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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Its Weight in Gold for Single Mothers
Excellent source of practical information on meeting the emotional, psychological, financial, social and physical challenges of single motherhood. Appendices contain an expansive list of organizational resources and further reading for single mothers.
Warning: The book starts out slowly with a political defense of single motherhood. The "cheerleading"...
Published on November 4, 1999

versus
108 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't what I was expecting....
Remember, these reviews are personal opinions and your mileage may vary!

The title of the book is right on. It really is the *complete* book for single mothers. Too complete for me. There's a whole chapter on "becoming a single mother through divorce" which will be fine for the seperated/newly divorced mother, but not for me. For you, it has advice on...
Published on September 16, 2004 by Christina Sterman


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108 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't what I was expecting...., September 16, 2004
By 
Christina Sterman "yavie333" (Columbia, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Remember, these reviews are personal opinions and your mileage may vary!

The title of the book is right on. It really is the *complete* book for single mothers. Too complete for me. There's a whole chapter on "becoming a single mother through divorce" which will be fine for the seperated/newly divorced mother, but not for me. For you, it has advice on preparing, selecting an attorney, mediation, what to tell people and even having sex with the soon to be ex!

Then there are becoming a mother outside of marriage, choosing motherhood through insemination, and choosing adoption. Again with the *completeness*, but so not what I need at all. Great chapters for those of you choosing those options, lots of information. Just not for me. A nice large chapter on the widowed mother, as well. All of these chapters give great information on how to get started researching, how to talk to the kids about these specific situations, how to get help, etc.

Part 2 has chapters on mothers-to-be, naming the baby and babyproofing the house, working moms and postpartum depression. Again with the good info, again with the "not what *I* need" thing. Also in this part are how to improve your self-esteem, finding resources, how to deal with finances, and ideas for who to move in with/where to move if you and child are low on cash and need help.

Part 3 covers child care, ages and stages, schools and dealing with teachers, and very few pages about teenagers and nothing on tweens at all.

It goes on to dealing with the "where's daddy" questions, which is a very good chapter. Should you lie? Mistakes to avoid when discussing daddy, and how to explain a bit about divorce, if you weren't married to the father, you don't know the identity of the father, adoption and insemination questions, or if the dad has passed away. All very good ideas and suggestions in this part.

There are two short chapters on mothers raising daughters, and mothers raising sons. A bit more in this chapter about adolescence but not much.

Part 4 goes over custody and coparenting issues and child support. There is a pretty big chapter on "the ex from hell" ! It's a cute chapter, but full of stereotypes and I didn't find it helpful, even though I have one of those ex's.

There is also a chapter on dealing with the ex-inlaws, which was somewhat helpful. It goes over dealing with holidays, and even goes so far as to go into dealing with your ex's new significant other, sharing discipline with the stepparent, and reminds you that you are still the MOM!

Then there's the chapter reminding you that it's ok for you to date and have sex. How to deal with the fact that you have a boytoy! LOL! "When it's platonic - but your kids wish it was more." Lots and lots of dating stuff, from married men to gay men. Of course nothing about whether you've decided you like girls yourself. Guess this was written too early for that kind of thing.

It goes on with remarriage, and ends with "expanding your world", for example going back to school, finding "a spiritual home", and having another child.

All in all, I wouldn't recommend this to any woman who has been a single mom for a while already. We already know most of this stuff. For anyone just starting out, this might be a great resource, but it's not very emotionally uplifting and didn't leave me feeling connected to any other single moms out there. I'll be using the "recommend another book instead of this one" tool (:

