Challenges Faced by Single Mothers, and how to overcome them.

Challenges Faced by Single Mothers, and how to overcome them.

Parenting is a not easy and single parenting is tougher as it entails added responsibilities. A single parent has to face continuous newer challenges every day. A proper schedule if made will make the task much easier. Here are some common challenges faced by single parents and the ways to overcome them. Read on.

Giving birth and raising a child is always a challenge. People all over the world are buoyed down when faced with the responsibility of parenthood. But when you have your spouse at your side you feel a lot confident as you are assured of the presence of an emotional support. Single parenthood is a huge challenge in itself as you have to deal with the situation where you have lost your loved one and at the same time, you need to take up the responsibilities of rearing the child and life as a whole. The challenges get multiplied by themselves.

The first challenge is to deal with the family all by yourself, where you need to fulfill the responsibility of both. You need to make all the decisions all by yourself, you need to ensure that all the requirements of your family are met, you need to deal with the overload of tasks that too efficiently, meet your career responsibilities and above all, deal with your emotional over load, not to overlook the emotional requirements of your baby.

For a single parent, these challenges appear in a series, in combination or even alone. Whatever the situation, there is no denying the fact that single parenting is full of challenges. You need to seek out options where you find a solution to deal with these challenges as they can easily lead you to anxiety and depression.


Have a quick look at the common challenges briefly explained.

Scheduling - As mentioned earlier, a single parent is flustered with heaps of responsibilities. They are thus required to juggle them all through a hectic schedule. Keeping afloat with the schedule is in itself a huge challenge.

Balancing – A single parent has to balance work and home all the more. Workplace is a whole new world of professional responsibilities. Then you need to take care of the child, provide them with all that they need, including your time and at the same time teach them to evolve as a disciplinarian by being a friend to them is an added challenge.

Financial – Financial problem is perhaps one of the biggest challenges faced by a single parent. You cannot be a stay at home mom or dad as you need to think of the expenses. Thereby you cannot spend all your time for rearing the child even if you believe that staying with the child throughout his growing up years is important. The challenge magnifies if you are not very well off. It is a tough job to plan your entire expenses and yet have a savings through a single pay check.

Finding a childcare support – Since you need to go to work you need to make adequate arrangement for a child minder. The person needs to be reliable as well as competent. It is indeed a challenge to find such a person especially when you do not have a proper support system from your extended family. 

Being There for Your Child

Apart from juggling with the regular household chores, you must be there when your child needs you. It is a challenge to adjust your schedule and be completely involved with your child’s school activities. Your parenting skills, patience and understanding will constantly be put to test and it is a big challenge to instil discipline in your kids while you have to spend most of your hour’s outdoors.

Further, you need to ensure that the child does not feel isolated or ignored as it can spell doom for their all-round development. But as the child grows up, your difficulties will fade away with the decrease of certain responsibilities which you can share with the child and as his maturity level develops, he will also act an emotional support that a single parent so desperately craves for.


Being a single mother is never easy. Raising a family alone requires that you perform the roles of two people, the father and the mother. You will not have the luxury of sharing many of the jobs that two parents have, but nevertheless, you will need to address the concerns of these jobs: provider, disciplinarian, comforter, guidance counselor and so forth.

It is important to realize, however, that being a single mother does not mean that you need to be alone. In order to be successful, you will need to learn how to make decisions and act on them (e.g. how to use community resources, parental and family support, get financial aid, get respite time etc.) so that the needs and interests of your children are met. You can be ready to meet the many challenges of a single mother by knowing how to handle such challenges in advance.

Challenge 1 - The Number 1 Priority

In order to build a strong foundation for your children, it is important to address their developmental needs. This will prevent hurts and shortcomings from becoming unresolved emotional baggage later on in life. This will also help children to resist peer pressure. Although, there are issues that are specific to each gender (especially during puberty), there are many common elements that your children need.

The most important of these common elements is the need all children have is to feel unconditionally loved by their mother. No matter what trials and tribulations you face as a single mother, this is the highest and most meaningful thing you will ever do for your child. It will survive all the financial shortfalls (e.g. meager gifts during the holidays or birthdays), and any missed school plays or other opportunities because of you having to work and any crankiness or stress that you experience as a single mother.

In order maintain this priority, you need to put things in proper perspective. Realize what your children can do without. They will not do well without a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence. You should also learn to get the help you need. Set realistic boundaries of what you can and cannot do. Give yourself and your children permission to be less than perfect and spend daily quality moments with your children even if they are short and in between homework and chores. You can expand the amount of time spent with children by and doing household chores together.

It is important to realize that unconditional love is not the same thing as "anything goes" or "I cannot judge between right and wrong". Unconditional love means you can separate the child from the actions. This means that you will not demean your children or place labels on them. You will treat them with respect but give them the logical consequences for any misbehavior. Let them know in advance what the consequences will be for staying out after curfew or not cleaning up etc. You must follow through with the consequences in order to be respected by your children, but do it in a firm and loving way. It does not have to be angry and confrontational.

Challenge 2 - Challenges to Provide for the Family

As the provider of the family, it is important that you are skilled or you have a talent that can convert to income for the family. If not, you will need to develop ways to generate and handle finances. You should be on the lookout for opportunities to learn and earn more.

Resourcefulness and wise use of time are very important to be able to provide for your family. Budgeting is a tool that can help you avoid financial problems in the future. Living within your means and explaining this to your children is very important for them to cooperate and understand your situation without actually restricting them or preventing them from enjoying life. Living a simple life has its advantages, and explaining this to your children will make them understand the situation.

Challenge 3 - Challenges in Finding Your Own Happiness

With the many concerns that a single mother has, you will need to consider dating as the least of your concerns. If you are not a strong and confident person, you will complicate your life and those of your children by introducing male dating partners. It is best not to date until you are in charge of your life (or else you may be subconsciously looking for someone to rescue you).

However, there will be cases when you need to give yourself time to meet and mingle with people to address your needs for companionship.  If you handling your single motherhood well, you may choose to date (if not, find companionship in female friends and relatives). Although this is not easy, you can schedule time to go out once a month and have fun. You can ask the help of a member of the family to look after your child or children for that day. You can also choose to hire a baby sitter to help you in this concern just so you can spend time to renew your emotional bank.

There are many challenges that a single mother can face. But, no matter what these challenges are, it is important to have a plan and goals. When you see that you are making progress it will give you a boost in confidence and help you to feel positive. This will make it easier to provide the love, attention and guidance your children need.

With this attitude, you will better succeed as a single mother and you will see the fruits of your sacrifices; your children will grow to be emotionally healthy and loving adults.

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