Solo moms celebrate themselves on Mother’s Day

In Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier travels mostly on the run, his desk in his backpack, on the lookout for fascinating subjects and people. He speaks to everyone and is interested in all walks of life in this urban chronicle.

For women who choose to have children through insemination and without another parent, Mother’s Day often takes on a very communal feel.

This is the great paradox of single motherhood: as there is no second parent, the entourage often becomes all the more important.

It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes.

“When I was preparing the baby’s room, everyone came with furniture found on Marketplace and decorative objects and ideas, it was a collective effort!” remembers Geneviève Breton, 34, whose daughter Raphaëlle was born a little less than two years ago.

“If I had been in a relationship, it would have been mostly between two people, and we would have had a little help. But there, because I was pregnant and alone, people really got involved. My project became their project.”

This may not be everyone’s experience, but Geneviève Breton’s solo parenthood has never meant loneliness.

The one who has just published her first book, Solo: choosing co-parentingasked her colleagues from the “Solo Moms by Choice of Montreal” group what they will be doing this Sunday, May 12… and the planned activities are often very unifying.

I met Geneviève Breton in downtown Montreal on Thursday and she was even busier than usual talking about her book on the radio and preparing for her trip to Florida for Mother’s Day.

Photo Louis-Philippe Messier

Very present relatives

“With my parents and my sister, we rented a chalet in Magog where we will go as a family. As I am alone raising my daughter, my loved ones are very present and Mother’s Day is an opportunity to get even closer,” says Julie Brien, 42, single mother of Maxim, almost two years old.


Julie Brien and her daughter Maxim will be with everyone in the Eastern Townships for Mother’s Day.

Courtesy Julie Brien

Private Facebook groups for single mothers allow many people to develop friendships with women in the same situation.

“I’m going to spend Mother’s Day in Orlando with another single mom who has become a friend and whom I met in a group… we’ll spend a day at Disney World!” says Geneviève Breton, who has already been in Italy, Mexico and the Dominican Republic with her daughter.


julie and clan

Geneviève Breton travels with her daughter and friends who are single moms like her… like here in Italy.

Courtesy Geneviève Breton

Almost all the single mothers I spoke to also told me that not only do they celebrate Mother’s Day, but also Father’s Day.

“As a solo parent, I am celebrated twice… a real mampa!”, writes Catherine Picard, 30, mother of a 3-year-old daughter.

A sign that the solo-parenting experience can be satisfying even if it is not relaxing: several single mothers are considering a second or third child.

“I have the impression of being the exception to be satisfied with just one child,” admits Geneviève Breton.

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