A single mother is any woman who is a primary caregiver for children who are not taken care of by their fathers. A mother is constrained to act as caregiver on account of the need arising from divorce, death of a husband, and childbirth out of wedlock, and it may be an option under certain circumstances like in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, adoption, or a court decision. ‘Single mother’ refers to the parent with whom the children reside or with whom they spend most of their time. The frequency of single mothers is continuously on the rise worldwide, but particularly in the U.S. and has become an accepted norm. The statistical analysis of the data pertaining to single mothers shows that 72.6 percent of all the single parents are single mothers. About 45 percent of single motherhood is caused by a recent divorce or separation, 34 percent by out-of-wedlock childbirth, 1.7 percent due to the death of a husband, and the rest are other factors. This reflects upon the U.S.’s society and is not generalizable to others, particularly the Eastern societies. Widows constitute the least of single mothers in the West, while they constitute the most of single mothers in the Eastern countries.
1. Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio, U.S. on February 18, 1931. She divorced her husband in 1964 and raised her children, Harold and Slade, as a single mother. There can not be two opinions about that she was one of, if not the most successful single mothers. She is one of the most famous novelists and had won a Pulitzer Prize for Beloved in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. She is also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her notable works include: Jazz, Beloved, Song of Solomon, and The Bluest Eye.
2. Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams was born in Greenville on November 11, 1744 and died in Quincy on October 28, 1818. She was the wife of John Adams, the second President of the U.S. and mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States. She was the second First Lady of the United States and the first Second Lady of the United States. Abigail Adams had a good marriage relationship, but her husband was only too preoccupied with the state’s affairs, and literally Abigail had to act like a single mother. In addition to caregiving to children, her duties included running the family farm, buying properties, and selling the items John sent from Europe. Gelles, the historian, said, ‘He was more interested in politics than in family life’¦’ In one of her letters she wrote to John, ‘I don’t know how much you love me if you don’t come home.’
3. Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King was born in Heiberger, Alabama, United States on April 27, 1927 and died in the Oasis Hospital in Rosarito Beach, Mexico on January 30, 2006. She was the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. And after the assassination of her husband was a single mother to Yolanda, Martin Luther, III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about her ‘I am indebted to my wife Coretta without whose love, sacrifices, and loyalty neither life nor work would bring fulfillment. She has given me words of consolation when I needed them and a well-ordered home where Christian love is a reality.’ Her death was mourned throughout the United States, and her funeral was attended by many great men and women including: U.S. presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Senator Barack Obama. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 2009.
4. Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara was born to Margarita Vergara DÃ¡vila de Vergara and Julio Enrique Vergara Robayo, in Barranquilla, AtlÃ¡ntico, Colombia, on July 10, 1972. She is best known for her performance as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in the ABC Series Modern Family. She has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Comedy Actress. She was married to Joe Gonzalez in 1991 and continued a married life until 1993. After her divorce she was a single mother to her son Manolo.
5. Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India on September 1, 1970. She is an Indian-American model, actress, and author. According to herself, ‘I was the first Indian model to have a career in Paris, Milan, and New York. I’m the first one to admit that I was a novelty.” She married a novelist Salman Rushdie in New York on April 17, 2004. Rushdi was 23 years senior to her, and they remained married until 2007. After her divorce, she was a single mother to her daughter Krishna. Lakshmi remained silent about the identity of the child but revealed later that the capitalist Adam Dell was her father.
6. Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock was born in Arlington County, Virginia, U.S. on July 26, 1964. She is a famous actress, comedian, and producer. She was married to Jesse G. James in 2005 and remained his wife until 2010. After discovering that James was cheating her, she filed for divorce. Later on she revealed that she had adopted a baby boy, Louis Bardo, from
New Orleans. She has performed leading roles in many successful films. In 2007, she ranked the 14th richest celebrity, and in the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, she is listed as the highest-paid actress with $56 million. Bullock was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, and an Academy Award for Best Actress.
7. Halle Berry
Halle Berry was born to Judith Ann and Jerome Jesse Berry in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. on August 14, 1966. She is a famous American actress and former fashion model. She has been married twice. The first time to the former basketball player David Justice, and the marriage ended with a divorce in 1997. The second time she was married to Eric Bennet in 2001, and the marriage lasted until 2005. After becoming pregnant by Gabriel Aubrey, she gave birth to her daughter Nahla. Custody battles are going on between Aubrey and Berry. Berry is acting as a single mother. She has won numerous awards and is on the top of many famous lists.
8. Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet was born to Sally Anne and Roger John Winslet in Reading, Berkshire, England on October 5, 1975. She is a famous singer and actress. She was married twice. The first time to Jim Threapleton from 1998 to 2001, and the second time to Sam Mendes from 2003-2010. She is recognized as a CBE, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. She has been nominated six times for a Grammy Award and has won it once. She has won many other awards. She is a happy and successful single mother for her children Mia and Joe.
9. Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Jackie Kennedy Onassis was born to John Vernou Bouvier, III and Janet Norton Lee in Southampton, New York, U.S. on July 28, 1929 and died in New York City, U.S. on May 19, 1994 at the age of 64. She was the wife of the 35th President of the U.S. John F. Kennedy, and was the First Lady of the United States from 1961 until the assassination of Kennedy in 1963. As a single mother, she raised her children Caroline and John Jr. Five years after his assassination, she married the Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis and remained married till his death in 1975. She said, ‘If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.’
10. St. Helena Augusta
St. Helena Augusta was born in Britain Helenopolis, Bithynia, Asia Minor in or around 248 and died in Constantinople, Roman Empire in CA330. She is considered a saint by most churches. She was the mother of Emperor Constantine I. Her husband, Constantine, divorced her to marry Theodora, but Helena never remarried and remained a single mother and is perhaps the earliest known, famous, single mother.
Mothers are great, but the single mothers are constrained to be greater. They have to exert, have to utilize the best of themselves to bring out the best in their children. What distinguishes a single mother from an off-the-scene father is her presence, and that is what counts when courts are to make decisions regarding the custody of children in cases of disputes. According to Jesse Jackson, ‘Your children need your presence more than your presents.’ The former is what only the single mothers strive to offer, and as far the latter, it is mostly a peanut or a lime wash in the form of gifts from an absent father.