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What is the hardest thing about being a single mum?

Do you the know hardest thing about being a single mum is that the role is more demanding than the child? It demands strength, resilience, perseverance and a constant commitment to your child. While the rewards are immeasurable rather priceless, it’s essential to acknowledge the unique challenges that single mothers face in their day-to-day lives and people around think that they have got it all easy because they don’t have in-laws or a partner to deal with, to break the news they have the whole world to deal with – alone.

Being a single mother, I go through this a lot and the pressure is sometimes inevitable. Raising your child right, and providing the child with the best care and facilities become your prime concern and you don’t have the liberty to take time off for yourself because your child becomes your purpose and priority in life.

While raising a child on your own has its beauty at the same time, we must take time to reflect on our personal needs and mental health status. In this article, I will help you explore the hardest thing about being a single mum and offer some perspective shifts to navigate these difficulties with grace and resilience.

4 Hardest challenges faced by single mums

1) Balancing Multiple Responsibilities: One of the toughest aspects of being a single mum is juggling multiple responsibilities. Single mums often find themselves as the sole provider, caregiver, and emotional support system for their children. The never-ending to-do list can be overwhelming, leaving them totally drained, while they are trying to balance work, household chores, parenting duties, and personal needs.

Imagine you have a meeting you can’t miss, but your child has got a dental appointment they can’t miss, both at the same time – it has happened to me so many times and I have to sometimes choose my work over her needs, sometimes her needs over mine. There is always a sense of guilt and pressure that’s the practicality of life and we will always find ourselves in situations like these because we don’t have a fallback. But you manage, you find ways, you work through it. Release yourself from that guilt.

2) Financial Strain: Financial strain is another significant and hardest of all the challenges faced by single mothers. Raising children without the support of a partner can put a tremendous burden on the financial aspect. Imagine a world where the income of two doesn’t suffice enough, how a single parent can fulfil all the needs of one in every uncertain situation amid the cost of living crisis?

Single mums may have to stretch their income and work extra to cover daily expenses, childcare costs, education, healthcare, and more. Single parents who are sole care providers don’t take it as an option to rest and take time off. I never took time off even when I was diagnosed with diplopia (double-vision). No one forced me to work, but when you hold the fort by yourself, you cannot rest. I would not recommend this to anyone as it ultimately leads to total exhaustion but sometimes we don’t have choices. Seek support and take time off if you can.

3) Emotional Exhaustion: Balancing the demands of parenting, work, and personal life can take an emotional toll and leave little time for self-care and emotional well-being. Single mothers often experience feelings of loneliness, stress, and exhaustion.

Building a support system of family, friends, and other single mums can provide much-needed emotional support. Taking time for self-care, engaging in activities that bring joy and talking to someone can help maintain emotional resilience.

4) Limited Time for Self: With a never-ending list of responsibilities, finding time for oneself is never easy. I try to carve out small pockets of time for activities I enjoy, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. It could be reading a book- even a page, writing, colouring, baking, taking a walk, or pursuing a hobby, anything that helps. Prioritising self-care allows single mums to recharge, reducing stress and increasing overall happiness.

Being a single parent is undoubtedly a challenging journey, but it is filled with immeasurable love, strength, and resilience you derive from your little one. I try to prioritise and create a realistic schedule that can help alleviate some of the pressure, allowing me to manage my time effectively. By acknowledging the hardest aspects of single motherhood and seeking out support, resources, and self-care, single parents can navigate these challenges with grace, ensuring a brighter future for themselves and their children.

Love and light,

Priyanka

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