While the concept of single parenting seems daunting to many, it has both benefits and drawbacks. Probably the greatest inherent benefit of raising a child on your own is that you don't have to compromise any of your beliefs or values about parenting. When a decision needs to be made for your child, you get to make it, without the thoughts, opinions, or ideas of anyone else (if you so desire). The drawbacks to single parenting are many. When you bring your child home, everything s/he wants or needs for at least the first five years will require the investment of your time, energy, money and spirit. All decisions, responsibilities and obligations will be yours to manage. You will sacrifice your single life, and much of the time you may have previously spent on yourself, to feed and grow this little person. It will all be up to you. And despite what will surely be several exhausting, emotionally excruciating years, you will gaze upon your child every day, feeling the Light in him or her grow with each breath, and witness the radiant smile that will warm your heart no matter how you feel. Single parenting is not for the weak of heart, but can deliver an extraordinary gift nonetheless. If this is your life, stay strong. It gets easier over time. Utilize your resources. Use your support system. Say yes to those kind folks who offer to sit for your child so that you can get a night out on a regular basis- even if it's just to attend a Parents without Partners meeting! Soak up every moment that you can with your child because one day, it will be their time to fly and you, too, will have launched a being into independence!