Super Single Moms

By Lukie Marriott

I've always admired single parents. They have to juggle all the challenges of parenting and work, with maybe even a heroic attempt at a personal life. Whether single mothers succeed brilliantly or flounder, they're all supermoms to me.

  • Gilmore Girls

    2004 by Lauren Graham

    Single working mom Lorelei and daughter Rory subsist on burgers, Pop-Tarts, and coffee, rarely squabble, and are each other's best friend. A bit gilded perhaps, but charming nonetheless. Now for fans, there's Netflix's Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life which takes place a decade after the show's seven season conclusion.

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  • Born a Crime : Stories from a South African Childhood

    2016 by Trevor Noah

    The Daily Show host Trevor Noah dedicates his memoir of growing up in South Africa during apartheid to his amazing mother. Because it was illegal for his black mother and white father to be together, she raised him mostly on her own, but nothing stopped this strong-willed woman from living her life as she wanted. Trevor's astonishing path from the slums of Soweto to American media celebrity are a testament to his mother's adventurous spirit.

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  • Bad Moms

    2016 by Scott Moore

    For your comedic entertainment, Mila Kunis plays a suddenly single supermom who decides she's had enough of the pressures and exhaustion of motherhood. She runs for PTA president on a platform that embraces the bad mother in all of us. Refreshingly funny, Kunis's character may try to be bad but she's really very good.

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  • The Courage to Be a Single Mother : Becoming Whole Again after Divorce

    2000 by Sheila Ellison

    This book provides compassionate support and practical advice for taking care of one's children, one's finances, and one's self after divorce.

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  • East Side Sushi

    2016 by Anthony Lucero

    Juana and her father rise at 4 am to buy fruit wholesale for their pushcart business while Juana's little daughter sleeps in the truck until it's time for school. When circumstances force Juana to look for another job, she develops an unlikely ambition to become a sushi chef. A Martinez at a sushi bar? This is a sweet movie the whole family can enjoy.

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  • Dolls Behaving Badly : A Novel

    2013 by Cinthia Ritchie

    Carla's life is a mess, both emotionally and financially. She lives in a trailer in Anchorage, Alaska with her extremely precocious eight-year-old son, waits tables, alters dolls for an erotic website, and is trying to get both her artistic and life goals back on track. This quirky, humorous novel with oddball characters has a generous amount of circumspection and sweetness (recipes included).

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  • Lucky Boy

    2017 by Shanthi Sekaran

    After making the harrowing journey across the Mexican border, Soli discovers she's pregnant. When she's put into detention, her son is taken away from her and placed in foster care. Soli's battle to reclaim her son and his foster mother's fight to keep him make this a heartrending page turner, but one that is ultimately described as a compassionate tale of hope and love.

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  • The Mighty Queens of Freeville : A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town that Raised Them

    2009 by Amy Dickinson

    Ask Amy advice columnist, Amy Dickinson, writes with candor and wit about being divorced and moving from job to job while raising her daughter with the help of the many women (aka queens) in her family.

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  • Escape Points : A Memoir

    2015 by Michele Weldon

    When journalist Weldon left her abusive husband, she had to raise her three sons without any support from their father. Still, she managed to pursue a competitive career in journalism while also undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Neighbors, family, and her sons' wrestling coach helped them succeed. A great read, especially for mothers raising sons without fathers.

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  • Fort Bliss

    2014 by Claudia Myers

    A decorated army medic returns home from Afghanistan and must rebuild her relationship with her five-year-old son. Maggie's dedication to her army career is continually at odds with being present for her son. Michelle Monaghan is excellent as Maggie in scenes that include action, romance, and psychological drama in this complex and moving film.

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  • My Flesh and Blood

    2004 by Jonathan Karsh

    Susan Tom is one amazing woman. After having two biological children and adopting two more, she divorced and went on to adopt nine more special needs children on her own. This riveting documentary follows the family for one year, showing the heartbreaking challenges as well as the persevering spirit of both the children and Tom herself. In 2003, Tom was nominated for a Most Inspirational Person of the Year Award.

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  • Ballast

    2009 by Lance Hammer

    From the Sundance Film Festival, this under-the-radar film is quiet and atmospheric yet powerful. Twelve-year-old James, left on his own by his single mother, gets in way over his head with local drug dealing teens. When they're forced to flee, Marlee and James begin to rebuild their lives with the help of the last person Marlee would ever voluntarily choose.

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