4 out of 4 stars
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"She has to have four arms, four legs, four eyes, two hearts, and double the love. There is nothing single about a single mom." Mandy Hale
From Broke to Breadwinner: The Single Mom's Guide to Financial Independence and More by Janaki Chakravarthy provides readers with practical advice for overcoming financial obstacles while equipping them to become better parents.
The author is a former IT consultant and certified life coach who shares insights from her own experience, as well as the individual stories of women she coached and the cultural stigma they faced after divorce as a result of their Indian background. However, the single-parent challenges she addresses are universal. The book includes ten chapters plus a conclusion and reference for additional reading. The beginning of the book introduces several of the author's clients, their histories and specific challenges, followed by the responsibilities and concerns any single mom wrestles. Next, the author shares her personal journey from feeling defeated and hopeless to eventually achieving financial independence. Subsequent chapters include the principles she adopted and her RECIPE for success--an acronym for the 6 key ingredients she credits for bringing her peace and contentment. She elaborates on these principles chapter by chapter, explaining how she and the women she coached applied them to their lives. She defines her guardian-mom philosophy and contrasts it with her previous traditional mom mindset. Additionally, the author addresses earning and money management, the importance of conviction related to faith and positivity, practicing intentional learning, the value of self-care, and how to shed self-pity and embrace your reality. Chapters conclude with a summary of the content as well as questions for personal reflection.
Having raised my three children as a single parent and read countless books on the subject, I can honestly say this is one of the best I've had the pleasure of reading. The book is well-written, organized, and covers real-life struggles that affect single parents. The author's writing style is informal and conversational, making the book enjoyable to read. Her practical approach to everyday challenges ranging from financial constraints to overcoming feelings of guilt is encouraging and empowering. The valuable advice and tips she shares mirror those I've learned from experience. Interestingly, it seems I began my journey as a single parent around the same time as the author, and this is exactly the kind of resource I would have loved to read at the time.
While there were many things I liked about this book, I most appreciated the honesty of the following paragraph. "What is not included in my book is information on how to have the next love in your life. When my marriage fell apart, there was no other purpose in my life than to earn and provide for my children. There was no time or interest in pursuing another union. While many single moms find their lives blessed with a second and happier marriage or partnership, the focus of my book is on functioning as an independent adult and finding fulfillment within yourself." I couldn't agree more. To clarify, I'm not against remarriage, but I really applaud the author's honesty regarding what it's like to be knee deep in the trenches when you suddenly become a single parent. I distinctly remember feeling dismayed when I picked up a book seeking the kind of practical advice offered in this book, only to find advice about seeking another relationship.
I am unable to highlight any areas of weakness, and without reservation, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was professionally edited, and I didn't note any errors. Though it is tailored for single mothers, I would also recommend it to single fathers going back to work after being a stay-at-home parent. Furthermore, it is relevant for parents of various ages and stages of parenting.
From Broke to Breadwinner
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