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Be prepared for any number of uncomfortable situations, from disapproving grandparents to gossiping coworkers.You may grow distant from some friends while drawing closer to others.Day-to-day duties for a solo parent are no different than they are for a married one: coping with sleeplessness, finding child care, paying bills. Here are some of the biggest worries of new single moms, and a few words of wisdom.

I was a hormonal, heartbroken 28-year-old, and in between work hours spent editing textbooks, I nursed Mae and mashed up baby food. It didn't help that there were no single-mom role models in my life -- except, say, Madonna, who was also parenting solo at the time.

, I used to think, but I hardly had a superstar's life.

"You can't let things stop you."One way to calm yourself: take life one step at a time.

Concentrate on giving birth, then caring for a newborn, then looking for work and daycare.

There will be days when working -- you have no choice! Zola, who sometimes works 60-hour weeks, fights frustration by reminding herself what a good model she is for her son. She works full-time at a healthcare organization while her 2-year-old stays with Grandpa.

"The best thing I can do for my daughter is show her how to be a strong, resourceful individual," Grider says.Fortunately, I had a fantastic group of friends who helped.Maybe none of them knew exactly what I was going through, but they babysat and showered Mae with love, which I appreciate to this day. were born outside of marriage, according to the Centers for Disease Control."One single mom wrote to say that we could stay with her, and another offered clothes," Zola remembers.But the real boon was when a mom forwarded Zola's resume to an architectural firm, which hired her for her current job. Amy Anderson, of Seattle, says that when she split with the father of her daughter, Hailey, soon after Hailey's first birthday, she had to borrow money from her family to stay afloat.When my daughter, Mae, was 7 months old, her father and I split up.