Lori CornmesserThe strength of the single mom is very real. What was once viewed as a detriment for both mother and child has since undergone a massive change. Recent research has revealed a surprising trend in the rates of IVF in single women. Since 2006, the number of in vitro fertilization patients has increased more than 200% and continues to climb every year. This is no statistical fluke, but rather a reflection of a new and powerful trend among women all over the world. Organizations like Single Mothers By Choice suggest that women don’t need a partner to properly care for a child, and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive.

The positive reception comes on the tail of a massive societal shift. The abandoning of ancient and outdated stigmas involving child rearing have given freedom back to women who simply want to raise a child. The image of the “career women,” putting herself before family, is little more than an oppressive and limiting stereotype. To many women looking to embark on solo-parenthood, the prospect of waiting for some charming prince to sweep them off their feet is restrictive. If a mother is ready and willing to accept the responsibilities of a family, nothing should prevent her from fulfilling their dream.

For years, the role of a single parent was jokingly referred to as “double parenting,” referencing the duality of roles a lone guardian must take on. Filling the shoes of both nurturer and disciplinarian used to frighten most single mothers away from starting their families. However, there is absolutely no data that shows a child raised by a single mother is any worse off than a child of two parents. As with many things, it all comes down to the love you invest

In a world where the shape of a family is not defined by its members but rather the love that brings them together, the strength of a single mother is beyond reproach. No longer relegated to waiting for a partner, women everywhere are embarking on their lone voyage into parenthood. While many don’t discount the possibility of finding a spouse down the road, they’d rather take fate into their own hands rather than wait for someone else’s assistance.