Although not everyone sees it, being a single mum is hard and comes with many challenges.
As the family structures are actively changing now with the rising number of single-parent families, increasingly more mothers are seeking support. They seek advice on managing stress related to their sole responsibility of parenting duties. If you raise your child without a co-parent and want to overcome single-parent struggles, this article is right for you. Learn how to make your and your child’s life happy and full in this family type.
How Hard Is It to Be a Single Mum?
Being a single mom and generally a single parent comes with numerous difficulties. Millions of individuals regularly become single parents for various reasons. It can be unplanned pregnancy, separation or divorce from your ex-spouse, or death of the second parent. Anyway, single parenting means more responsibility for your dependent children and your
family’s financial well-being. It is especially problematic for single parents to manage their parenting responsibilities when they don’t have any social support and support network in the face of their family, friends, or various support groups. In many cases, it may even be necessary to gain mental health support from specialists.
Single parenting often comes with changes in socioeconomic status and low self-esteem for individuals. All the problems that overtake single parents often come with financial stress, breaking their family relationships.
Single Parenting – Statistics
The number of single parents in the U.S. has been constantly rising. The changes are especially visible for women. Almost 80% of all the single-parent families in the country are headed by single mothers. According to the Current Population Survey (CPS), 23% of U.S. children under the age of 18 live in single-parent families. It is three times more than the average in the world, which is 7%. It is close to the percentage of single-parent families in Canada (15%) and significantly more than in China (3%) and India (5%).
Problems Single Mothers Face in Society
Diverse family types are especially vulnerable to emotional stress, financial concerns, and many other problems. Here, you can see the most common challenges of single parenting.
Living in poverty is much more common for single-parent households, and especially single-mother families, compared to those with married parents. Raising in poverty usually has a large impact on the child's development, physical health, and mental well-being. Children from poor single-parent families often have poorer life outcomes, lower income, and
unhappy futures than those with a full family structure.
Dealing with Finances
Having a single income is not the only financial problem single-parent households face. One of the biggest difficulties of single parenting is getting payments from another parent. This amount is often too low or irregular. There are even many cases when single parents don’t receive funds from co-parents at all. The lack of financial stability leads to problems with
managing your finances. In such a situation, covering unexpected expenses is especially problematic.
Fortunately, more and more services offering emergency cash for single mothers are occurring. They offer same-day loan solutions for single parents, allowing them to borrow money with no hard credit checks and paperwork. You don’t even need to be employed to get approved by many online lenders.
Guilty and Blame
Single parents often feel guilty for not giving enough to their children and spending little time with them. They compare themselves to other parents, especially those with a full family structure, and doubt about their parenting abilities. You don’t need to blame yourself if your financial situation is worse and you need to spend more time at work due to your family
Pressure to Make Decisions
Making big decisions is more difficult without the other parent. A single mother has to understand the child’s needs and help them make important steps in their life. These decisions come with a lot of stress, as a co-parent often does not participate in such essential moments of a kid’s life.
Both single fathers and single mothers may face the same single-parent struggles related to covering their family’s basic needs. In many cases, it is problematic for them to pay for food, child care, housing, transportation, and other expenses. They need to solve all their financial problems, which often leads to chronic stress and anxiety. Parental stress is a barrier to
solving these problems, which also negatively affects kids and their mental health.
Lack of Free Time and Fatigue
Every person needs time for themselves and self-care, including single-parent families. The lack of these basic things often leads single parents to problems with mental health. They spend every day at work or with their kids and usually don’t have time for their hobbies and rest. The situation is especially difficult when there are no close people nearby who could
help. However, even if you are far away from your family, it is necessary to hire a babysitter to be able to devote time to yourself.
Balancing Work and Life
In current society, more and more women have top positions in the workplace. They are more interested in building their career more seriously than ever. However, when they play the role of a single parent, balancing their work with childcare becomes challenging. In a single-parent household, women often need to work long shifts and overtime instead of spending time with their kids. Despite the financial strain, it is crucial to keep work and life balance to avoid breaking your parent-child relationship.
Tips for a Struggling Single Mom
Almost any single working mom faces many stresses due to a family situation. Fighting parental stress is one of the most essential things if you raise your child without the other parent. Below, you can see the most important tips that will help you as a struggling single mom to overcome all the difficulties.
Tip 1. Build your support system
All single moms need to think about building their support system as soon as possible. In most cases, your close people will be happy to spend time with your child and see you happy. Having support is incredibly crucial and worthy, as it allows you to have more free time for your hobbies and relaxation. Single parenting is much easier when you can rely on your relatives or friends and get help from them when needed.
It is beneficial for your mental health to spend time with other adults, enter new relationships, and continue living your life. However, you can’t do it when you spend all the time with your child. Therefore, having a friend or a family member who can stay with them can make your single parenting significantly more pleasant and bring you more positive emotions.
Tip 2. Connect with other moms
It is not a problem if you can’t share your parenting with all its difficulties and positive emotions with your spouse. There are many other single-parent families who have the same experience. Communicating with other single moms can help you get rid of loneliness and find new friends. Meeting people with similar life stories can make your single-parenting
more comfortable. You can find other single parents on different online forums or groups or even meet them in in-person gatherings. It is an excellent option both for you and your children to meet new people and spend time together.
Tip 3. Get professional assistance
Changes in a family’s financial situation are common for single parents in the whole world. Covering even basic costs becomes significantly more challenging after divorce from your ex-spouse. Unfortunately, financial difficulties come with the deterioration of their mental health. While in some cases, these changes are more noticeable, other single parents feel
them less. Many single moms are happy not to be alone and get support from their family or friends.
However, it is often not enough when you struggle as a single parent. Single parents often feel overwhelmed when they need to bear a financial burden without a co-parent. They immediately face new expenses and need to spend more time with their children. It is often stressful and not so simple. Many single moms feel their psychological state is becoming worse and worse. If you have the same problem, it may be necessary to have a consultation with a mental health professional.
Don’t be skeptical about working with a psychologist or psychotherapist if you face problems with single parenting. A good specialist can really help you overcome your difficulties, find answers to all important questions, and better understand your feelings and fears. As a single parent, you can find various resources to work with mental health professionals. It can
be, for instance, therapy groups, counseling, and others. Choose the most suitable option for you and notice how better your life is becoming.
Tip 4. Spend quality time with your child
Even if you can’t spend much time with your kid, try to make the hours you have together as quality as possible. Try to learn new things about your child, build healthy communication with them, and devote more time to your child's development. It will not only help you and your child relax and spend great time together but also allow you to become more confident as a single parent. When you are a single parent in your household, feeling safe is especially essential.
Tip 5. Establish a routine
A structured routine is an excellent option for providing a sense of comfort and safety to your single-parent household. It is beneficial both for your and your child’s mental health care. To make this experience as positive as possible, you should discuss your household chores with your kid to ensure all the family members are satisfied with your family arrangements.
This is a collaborative post.
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