The Single Mother's Survival Guide, with Patrice Karst

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Join Patrice Karst, author of 'The Single Mother's Survival Guide' for a poignant, funny and ultimately helpful discussion on surving the challenges and difficulities of parenting alone.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Moderator: Welcome to WebMD Live. Today's Guest Speaker is Patrice Karst, author of The Single Mother's Survival Guide. Welcome to the program, Patrice. It's a pleasure having you here. Can you please tell everyone a little bit about your background?

Karst: I am a single mother, and have been since my son was born eight years ago. I was in a bad marriage so I got divorced, and have been raising my son, Elijah, for the past eight years completely alone.

Moderator: Why did you write the book, The Single Mother's Survival Guide, and what has been the response?

Karst: The reason I wrote the book is that when I started looking for books to help me in my own journey, I found very few that really spoke to my soul. I found books that had "How tos" and resources, information, but very little that really just said, Honey, I know what you're going through. Because I am the quintessential single mother, meaning that the ex-husband lives 400 miles away and only sees my son a couple times a year, and I have no family or support nearby, I am the real 24/7 single mom. And it has been a long, hard road. The reason I wrote the book was to let single moms out there know -- I am here for you, I know what you're going through. Let's share some laughs, let's share tears, and let's support each other in this incredible job we're doing.

Moderator: In your book, The Single Mother's Survival Guide, you list the Ten Commandments for Single Mothers. Can you tell us about those?

Karst: I think the first kind of says it all in a way, that first commandment. "Thou shalt not be afraid to ask for help from anyone at any time." Here's the clincher, because the offers sure as hell won't come in by themselves. That to me is probably what has been the number one most painful aspect of this journey. Despite, obviously, the physical exhaustion, and requirements, the financial requirements, the spiritual and emotional demands, what is the most difficult that I have found, is that we live in a society that does not in any way, shape or form, value and give support to single mothers. I want to add that, where would all of these children be without the single mothers? Granted, there are lots of wonderful fathers that are also single and doing this. But statistically there are so many more women doing it. Instead of having a society say, Wow, we know what a hard job you're doing, thank you for taking care of these children and doing a superhuman effort. Instead, there's a lot of stigma of single mothers as being the image of a lazy welfare mother sitting around living a life of luxury off of the government. HELLO! I don't even know a single mom that knows the word "luxury" or this image of a selfish, career woman that doesn't value men, and decided to have a child alone. And the last thing I want to say about that is that you cannot use the word "selfish" and "single mother" in the same sentence. Very rarely.

Moderator: In your book you list famous single mothers, Liz Taylor, Cleopatra, Madonna and Murphy Brown to mention just a few. Why did you do this?

Karst: Well, for fun. Basically, a large part of this book was to have fun. Also, let the moms out there know that they're in good company and that they're not alone. And, that these women, whom I listed, are all pretty phenomenal women. Of course, the famous single mothers are also you, me, and all the gals reading this book.