Raising children alone, whether a mom or a dad, can be a daunting and draining experience, but it is also one of the most precious things in life as you savor each moment while seeing your babies grow into people who can do stuff on their own. For celebrities, it can be worse because the whole world knows about you and your kids, whether you go quiet or keep doing your thing in the limelight. Someone somewhere brings up your issues at some point. What's worse is the custody battles, especially the ones that are dragged into a court of law or those that get nasty and ugly in extreme cases. There's nothing as painful as losing your little one, and you could have done something about it, but you watch them go out of your hands. Well, sometimes it's not that single moms aren't able to keep and sustain the children, there are those struggling with issues so they have to give up their kids, but all the same, it is the most painful and helpless moment in any mom's life. Celebrities are human too, so what affects ordinary folk, also plays out in their lives, only theirs is beamed before the eyes of the public. Even so, there are single celebrity moms who are rocking the parenting thing solo. Here are 18 single moms raising their kids alone.
18 Angelina Jolie is more than happy to bring her six kids along when she's working
Angelina Jolie has been rocking the mom role even before her marriage to fellow actor, Brad Pitt, whom she is in the process of divorcing. When asked about her role during an interview with Nora Twomey for Deadline, the Oscar winner said, 'It's about balance', insisting that she, like most moms, struggles to juggle her work and family. Jolie was talking up her film 'The Breadwinner' which has actually been nominated for an Oscar, a movie based on a best-selling novel by Deborah Ellis, the Daily Mail reported. Jolie has six kids with Brad Pitt - sons Maddox, Pax, and Knox, and daughters Shiloh, Zahara and Vivienne. For the mother of six, its all about 'trying to find balance' she told Twomey, while confirming that she'd be shooting Maleficent 2 soon. And when she has to work, she actually goes with all six children and slays while she's at it - now that's girl power!
17 Sandra Bullock is mama bear to her two kids
In April 2010, just after divorcing motorcycle builder Jesse James, Sandra Bullock who stars in the just released Ocean's 8 film, finalized adoption of her son Louis, and five years later adopted daughter Laila, People reported. To her, the kids came into her life at the right time, she told People in 2015. "I can tell you absolutely, the exact right children came to me at the exact right time." As one of the most eligible Hollywood bachelorettes (though she's currently dating), Bullock is a great mom and she prefers that the 'adopted kids' title be shelved as she continues to advocate for adoption, and calling for an end to the phrase 'my adopted child'. "Let’s all just refer to these kids as ‘our kids.’ Don’t say, ‘my adopted child.’ No one calls their kid their ‘IVF child’ or their ‘Oh, s—, I went to a bar and got knocked up child.’ Let’s just say, ‘our children, she told InStyle magazine. The Gravity star knows her children's personalities, tastes and preferences already, and is focused on just being the best mom to them. She's currently dating boyfriend Bryan Randall, who runs the Bryan Randall Photography company, which DailyMail says focuses on children and outdoor photography.
16 Mindy Kaling wasn't a 'kid person' before becoming a mom
While Mindy Kaling hasn't shared photos of her daughter, Katherine Kaling, who is about five months or so, she already has big plans on how to ensure her little girl grows up to be self-assured, confident and bold. She told Today.com about it saying, "Confidence is important and good — when it’s married to hard work. If you feel like you have done hard work, it behooves you to be confident. You need to own it. I want her to be unafraid of owning that. It’s a very unattractive quality to be entitled without doing the hard work.” The 'A Wrinkle in Time' actress, has been sharing snippets about daughter Katherine, like the time when she visited media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and baby didn't cry or fidget for four hours, which gave her mom time to focus on work - that really surprised her. Though her pregnancy came as an 'unexpected surprise', she says she's 'really excited' to become a mom. "I'd like to be the fun mom, I know I'm gonna be the dorky mom," she added. "So if I can be kind of fun too, I think that would be nice." She hasn't, however, revealed the baby daddy's identity and isn't romantically linked to anyone, at least not publicly.
