The transition of having a partner to being completely on your own should not be underestimated. It is hard! However, the good news is that with time it gets easier.
- Emotional rollercoaster: Depression, self-doubt, loneliness and constantly questioning your decision especially when you are depressed. A good support team is crucial for the first year.
- The lack of adequate support: things gets harder without a good support system in place. Your family is very vital in your life at this time.
- Not making ends meet: it is very common to not have enough money. There are no shortcuts, you must work twice as hard to be able to sustain yourself and your kid(s) and to be able to set up an emergency fund. Try to save more and spend less.
- Not getting child support: Always plan your budget without expectation for child support. Do not depend on child support, because it is not guaranteed.
- Dealing with a ‘flatline’ Dad: A ‘flatline’ dad does not support you or your kid(s) in any way. He is not interested in the wellbeing of your kids. Stop depending on him.
- Being Overworked: As a single mom, you are going to have to work a lot harder than those with supportive spouses.
- Missing your kid(s): When they are away for holidays with your partner or you have to travel without them, it is difficult to not miss them because you are constantly wondering if they are okay. It is a worry that never goes away.
- Paranoia: The fear of being let down again is very real. You are scared of opening up and would rather not get involved in a new relationship. It may take you quite a long time to start making those mental changes, but be sure that you are capable of loving and being loved.
- Stress: You will be stressed because running a household alone by yourself will definitely take its toll on you. You may get panic attacks, or be fatigued and not have enough sleep. It is a good idea to hire a babysitter or send your kids to a relative for a weekend so that you get some time to unwind.
- You will make mistakes: you will make mistakes along the way, some of these mistakes may leave you feeling like you have failed. But you must pick yourself up and keep on getting things done.
What was/is your biggest challenge as a single mom?