While there are certainly upsides to being a single mom, like not ever having to argue with anyone on a nightly basis about parenting, there are also plenty of downsides. If you are considering being a single mom, you may want to take a look at some of the downsides first. Most single moms end up being single moms because a relationship with the father did not work out. No matter how scary it may look to be a single mom, take that option over any type of abusive relationship for the sake of your child, if not yourself. With that being said, use the information below to prepare yourself for this new lifestyle.
Finances are limited. There is plenty of help available to single moms, but you should know before you ever make this choice that unless you have a high paying job, finances are usually pretty tight. Dads don’t always pay support on time, and in some cases they may not pay it at all because there are all sorts of ways to get out of it. If you do get assistance, a fifty cent raise could mean that you lose all of your assistance, so it is important to budget carefully and wisely. Don’t forget that you are going to have to take care of yourself and be able to pay for things like daycare, medical expenses, ever changing wardrobes, and so on.
Time is limited. About the time you think you may have a moment to yourself (most likely as you run to the bathroom); you learn that you were just fantasizing. Small fingers and please of “Mom, I need ____” find their way even into your most private of moments. No, not even the bathroom is safe. Sleep is spotty at best, especially when your children are infants. Even later on you tend to be on high alert and wake up to every small noise, which is a good thing since your child is far more likely to get sick in the middle of the might than he or she is to get sick after you get off work and have everything settled down for the afternoon.
You still have to deal with the dad. In some cases the absent father is really supportive and tries to spend quality time with the child without trying to push you to the brink of insanity. Other times the absent father (and his family) picks apart everything you do. That scrape on your child’s knee? That won’t be attributed to being a normal child; it will be because you obviously were eating Bon Bons poolside while your child was out doing God knows what. No, seriously, some absent fathers really believe this stuff. If your child does not want to go to visitation that too will be your fault before any kind of consideration is given to the idea that the child may not be happy at the father’s house. Hopefully you end up with the supportive absent father who actually lives in reality.
There is an old stigma. Though times have gotten easier for single moms, there is still a stigma. You will notice that sometimes single moms are designated as the ones who “couldn’t keep a man” or were “trashy” while the single dads usually get the “oh ho brave of you to take on single parenthood” as if your genitalia automatically puts you in a lower category.
Everything you do is subject to the judgment of the people around you. If you happen to go out while your child is in your custody, it does not seem to matter that you spend 26 days of the month with your child at home. It doesn’t matter that you got a sitter or even that your child is spending the night with a friend. As a single mother, most people expect you to be with your child every waking moment that you are not at work,
You will question everything you do. Money is tight so you wonder if you are working enough. Your child got sick so you wonder if you are feeding him or her right. Bad grades make you feel as if you need to focus on their studies. A messy house makes you feel as if you are a complete failure at even the most basic tasks. Every now and then you will remember or someone will remind you that you are just one person and that even families with two parents often struggle on many levels. Some days you just have to prioritize and recognize what you can get done all on your own. You’re doing the job of two people while sometimes having to fight with the absent one over whether or not you are doing a decent job.
Your life will change and it will not be easy. It takes a strong woman to be a single mom and act like she has some sanity left at the end of the day.