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Single Mom Seeking Work

"You love your computer more than you love me"

by Rachel S.  |  8082 views  |  6 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Eight years ago, my boyfriend walked out the door. Our daughter was 7-months old, and I'll never know for sure what put him over the edge. He was bipolar. He drank. He was fragile. He didn't leave a forwarding address.

This was a time when I believed that love would overcome anything. Well, it certainly overcame me. I've always been the kind of woman who plans. "Control freak" has been used to describe me. But I grew up in a chaotic household in the 1970s: my parents divorced when I was a toddler, and my sister and I were never sure whose house we'd be sleeping at. I like to know what the program is.

Single motherhood sent me into shock. Before I had my daughter, Mae, I was a newspaper reporter. I got my first job at age 20 at a weekly paper in Connecticut. I love deadlines. Then, I moved to Prague and wrote for an English-language newspaper. Back in New York City, I earned my journalism degree. At age 28, when I was pregnant, I was a researcher at Time, Inc.

After having Mae, I slid into the world of textbook editing (thanks to an ad in The New York Times). It was the perfect gig because I could clock in hours from home. I'm self-disciplined. My child does not yet know the word "domineering." I can be that, too.

I'd dreamed of starting my own editing business with my ex, who'd been studying computer programming. Single motherhood was not part of the plan. In 2000, I had to bow my head and ask my family for financial help. They were generous. I was lost. I didn't know any single mothers who ran their own businesses. Actually, I didn't know any single mothers.

But every day, I put myself out there. I contacted all my former employers, and thanks to my angel-editors, the work came. I got an agent and wrote my first book: Single Mom Seeking: Play Dates, Blind Dates, and Other Dispatches from the Dating World. Today, I'm the single-mom columnist for LifetimeTV.

I'd love to hear from moms who work for themselves. What do you love about running your own business? Say, getting paid for doing something you love? Or, taking a break in the middle of the day to exercise, or to drive your kid to soccer practice?

What's challenging about working for yourself? For me, it's hearing my daughter say, "You love your computer more than you love me." Paying my own health insurance is a huge stretch for me, too.

I'd love to hear from single moms who do it all: work, parent, grocery shop, cook, go to parent-teacher conferences. How do you balance it all?

About the Author

Rachel Sarah is the author of "Single Mom Seeking: Play Dates, Blind Dates, and Other Dispatches from the Dating World" and the single-mom columnist at Lifetime TV. She blogs at

Read more by Rachel S.

6 comments so far...

  • I wiork from home and have a full time job and I have a 21/2 year old son. But the great thing about my business is I can shop there as well. We have cleaning supplies, personal care products, and so much more. These products are safe for your family and environment. We also help people make money and save money. If interested in learning more about my business please feel free to contact me for more information. email me at

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Dana on 6th April 2012

  • im due to become a single mum and started self employment last year so that I could take my son to school, pick him up and have the childhood that I had when Mum was always there, I juggle walking the dog, cleaning the house, juggling the finances and yes, its hard working for myself with no-one to help. Sometimes I wonder what is all this about, But I know the answer, Because I love my son

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by elise on 23rd January 2011

  • Want to be your own boss and work whenever you want?
    You just need a PC and an internet connexion.
    Want to learn how?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kim Zarett on 2nd April 2009

  • I don't have my own business, but I do spend a fair amount of time in front of my computer at home. I balance two kids, a 60 hour a week afternoon/night job, a single-mommy household, and 9 hours a semester of college classes. There is never balance. If you spend time with the kids, you neglect computer work and something suffers- work, grades, etc. That works the other way too. I just try to do most of my computer time while the kids watch cartoons and after they are in bed. If we all converge maybe we come up with an effective strategy, but I don't believe balance will occur in any household.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by steffyb on 28th June 2008

  • How do we balance it all? I am not sure we can even answer that! Sometimes at the end of the day when I sit back and think of what I did that day...I wonder myself! I think if we thought of a strategy...we would never succeed! I just make my list that I have to accomplish for the day and do it! I have my own business and have several more ideas. Plus I work part time to compensate...hopefully this will only last a short time though! May I say...YOU GO GIRL!!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Shelleen McHale on 15th March 2008

  • Inspiring!
    Like you, sometimes I am shocked at how transparent my habits are when reflected by daughter. Of course, using your computer is not a "habit" - it's your livelihood! Keep on trucking, you are an inspiration!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by relaxnsmile on 7th March 2008