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It’s almost Mother’s Day, when husbands lavish the women who gave them children with jewelry, chocolates and flowers, symbols of love and gratitude for all they do. And they also make sure their little ones do something to make Mommy feel special and appreciated.

But what does Mother’s Day mean for a mom who has no husband or significant other? How about the single mother, for whom parenthood is weighted with the burden of a wounded heart and shattered dreams? For her, the joy of having children comes with missing child support payments, going alone to parent-teacher conferences, dance recitals and football games; broken promises and that most dreaded and difficult inevitable question – “Where’s my daddy?” Mother’s Day, with its greeting cards, roses and storybook family images, can seem to make a mockery of the everyday drama of a single mama.

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According to the latest National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 40 percent of mothers in the U.S. have no husbands when they give birth. More than 71 percent of African-American women are unmarried when they give birth. Sure, among these single moms, there are those who are acknowledged on Mother’s Day by their babies’ daddies or boyfriends and honored by their friends and families. But for many single moms, the holiday is nothing more than a taunting reminder that while motherhood is an amazing blessing, going it alone “ain’t been no crystal stair.”

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