The Complete Single Mother (2006) is a book by Andrea Engber that has served as the “go-to” guide for single mothers everywhere for the better part of a decade.
The book has been heralded as the best source of advice, solutions, and encouragement for single moms everywhere, and ofcourse with a good reason.
The book conducts an in-depth exploration of the toughest issues for single moms, such as interacting with a father who is MIA, sorting through financial difficulties, dating, remarriage, and surviving custody disputes etc.
This book has been revised and updated since its original publication. The updates include additional chapters that touch upon subjects like life with children who have special needs, and sidebars have been added that feature inspirational quotes from famous single mothers who have worked their way through the journey successfully. This is a pivotal resource for single moms everywhere, and it has quickly become the bookshelf bible for women raising children alone. Reviews rave about this book, and satisfied women everywhere have given this book 5 stars grading and a big thumbs up on sites like Amazon.com.
The World is Changing, and Unwitting Single Moms Need a Hand
This guide is perfect for moms stuck raising kids on their own in a rapidly changing world. Single motherhood is no picnic, and our society is complicated – now more than ever. The Complete Single Mother not only acknowledges this fact, it also builds upon it exponentially. The book covers controversial and hard-hitting, uncomfortable issues such as figuring out what to do if your mate doesn't share your feelings about parenting and how to handle things if your boyfriend can't make up his mind about his role as a parent. The book also tackles subjects such as what to do if you got pregnant from time spent in a brief affair, or how to handle things when you birth control fails unexpectedly.
There are also special sections in the book that cover rare and/or taboo topics like a pregnancy resulting from a rape and issues surrounding abortion. These are oftentimes tough to talk about, even with family members, so the fact that these subjects are covered in-depth in the text is a welcome relief for women going through these kinds of situations who feel they have nowhere to turn whatsoever.
Single Mothers by Choice Can Benefit from this Book, Too
For single mothers who chose this lifestyle, this book is ideal as well. It helps sort out situations such as handling an unsupportive family, coping with the inability to find "Mr. Right" by the time you're ready to procreate, dealing with issues that arise when you choose artificial insemination, and the unavoidable problem of biological clocks ticking away for older moms (without a supportive partner in the mix).
These aren't the only issues that can make a woman a single mother by choice. Other situations that are covered in-depth include adoption, an issue big enough in itself to merit an entire chapter of the book devoted solely to the topic. The chapter includes all angles of adoption, such as whether adoption is right for you as a single mom and tips for adopting a child from a country outside of the United States. It also discusses special needs adoption issues, what to do if something goes wrong, legal considerations, and even a section that covers what to do if you find yourself in the position of mothering a child of a deceased relative. One of the biggest perks of this book is that it delves deep into issues surrounding topics like parenting after divorce, and it covers topics most other books for single moms don't think to include.
Speaking of divorce, the book devotes an entire chapter to that, too. The book helps women coping with single motherhood after a divorce by discussing topics like what to do if you can't justify a divorce and how to prepare for a divorce – not only through the arrangements you'll make for your kids, but also with the emotional ramifications of your choice post-divorce as well. There are even special sections devoted to hard-to-talk-about things like what to do if you have sex with a soon-to-be ex, what you should (and shouldn't) tell people about the divorce, and many other topics.
The Authors of the Book
The great thing about this book is that the authors themselves are people that single mothers who read it can actually trust. Why? Because the authors are single mothers themselves. Partners who flew the coop unexpectedly put the authors' situations upon them, so they're coming from a place of genuine empathy, which lends a whole new level of credibility to the text. The authors are also highly educated and their backgrounds are invariably related to the subject matter that this book covers.
For instance, the primary author, Engber, is the founder of the National Organization of Single Mothers, and she's also a regularly contributing editor to Working Mother magazine. The other author, Klungness, is actually a psychologist whose specialty is issues that single mothers must face in their lives. Critics agree that their forte combined have produced a down-to-earth, extremely frank guide - that is real, relevant, and feminist in nature. Some critics have even compared the book to something from the infamous What to Expect series for pregnant women and new moms.
Many mothers who reviewed The Complete Single Mother on Amazon.com found the book to be a very important work for our time, one that envelops a crystal-clear understanding of all elements of a single mother's experience, as well as the ways in which being a single mother shares her relationships with other people in her life.
For single mothers near and far, understanding these paradoxes is made easy by Dr. Klungness, who presents the information thoughtfully and comprehensively, and whose explanations lay the foundation for single mother to forge meaningful relationships based on trust and empathy in their lives going forward. If you're a single mom looking for guidance, snap this up in a hurry in paperback or on your Kindle and crack it open immediately. You'll definitely be glad you did.