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Why is Being a Single Parent So Hard?

Reasons & Steps to Alleviate Stress

By Adam HeathPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

The old adage goes “nobody said it would be easy”. This is true in the case of parents and especially true when one parent is necessitated with being a single parent. Either from a result of divorce, death of a spouse or additional family matters, this quote is especially true for single parents.

So one must ask themselves, what causes so much difficulty for a single parent?

There are a number of reasons why parenting is hard, especially for single parents, and below are some of the most common factors that attribute to this often frequent experience for single parents.

Lack of Assistance

“Teamwork makes the dream work” is another popular phrase. However, when the team is composed of an individual providing financial compensation for others, the dream in question can be difficult to get to. With the limited amount of assistance and social programs available to single parents, the dream can take a hit.

However, although assistance from federal, state or local entities may be limited, there is help in social networks. By banding together with other parents in your own social, child’s social circle, or local neighborhoods, help is available. From asking for assistance with carpooling to babysitting to after school activities help is much closer than you may think. You may be able to find local entities via Nextdoor if you are experiencing issues creating the network in person, help is available online as well. There are plenty of affordable and free activities that children can partake in to help alleviate stress, and free up much needed time for the single parent in question.

Pursuing Education

Bettering your own education is one of the best tools an individual can utilize to implement a better future and life for not only themselves, but also their dependents. However, pursuing higher education has its drawbacks as well. From the high tuition rates and extensive time required to obtain an associates or bachelors degree, pursuing education can be demanding.

However, a single parent may be able to free up some time for pursuing their education with the assistance of social groups. Reach out to in person or online social circles and see what resources are available in your local community.

Lack of Time

One of the biggest contributing factors of difficulties for a single parent is the lack of time in the day. Between working forty plus hours a week, handling the domestic affairs of a residence, grocery shopping and activities for the children, many parents struggle to find the necessary time in the day to handle all of life’s obligations.

If you are a working individual without children, imagine how much time you have without a dependent. From the professional and social obligations many of us need to fill, along with extra-curricular events that the familial pod takes on, many of us have limited amounts of time. Additionally, in this day in age, some children are now taking care of their own parents

When an individual is required to be the provider for their children, along with helping out with the needs of their own parents, these individuals are being pulled in different directions. This contributes to a great deal of stress that most of our minds are not built to handle.

What is the Sandwich Generation?

A population of people, known as the Sandwich Generation, are a group of people generally in their thirties or forties that are tasked with the difficult task of taking care of both their own children and their parents. When you compound this on top of a pandemic, that include the added stressors and requirements of social distancing and PPE to keep the elderly safe and healthy, there is no reason why parents are exhausted. Juggling multiple dependents ranging in ages from adolescents to seniors, along with a 9-5 job sounds exhausting. Managing these responsibilities for years can contribute to exhaustion.

By implementing social networks and asking for help from local resources, a single parent can help alleviate some of the many hardships associated with single parentage. Even with a helpful network however, being a single parent is no doubt an incredibly exerting experience.


About the Creator

Adam Heath

Adam graduated from Chico State with a degree in History and works in the digital marketing sector. An avid fan of baseball, you can find him sitting in Petco Park's bleachers or wolfing down a burrito in his free time.

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