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4 Mental Health Challenges Single Mothers Face

Coping As a Single Mom

The life of a single mom is not easy. Raising a child alone can be emotionally exhausting, and it's not surprising that many single mothers are likely to experience mental health issues as they juggle their responsibilities.

With that in mind, let's talk about 4 of the most common mental health challenges that single moms face. Whether you're a single mom yourself, or you love a single mother, my hope is that understanding these challenges will inspire those who are struggling to seek support to get the help they need — even if they simply feel more empowered to help themselves.

1. Sleep deprivation

This one is common amongst most parents, but it's an issue that's far more pronounced in single parents. When there's no one to share child-rearing responsibilities with, sleep often gets put on the backburner.

When you aren't getting enough sleep your mental and physical health suffer. It sometimes feels necessary to forgo sleep for everything else on your to-do list, but remember that sleep hygiene is incredibly important .

2. Lack of friendship and support

Strong relationships have a number of positive health benefits . And a lack of strong relationships can lead to a surprising number of mental health struggles, like anxiety and depression. These issues are pronounced in the lives of many single mothers.

Dr. Marika Lindholm, Founder of ESME (Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere), explains, “When a woman becomes a single mom — whether by choice or circumstance — her friends often drift away when she needs them the most. Friends may choose sides, feel awkward or be unable to relate to a single mom's new reality. Disconnection from community gives rise to feelings of alienation and hopelessness.”

3. Struggles with co-parenting

Co-parenting isn't easy, especially if the relationship with your ex is turbulent at best. Single moms know it's their responsibility to find a way to co-parent to the best of their ability , but that doesn't mean the situation won't eventually take it's emotional toll. That toll can be big or small, and every mother will react to this stress differently.

4. Coping with abuse

Dr. Lindholm also notes that many of the women who seek out ESME have been victims of abusive relationships. Even though they've left the relationship the trauma remains. A lack of support can lead to PTSD, depression, and other challenges.

Abuse doesn't have to be physical to be lasting, either — emotional abuse is very traumatic and can lead to the same mental health struggles.

Coping with the challenges of being a single mom

There are many strategies you can use to take care of yourself and your mental health. However, remember that some things will work for your situation and some won't. If a coping strategy isn't working, try choosing another until you find what works for you:

Our caring therapists are here if you need support, contact us today!