Cope with Challenges of Single Motherhood
A child needs both her parents for complete nourishment of mind and soul. The absence of a parent even for a short while can affect the psyche of the child. But single parents are a reality with which not only the children but the single parents also have to deal. Families with single mothers, especially, face a lot more and different challenges than a regular family including social isolation, economic difficulties and personal problems.
Parental death – due to disease and unnatural causes like accidents or suicides – is the primary reason for a single mother raising her children. Increasingly, divorce and separation are also the reasons for a growing number of single mothers. Being a mother easy never an easy task, and being a single mother adds its own set of new challenges. She has to play the roles of both parents, be the friend, counsellor, guide, mentor, teacher, and provider for the child and at the same time worry for her present as well as future.
What does it take?
Being a single mom is difficult in every society, be it an advanced society like the USA or a traditional one like India. Some common challenges of single motherhood are:
* Juggling Between Multiple Roles – As a single mother, you have to fill in the shoes for both the parents and juggle between different roles. With multiple responsibilities, there is less time for each and it becomes a precious commodity. Most single mothers have a lingering sense of guilt for not being there for her child.
* No financial support – Most single mothers are financially dependent on their spouses before the current status and don’t have experience or qualifications to stand on their own. The parents and in-laws may not be willing or able to support you in dire circumstances. You have to stand up to the challenge to get yourself and your kids out of the financial distress.
* Less time for children – You are now the sole provider for the family as well the only mentor or guide for your children. The luxury of dividing responsibilities has been taken away forever. The one thing you are going to have the least on your plate is time, especially with children. As you will devote the same time for them, you can’t be with them.
* Social Pressures – Many single mothers have been subjected to different social pressures like getting remarried, compromising in certain situations, submitting to wrongful demands of in-laws or siblings in order to get their emotional support and even indecent approaches and proposals from other men.
Being a single mother is, in fact, one of the most challenging jobs one could ever ask for. Most single mothers have the natural ability to cope with these challenges, with a bright smile, and emerge as supermoms.
How Life Coaching can help Single Mothers ?
Single mothers often come to Life Coach Ritu Singal, who is herself a single mother of two, to seek help and be a better parent. I find that most of the time their dissatisfaction is because they feel they have no one to turn to for support in career, relationships, and overwhelming guilt.
She was herself very young and her daughters were only 8 and 13 when her husband committed suicide with Rs. 60 crores in outstanding loans. She made them feel nurtured and secure even amidst such great tragedy. She made sure that her daughters were at the top of her priority list with courts, offices, banks, factories and travelling having to come after them.
She taught her daughters to stay safe and alone at home with a servant, while she worked. She brought them up as independent and capable adults. Both her daughters are highly appreciated for their wisdom, smartness and for being great sportspersons. In addition to being successful professionally as a Doctor and an Engineer, one of them participated in Olympics, and the other in National TT championships.
The young daughter is also a celebrated writer. There have been so many accomplishments to their credit that people wonder if they all belong to only these two people. Managing the worst of situations is not difficult, you just need to learn the correct tools to nudge you towards positivity with your children. You can learn from her experiences.
Successful parenting depends on many smaller things and not just a few large things and therefore my Life Coaching sessions for single mothers try to bring out their core values and align them with their most important life goals. I help them set tangible and measurable goals within a reasonable time schedule. I guide them in identifying their key strengths and major weaknesses and work on ways with them to bring a balanced multiple pull from different directions.