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Whether it is because of an unfortunate circumstance, or by choice, single mothering has its own set of joys and challenges. Single mothers can brace themselves for the challenges on their way to make the best of their single parenting experience. This does not happen overnight, they gradually come in terms with the challenges single parenting comes with.
A single mom has to first heal from the pain of separation and also get ready to embark on the responsibility of doing majority of the childcare. She has to take care of the basic needs of her family like food, clothing and shelter. She might also want to date and enjoy a fulfilling sex life.
Few Challenges That a Single Mom Has to Face
1. Financial and Healthcare
Single mothers experience financial stress, especially, when they do not have support coming from their ex-spouse in terms of alimony or child support. Some working moms are forced to work overtime or take on second jobs to maintain financial stability and to meet the increased cost and financial burdens. This can lead to less family time.
2. Personal Time and Support
From managing their homes and taking care of their child by themselves, single mothers end up fulfilling bulk of responsibilities. Dinner, laundry and other household tasks fall primarily on the single parent. This can lead to exhaustion, less time and energy for other things, like an active social life and personal ‘me’ time.
3. Child behaviour
Most fathers stop seeing their children regularly after the first year of divorce. This can cause children to feel hurt, seeing that their role model has started neglecting them. Over-worked single moms might also find it difficult to discipline their children.
4. Dealing with Inevitable Emergencies and Change of Plans
A call from the school nurse, telling you about your child’s spiking fever can throw a spanner in the work of your daily routine. Speaking to your HR department in advance can allow you to make a speedy exit in such cases. It might also be useful to have contact numbers of a few trusted people handy who can pick your child in case of an emergency. Also, do give out those names and numbers to the school authorities, so that they can allow your child to exit the school with them. Always ensure you have a backup care ready in case your main care provider falls sick. Backup care could be your neighbours or your friends with whom you can drop off your child at the last minute making sure to return the favour to them when they need you.
5. Travelling for Business
Set up a plan in advance. This will allow you to make overnight stay with a tension free mind and prepare your child for the same too.An option could be arranging for overnight care so your child’s routine isn’t disturbed or another option could be allowing your child a sleepover at your friend’s home. Arrange a skype call with your child before you leave and bring back something for the child making him part of the experience.
For single moms, life can be one big juggle, but then remember, life can be a juggle for anyone. Never lose sight of the fact that you are family and you are in it together. With the right kind of support and planning, you just might find yourself sailing through your days with laughter, ease and more joy than you might have thought is possible.