Parenting is a tremendous experience and this situation is more critical for single mothers. Becoming a solo mother is an arduous task and things may get critical and challenging when you do not have a spouse or a partner to support. Single mothers have to deal with a roller coaster ride in terms of emotional, physical, social, and financial challenging moments. This may create an ideal environment for burnout, stress, and anxiety. Stressing over parental moments will never solve any of your difficulties or challenges. This guide will help you to understand how to deal with stress and anxiety as a single mom and tips to date a single mom.
What Are The Causes Of Anxiety In Single Mothers?
Single parenting is on the rise in the United States and more single moms, fathers, caregivers, and grandparents are raising children single-handedly. Almost a quarter of kids in the United States below 18 years are living with single parents. Single moms and dads face stress and anxiety that contributes to feelings of isolation and exhaustion. Juggling multiple roles while dealing with other challenges such as financial concerns, shared custody arrangements, isolation, and complex family relationships are some reasons that increase stress and anxiety. The main causes of anxiety in single moms are as follows:
1. Emotional Stress
Single moms who have full custody of their children and are dealing with everything without the support of their near ones have to go through a lot of emotional stress. Dealing with parental challenges increases anxiety and other mental health problems in single moms.
2. Lack Of Social Support
Single mothers feel isolated and lonely and they do not get much time to spend with their children or interact with other adults and friends. These unresolved feelings contribute to anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
3. Financial Concerns
Single mothers are responsible to run the household finances without their partner’s contribution. While some single moms receive child support and subsidies they still feel the financial pressure as they have to live on a single source of income. As per research single parents are at high risk of facing financial hardship and this may hurt their psychological and emotional well-being. Financial concerns are also the reasons behind isolation, depression, and anxiety in single moms.
Separation, bereavement, and divorce are stressful on their own. Being a solo mom, navigating through life challenges, and fulfilling parenting challenges can cause a lot of stress. If you are unable to cope with the stress and anxiety because of single parenting then you may experience burnout and serious mental health problems. Emotional and physical health effects of stress and anxiety can cause low motivation and creativity, less energy and productivity, anxiety, irritability, depression, sleep problems, change in mood or appetite, digestive and gastrointestinal problems, physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headache, pain, dizziness, and physical aches.
How To Deal with Anxiety As A Single Mom?
Being a single mother is difficult irrespective of whether it is by choice or by circumstances and may lead to mental health problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Having a kid is a primary concern for mothers and single mothers are no exception. Sometimes single moms try to overdo things in the hope to give the best life to their children however without seeking support they tend to feel lonely and experience internal conflict of feelings. Moreover managing household tasks, financial issues, work-life balance, societal pressure, and lack of time for children are a few common problems that increase anxiety among single moms leading to burnout. Following are the strategies that anxiety-overwhelmed single moms can take to relax and reduce their anxiety.
1. Give Time To Yourself
Being a single mom is indeed a complex journey however you need not be harsh on yourself. It is important to make some time for yourself to get rid of anxiety and other mental health problems. Only a psychologically, physically, and emotionally adequate single mother can take better care of herself and her children. Therefore to avoid stress, anxiety, and burnout you need to create a self-care routine for yourself. For instance, you can work out, do yoga, read, listen to your favorite songs, sleep, and hang out with your friends. Doing something that can calm you and revitalize you will help you to take care of your children in a better way and with the utmost energy.
2. Do Not Feel Guilty
It is normal for single moms with anxiety to feel guilty for not putting adequate effort and time into their children while balancing work and household responsibilities. For single moms the self guilt for not being there for kids all the time can be tiring and overwhelming however it is important to remember that you may not multitask every time and it is perfectly acceptable. You should keep yourself calm and not let the guilt take over.
3. Take Care Of Your Mental Health
The mental health of a single mom is linked directly to her children’s mental health. Despair and anxiety will infiltrate your mind and thoughts quickly and will affect your mental illness. Never fall victim to your anxiety and mental health problems. Avoid doing things that harm your mental health. Anxiety about being a single mom is felt by a lot of women. Meditation, yoga and decluttering negative thoughts, going on trips with children will help you to better manage your anxiety.
4. Make Your Happiness A Priority
Like any other mother, a single mom should keep her happiness a priority. They must focus on raising healthy, loving, and happy children. However, the stress and anxiety of fulfilling all the responsibilities alone can lead to anxiety and burnout in single moms. Stop stressing and multitasking and start your day slowly with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee and plan for the day in advance. Never stress yourself if you miss out on anything instead keep track of small wins to boost your confidence.
