Being a single mother or a parent is not always a decision. It is sometimes destiny that makes you raise the kid all alone. This phase comes with its sort of advantages and challenges. However, the challenges of single parenting can disturb a human and even drain their energy, happiness as well as confidence.
Even if it is a choice, a single mom may have to face a significant drop in income and an incomplete and compromised life, and it can have a different impact on society and neighbors. The parenting problems sometimes overcome the reward and turn it into the difficult part of life with a full rollercoaster of emotions.
Every single mom’s life is not the same. If you know the shortcomings and rewards, you can better decide how to raise a kid alone. To help you surpass this phase easily, we have gathered some tips and insights into the situation. Let’s explore to know more!
What is a Single Mom?
Divorce, separation, and non-married couples have become common to spot in society. Due to a lack of awareness and a sense of responsibility, single motherhood graphs experienced significant uprisings in the past decade. The number of children raised by single mothers has sparked for different reasons.
A single mom is the one who raises the child in her household without a husband or partner living with them. However, the single-parent family is the with unmarried parent, and all of their legal dependents are under 18. These dependents can include step-children, adopted children, and even foster children.
Here are several conditions that need to be obeyed to consider someone a single mother.
- The children must be legally dependent.
- The children should be raised by the women in her residence without a parent by her side.
- The woman is legally separated, divorced, widowed, or unmarried.
If a woman fulfills the above-mentioned criteria, she will be considered a single mom.
In case both partners are married and are not legally separated, but he casually has moved away, the woman cannot get the status of being a single mother. For instance, she can be the wife of a soldier stationed away. The women will be raising the child in the house. Even if they are not legally separated or divorced, the women will not be considered single parents in front of the law and judiciary.
Causes of Single Parent
When it comes to the reason for single parenthood or motherhood, the list is extensive. There are many different situations that are only applied to certain groups. Anyhow, these are some major categories that the causes have in common:
Divorce is a situation when the married parents are legally separated. It is one of the major causes of single motherhood. When the couple splits, one parent, generally the female partner, is always given primary custody, and the kids get the chance to live with their mother. In case the father is still involved, attached, or contributing to raising the children, the woman is still considered a single parent.
Many years ago, the overwhelming cause of single motherhood stemmed from the death of the husband and father of children. as separation or divorce was uncommon and having children without marriage was considered taboo, death was the main reason. Anyhow it is still one of the primary causes of single motherhood, which impacts not only social life but also disturbs mental.
It is a case when a woman gets pregnant, and the father disappears from the place or goes away after the children born. If he never makes contact or tries to help other parents, this situation gives the woman the title of a single parent.
If two people have a child without wedlock, and the father does not live with the mother and child, then the mother is called a single parent.
The mother is also considered a single mother if the husband is declared unfit for excessive use of alcohol, drugs, or mental health. If the husband has a history of violence, the judge can use the right to take away the parent’s rights which makes the mother a single mom.
It is crucial to consider that there is no contribution to single parenthood like unmarried mother and married couples who are legally recognized partners and live with the child.
What is the difference between a Single Mother’s or a Couple’s Life?
Like every situation, single motherhood and full family have different kinds of uprisings and surroundings. Here we are going to shed light on the real-life difference between being a single mother and being a couple.
Being a single mother is beyond the bureaucratic issues. It has many practical effects in daily life, which are taken as positively as well as negatively depending on the situation.
- The single mother has to manage everything by herself, which decreases the time the mother spends with her children. Therefore, children growing up in homes where both partners raise the children are less likely to experience problems such as social, economic, academic, and more.
- In single motherhood, the children see their mother struggling, and working hard to raise them may lead to insecurities and sadness. At the same time, a solid intact family structure can optimally impact children’s present as well as future with an extensive list of benefits.
- The children raised by single mothers feel lonely. On the other hand, children living with married or both parents are more likely to contribute to community activities like sports. They are more visible in academic pursuits in local schools and other academic institutes that play a great role in making a career.
- Single mothers usually get less time to spend with their kids. On the other hand, fathers’ intact families have spent more time with their children. They enjoy better family cohesion as compared to adopted or foster children. Shortly, the children raised in less conflicting environments turn out to be the better hosts.
- According to research, children who have seen parents who are divorced are at a greater risk of experiencing an injury, speech defects, or many other health problems.
Challenges of Raising Kids as Single Parent
Different factors have fueled the risk of being a single mom. The increased ratio has also led to the trend of single parenting. Around 20% of children face divorce by the age of 9. However, the transition in the household significantly disrupts routines, conflict, stress and has a greater but inverse impact on education. These changes can be very traumatic for children.
Children flourish and turn into better humans when they are grown in safe, stable, and positive environments and relationships. Similarly, it is difficult for single parents to raise a child without a partner because single mothers are more likely to face financial instability. Moreover, here are some challenges that they can come across. However, you can ask partner to pay child support.
