Of course there are the good times. You'll get to watch them proudly take their first steps, say their first words and have their first day at school, all while knowing that you can give yourself a big pat on the back for doing a great job, but there are also the tough times.
You have to be up during every single late night, all of the teething and every tantrum. And going it alone can be testing.
For parents who have been left by their other half to raise their children solo one mother has summed up the feelings on the matter very succinctly. Addressing the father of her daughter, who she had a one night stand with, the mum writes an open letter on Reddit: 'When I was 22, I made a lot of mistakes. You were one of them. She was not.'
She goes on to say, 'When I was 22... I was going through a myriad of emotional problems, not least of which was my crumbling self esteem which is, incidentally, what... led me to a one night stand with you. You gave me fake information and I was too trusting, too stupid.'
The young mum details how on finding out she was pregnant and managing to track down the man she had spent the night with, he bluntly told her 'I'm sterile,' even though she explained she had slept with no one else. Despite her trying to keep him involved and up to date during the pregnancy, she reveals that throughout he pressured her to have an abortion.
'I asked you what I should tell her when she asked about her father someday.
'You said I should tell her you were a soldier who died in Iraq. You have never served in the military and I would never paint you as a hero like the people who really have died while defending this country.'
Giving up on the father of her child the young woman decided to focus on her little girl instead and explained how she took to being a mum 'instantly'. However, it wasn't long, she says, before the questions came.
'When preschool came along, she definitely noticed that other children had fathers and she didn't. I handled this by matter of factly explaining that all families are different and she accepted that answer.
'It hurt my heart to see fathers with their young children. I hurt for her, knowing that it would only get more difficult the older she got.'
Having a pang of guilt for her daughter the mum-of-one decided to try once again to track down her baby's father. On finding him she wrote that he told her if she tried to get child support he would hire a lawyer and file for custody to 'spite her'.
'You had nothing to say about missing 8 years of your child's life... I ended contact. You are not a good person. There is something wrong with you.
'You are a mistake. She is not.'
Obviously proud of her little girl, the Reddit user then details all the wonderful achievements her eight year old has made already in her short life, as well as all the hopes and dreams she has for her future.
Despite revealing that she finds it hard to see other children with their fathers, and cries every time she hears Kelly Clarkson's Piece by Piece song, she remains defiant.
Closing her emotional open letter the mum-of-one writes, 'you are unlikely to ever read this, but I hope someday that you are so overcome with regret that you can't stand it. I live my life without regrets. I will always be able to look back and know that I've done right by her. She will always remember who was there for her all along. I'm her Ace and you will always be just a Two. A bad card in an otherwise great hand.'