Single Mothers — How Do They Cope?
According to Labor Bureau statistics, in 2012 there were 12.2 million single-parent families in the US, and more than 80% of these single parents were mothers. It seems that these numbers will continue rising, reflecting changing family structures in a changing world. There are more than a few reasons why a mom may be forced to raise her child or children alone, but there are also many cases where women are actually choosing to stay single. In any case, single moms evoke respect and admiration, especially among those of us who are also mothers and know how hard it is to raise a child, even with the help of a husband or life partner. And it’s not just that; many single moms have chosen this hard life as an alternative to living with an abusive partner and this is a whole other reason why they should be praised. There are more than a few women who stay in an unhappy, abusive relationship with their teeth clenched, “for the good of the children” or simply because they are too scared of the prospect of being left to fend for themselves. Although the first argument has been rebuked time and again, fear of being unable to cope on your own and raise a happy child is a very valid one. It is overcoming this fear that makes single moms that much braver than the rest of us.
Of course, the picture of single motherhood is not all gloom and doom. Many single moms are successful professionals earning more than the average, which allows them to be happy in the knowledge that they can provide for their kids’ needs. But the world is changing for the better when it comes to job and training opportunities, and even those single moms who are finding it hard to make ends meet can now take advantage of things like free online courses and work-from-home opportunities. You could say that takes time and money too, but it’s better with these options than without them, that’s for sure. This is especially important in light of Census Bureau stats that reveal a significant difference in the percentage of single moms without a high school diploma and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher: the former accounted for 57% of all new mothers without a high school diploma in 2011, as opposed to just 9% of all new mothers with some degree of college education.
Single motherhood is no joke but, like everything else, it could have its positive effects, too. For one thing, becoming a parent usually makes one more responsible and that should be even more true if you’re a single parent. When the kids come we become experts at multitasking, a definitely valuable talent these days, and that goes double for single moms who don’t have the comfort of delegating chores and leaving the bread-earning to a husband or partner. Most single moms who are single not because of personal choice but rather as a result of various circumstances would hardly take great pleasure in knowing that, but this doesn’t change things. At some point in life, single moms could be much better placed to do a certain job than married moms. Think “Whatever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger” and other words of wisdom along the same lines, trite as they may sound. And since the best advice you could get always comes from someone who is in your shoes, here are ten tips from a single mom to single moms. They are easy to take to heart and will probably make your life as a single mother easier and happier.