids


The HolidayThe Holiday3. The Holiday

"Until I get to know someone really well, it's easier for me to be a normal single guy, because it's way too complicated to be who I really am. I'm a full-time dad. I'm a working parent. I'm a mother and a father…I have no idea how to date and be this. And I suppose there's the possibility I'm afraid of what another person might do to who we are and how we get from one day to the next." - Graham (Jude Law)

Why I love it: Right now motherhood and dating are two separate worlds. I go from making macaroni art to having a drink at The W in the span of 1 hour. I have no idea how to fuse this, nor if I even want to. Sometimes making macaroni art is just easier.


Baby BoomBaby Boom4. Baby Boom

"I can't have a baby because I have a 12:30 lunch meeting." -J.C. Wiatt (Diane Keaton)

Why I love it: The tug of war between your child and career is real for me. The juggling act is anxiety-inducing. A 6 a.m. call time in NYC and a 7:15 AM school drop-off is troublesome. It always works out, but it still makes you feel flustered and like life is impossible.





Erin BrockovichErin Brockovich5. Erin Brockovich

"NOT PERSONAL! That is my WORK, my SWEAT, and MY TIME AWAY FROM MY KIDS! IF THAT IS NOT PERSONAL, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS!" -Erin (Julia Roberts)

Why I love it: Mainly because she's a real-life single mom that (jazz-hands!) prevailed-also, because I get it. The time I take away from my son is real to me. It doesn't matter where I am. If I'm away from him, it's for a good reason, or a leap of faith at best-but it's never for nothing in my book. I want to feel that it's being reciprocated in some way. I really don't go out that much, aside from work and JD-friendly activities. It's unnerving when I find myself somewhere that doesn't seem worth it. I've been known to flee. Cough, cough. Everything is personal to me.

- By Christine Coppa
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