The daily routine for a single parent is the same for a married one, except you’re handling everything on your own. Being a single mother can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also present some unique challenges. Here are 4:
Taking Time for Yourself
Maybe you feel guilty for wanting to take time for yourself or you’ve been told it’s selfish, but being a parent doesn’t mean you have to completely give up a personal life. Getting enough time away from your children is not only important for you, but for them as well. It will allow you to reconnect with who you were before becoming a mom and come back refreshed and recharged. Take at least one hour a week to do something for yourself – whether it’s a hobby, hanging out with friends, or taking a relaxing bubble bath.
Dating can be a challenge for anyone, whether they have children or not. Many moms struggle with deciding the right time to introduce a significant other to their children or even finding the time (or childcare) to go on dates. Whatever the situation, it’s always a good idea to set dating rules and abide by them. This may mean waiting at least 3 months before introducing a significant other to your children or staying friends after you’ve broken up to allow time for your children to adjust. And most importantly, any potential mate should understand that your children are your priority.
Many single mothers are the sole earners for their family and with that comes added stress and anxiety about money. Financial concern is possibly one of the biggest sources of stress that single mothers face since it is tough to plan expenses while working and raising children. Finding quality childcare can also be a struggle for working moms. If you don’t have extended family available to help out, your pediatrician or neighbors will likely know someone trustworthy and reliable you can count on to help relieve some of the burden.
In addition to financial stress, it can also be difficult to juggle so many career and personal responsibilities. Trying to achieve a work-life balance can be a major challenge, especially in this day and age where work can often follow us home, but doing so can include getting enough quality family time. Try to set aside some time every day to spend with your children – whether it’s reading together, playing a game, or doing an arts-and-crafts project. Just as taking out time for yourself is important, so is time together with your children and it can often help restore balance.
Being a single mom isn’t easy. While it can be difficult at times, the upside is showing your kids what a strong, resourceful person you are, which makes for a great role model. Counseling can be a great place to explore these challenges that many moms face everyday!