Beware of the 6 Challenges of Being a Single Mom
Being a single mom is extremely rewarding but also challenging. Depending on how you started your path as a single mom plays a part in how well you cope with those challenges.
Imagine being pregnant and alone, and having to prepare to bring a new life into this world. You could also imagine being in a seemingly secure relationship with your partner but one day, out of the blue, he says he longer wants to be a father. Rather, try imagining being married for ten years to a wonderful man/provider, and suddenly losing him to an unfortunate accident. Different paths, but same results – single motherhood.
Being a single mom comes as a result of many different situations and not merely just the stereotypes many people imagine. If you are already facing the challenges of being a single mom, I feel your pain.
If you are preparing to embark on the journey that is single motherhood, this post will help you face some of the realities of being in that position.
6 CHALLENGES OF BEING A SINGLE MOM
Time, or the lack of, is a huge challenge for single moms, especially when you have multiple kids. No matter how you slice it, and dice it, you will almost always feel lacking in this area.
And don’t get me started with the guilt. The guilt of feeling like you’re not spending the required amounts of time with your child(ren) that will put you in the “Great Mom” category.
If you work outside of your home, time becomes this delicate thing that has to constantly be caressed. If you’re not careful and end of neglecting time, you’ll lose out with your kids. Who wants that pressure, right?
As a single mom, you want to spend every moment basking in the sweet delights that are your child(ren), but as the primary provider, you need to work. Then if you over think this point too much, the guilt sets in again.
I swear it’s a horrible cycle of lacking time and feeling guilty 😐
If you’re lucky enough to work from home, that’s awesome. No really, I’m a tad bit jealous because I’d love to work from home, and be able to fully care for my children. Sadly, that hasn’t happened for me yet.
Like myself, many single moms aren’t that lucky. They get caught up in their working hours, sometimes doing overtime, and feeling rushed at home during family time.
So yeah, being a single mom means you’ll have to get really creative with your time. And if you have multiple child(ren), I want to say good luck with that. *This is me tipping my virtual hat to you*
But think about this, what happens when your kids each have a recital on the same night? What happens when one child wants to go to the movies and the other wants to go for a hike? What happens when your three boys play baseball for the same rec center, but are different ages, so they play on different team levels?
Oh my gosh, how do you choose? And somewhere, deep inside yourself, you’ll feel guilty with whichever choice you make because, you should have made more time. 🙁
Time, in general, is already hard enough; figuring out how to spend the time you have with your kids is equally challenging.
Everything costs money. If it doesn’t (very rare), it costs time.
Money is needed for the most simplest things when raising child(ren). As a regular single person spending $10 or $20 on something is nothing. As a single mom, you count every dollar because emergencies happen.
At the wrong moment, $10 can make or break your good mood if you really don’t have a lot of income.
Money is needed to live; a lot is needed to live comfortably.
“Robbing Peter to pay Paul”
This saying was created by a broke person somewhere who got tired of not being to make ends meet, so they created a way.
When you don’t have the added income of a second parent, like can be very challenging. However, if you’re receiving child support, that can give you some financial relief.
And really, there’s nothing like having a two-income home, but as a single mom, it’s unavoidable.
You’re probably asking, “What if the other parent doesn’t work, therefore, there’s no second income,” and that’s a perfectly good question. Guess what, daycare is costly.
If there’s no second income, there are still ways to save on costs, like daycare. If the dad isn’t working, expenses like daycare can be handled by him.
Also, you don’t need to be with the father to receive help from him.
If you’re struggling to pay for daycare and the father is willing to take care of your child(ren), while you work, don’t be stubborn. Save the money and let him be a father to his child(ren).
Look, I know of a single mom (a friend), who pays roughly $1,000 per month for daycare. Oh my gosh, that’s ridiculous but it’s necessary. *I wonder how I made it through sometimes* 😕
And that’s just one of the many expenses single mom encounter. You know even when necessities like daycare stop, there are still school field trips, sporting activities, clothing, food, utilities, supplies, etc.
Oh I could go on but I’m sure you get the idea.
In Need of a Little Help
Some single moms are better at saving money. However, if you find yourself in need of budgeting help, check out my earlier post, How to Easily Budget as a Single Mother.
As a freebie, I’ve created a quick and easy budget sheet for you. It’s an easy to follow worksheet and will jump-start your money-saving habits. *Small miracles*
➡ I mean seriously, do you want to start saving for your future; your kids future? Of course, you answered yes. Who doesn’t want financial freedom, right! To start your path to financial freedom, click the form below.
3. Romantic Life a.k.a. Dating
Oh my gosh, I could go on and on about dating as a single mom, but I’ll save some of my thoughts for a different post.
Dating as a single mom is hard. Extremely hard.
I will also take this opportunity to reserve my opinion on dating as a single mom, because it’s really doesn’t matter at this point. I will say that my some of my opinions are situational because life isn’t just a straight line, ya know.
While it is totally up to you, just remember that if you choose to introduce the person you’re dating to your child(ren), it should be at a time when your relationship is solid.
And be weary of who you’re dating and why they’re dating you. Again, I’ll save that for another post. But seriously, some people are straight creeps and you have to be careful.
Remember that dating involves time; sometimes a lot of it. It would be a huge benefit to evaluate your availability before jumping on the dating scene.
