Parenting is not an easy task. According to Pew Research Center, most millennials veer away from the idea, and only 30% of this generation live with their own family compared to Gen X-ers at 40%.
Yet, within these percentages, not all families are complete. In separate data posted by the Pew Research Center, it shows that America has the largest amount of children living in single-parent households. The United States Census Bureau, on the other hand, mentions that among the estimated 9.8 million single-parent households, the majority are single mothers at 7.5 million. This data shows that most of the burden is passed on to the mum when parents separate.
The Struggles of Single Motherhood
Being a parent is rewarding, but it is a major responsibility. Responsibility comes with challenges, and single mums are no exception. Here are just some struggles single mothers face while rearing children:
It’s a mother’s instinct to put children first before themselves. Due to this, it is sometimes hard to go back to dating. Sometimes, your potential partner will not understand that child comes first, especially when he is not a single dad with a child of his own.
One of the major things a single parent needs help from is in the finance department. Raising a kid doesn’t only entail instilling proper values and good character, but it also requires serious money.
From the moment a child is born, you have to spend a good amount of money to keep the baby secure and healthy. Basic stuff such as food and clothes, plus future education fees, are only some things a parent should pay for. Shouldering everything on your own may be tough.
3. Guilt and Anxiety
Sometimes, that guilt of not being able to provide a complete family for your child comes in. Comparing your situation with other people is sometimes unavoidable, especially with the influence of social media. When you see posts of a happy and complete family, you cannot help but ask yourself, “Why don’t I have the same thing?”
You start to ask yourself what’s missing in yourself and why things didn’t go the way you planned. Then, anxiety starts to kick in. But you try as hard as you cannot dwell in the feeling because you still have a kid to raise.
Understanding the Strength of a Woman
The struggles of single parenthood can be overwhelming, but a woman is a natural fighter. An article posted by the University of California’s Cal Alumni Association describes why women are naturally resilient. For one, it is dictated by societal relations. Because women are at a societal disadvantage from birth, they get used to stressors. They develop a more resilient approach to dealing with pressures that come throughout the entirety of their lives. Since men are born with an advantage, they do not technically get trained to respond to difficult situations as much as women do.
The CAA also added that women develop deeper relationships with other people than men, as guys often only bond through sports and physical activities. This is one important factor in surviving single motherhood — asking for help. Since women can develop closer and stronger bonds with other people, take advantage of this privilege. Asking a dear friend or a family member’s help would take some burden off when taking care of a child. As simple as asking someone to look after your kid for a while so you can have some time for yourself is a starter.
But if friends and family members have difficulties of their own or your problem is beyond their capacity to solve, asking for help from a professional may be a good option. This is especially true for mums who have kids with diseases or disabilities. In this case, you can employ health professionals who can provide residential respite care for your loved ones with special needs.
The Pride of a Single Mother
As with all the difficulties life throws at women, women are built to survive. Single motherhood is no exception. While some women did not necessarily plan on being single parents, they still make sure to provide the best they can for their children.
But for some, single motherhood is a choice. Despite the struggles that come with single parenthood, some women think it is better to do it by themselves than expose their kids to the stress of having a partner they disagree with. No matter what situation put a woman through single motherhood, one thing is for certain — a woman will do everything she can for the benefit of her child.