According to single mothers and poverty statistics, the majority of single moms face numerous financial and personal challenges every day in an effort to provide what they feel is best for their child or children.
A single mom may feel that no matter what decision she makes there is always someone ready to judge her even though she feels that every decision she makes is the best possible choice, despite having limited options and limited familial support. She may constantly worry about what others will think about her parenting skills, doing the best she can at any given moment, but afraid of how society views her as a parent.
Learning to effectively co-parent
No one goes into motherhood thinking they’ll have to do it alone, but it happens to many of us. Once you become a mother, you realize that this little person matters more than you or your partner, even though there was a time that you couldn’t imagine life without your partner, you may start to see them differently after your child is born.
Often times the father doesn’t see things the same way the mother does, which can cause parents to go their separate ways. While both parents have responsibility in this separation, fathers tend to blame the mothers for this new dynamic in which the man is no longer the most important part of the relationship. Truth be told, women tend to give chance after chance, but once a woman has made her mind up to end the relationship she is at peace with her decision knowing that she did all that she could to make it work.
When the father cannot put his child first in the relationship, he makes it more difficult for the mother to care for their child instead of considering the effects his actions may have on their child. It’s not a good feeling to realize that the person you may have once loved is now making your life more difficult. Maybe you can’t rely on him financially because he refuses to give you money claiming he doesn’t want you spending the money on yourself, or has a new girlfriend or wife with kids and is now supporting them, or he just is not in a position to help himself, let alone you and his kids.
I experienced difficulties in the beginning of my co-parenting journey with both my son’s fathers. We were able to overcome our obstacles when we realized that how we felt about each other no longer mattered. The only thing that truly mattered was what was in the best interest for our children and when we both committed to making those decisions we began to master this thing called co-parenting.
Deciding between more time or more money
As a single mom you may not be able to rely on the absent parent and you may have to decide between having more time or making more money to keep your family afloat. Being responsible for your child’s well-being forces you to feel that you should take less risks.
You feel more obligated to always make the responsible decision because you now have someone depending on you, even if that forces you to stay in a job that makes you miserable simply because you can’t afford not to work. You decide early on in your journey of how you will provide for your child. Will it be by settling for a low paying job working minimum hours, working a higher paying job with 40+ hours per week, or juggling multiple jobs.
Some single mothers decide that the best decision for her and her family is to settle for a low paying job because it offers more flexibility in the hours that she works per week. She would rather have more time at home with her kids, helping them with their homework, cooking for them, and tucking them into bed. She looks to the government for assistance to make up what she lacks in her income in addition to requesting that the father pay child support.
Other mothers feel that they have too much pride to accept anything from the government, aware that nothing is free. She may feel that accepting assistance from the government is giving them the authority to dictate her family’s standard of living.
Since by accepting the assistance the government can schedule routine inspections of their home or invade her financial privacy by requesting access to her bank information. Although they claim that the program is to assist her, this assistance is designed to ensure that she does not get ahead in life by getting one over on them and their generosity.
So she is willing to do whatever she has to to provide for her children, even if that means that she is unable to help them with their homework, cook them a decent meal, or tuck them in at night because she is busy working 40 hours a week or juggling multiple jobs in an attempt to balance it all by herself.
No matter the decision you make, you will either sacrifice making more money to have more time or sacrifice your time to make more money.
Sacrificing Long-Term Financial Stability for the Instant Win
There are all types of mothers and mothering styles out there. Some single mothers feel pressured to ensure that their children don’t feel inferior because their father is not in the home. She may feel that giving her child the best life requires spending money that she may not have. Sure, she is willing to work extra hours to make the money to spend on purchasing her child the latest gaming system or newest iPhone, but what is she sacrificing by doing so?
By choosing to spend her money on these materialistic items, classified as liabilities, she is sacrificing long-term financial stability for instant satisfaction. Instead, she could be focusing on building a savings fund for her child’s future or learning ways to earn passive income for her family from investments. Spending money on clothes, eating out, expensive gifts, and impulsive purchases to prove a point to the absent father that she can provide the child with the best life, with or without their support, is a short-sided cycle that perpetuates debt and financial burden.
Dating The Wrong Man Just to Erase the Sense of a Broken Home
Society has conditioned us to believe that if we don’t raise our child in a two-parent household, they are destined to have behavioural problems. Articles have been written claiming that children raised in a single parent household are more likely to become high school dropouts, teen parents, and experience divorce in their adulthood compared to children raised in a two-parent household.
After a failed relationship, some women tend to feel that they are less worthy than what they truly deserve. The same goes for a woman who becomes a mother from a failed relationship. She may start to feel that no decent man would want her because she has a child or children with another man. She may feel that her only options are to end up single and lonely or to settle for someone that may not measure up to what she truly deserves.
A single mother is willing to give her all to her children. The mother often takes full responsibility for the failed relationship and some mommies are willing to sacrifice themselves and their happiness to do just about anything to protect their children from becoming just another statistic in a behavioural study.
Afraid of living a life of loneliness or raising children that end up with behavioural issues, the “I need a man” idea kicks in. Chances are that a single mom may date, move in with, or even marry the wrong guy merely out of the convenience that he can help her pay her bills and also help erase the sense of a broken home. Ashamed to have to admit to another failed relationship, she may be more vulnerable to accepting verbal and even physical abuse.
Statistics show that sons of single mothers rarely approve of their mom’s dating choices. Most children, no matter boy or girl, especially those of a very young age, feel possessive towards their mothers, more so if it has only been the two of them for a while.
This is the so-called Oedipus complex of Freud, which can even cause the child to build up resentment towards the mother for accepting less than what she deserves while not fully understanding why she is willing to accept a less than ideal relationship. The child may start to act out, they may drop out of school, become teen parents, experiment with drugs, end up in jail, or worse.
Best Mommy Ever Award Goes to YOU!
Does any of this sound like it applies to your situation? Regardless of your circumstances, I want this to serve as a reminder for you that no matter what, you are still capable of living your own fairy tale by taking back control of your life.
Before I go any further, I would like to give full credit of this ritual to my sons, since this is a tradition that they formed completely on their own. Whenever I was having a bad day, they could always sense it and would be sure that they came to me and let me know, “You are the best mommy ever!”
Sure, according to society you have no chance to be a successful mother on your own. They make us feel that single mothers are not qualified to be the best mommies. I felt that same way at one point but no matter what I have put my children through, they still come to me and say, “You are the best mommy ever!”
So I am here to tell you that no matter how harsh mom life may be for you, especially if you’re single with little to no support from family or friends, the fact that you continue to strive to provide your child the best life possible makes you the best mommy ever.
For that, I would like to present you with the Best Mommy Ever Award. You’ve earned it. I am aware that you committed early on to do this with or without any recognition and may even feel that you don’t require any, but in fact you do for the simple fact that you are committed. You got this, so keep pushing!
My goal is to spend as much time offline as humanly possible. I have two little guys that demand my attention outside of work and am aware that you have little ones that are just as demanding as mine are. If we're not connected on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, be sure to find me there. I'm always down to connect and answer any questions, feel free to reach out to me and my team at email@example.com!
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Hi! I'm Asha.
Born and raised in South Carolina, I’m a country girl who’s passionate about making a difference in the world. I’m an obsessive learner who spends time reading, creating, and selling online educational programs for mothers.