According to Wikipedia, 83.1% of single parents are mothers.
There are many reasons a woman might be a single mom. For instance, their husband may have died, they may be divorced, they may have never been married, or could have chosen adoption, artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization. But, being a single mom is the hardest job there is!
No matter the reasons why, the challenges they face are still the same.
Since the beginning of time, moms have been the primary caregivers to their children. But, they also had the financial support from their husbands. What happens when they don’t have that? They face a long list of challenges including:
- A strained relationship with their child due to being at work too many hours.
- Can’t make enough money to support their family.
- Losing jobs because they are many times the only person available to take care of their sick children.
- Unable to get hired because employers are fearful that single moms will miss work too often.
- Feeling burdened to make up for the absent father.
- Being unable to qualify for the home they were living in before they were divorced.
- The huge issues that arise when starting to date again. (Another topic deserving of its own article)
- Being solely responsible for providing, planning and organizing birthdays, holidays, activities,etc.
- Finding quality, affordable daycare after school and during the summer.
- Fighting until exhausted to enforce child support orders.
- Dealing with the ex’s new wife, and all of the BS that brings!
- No time for themselves.
- Lack of time for exercise and/or eating right.
- Being judged or shamed by another for needing some type of assistance.
The advantages of being a single mom:
Being a single mom DOES NOT have to be a negative thing. I have heard many single moms say that they LOVE being single! They have found much more happiness that they had in their marriages.
They can do things their way, without having to argue about it with someone else.
They don’t have to clean up after another adult.
They can enjoy female friendships and support more often.
Benefits for children in a single parent home:
Regardless of how damaging society makes this scenario seem, there are actual benefits that children growing up with one parent have.
Children raised in a single parent home tend to be more responsible and mature faster. They often have to take on more responsibilities to help out, that children in two-parent homes may not have to do.
These children can become excellent problem solvers since they can’t always rely on a parent to be around to step in and fix everything for them. They quickly learn that life isn’t fair, and don’t have unrealistic expectations later in life.
In single parent homes, the children often get more one-on-one time with each parent separately, since they are only focused on their children, not another adult.
If you are faced with the challenges of being a single parent, hold your head up, take a deep breath, and you will get through it!
Here are 6 tips:
1. Look for resources for assistance with education, food, and housing.
2. Make sure to have a strong support system such as family, friends, support groups or church.
3. Swallow your pride, accept the situation you are in and ask for help. You won’t receive any if you don’t ask.
4. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Eat healthy when you can, and get as much exercise as possible. You need more than just running up and down the stairs to do laundry!
5. Remember, your kids are looking to you more than anyone to be their role model. Set a good example for them. You can help them be the best person they can be, with or without the help of another parent.
6. DO NOT talk negatively about the other parent. No matter how difficult the other parent may be, what they have done to you, or what your feelings are toward them, do not badmouth the other parent to your children. Your children are from that person and they see themselves as a an extension of them. They feel like whatever you say about their parent, you are saying about them too. This hurts them very much!
On a personal note, I have been a single parent off and on throughout life. I have struggled, and am currently still struggling, but I won’t give up. My children are everything to me, and deserve the best I can give!
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