"I wouldn't wish being a single parent on my worst enemy."
Raising a child takes a lot of hard work and nurturing -- especially when a parent is doing it all on their own. Being a single mom or dad comes with the added pressure of covering all the bases for their kids, from providing financially to being emotionally supportive to just making sure everyone gets to school on time.
Solo parenting can be challenging even for celebrities who seemingly have all the resources in the world. Single moms like Sandra Bullock and Mindy Kaling have all spoken out about raising their children on their own and how they manage on a day-to-day basis. Thankfully, they’ve figured out what works for them and want other parents to know that they can do it too.
Following Olivia Wilde's split from ex Jason Sudeikis, she took over parenting duties to their two children part-time. While she says she and Jason work hard to make sure the children are happy and healthy, she admits parenting can be tricky when she's doing it alone.
"It's tough, you know, reshaping a family is tricky. And the one benefit is it's allowed for some really deep conversations with my kids about emotions and about happiness and about what family means and love. It's actually allowed me to get to know them in a different way. My priority is them," Olivia shared on "The Kelly Clarkson Show."
When Sandra Bullock began the adoption process, she was still married to her ex-husband Jesse James. Despite their split, Sandra decided to continue on with her dreams of adoption, even if it meant she was going to be a single mom. The actress ended up adopting two children -- and says they helped her realize that she didn't need anyone else to make them a family.
"Society still, as open-minded as we've become, has these rules that quietly say, 'This is the way it goes.' They're saying, 'It's a man and a woman, and then you have a baby, and that's the family.' I go, 'Oh my god, I'm a single parent. With a child. How am I...,' I felt less than. I felt, 'I'm not the complete package.' And then I realized, this is the complete package," she told The Independent.
Taraji P. Henson fully admits that being a single mom isn't easy. Although she's proud she's been able to raise her son Marcell, she says there's often pressure to do it all when you're a single parent.
"It depends on what women equate success with. I think we try to do our best. And yes, we can do it all, but I wouldn't wish being a single parent on my worst enemy. It is not easy," Taraji told Redbook.
Connie Britton adopted her son Eyob in 2011, knowing that she would be a single mom. That didn't stop her dreams of motherhood though and while she admits it can be challenging, she wouldn't have it any other way.
"Being a single mom is challenging, but never in a million years would that have stopped me. You get an idea in your head and you're going to do it. People can tell you how hard marriage is or how hard it is to birth a baby, but we do these things. We want the journey of that," Connie told People several years after Eyob's adoption.
Mindy Kaling is mom to two young children but has never revealed the identity of their father. But Mindy has opened up about being a single mom, sharing that she couldn't do it without the support from friends and family.
"As a single mom it really does take a village. Yes, I am the parent of my two children, but there are all these other caregivers in the form of family, friends, and nannies. I couldn't do it without the village. Absolving myself of guilt for depending on others has been the biggest piece of advice that has helped me," she told "Today."
Charlize Theron became a single mom when she adopted her two daughters, August and Jackson. Even though she was aware that she would be raising the little girls on her own, she knew she would be able to adapt in order to give her children wonderful lives.
"It's just the way things worked out. When you adopt, you have to do it unconditionally. I threw myself into the adoption process because I was convinced that I could fulfill the role of mother and give my children all the love and attention they need. No one aspires to become a single parent, but I learned a long time ago that you can't control everything in life. I have adapted to the situation because I am pragmatic," she told Elle Canada.
Minnie Driver has been raising her son Henry on her own and admits that it can be difficult at times to always make sure everything is taken care of.
"I think that the things that a single mother faces are pretty uniform. It is really challenging to be by yourself, to be the bread-winner, to make sure your child is having a complete and lovely childhood -- and it's all on you, sort of, on the day-to-day," she told HuffPost Live.
When Amber Heard welcomed her daughter Oonagh in 2021, she revealed that her parenthood journey had actually started four years prior. Despite knowing she would be a single mom, Amber decided to pursue parenthood because she didn't feel that she needed a partner in order to raise a child.
"Four years ago, I decided I wanted to have a child. I wanted to do it on my own terms. I now appreciate how radical it is for us as women to think about one of the most fundamental parts of our destinies in this way. I hope we arrive at a point in which it’s normalized to not want a ring in order to have a crib," she wrote on Instagram.
Lucy Liu welcomed her son Rockwell via gestational carrier in 2015 and although she's a single mom, she says she has lots of help from friends. She added that she believes it’s incredibly important as a single parent to ask for an extra hand when needed.
"I don't really raise [Rockwell] by myself. I have a lot of friends and a group of people who help me. It's important to ask for help. If you can manage on your own, that's fine, but people shouldn't feel that they have to be alone while doing it," she told CBS.
Sheryl Crow says it was never her "first choice" to be a single mom but she's grateful for the way parenthood has turned out for her and her two children. She says that once she was able to let go of what she thought her life was supposed to look like, she embraced all of the other possibilities.
"I think because I was raised in a really conventional household with two parents that are still married, 65 years, that you limit yourself by saying, 'Well this is the way that it's supposed to go down, this is the way it's supposed to look'. To be able to just say, you know what, I feel a motherly instinct and desire for children and I'm gonna row the boat halfway and we'll see if it comes and meets me, and it did... Sometimes taking your perception of the way you think your life is supposed to look, taking that out of the picture really does create so much incredible opportunity…I can say safely that the way that it's rolled out for me has been really a blessing," she told Yahoo.