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

4. Confidence

Being self-assured is a valuable trait for anyone, but it's a pretty big asset for a single mom. Because you get to make many decisions without input of another adult, you need to feel in control.

But having confidence alone isn't enough. If you don't take care of yourself, if you neglect your body, your health and your mind, it's easy to erode your confidence into "just getting through each day."

Be sure to maintain your best possible physical and emotional health by resting, eating right, exercising, warding off stressors and finding a 1 spiritual home. Remember that confidence grows stronger when supported by others. Support groups and reaching out to those in your community is important.

5. Courage

Courage and confidence go hand-in-hand. When you feel confident in your decisions, it's not hard to muster up courage to explore new things. Whether you are pregnant - with no nearby friends and family - seeking out childbirth classes or a coach; a long-time unmarried mom entering into a serious relationship; a divorced mother of grown kids who is ready for a major career change; or a woman just contemplating single motherhood, taking the first step is a very courageous move.

Remember, you don't have to be brave or funny or even wise all the time. But by adopting these five traits, you can organize your life around the realities and strengths of single parenting, and not around others' expectations of who you are and who you should be.

This article was reprinted with permission from Single Mother, March/April 1996 Copyright 1996 by Single Mother. All rights reserved. This article may be printed out for personal use but may not be reproduced in any other manner, including electronic, without prior written consent from Single Mother. Permission requests may be submitted to Andrea Engber.

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