Hope this was helpful!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Its Weight in Gold for Single Mothers, November 4, 1999
By A Customer
Excellent source of practical information on meeting the emotional, psychological, financial, social and physical challenges of single motherhood. Appendices contain an expansive list of organizational resources and further reading for single mothers.
Warning: The book starts out slowly with a political defense of single motherhood. The "cheerleading" tone of this section of the book sometimes takes on an aspect of blaming men for the plight of the single mother. Supportive and reassuring perhaps, but not conducive to taking responsibility for one's own actions in this reader's humble opinion. The author even goes so far as to promote the idea of voluntary single motherhood through artificial insemination if "Mr. Right" doesn't happen to come along. Some may find this liberalism to be annoying.
Despite these minor flaws, the 1st half of the book contains a wealth of useful information and the book really takes off in the second half (presumbaly reflecting the division of labor between the authors). Here the everyday psychological, moral and practical dilemmas of single motherhhod are thoroughly vetted. Questions regarding everything from stress management to the inevitable conflicts of dating and parenting, raising boys and girls and issues of coparenting and custody are answered with compassion, wisdom and common sense in any easy to read question and answer format.
This book answers many questions that you may not even have thought of yet. Why not get a jump on them?
If you have a best friend who happens to be a child psychologist with a specialty and doesn't mind spending endless hours answering you questions, you can get by without this book. Otherwise it is a must have!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for never-married single mothers, June 20, 2004
When I was pregnant I read a lot of books for single mothers and learned so many out there are for divorced mothers where the father is largely in the picture.
This is the best book I found for single, never-married mothers where the father does not play a large role, if any. There is a chapter for divorced mothers, adoption, donor insemination, and widowed mothers. And many other chapters for all single mothers.
There is a wonderful chapter to help explain where their father is. Which I am sure will come in handy in a few years when my son wants to know why his father is not around.
I have loaned this book out to other single mothers and recommend it to all single mothers.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is a tremendous reference., October 29, 2002
By 
As I approached single parent status a little more than a year ago, weary from the weight of the child I carried inside, I had a difficult time finding a book which addressed my concerns and needs. How would I deal with my ex? How would I make ends meet? This book offered more than black and white solutions. It offered the encouragement that I so desperately needed. In addition, I loved the fact that this was the ONLY book I have found to date on single parenting which addresses the unique needs of those of us who have never been married and are committing to single parenting from pregnancy on. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a resource.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Single Mother's Bible - Keep it near you at all times!!, August 20, 1999
By A Customer
The Complete Single Mother sits on my nightstand and I use it as a bible. I recommend it to any single Mom I meet. I refer to it for help in raising my two sons, in dealing with their father, and in any other situation I face as a single Mom. I truly appreciate the wealth of information it contains. Andrea Engber writes from her experience and does a tremendous job! This book is certainly a must for any single Mom!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenominal! Swell!!! A real family book!!!, January 7, 1999
By A Customer
A perfect resource for millions of families! Long, long, overdue! Naturally the religious right will hate this book, so too bad. Single mothers have existed since the dawn of civilization and it's high time humanity got civilized enough to acknowledge them and pay tribute to the difficult jobs they do. This book is not afraid to talk back to books like "Fatherless America." The only way to cut poverty among single moms is to provide women with the same opportunities as men in their career and to raise our girls to prepare to be self-supporting. The sixties and seventies brought on so many welcome, blessed changes for the better and may the 21st century continue in that direction! This book is a homing beacon to a better tomorrow!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too complete, September 1, 2005
I liked this book but found it to be geared towards mothers who are just becoming single moms. If you have been one for some time much of the information may not apply.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for all single moms!, February 27, 2004
By A Customer
This is a wonderful book for all single moms. I am in a single moms group and anytime a new mom joins us I recommend this book. It touches on so many of the important topics that single moms face. I just can not say enough how important this book was to me when I first found myself as a single mom! This is probably one of the best single parent books out there!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Need Reassurance: Answers Are Nice Too, March 26, 2007
This review is from: The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Concerns (Paperback)
This is a very helpful book in spite of the over-promising title. Can anyone be a "complete single mother"? I fall way short of that, every day. I'm trying to be a "mostly sane" single mom --- and I fall short of that, too. There's a lot of good help in this book, and it is fairly comprehensive, so maybe it was the advertising people who picked the title. I do recommend this book to other single moms, there is positive, constructive help here.

Barbara Sheldon, M.S.W.
I also highly recommend: Raising Great Kids on Your Own: A Guide and Companion for Every Single Parent
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One stop shopping for practical answers, January 11, 2000
By A Customer
This book was incredibly helpful for me- it deals with so many issues in an empowering and realistic way. I recommend this book to anyone facing motherhood alone or nearly alone- after reading it, you will feel like you can do it all and keep your sanity, too!
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