Raising children is a difficult and rewarding task. When raising a child falls to one parent alone, the challenges double. Single parents must deal with financial and emotional strains that are normally shared in two-parent households. There are resources available for single parents to help ease these strains to make their lives and the lives of their children the best they can be.
Single parents must bear the weight of making ends meet entirely on their own. Two-parent families can double their incomes if both parents work. This is not an option for a single parent. Even when there is child support, it often does not equal a second income. Having enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table can be a constant struggle.
A single parent has all the household tasks that are shared in a two-parent family. A single parent will work at a full-time job, spend time with the kids, and do all the required household chores by themselves. Task overload can lead to depression in some single-parent households.
A single parent does not only have to meet his own emotional needs, he must also satisfy the children's emotional needs. A single parent may be the child's only sounding board or shoulder to cry on. Being the only emotional outlet for a child can increase stress in the single parent, who then may neglect his own emotional needs. Emotional overload can also lead to anxiety and depression.
Dealing with the Other Parent
Even in best-case scenarios, dealing with the other parent is a difficult task for a single parent. Issues such as child support, joint custody, visitation and decision making for the child must be negotiated. These issues may lead to disagreements, making the single parent feel overwhelmed and helpless.
Coping with Challenges
Dealing with these issues is a struggle for all single parents. Single parents should surround themselves with family and friends who will be able to help them every step of the way. Many local agencies can offer assistance financially, help with purchasing a home, maybe even offer ways for single parents to go back to school to further their education. A single parent should look into resources such as singlemom.com to see what advice and services are available.