No one said raising a child was easy, but being a single mother can feel like twice the work. Single moms feel the pressure to be both a mother and a father, devoting the time, energy, and money necessary for parenting that are normally split between two people.
Yet despite the stress, these women always find the strength to make ends meet. Their love for their children pushes them through these five challenges.
Food, clothes, education, entertainment, birthday presents – all of these expenses add up, and there may never feel like there’s enough in the bank account to cover it all. Single mothers try to be present for their children while still working enough hours to cover the bills, and many women worry whether an ex-spouse will cover child support payments.
While there may never seem like there’s enough money, single mothers realize there’s never too much love they can give their children. Even when money is tight, children rely on the love from their parents more than anything else.
Always being the “bad guy”
With no one else to discipline a child, single mothers are always the one who has to say “no.” This can result in tiresome temper tantrums and fits of pouting that can be exhausting. Yet for every wail of “you’re ruining my life” from a disappointed child, children understand their single mothers are looking out for what’s best for them.
Between parenting and work responsibilities, single mothers may feel like they barely have any time to see their friends – and when they do, they’re too exhausted or guilty about leaving their kids to truly enjoy that time.
Adult friendships can feel more labored, but add in the schedule of full-time motherhood and they can feel nearly impossible. That’s why women have developed clever ways to multitask, like play dates or family events that offer childcare.
With no one to tag in, single mothers may feel like they’re never off the clock. A 2017 study sponsored by Welch’s, which surveyed 2,000 American women with children ages five to 12, suggested working women are on call 98 hours a week (out of 168!). That can lead to emotional, mental, and physical burnout.
Does anyone really know what they’re doing when it comes to parenting? At least with a partner, married parents have a teammate with whom they can commiserate and restrategize. When they’re doing it alone, single mothers doubt their decisions constantly and worry if they know what to do next.
To find the strength to move past these doubts, single mothers can find happiness when they view mistakes as learning experiences and let them go. Kids are often more resilient than we give them credit for.