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You are here : home > Working Mothers > Related Articles for Working Mothers > Challenges Faced by Single Working Mothers

Challenges Faced by Single Working Mothers

Parenting is not easy and for single parent it is more of a challenge. Children of single parents are in no way inferior to children having both the parents. With a little bit of patience and our tips you can be a wonderful single parent.


Life of a working mother who is single is quite challenging. However, there are lot of working mothers who are managing their children and homes successfully. Here are the dilemmas which single working mothers may face while raising their children single headedly.


Q. I am a single, working mother with an only son.  I worry that my son may feel lonely, unloved and insecure.  Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

Just because he is an only child in a single parent household, there is no reason for your son to feel lonely or unloved or insecure.  When you get back from work please do give him your whole, undivided attention right up to his bed time.  Switch that cell phone off, if necessary.  People will understand, over time that they could get in touch with you after his bedtime.

Encourage him to tell you all abut his day...and listen.  He needs to feel you care.  You can tell him about your day too (the good parts).  If he sticks to you once you are home, do not push him away.  Let him know, verbally and by your actions that you will always be there for him.

Do not assume your son is lonely.  Children have a varying need for companionship.  It could be that your son enjoys spending time doing things on his own.  He may be less gregarious than others.  So what you interpret as loneliness may actually be just your son wanting to do his own thing.There is no reason for your son to feel unloved or insecure if he has caring individuals looking after him.  In whose care is he placed whist you are at work?

Try to see that he gets some one-on-one attention even while you are away.  Keep him busy with interesting activities that he enjoys.  If you have a close relative in town who is willing to play with your son sometimes, do encourage that.  You can also work at expanding his circle of friends so that he has company for at least some of the time that you are away.


Q. My husband’s job has him touring the country almost all through the year.  With the result, I am bringing up the children almost by myself.  What can I do when my patience wears thin?  He is not there as a sounding board for me nor can he be there to take over.

It is clear that the onus of parenting has been thrust upon you.  You can begin to make things better by not resenting this fact.  It is what it is!Look for some support from a relative or a kindly neighbour or a trusted maid.  You will need to delegate at least some chores, be it the kitchen or the feeding of the children.  Do seek to transfer those jobs that you most dislike.  It will make you feel less resentful and you will be able to accomplish more.

Just when it seems all too much for one person to handle, you also need to make the time for yourself.  If you spend every waking minute either at work in the office or at work in the home, you will feel stale and fatigued.  Organise some baby sitting and get out, even for short spells, to do something you enjoy, be it a short walk or a visit to the library.

Look for the best help you can get.  Unless you get great help, there really will be no one to take over.  You may, for the moment, be your own sounding board.  Evaluate your behaviour towards your children.  Count to 10 when your patience wears thin.  If you can, put your children to bed slightly earlier.  You will get some time in the evenings.  Talk to your friends.  Discuss with them your apprehensions and problems.  Use other mothers as your sounding board.  Sometimes your friends can be the best family you have.

Rest assured that this period of your life will not last forever.  Your children will grow up faster than you think and need less of your time in the very near future.


Q. My husband and I are separated.  We try to divide the responsibility of looking after the children.  Needless to say, there is a big communication gap between us which is worsened by both our work schedules.  How can we do our best for our children?

As you know by now, you cannot parent effectively without proper communication between the parents.  So the first thing you need to do is to improve communication with your ex.  This is hard to do, especially at a time when you are trying to find your feet without him.  Both of you need to be clear that any information or instructions regarding the children will be conveyed to each other and in time.

You will have to both make an extra effort to keep to your schedules, especially where the children are being shunted from one home to the other.  It is going to be difficult to make last minute changes in your plans.  It is advisable to make some kind of a weekly time table to sort out when each of you is expected to be with the children.

Keep your promises and be consistent so the children and the ex will know what to expect from you.  Trust can be built in this way.  Even if you are not together, you will both continue to depend upon each other to look after the welfare of your children.

Do not let your emotions get the better of you.  Show restraint in any dealings with your ex, especially in front of the children.  Do not let bitterness cloud your reasoning.  This is easier said than done, but time will show you that it is the only right way.  Be civil about your husband, avoid bad mouthing him to your children as you will then both fall in your children’s esteem.  Spare your children the details of this relationship gone wrong, they may remember them long after you have forgotten.

Be as flexible with your schedule as you can to cover for your ex in situations where he cannot be present even when it is his turn.  You should not have to do all the work yourself, but you both need to support each other to fulfil your common goal of looking after the children.  Avoid seeking revenge by being mean.

You need to do all of this for the sake of the children.  They deserve to have a relationship with both their parents regardless of how you feel about him.

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