And before I forget, dating is an emotional “sport.” Take inventory of your emotions before you decide to date someone.
You should think about whether your heart is free before you bring another person into your world.
4. Social Life
This is different from dating;it does not lead to sex (well hopefully not). Some single moms find having a social life necessary. It’s a way for you to be around adults and have adult conversations.
I believe it is definitely one of the bigger challenges facing single mothers. I mean really, what mom doesn’t need a break from time to time.
Guess what; if your child(ren) are fortunate enough to have an involved father, being able to have a social life may not be as hard as you think.
If you two have a set visitation schedule, you can plan your social schedule around the visitation agreement. Free-time initiated, am I right 😆
If you don’t have the support of the other parent, having a social life will cost you money. You definitely cannot leave your underage kids homes because you need some free time, so you’ll need to find a reliable sitter.
As your child(ren) get older (their teens), that daycare requirement vanishes. it’ll free you up a little more so don’t worry, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s a flashlight but a light nonetheless.
Also, it may be difficult to have the social life you want if your availability doesn’t match with your friends. If it’s hard to match your time with your friends, you’ll be hanging out alone.
If you’re the type that enjoys hanging out with a bunch of people, or even a few people, this could suck. But, if you don’t care, well, good for you. You’ll do well with your alone time.
Finding Alone Time
Having a social life doesn’t only consist of being with friends; it’s also a matter of finding time for yourself. It’s really hard and overwhelming when your life suddenly becomes all about the kids.
And yeah, being all about your kiddies is cool, but you need alone time too. If to do nothing more than cry to yourself, in the bathroom, about how guilty you feel for wanting alone time, you still need to be alone to do it.
Single moms need time to decompress and that’s really hard to come by. And honestly, your children never really leave you alone ➡ Be Prepared
My favorite one because I have been known to be super guilty of not doing this enough.
Single moms tend to forget that they are only human. As a single mother, you have to remember to take care of yourself.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in the care of child(ren) that we easily forget to care for ourselves. Or we don’t forget, but we put it off for another time.
Keep doing that and in no time it’ll be twenty years passed, the kids will be out of the house, and you’ll be alone dealing with some ailments that could have been prevented, if only you hadn’t put it off.
Pay Attention to Yourself
Look, if you’re sick, you need to make sure you’re nursing yourself back to wellness. If you can and have available to you, call in a friend or sibling for help.
Exercising is needed as well. If the only reason you exercise is to keep your stress levels down and your energy high, it’s worth it.
Plus, your kids will always watch what you do. The best thing they can see is their mommy enjoying a workout. Most likely they’ll join in and that will double as quality family time.
You’re not only taking care of yourself but your children are staying healthy, and you’re spending time together doing something fun.
Exercising isn’t the only form of self-care but it is definitely at the top of the list. You should find the things that you love to do and enjoy doing them.
Single moms sometimes act like it’s not okay to be happy. Hello guilt, are you there?
Happiness is okay; happiness is great.
I’ll go as far as to state that happiness is a need for single moms. Without it, we’d feel a tad bit crazy.
Our kids need their moms to be “okay.”
➡ Our kids also need to have a stable financial present and future. They look to their mom to provide just that. Do you want to make sure you’re able to provide for you and your children? Do you want to ensure that you’re managing your finances properly? Of course you do! Click the form below to get started on your way to financial freedom.
Remember that finding a hobby, exercising, and taking care of your medical needs are just a few examples of self-care. There are plenty more.
I love Ted Talks and one of my favorites is included in the playlist. Maybe you can find a favorite too.
6. Lack of a Support System
Having a support system is so important. Unfortunately, not all single moms have one.
Being a single mom is hard and it’s even harder when there is no one around to connect with. Not only is being a single mom challenging, but the perception people have of single moms is generally a negative one.
Not having anyone to support you emotionally paired with people negatively judging you because of your circumstance can be very stressful. And stress is not healthy when you’re a mom.
If you don’t have a support system, or if the support system you have isn’t a good one, it could negatively impact your life as a single mom.
It is very likely that no matter what you do, or say, your child(ren) won’t fully appreciate it. They won’t really appreciate you until they become adults themselves, or probably not until they become parents.
I feel like I’d be doing a disservice to every single mom if I didn’t mention this challenge: Letting Go.
You know that being the primary caretaker for your child(ren) builds an extremely strong bond. Situations like your kids learning how to drive, or their driving alone in the car for the first time is enough to scare up huge amounts of anxiety.
So do you keep them from ever doing anything without you? Um, no because that would not only suck for you but it’s would paralyze your child’s growth.
You spend so many years being their protector and hoping they’ll become responsible adults, but when the time comes, it’s scary to let go.
Time, money, dating, having a social life, self-care, and a lack of support are not the only challenges of being a single mom, but you’ll face these challenges often.
Yes, as a single mom, you’ll face many challenges daily. Not every challenge is a huge one, but a challenge nonetheless.
Chances are, if you’ve chosen this life or if it chose you, you’re well aware of the mishaps. All you can do is continue to push through them, and keep your fingers crossed that you’ll have an awesome support system along the way.
Be a peach and share you story in the comment section below.
January came and went didn’t it – But hello to the romantics at heart.
The next few articles will start my Single Moms Dating series.