“(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer,” said Jodi Picoult, author of “My Sister’s Keeper.” The quote aptly describes the perennially ardent routine of a mother that gets more challenging if she is a single mother. There is no denying the fact that it is a blessing to be a mother. However, rearing a child single-handedly and working to ensure that the child gets the best of everything growing into a well-rounded individual can get emotionally and physically exhausting at times. For some single moms, not high on fortitude and endurance, the stress can compound and make one susceptible to a host of mental problems.
At times, due to extreme exhaustion, a single mom might give into her child’s unreasonable demand (s) which in the long run can backfire causing exasperating show-down. Parenting for single moms is full of self-doubts, thus, it is important to feel in control and for this, one must have a sound mental health.
Here, we list some strategies which can help a single mom in preserving her sanity and in establishing a harmonious relationship with the child.
Depending on an “ex” for financial support can get quite suffocating, therefore, a single mom must look for a job, even if it is for a few hours a day. In addition, she should make a weekly/monthly budget and try sticking to it. There should be room for some saving and investment too. Plus, if the children are grown up, they should be given pocket money and must be taught the importance of saving.
Maintaining a discipline at home
It is important to have a routine pertaining to waking up, making beds, helping in the kitchen, taking ownership of the chores assigned to each member of the family. Following a routine will help children understand what they are expected to. In addition, a single mom must devise some dos and don’ts, adhering to which should be non-negotiable. These could be rules regarding the number of outings in a week, the number of sleep-overs in a week/month and so on. This would help inculcate a sense of responsibility in children.
Nurturing a solid support system
No matter how competent and self-reliant she is, a single mom still needs to have a trusted set of people as her support system. She might need someone to look after the kids when she is at work or running errands. She might have to call up a friend to stay over when she has to travel. Therefore, it is important to have a synergistic equation with a couple of people on whom one can fall back upon when needed.
Indulging in self-care
A lot of single moms associate guilt-trips with focusing on self-care hence, they deprive themselves of things they could do to feel happy, confident and invigorated. However, one must understand that constantly providing for others can get draining at times. Hence, once in a week or may be a month, a single mom must devote a couple of hours exclusively to herself.
Staying positive and radiating it
A single mom might have faced a separation or a divorce or a death of a spouse because of which she ended up alone with her children. It is obvious that she has to deal with her feelings of loss and grief, but she cannot afford to remain in that melancholy for long because a remorseful environment at home is not conducive to children’s upbringing. Therefore, to conquer her mood-swings, a single mom must exercise for a few minutes every single day, prepare healthy meals for herself and the entire family, and practice meditation or yoga to restore peace in her life.
Seeking help for mental conditions
However, at times, deadlines at work, a sick child, uninformed absence of a babysitter, an uninvited visit by guests can get too much to handle for a single mom and she may get overwhelmed and highly stressed out or depressed. Not paying attention to these symptoms can have serious repercussions in the long run that can affect her physical and mental health. In such a scenario, external help in the form of counseling may be required. The stigma associated with mental health treatment is fast dissipating, with more and more people approaching treatment programs for their mental conditions.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental problem, contact the California Mental Health Helpline to learn about mental health treatment in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-559-3923 or chat online with our representatives for information on mental health rehabilitation centers in California that offer a serene environment for complete recovery.