15 Halle Berry's hustle makes her a better mom
Halle Berry is one of those women who never seem to age, I mean, she's 51 but you could easily confuse her for a 20-something-year-old. The mother of two, daughter Nahla Aubry and son Maceo Rodriguez, is known to go on walks or strolls by the beach with her children, but, she shared with People magazine how she manages to juggle her high flying acting career with raising her kids, saying that her career makes her a better mom. 'Having careers and being fulfilled that way makes us better mother. It makes us better able to operate in our careers with a sense of compassion and empathy that make us better businesswoman,' she told the publication, adding that it's never completely balanced. "It’s a constant struggle of a little more time there, a little more time here, and feeling a little bit guilty all the time.” But, when she has the time, she's always thinking about what she can do with the kids. "When I happen to have free time I am always thinking about what can I do with them. What can I do to have those moments really matter. I want that quality time because I know quantity is sometimes limited.” And she does a great job at it too!
14 Charlize Theron co-parents with her mom
Single mom Charlize Theron raises her adopted kids, son Jackson and daughter August and she's doing good job at it too. The Tully star revealed that a lot of moms have approached her and told her she's screwing everything up, as DailyMail reported, just because she used formula milk in place of bought breastmilk. 'The good thing about me is, I’ve never given a s**t about what people think. That’s the only quality I have that has probably helped me in being a mother,' she explained. But Theron admits she couldn't have done it all without her mom Gerda's help. 'I knew that I would have to have my mom help me if I was going to do this as a single parent. To not acknowledge her co-parenting my children would be a lie.' Speaking to her bestie, Chelsea Handler about her film Tully, in an interview for Elle magazine, Theron said she sees things clearer (now that she's a parent) and there's not a day when she wishes she didn't do it.
13 Diane Keaton didn't think she was ever going to be a 'prepared mother'
Single mom of two, Diane Keaton chose to remain a single mother for the rest of her life, and she's done a pretty inspiring and amazing job with her kids. She adopted both Dexter, and son Duke back in her 40s and 50s, and she told Ladies Home Journal that it was an urge she 'couldn't resist'. "Motherhood was not an urge I couldn't resist, it was more like a thought I'd been thinking for a very long time. So I plunged in," she said, adding that she didn't think she was ever going to be a 'prepared mother'. Access online reports that Keaton was planning to wait until she was in a 'strong and substantive' relationship prior to becoming a mom, but that didn't happen, so the Oscar-winning actress adopted her children and she's enjoying every minute of it.
12 Katie Holmes uses a down-to-earth approach with Suri
This mother daughter duo is like you and your bestie, I mean, they hang out like they're both the same age. They dress alike, they both love candy, laugh and do silly selfies together, and many times you'll find them walking together on the streets, sometimes even twinning in similar outfits or matching ensembles. While daddy, Tom Cruise, may not always be in the photos together with them, he's definitely involved in Suri's life, though he has other kids with other baby mommas including actress Nicole Kidman. Katie is raising the daughter of what Daily Mail terms as one of the world's 'most celebrated and richly rewarded actors' but she prefers to use the down to earth approach to raise her girl, like recently, she hopped on to the subway with her daughter in New York, on her way to school. She's actually got everything under control.
11 Madonna keeps adding more to her brood
For her 59th birthday, Madonna, who is the fourth best selling music artist worldwide, hosted a party in Italy, as E! News reported, and she had all her kids with her: Lourdes, Rocco Ritchie, David Banda, Mercy James, and twin sisters Esther and Stella whom she recently adopted from Malawi - such love! Her party came a year after she settled a nine-month custody battle over Rocco with her ex-hubby Guy Ritchie, one which begun when Rocco refused to return to the US despite the court order saying that he had to go back to be with his mom in New York. However, they're now back together, after living with his dad in London, and Madonna brought them all together in this photo which she posted on her Instagram page, with all her girls wearing near-identical floral outfits.