Potential Impact on Child Development
Whether children are raised by a single mother by birth or see their parents getting a divorce is a traumatic event for the children. The boundaries of these traumatic events revolve around many other sub-events, such as poverty, lack of emotional support, abuse at home, and exposure to violence.
The toxic stress is likely to lead to lasting, deleterious disruption in the child’s physical and mental health. This is enough to impact children, health education, and final life outcomes.
You not only have to deal with the grief and gap of a missing partner but also fill the gap of a father in the child well being. The biggest drawback of being alone in motherhood is that you will have no shoulder to lean on. It is because there is always your partner who plays a great role in emotional stability and fulfillment.
The same situation is faced by the children who are not going to see their father in the house anymore. However, to cope with this gap, fill all your negative thoughts with optimal thinking and give yourself the space to find yourself again.
Moreover, redirect your energy to productive activities. Spend time with your kids to support them emotionally, and you must go an additional mile to interact with the community and socialize.
Teach Discipline to the Children
Single motherhood is usually full of hurdles and difficulties. It is challenging for a single mother to instill discipline in her children. It happens due to emotional stress. Some children start doing wrong deeds and truant activities to grab attention.
Being a single mother can push you into the turmoil of how to navigate these challenges of being a single mother. Anyhow these efforts of being a single mother often drain all hope and energy to accomplish their tasks. Kids are also more likely to give single moms emotionally more tough time.
To cope with this emotional rollercoaster, you must set boundaries with your partner before the divorce. You need to agree on the best way to handle the children and try to provide everything they may require.
It is one of the most common and tiring challenges faced by the parent. The single mom in society bears the brunt of harsh and strict societal judgments. Usually, the community judges the separated mothers instead of supporting them and giving the right advice.
Toxic family members and friends make it even harder to cope with the scenarios, which instills low self-confidence and insecurities as a single parent. To help this hurdle of being a single parent, surround yourself with people who trust you and comprehend your problems and shortcomings.
Being a single mom is a daunting task, but try to engage yourself in activities that help boost your confidence and refrain from unnecessary guilt.
In a complete family, every partner plays a part in meeting the set and necessary obligations. You may have made a setup to manage financial needs. However, in the absence of a partner, all responsibilities lie on you. In the phase of being a single mother, overcoming financial problems is one of the most stressful and daunting challenges.
As you are now on your own, you have to work extra hours to meet certain requirements before separation, you should discuss how to manage expenses. You can cut down on luxuries and manage a healthy lifestyle necessary for healthy well-being.
This is a common aspect of being a part of single parent families. You can expect a guilt trip after separation, divorce, or the death of a partner. In the case of divorce, thousands of questions occupy the mind. For instance, what if you have a second chance? How did your friends leave you after separation? How will the children judge once they are grown up?
These irritating and scary questions related to a single mother’s life steal the innocence and only manifold to the sense of guilt regarding alone parenting and motherhood. In this situation, you are the only one who can take it out yourself.
Hence, try to remember that self-blame is not good for you and your kids. You need to accept the situation and be confident that you are doing right. It was the need of the hour. See the positive angle of the scenario and ensure that you did your best and move ahead.
Positive effects of single parenting
As you have read about the negative impact of single parenting and single mothers look after, there are several benefits of raising your kid all on your own. These effects are sometimes overwhelming to read through.
Single moms are more likely to have a better bond with their kids. They are likely to develop a unique and strong bond with their children, which can never have been possible in the case of two-parent parenting.
Children raised by single mothers are more likely to handle the situation better. They are usually accustomed to handling different responsibilities and contributing to daily tasks and family operations. Such kids know the value of being responsible, and many enjoy accomplishing the task as they know they are the main player in their families.
Experience Interaction with an Authentic Community
Sometimes the children living with single mothers also get a positive response from society. So they usually grow up in a community of supporters. Extended friends and family show more chances of participating in the lives of children. On the other hand, the biological parents also decide to participate in different groups of the community, for example, churches and support groups that usually interact with the entire family.
Single mothers are solely responsible for the entire family. That is why single mothers need to work even harder, and their children are supposed to support them for the betterment of financial problems and good family stability. These children are also sometimes trained to deal with failures, disappointments, and even turbulent emotions.
Truth About Being a Single Mother
No matter why you are raising your children alone, one thing is certain when you get the single mom’s status, life will not be the same for you and the people around you. First of all, you might think it was the best decision to raise children all alone, but later, you will realize that now your kid will have to grow up without a father.
Here are some common facts about being a single mother:
You Have to Work to Having a Social Life
Happy hours in the office, the friend’s party, as well as the impromptu date make your kid setback while being a single mother. You have to be back home on time, both physically and mentally. However, remember that it is crucial to be a recluse or to feel sorry for yourself.
