If any of us knew before having children the torment they'd inflict, would we still take the leap?
Those of you with easygoing cherubs, please sit on your hands.
The rest of you: would you still do it?
Knowing you'd face an interminable number of obstacles and periods of heartbreak, would you choose to become a parent?
I adore my teenagers some minutes and barely tolerate them at other times. I understand this is normal. You may feel or have felt this way about your kids.
What I never planned or wanted to do was parent alone. My late husband, Sean, and I used to joke we couldn't divorce, at least not while the children were living with us, because handling them on our own would drive us mad.
In basketball, there's man-to-man defence, where it's you against one other player; and zone defence, where each player is given a zone, or area to cover. We were two parents with two children. Man-to-man all the way.
Sean's death in 2010 forced me into the zone when our kids were ages 4 and 5. This occurrence was not new or special in the grand scheme. Parents have been raising children alone since Mr Homo Habilis left the cave to procure the latest in stone-age tools and never returned.
An excerpt from Professor Paul Spoonley's book, The New New Zealand published last year, explained how family structures have changed. Spoonley says the number of single-parent households has grown considerably in the past 50 years and is expected to increase more in the next decade.
He writes, "The OECD calculates that New Zealand will see an increase in single-parent households of 29 per cent between 2006 and 2031 — the highest rise in the OECD".
The vast majority of sole parent households are led by women.
Spoonley writes about 30 per cent of all family households in New Zealand are sole-parent families. This is expected to increase to 40 per cent in the 2030s, compared to the United States (27 per cent) or Germany (18 per cent).
He says sole-parent families have much lower incomes, so the risk of elevated poverty among sole-parent households is a major equity and policy issue.
"In 2013, the median household income for a couple with children was $92,000 but for sole parents, it was $33,100."
Advocates say sole parents need more Government support with income and housing. We've seen how difficult it is for people in the Bay to secure a rental home, especially solo parents.
But flying solo is about much more than money. It's about not having a backup adult in the house; no one with whom to debrief about the day, to take turns counselling distressed children or break up fights, no one else to maintain the house, garden, pets and so on.
The answer is not necessarily to find another partner or to stay in an unhealthy relationship. Both options can damage parents and their kids.
No one should have to live with someone who abuses drugs and alcohol, or other people. No one should have to tolerate a partner who squanders the family's money or fails to treat his/her depression.
Earlier research has found children raised by single mothers are more at risk for dropping out of school, for being abused and neglected and for becoming teenaged parents. A 2014 article on US think tank website Brookings.com said, "Not all children raised in single parent families suffer these adverse outcomes; it is simply that the risks are greater for them".
If this sounds grim, consider the flip side - benefits of single parenting. Some studies have shown while children do better, on average, living with two biological married parents, the advantages of two-parent families are not shared equally by all.
A National Institutes of Health (US) study in 2010 found "parental conflict is associated with children's poorer academic achievement, increased substance use, and early family formation and dissolution".
The authors found living in single mother and stepfather families was more strongly associated with wellbeing, though differences between family types were often statistically indistinguishable. In other words, kids may be better off living in a one-parent household than in a two-parent household if those parents are fighting.
I like to remember successful individuals raised in single-parent households when I get melancholy about partnerless parenting.
Former US president Barack Obama and current vice president Kamala Harris were raised by single mums. Actors Hugh Jackman and Tom Hanks were raised by single dads.
While many of us are solo, we're not alone. Family, friends and community organisations pitch in with childcare, carpools and even meals. Time and again, our village lends a hand or offers a shoulder.
This Mother's Day, reach out to a single mum. Tell her she's doing a good job, shout her a coffee, give her a hug. This era with our children doesn't last forever - sometimes, it just feels that way. As the saying goes, the days are long, but the years are short.
Happy Mother's Day.