10 Taraji P. Henson may be engaged, but her son is top priority
Newly engaged Empire star actress, Taraji P. Henson, has been a single mom for over two decades since her boyfriend, who is also her son's father, William Johnson was murdered in 2003. Henson is engaged to former NFL player Kelvin Hayden, something she was so elated about she even shared with her fans on Instagram in a sweet post gushing about it. Her son, Marcell Dikembe Johnson, is now 24 years old, and a student at the Howard university where he was moved to after a case of racial profiling in his previous campus. Henson has raised the young man well, and now girls are going crazy over him. Henson and her late boyfriend, William, met in high school and she got pregnant during her junior year college, as reported by Lady In The Man Cave.
9 Padma Lakshmi and Krishna are twinning and winning
Padma Lakshmi and her daughter Krishna Thea Lakshmi-Dell are another one of the sweetest mother-daughter duo, and they love twinning! The long time Top Chef host shared this adorable pic on her Instagram profile showing Krishna mirroring her in matching blank tank top and maroon jeans outfit, and dramatic pose, Ibtimes reported. The duo looked too cute in their lace covered kitty-eared hair bands, as they posed in what seemed to be a pout competition. Krishna's dad, Adam Dell, is a venture capitalist, who at some point got back together with Padma, but not necessarily for good. However, Padma has always kept her daughter in check despite raising her as a single mom, and the little lady has taken after her mommy. In an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter, Padma said she'd like to be a good role model to daughter Krishna: "Every message I telegraph about food and our bodies is important. If I need a bigger dress, so be it," she wrote. "That one day — or any day — on the red carpet isn't nearly as important as making sure my daughter doesn't measure her worth by her dress size." We agree!
8 Michelle Williams has tried to keep her daughter out of the spotlight her whole life
Michelle Williams is mom to the late Heath Ledger's daughter, Matilda Ledger. Heath was a famous actress renowned for his role in blockbusters such as The Dark Knight where he played The Joker, and Brokeback mountain where he acted alongside Michelle Williams and Jake Gyllenhaal. While Michelle and Heath didn't have the best marriage in the world, they still tried to make things work, including parenting their only daughter Matilda, who according to Hollywood Life was only 2 when her dad tragically passed away. She looks so much like her dad, but her mom has tried to keep her out of the spotlight her whole life, especially after Heath's death that happened on January 22, 2008. Michelle raises Matilda as a single, working and now famous mom, and she's managed to give her a quiet and private life. Before his death, Heath spoke well about his daughter to In Touch back in 2005, saying, "Matilda is adorable, and beautifully observant and wise. Michelle and I love her so much. Becoming a father exceeds all my expectations. It’s the most remarkable experience I’ve ever had—it’s marvelous.” As for Michelle, he said she is the 'perfect mom' and he was proud of her.
7 Kourtney Kardashian has moved on with her trio
Kourtney Kardashian, one of the biggest reality TV stars alongside her sisters Kim, Kylie, Khloe and Kendall, may not be with her kids' dad, Scott Disick, but she is living her life. I mean she's dating a hot model, boyfriend Younes Bendjima, who she travels a lot with, even celebrated her 39th birthday with up the Malibu coast where People magazine reports, they 'stayed in a luxury airstream trailer with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.' But that doesn't mean she doesn't take care of her three kids, Mason, Penelope, and Reign, all of whom she got together with ex Disick. She posts pics of her with the three on her Instagram account, giving us a peek at how they spend their time together, like eating banana pancakes, doing dishes, hiking, and so much more. So cute!
6 Kate Gosselin is raising her brood of eight despite the divorce
Before the fame, Kate Gosselin and her husband (now her ex) were a couple living their normal lives and going about their daily business. However, Jon, who was an IT Analyzer, and Kate a nurse, had eight kids from their marriage which took place on June 12, 1999. The couple were blessed with sextuplets and a few years later, the fame came calling through a local news feature. At first, it wasn’t that huge, until the kids turned a year old, then, Moms.com says, they were on Discovery Health network and finaly had their own reality TV show: Jon & Kate Plus 8. But fame got the better of them, and in 2009, like a decade later in marriage, they divorced. Seems their lives were constantly being filmed which probably created tension in their marriage, but they still do what’s best for themselves and their kids. Kate continued on her own raising the team of eight, though the strong bond has deteriorated.