5. Seek Support From Others
There isn’t any doubt that as a single mom, your child will be the biggest support system. With immense responsibilities on your shoulder, single moms tend to feel lonely and suffer from anxiety and depression especially if they spend most of their time taking care of their children and have less opportunity to connect with others and socialize. These unresolved emotions may increase feelings of anxiety and depression. This is why you need support. You can seek assistance from your friends and family and there isn’t anything to be ashamed of. If you’re experiencing burnout symptoms and depression then you may require professional assistance. Having a support system will reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety and will provide you with the right emotional support.
Things To Know About Dating A Single Mom
Dating a single mom with anxiety is an inherently complex matter. There are many factors that one has to take into consideration in the world of dating to find love. Dating single moms with children brings unique sets of difficulties and complexities into the situation. There are around 10 million single moms in the United States. At some point in life, you may likely encounter a single mom with children. Following is the list of critical things that you need to keep in mind while dating a single mom.
1. Children Will Always Be A Priority For Single Mothers
Anyone who is dating a single mom must understand that she is likely to prioritize her kids. Single mothers feel the extra burden and go through anxiety and depression while managing household responsibilities and parental obligations without the support of a co-parent. However, this doesn’t mean that mothers cannot make time to date or prioritize someone else apart from their children. It will be helpful for people dating a single mom to understand that her responsibilities and schedule may differ from women without children. Therefore you must be respectful of the time that she is carving out for you. You can be flexible with your schedule without being overly concerned about why she’s not responding immediately.
2. You Might Not Need The Kids Immediately
Parents are likely to be selective about who their kids will meet and when will be the right time. The length of time you are dating a single mom before meeting their kids may vary. If this becomes an issue then you can discuss it with your partner and understand that you might not be meeting their kids immediately. Whatever the conversation or time frame looks like make sure that you can actively respect and support their decision or the boundaries that she makes.
3. Understand That Her Ex-Partner May Be In The Picture
Unless you are dating a widowed single mother there is a likelihood of the presence of a former partner in her and her children’s life. This doesn’t mean that single mothers will be romantically involved with a co-parent. Anyone who is choosing to date a single mother must understand that her ex might be in the picture and you need to navigate the situation tactfully to avoid increasing complexities. Single mothers may have to be in contact with their former partners when it comes to their children. Even if you are sharing a healthy relationship with a single mother you need to be navigating the situation tactfully without feeling jealousy.
4. Do Not Rush Into A Parental Role Immediately
No two single mothers are alike. While some others may want their new partner to parent the children along with her and help them fulfill the parental obligations, some are interested in only building an impactful and meaningful relationship while maintaining the sole parent role without involving their new partner. It is advisable to not necessarily assume a parental role if you’re dating a single mom.
5. Set Boundaries
Single parents need to set boundaries or limits with what they cannot accept or do. Never let others take advantage of your energy or time. Single parents are subjected to judgment related to their parenting decisions and choices. Setting boundaries for yourself will help you to manage your energy and time and not get over your negative thoughts. This also helps you to find balance in life and make it clear to others that you do not welcome scrutiny.
6. Make A Relaxation Routine
Single mothers can incorporate effective relaxation techniques that can be helpful for them. When you are dealing with stress and anxiety you can overcome day to day challenges of parenting by breathing, doing yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation meditation visualization. Increased anxiety and stress levels will cause severe mental health problems like depression. If you are struggling with your mental health, do not hesitate to reach out to mental health professionals or therapists. There are a lot of counseling, mediation, and therapy groups available throughout the United States that will be of great help. Single mothers tend to overlook their health needs while taking care of the children and fulfilling parental publications. Take care of their physical health and make healthy lifestyle choices such as eating healthy food, staying active exercising, and getting plenty of sleep.
The challenges of single motherhood can be stressful however with effective planning, stress management strategies, and support from family and friends it is possible to grow and try. Single parenting can bring you a set of challenges and struggles but using the right strategies and tools you can manage anxiety and stress and avoid the risk of burnout. There are many resources for single-parent groups that help to take care of their well-being. Indulging in negative self-talk will cause a detrimental effect on your well-being and confidence. Try to keep a positive outlook in life that will help you to take good care of your mental well-being. Single mothers must make an effort to avoid negativity and build a support system.