All you need to do is to learn pre-planning. Whether you are planning a girl’s night out or a coffee party and going to a disco with friends, make a schedule and keep thinking positively.
You Will Have to Work Hard to Fulfill Every Requirement of Your Kid
From dripping off the kids to school or going through peak traffic, you can be a bit late for work some days. At this point, you may feel like you have no other option than feeling guilty. You can feel guilty and helpless, but this is not the solution.
Instead, you can learn to make quick food, work while you are doing lunch, and even get used to working after your kid has gone to sleep. Anyhow, no need to overdo it. When you feel tired, leave everything crawling in bed, get new ideas, and have a good relaxing nap.
Dating is Doable, but it is Juggling Act
Once you get a divorce, stop seeing each other, or the partner dies, it will take you time to be stable again and start having a good life.
Benefits of Being a Single Parent
In spite of all the struggles you can expect to face, keep in mind that motherhood brings lots of happiness and support to your life. Being a mom is itself a powerful feeling. In your journey of figuring out how to be happy being a single mom, it is crucial to acknowledge the challenges and hurdles of single parenting. Then when you come across the perks of figuring out parenthood without a partner, you will find it less difficult.
Here are some notable benefits of raising the child on your own:
- You get the opportunity to provide positive parenting in an environment where there is less probability of gender stereotyping.
- You will have complete freedom to make decisions related to your child’s life, education, and every other aspect of life.
- The kid will learn to take responsibility and play his part in maintaining the household. He will grow up learning how to be independent.
- You can have the scope to offer undivided attention to your child.
- As a single mother, you will go through many phases of breaking down and rising again. It will make you a great role model in your child’s life.
When your child will be more connected to you and will prove to be a better support when you break down or feel alone.
Why is it such a struggle to be a single mother?
As you know the challenges of being a single mother, it is inevitable to question why single mothers have to face all these challenges. You may also wonder how a single mom who is happy alone becomes quiet and has a different personality sometimes. It is because there are so many struggles that a mother has to go through, as it is pretty distinct to a single mother. All responsibilities lie on her shoulder.
Unfortunately, struggling with mental health concerns is a part of single parenthood. Parenthood is indeed an overwhelming feeling but dealing with it all alone can induce the feeling of loneliness which usually leads to anxiety, depression, and mental health problems in single mothers.
Therefore, acknowledging one’s mental problem and addressing it is necessary for learning how to stay happy as a single mom and wholly embrace single motherhood. In the process, feeling isolated or burned out due to this common struggle makes it too difficult for the single mother to stay healthy and happy and pass the same vibes to the kid.
Tips to Stay Happy as a single mother
In case you are willing to fight the typical emotions of being sad and depressed, figure out which activities can help you stay happy. So, let’s walk through some common and helpful tips that can help you stay happy while being a single mother.
Set your Priorities Straight
It is one of the most crucial techniques to practice in your happy and healthy single mom journey. You need to learn to prioritize your tasks. For this purpose, make a list of priorities in descending order, so your decision-making process becomes easier. Anyhow, remember to hold on to every important thing related to you and your child.
Set Personal Goals
Do you wonder how a single mother can be happy? It is possible by setting personal development goals that motivate you in your life. Anyhow, it is crucial to keep the focus on your child as you cannot simply center your entire life on yourself and even on your child. So, remember to include your children, but do not forget to have your ambitions.
Stay True to Yourself
Staying loyal and true to your identity when it comes to raising your child, as well as going with your maternal instincts, is a better option. Instead of blindly focusing on the suggestion given by others on how to parent a child, analyze your life’s shortcomings and benefits and raise your child accordingly.
Spend Some Time with Yourself Regularly
If you are working from home and raising the child at the same time, it is possible that frustration occupies your mind and house, leading to grumpy and cranky behavior. Therefore, get out of your home for a walk, meditate, exercise, breathe in the fresh air and do whatever you like. The constant work and care can be upsetting. So have a walk and bounce back with double energy and a positive mindset.
Comprehend you Options
Initiating the changes that can benefit you and your child is welcoming in the phase of learning to be happy as a single mother. Do not put bars in front of yourself to explore your opinion because of a strict and unwelcoming mindset.
One of the biggest parts of finding happiness as a single mother is cultivating your daily life with gratitude and an optimal outcome. Work on your mental health concerns, the things that bother you, under the observation of the certified therapist, so you are in the headspace to appreciate what you have instead of focusing on what you do not have.
Connect with your Friends
Taking some time out of your hectic schedule to connect you’re your friend is crucial to be happy and relaxed as a single parent. No matter if you are attending daily, once a week, or a month, regular video calling, talking, and sometimes inviting them to your home is also beneficial for a happier mind.