5 Jennifer Lopez
Its been ten years since Jennifer Lopez and ex-husband singer Marc Anthony broke the news about the birth of their twins, Maximilian David and Emme Maribel. Lopez, popularly known as J-Lo or Jenny from the block as she likes to put it, has been raising the twins despite her broken relationship with their father, and they have really grown since. She even posted a pic of the two kids in their school uniform as they joined the 4th grade at school. To the Amor Amor Amor singer, her children are the most important part of her life, E! News reports. “You know, they're always first," she explained. "When you put them first, then everybody else understands the hierarchy. She went on to add, "It is a little bit insane," Lopez said to Savannah Guthrie while visiting Today. "I take it one day at a time. Me and the kids are like gypsies. We're traveling all over the place and just getting it done and doing what we can."
4 Kelis Rogers' kids are treasures and not for sale
“Beautiful day in Napa and my most favorite humans,” is the caption Kelis gave to this photo of her and her kids, Knight and Shephered who are facing away from the camera. TMZ reported that the celebrity mom, who was married to rapper Nas, ‘rewrites the rules when it comes to showing off her kids’ on social media. She’s one of the celeb moms who hide their kids from the cameras even when posting the photos on her own personal social media accounts because, as she stated, “I don’t show them because they are treasures and not for sale,” she shared. “These are my life choices and one day when they are old enough I will support them,” reported Bckonline. Kelis has been in court trying to get an increase in child support from Nas because according to her, son Knight has needs he didn’t have five years back when the court order at the time was put in place, TMZ reported. However, she says Nas is doing better in terms of support than when the judge ordered him to, but she wants 50 percent more on school-related costs, child car and unreimbursed health care. Talk about mommy looking out for her cubs!
3 Denise Richards says she loves kids
American actress and former fashion model, Denise Richards was married to Charlie Sheen for about four years, and she is raising all her three kids - Sam Sheen, Lola Rose Sheen, and Eloise Joni Richards - the first two are hers with Sheen, while Eloise is her adopted daughter whom she took in when the little one was only 5 weeks old. Daily Mail reports that the former Bond girl and doting mom was spotted displaying some PDA with a mystery guy after leaving a restaurant in L.A, 'completely enthralled with her beau.' Single moms need some love too.
2 Heidi Klum isn't keen for any of her kids to follow in her modeling footsteps
Heidi Klum holds several titles to her name including being a model, television personality from her role as a judge on America's Got Talent (and previously on Project Runway), businesswoman, fashion designer, actress, author and singer, among others. But perhaps the biggest one she holds is mom to her four kids, Leni, Henry, Johan and Lou, whom she is currently raising as a single mom after divorcing ex-husband, musician Seal. Her fans were surprised when the divorce happened, which was actually finalized in 2014, but she has since moved on from what she says has not been an easy process as reported by The Sun. "It's hard, just like for other couples," Klum told Allure magazine. "It's crazy. And you know, we have four kids; they have to go to school." And despite her illustrious modeling career, Heidi the German born catwalk star admits she isn't keen for any of her kids to follow in her modeling footsteps as she told Daily Mail's You magazine. "I don’t speak too loudly about it because I don’t want them to get ideas! They need to be kids."
1 Lisa Osbourne raises her little girls after filing for divorce from husband Jack
Entertainment site TMZ reported that Lisa Osbourne, who wed The Osbournes reality star Jack Osbourne in 2012, filed for a divorce from her husband after five years of marriage. The couple has three children: Pearl, Andy Rose and Minnie Theodora and have been together until Lisa reached her decision. In her divorce documents, the site alleges, Lisa is 'asking for joint and legal custody of their children', spousal support and that Jack funds her lawyer. Divorce is never an easy thing to deal with or come to terms with either, but seems Lisa has decided to take the single mom route, and raise her adorable daughters, and so far, she’s done great!
References: Hollywoodlife.com, Dailymail.co.uk, People.com, eonline.com, tmz.com, bckonline.com, elle.com, accessonline.com