The five favorable traits of successful single moms (like you!)

"Yikes, I'm not," I quickly replied. "I hope I'm still pregnant and this isn't just a beer belly!" We both laughed and he wished me the best of luck. Later, I lost my job during one lunch hour too many at the pediatrician's office. I started my own business and actually won this client's account. Within a year, I took three accounts from my ex-boss, primarily because the clients said they enjoyed working with witty people.

Humor also is a great parenting tool at least for distinguishing between funtime and when you "mean business" (just lose the smile). "Wit-less" parenting is tough. So laugh - with and without your children - a little each day.

3. Dignity

In spite of common single mother stereotypes, you know, the irresponsible teen, or the zoftig woman, slumped on a sofa, eating bon bons and watching Jerry Springer, most mothers heading households are actually very dignified. I've talked with many, young and old, some with newborns, others whose kids are in college and some graduates even helping to raise grandchildren. They all possess this matriarchal dignity, a quiet power that was rarely seen in the mothers in my days of growing up. Unlike my own twice-singled mom who was a mechanic as well as glamourous before, during and after marriage, most of my girlfriends thought that their mothers were doormats - helpless servants to husband and house - a most undignified role at best.

Another mom on welfare dresses impeccably when seeing her caseworker. "With make-up and a simple, polished look, I rarely feel intimidated. In fact, my caseworker seems to be particularly polite to me," she points out.

Dignity can have a look, an attitude, pride, or simple or elegant presence. But to be a successful single mom you must have this ray of dignity that whispers, "Of course this is how it should be. Matriarchs are back. Matriarchs are in."

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