Self-care is Essential
Self-care is the best form of care. Regularly practicing mindfulness which is based on self-care habits, is non-negotiable as a single mother. This practice will help you maintain your physical as well as mental well-being.
7 Tips to Be Prepared for Baby’s Arrival
When you know your partner is not by your side at the time of delivery and he is not going to appear in the phase when you need him, be prepared for what is coming. Don’t worry! With a little preparation and patience, you can do this.
Follow these simple tips. They will ensure that your life is going to be smooth and free from emotional rollercoasters.
Lineup ahead of time
In this phase, you need to learn to accept and ask for help. Ask your trustworthy friend if he or she doesn’t mind attending the parental classes and acting as your labor coach in your hour of need. Tell her she will have to be by your side when you go to the hospital, see-through labor and delivery, and bring back the baby home safely.
You can also create a different sign-up for tasks that should be accomplished before the due date, such as getting the car seat or crib.
Stock up on Supplies
There is no chance of rushing to the market in the eleventh hour. Moreover, it is not possible to make a quick run to the 24-hour drugstore at midnight when you are alone with your little one. Therefore, ensure that you have the necessary supply of diapers, wipes, and other essential baby items by your side before the baby’s arrival.
Thoroughly Check Child Care Options
Figuring out the best childcare is crucial and selecting the daycare facility beforehand is an excellent choice in case you are a single parent. Relying on the nanny as well as home daycare means you need to arrange the backup in case your provider is on leave or sick.
Anyhow, if you can afford the nanny, just go for it. Moreover, having a nanny is a better option when working hours are not predictable because daycare centers usually have strict policies and rules.
Get a Flexible Job
Communicate with your manager or supervisor about the expected changes in your routine and other accommodation that may make your new responsibilities a bit more convenient and manageable. Remember that it is usually convenient to handle it all during the first few weeks or months when your baby is only eating, sleeping, and pooping. Managing the routine as a single mother becomes a bit complex when your little one is a bit older, so ensure to keep planning the next step.
Take Support from other Single Mothers
The single mom journey is not as easy as it seems to be. Whether you require advice, moral support, or maybe a shoulder to cry on, there is no need to cry alone because help is just a click away.
You can go through different single parenting support sites such as Parents without Partner. Here you can join the group and even go to the club parties and meet-ups to build a strong support network. Moreover, do not be shy about asking for help from neighbors as well as friends.
Take a Break
Single mothers may need to work twice harder than mothers with a partner. Therefore, do not give in to that urge, and do not feel guilty that you are taking the time out for yourself. It is necessary to have some time for yourself to recharge as well as refresh, whether you are with friends or alone.
In case the daily babysitter seems too indulgent, you can have someone every few weeks or a month. You can also find other creative ways, such as an exchange service, to have a good time out and have my time as well.
Go Easy on Yourself
Do you know what the best part of being a single mother is? There is no one to watch out for if your cupboard is made or not, if socks are folded and if the unwashed dishes are lingering in the sink for an additional day.
You need to accept that there are a few things that will not get done as quickly and perfectly as you expect. It is because raising a baby all alone is a juggling act. Hence, don’t be worried if you are lagging in certain areas. You are doing and putting a lot in one area.
How to Release Single-Parenting Stress
It is inevitable not to pass the vibes that you are going through. Raising your kids all alone is not a piece of cake. When you have no one to support you or share problems and concerns, it becomes frustrating to move ahead.
Anyhow, proper planning and following these tips will help you stay cool with your child and keep things organized:
- Make a good routine that offers your child a good sense of security. For example, setting a consistent bedtime, sleep time, as well as mealtime will help you achieve this.
- Your children may require unconditional love, support, and care for their healthy mental development. Ensure to be always available for them.
- Set up the ground rules to promote discipline and good behavior.
- You need to take care of yourself to prevent unnecessarily burdening your kid with too many damaging and negative emotions like anger, stress, and grief.
- Despite all the hurdles and challenges, a single mother can raise their children successfully. You just need to show love, respect as well as positivity to make sure your child is not only growing but becoming a better human being.
Motherhood is an overwhelming time when plenty of emotions rush simultaneously. When you have a partner by your side, it becomes super convenient to handle the situation and the baby. However, when you know there is not going to be supported, you have to be financially, physically as well as mentally prepared to handle everything by yourself.
Single moms generally have a more challenging life, but there is nothing impossible. Despite all challenges and problems, there are certain considerable benefits to consider to motivate yourself. You can raise your baby with full freedom and in a safe as well as a stable environment.
When there is no one to support you financially, there is no one to target you for not making a cupboard to do dishes. You can raise a baby in a less stereotypical objected environment. However, the time will come when you will break down. In these situations, you can ask for help from friends and family and even take support from the single-mother community. Support is just one click away from you.