Single mother struggles are innumerable but I could narrow them down to five most common and most challenging struggles mothers face when they are dealing with things ALONE.
When a father is single parenting a child he is termed as a hero even though he has his own sets of struggles but a single woman or a single mother is judged at her every step.
If she chooses an unconventional career option, if she works late hours, and even if she is seen talking with strangers especially men, she is labeled and judged to the core and bombarded with end number of unsolicited advice and snide comments.
5 Most Common Single Mother Struggles
We as a society often judge people who are separated or divorced, especially the ones who are separated by choice to save their sanity, life becomes miserable for them.
The experiences and stories of every single mother’s struggles could be different but the pain, the emotions, the dilemma, and the stress are more or less common for all.
Here are five major stressors that makes a single mother struggles a lot
1.) Financial Stress
Financial stress is the major contributor for single mom stress. Till the time she is married and staying with a partner there is some help or she and her kid is being provided with basic needs at least even if she is not working.
When things change suddenly, because no one plans a separation or divorce, the financial aspect takes a major toll. Where to stay, what to do now, how to take care of kids, their education, future plans and everything messes up for a while and goes on a different tangent.
Detox: We can never plan a separation because we all want to live a happy and harmonious life but we can prepare ourselves for the unseen and unwarranted situations. Try to be financially independent it doesn’t only help you to meet all the needs in such situations but also saves you from going through emotional turmoil during any such disturbing phase.
2.) Lack of support
The major missing link! Single mom struggles to find support and comfort during the tough phase of her life. It is the emotional aspect that needs healing and she is sometimes not even allowed to show how much she is hurt because she has to stay strong, she has to take care of everything how can she just show her vulnerability and lose hope?
Besides this, a single woman is judged and labeled a lot, her image and perception go a 360-degree change just because she doesn’t fit the bill of a regular mahila or a stereotypical woman who should have stayed and made more efforts to make things work in her paradise.
Detox: Limit your contact with people. Be around the ones who help to ease and make you feel comfortable.
3.) Filling up the missing pieces
Now with the financial challenges, fulfilling the needs, and actively playing the role of mother and the father sometimes the real struggle for a single mom is not only to be emotionally available but to make up for the missing pieces.
She has to make sure that her kids never feel out of the place. Providing the safe and protective environment a child feels under both the parents becomes her prime duty. All this causes a lot of psychological changes in a child’s mind and to reduce the pain and trauma is another level of challenge for single mothers.
Detox: Be honest with your child. Make them understand things but don’t be harsh on them and yourself as well. Healing takes time, give time some time.
4.) Social Isolation
With hell lot of judgments and perceptional shifts, a single mother struggles to feel positive and bounce back to normalcy. She prefers opting for isolation, she starts withdrawing from society just to save herslef from the uncalled advices, suggestions and assumptions.
Usually, people judge you when they don’t understand you, and making them understand is energy-draining and so consuming. It is like re-visiting the same pain again and again. Social isolation is not a healthy option though but to protect their peace most women opt for this path and again they are termed as arrogant and rude for not being social.
Detox: Do what you feel is right for your mental health. If you feel you need space go for it, if you want to cut some ties, take your time. Take one day at a time. Breathe.
5.) The never-ending guilt
The guilt about the financial part, the guilt of not being able to provide a complete family to the kids, and the guilt of wrong decisions that led to this path. If you feel that your present situation is the result of your poor judgment and wrong decision, own it, learn from it and move on.
Do not keep on revisiting the same lane and worry about the effect that it’s having on your children and feel responsible for it. Now, you are only responsible for how you let them shape their mindset and thought patterns, so be mindful.
Detox: Try to have a support group. Talk to people who are on the same path, it gives you assurance. You don’t feel you are alone, you get a different perspective sometimes.
How to Stay Strong as a single mom
A single mother struggles to believe that hope and dreams are possible even in the face of tremendous fear. The best way to deal with this fear is to surround yourself with those who make you feel loved and cared for. Your family, friends, including your children, are the silver linings you have been looking for.
Below mentioned are a few things you can do to reduce the single mother struggles:
1.) Have a routine, rather form a new routine with your kid
2.) Involve your children in your conversations
3.) Spend mindful and quality time with your children
4.) Self-care first, do what makes you happy and helps you feel positive
5.) Seek help when needed, it doesn’t makes you weak.
6.) Have a creative outlet, journal, write, paint, music, something of your choice.
7.) Do practice yoga and meditation, it gives you immense peace and strength.
8.) Own your life and take complete charge of it.
9.) Seek no validation for your feelings
10.) Mental health first 🙂
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.